REVIEW: All Elite Wrestling – Full Gear (2022)

A Wrestling Pay-Per-View by AEW

AEW had quite the wild month back in September, and after the dust settled, I feel like I have enjoyed the product a lot more than I did when all of the reports of backstage drama and alleged brawls was dominating everything. It seems like the booking has been pretty adventurous in these past few months, and many wrestlers that I feared were being quietly fired from the promotion are now standing very tall in the company. AEW Dark has been on fire, and AEW Rampage has stopped merely being an extra hour tacked onto Friday that nobody cares about. Not that I have ever stopped watching the show, but I have fallen back in love with All Elite Wrestling, and the build up to Full Gear 2022 has been pretty exciting to me.

This show is headlined with a VERY big match that promises to finally establish Maxwell Jacob Friedman as the top draw of the entire company, and I am all for that! After a four-month hiatus, MJF made his much-anticipated return at AEW All Out 2022 as the surprise “joker” entrant in the Casino Ladder match donning a strange masked “devil” persona flanked by goons. He was handed the poker chip, thus earning a match for the AEW World Championship. After Jon Moxley retained the title on the October 18 episode of Dynamite, he called out MJF and a series of heated promos ensued that included a number that went viral. MJF has seemingly “softened” and become a crowd favorite in recent weeks, which has been an interesting roller-coaster ride to witness. This is perhaps one of the biggest matches in all of AEW history.

For anyone wanting to watch this, It can be found on B/R Live which I am sadly not a fan of at all, but AEW has a deal with them so we all have to deal. According to their website: “The highly anticipated event will stream live in the U.S. from the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, on Saturday, Nov. 19, at 8 p.m. ET on the Bleacher Report app, website and connected devices for $49.99. Fans can pre-order the event on Bleacher Report HERE.”

For anyone wanting to watch other wrestling shows, I would recommend Fite.TV. you can get some FITE credits (10 dollars I believe) with the following code: “6m6lyyn”. I’m sure there are other ways to watch it, but FITE has a solid interface and has been worth it so far.

As always, they have a Pre-show up on YouTube absolutely free!

The Card:

  • 1P Chaos (Orange Cassidy, Trent Beretta, Chuck Taylor, Rocky Romero, and Danhausen) defeated The Factory (QT Marshall, Aaron Solo, Lee Johnson, Nick Comoroto and Cole Karter) by pinfall 10-man tag team match 11:55
  • 2P Ricky Starks defeated Brian Cage (with Prince Nana) by pinfall AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament Semifinals 10:00
  • 3P Eddie Kingston defeated Jun Akiyama by pinfall Singles match 10:30
  • 4 “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry defeated Luchasaurus (with Christian Cage) by submission Steel Cage match 18:40
  • 5 Death Triangle (Pac, Penta El Zero Miedo and Rey Fénix) (c) defeated The Elite (Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson)) (with Brandon Cutler and Michael Nakazawa) by pinfall Six-man tag team match for the AEW World Trios Championship – This was match one in the best of seven series. 18:40
  • 6 Jade Cargill (c) (with Kiera Hogan and Leila Grey) defeated Nyla Rose (with Marina Shafir and Vickie Guerrero) by pinfall Singles match for the AEW TBS Championship 8:00
  • 7 Chris Jericho (c) defeated Bryan Danielson, Claudio Castagnoli, and Sammy Guevara by pinfall Four-way match for the ROH World Championship 21:30
  • 8 Saraya defeated Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. by pinfall Singles match 12:30
  • 9 Samoa Joe defeated Wardlow (c) and Powerhouse Hobbs by technical submission Three-way match for the AEW TNT Championship 9:55
  • 10 Sting and Darby Allin defeated Jeff Jarrett and Jay Lethal (with Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh) by pinfall No Disqualification Tag team match 11:00
  • 11 Jamie Hayter defeated Toni Storm (c) by pinfall Singles match for the interim AEW Women’s World Championship 15:00
  • 12 The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens and Max Caster) (c) defeated Swerve In Our Glory (Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland) by pinfall Tag team match for the AEW World Tag Team Championship 19:40
  • 13 MJF defeated Jon Moxley (c) (with William Regal) by pinfall Singles match for the AEW World Championship – This was MJF’s Casino Ladder poker chip cash-in match. 23:15

My Thoughts:

As I’ve stated before, my methodology for this is to avoid giving arbitrary star ratings or anything resembling the typical ratings people give in wrestling reviews. I usually go through the show and pull a half-dozen or so things that I thought were significant or that I liked. You might think some of my choices are dumb and that’s okay – we all like different things!

A Little Less Nice, A Little More Evil:

Danhausen has been on a bit more of a winning streak as of late, likely due to his injury from just at one year ago finally fully healing up, thus allowing him more ring time. This all came crashing down after a devastating loss on a Halloween episode of AEW Dark to QT Marshall. Ever since, Danhausen has seemed to be slipping into a darker place on social media – posting cryptic song lyrics and referencing various horror movies. This all culminated in a promo, recorded on a VHS no less, that seemed to point to a return to Danhausen’s past, a time when he may not have been so nice. Now, armed with a nearly foot-long spike and his infamous jar of teeth, fans got a version of Danhausen somewhat similar to what was in Ring of Honor, something that made the fans pretty excited. Time will tell if this is a “permanent” change to his presentation, or if we have seen the birth of a Finn Balor or Mick Foley style dual identity. All I know is that if this leads to a serious singles run in any way, I’m all for it! Overall the pre-show was absolutely stacked with three matches, one of which being a “dream match” situation with Eddie Kingston facing one of his idols Jun Akiyama, as well as a much needed win for Ricky Starks!

Jungle Boy is a “Human Highlight Reel”:

“Jungle Boy” Jack Perry has built up an amazing resume of AEW wins and highlights through the years, but his feud with Christian Cage has definitely brought the absolute best out of him. He has been able to get on the mic more, move away from being relegated to the “for the kids” guy, and cranked out some amazing matches like tonight. After being bloodied and taking a death-defying dive from the top of the cage, this could be the “Tommy Dreamer Moment” that Perry needs to transcend his current gimmick and become a dominant force in AEW. I have a feeling that 2023 will be a big year for him!

Welcome Back!

We’ll never know what exactly went down at the now infamous All Out Media Scrum, wherein CM Punk lashed out at basically everyone and reportedly caused such a rift that The Elite and Punk’s crew got into an all-out brawl. This was such a big incident that it has lead to numerous suspensions and one apparent firing. I’m still not 100% convinced that we aren’t getting “worked” in some way, but for all we can tell Tony Khan has seemingly taken the side of his EVPs as they were back in full force tonight. That hasn’t stopped fans from doing dumb chants during the match, but don’t let that distract from the fact that this apparent “best of seven” series is going to be incredible. I’m glad they didn’t kick the belts back to The Elite right away, and can’t wait for more.

Second Chance:

There are numerous instances of wrestlers getting that dreaded forced retirement treatment, only to be able to come back largely due to determination and the advance of medical science. Edge, Shawn Michaels, and now Saraya Knight have been given second chances, and if the precedent holds for her, this should be an amazing run. I’m glad she seemingly has her act together and is in a good place, because I’m glad to see her back. If anyone was left in the wayside during the so-called “women’s revolution”, it was definitely Saraya, and I’m sure watching from home when many took all her credit was tough. She has a chance to do some great stuff in AEW, and this match with Britt Baker was pretty solid. Once the ring rust fully subsides, I can’t wait to see her in title contention.

It’s My World…

It used to be a cursed existence to be a Jeff Jarrett fan back when all the WWE-only guys did nothing but hate on TNA Wrestling. Despite putting on some solid matches, some fans based their entire opinion of him through a stupid soundbite from the late Mike Graham, when he said “Jeff Jarrett broke 6 thousand guitars, never drew a dime” for a WWE revisionist history DVD. Jarrett doesn’t deserve all the hate, and despite some bad business dealings and substance abuse issues in the past, he is a great heel and a solid consultant for a company wanting to expand internationally. Just watch his match against Ric Flair, a match he basically carried, and tell me he isn’t a gifted worker. So anyway, I enjoyed this match a lot, and loved Jarrett’s “chicken-shit” heel tactics here. It really put the match over, and was something I thought I’d never see in AEW. Also his theme song still slaps!

Hayter’s Gonna Hate:

The fans have been clamoring for Jamie Hayter to enter the title picture for a while, even going as far as booing fan favorites that beat her at times. It was a matter of time before she got another chance, and going up against a woman that is basically her best friend and biggest rival in Toni Storm was great. In the end, Team Baker pulled together and clinched the win for Hayter as the new Interim Women’s Champ!

The Devil Finally Got His Due:

One of the biggest shames of AEW All Out 2022 was that the shocking return of MJF, after a full summer in exile, was completely over-shadowed by all of the nonsense that ensued with CM Punk. While the apparent plan of having MJF wrestle Punk for the belt was sidelined by another injury to Punk, they booked a solid main event and FINALLY MJF has the belt I feel he should have had about a year ago. It’s interesting to see William Regal slide brass knuckles to MJF to secure the win after the back and forth they had regarding Regal’s politicking in his WWE job. One one side you had MJF claiming that Regal “blowing him off” made him consider suicide in a particularly bad time in his life, to which Regal retorted that he learned the wrong lesson from that, and it was just an excuse for his insecurities, and that he was entitled. To have Regal turn on Mox, albeit in a low-key way, was very interesting and I can’t wait to see what happens next. Overall, great match and a solid end to the show. It’s a new era in AEW – the Reign of The Devil!

Conclusion:

There’s honestly never a bad AEW pay-per-view, and I enjoyed this one a lot because it gave some different people time to shine, and had a number of surprises I was not predicting. This show didn’t rely on shocking appearances or Forbidden Door stuff to draw the crowd, and definitely felt more organic because of that. There was a time, in the summer, when I was actually starting to get annoyed with AEW’s booking. I was not a huge fan of all the mass signings of every WWE guy that was fired at the tail end of the Vince McMahon reign of terror. Honestly, with all the injuries that happened in the summer to AEW, a lot of the former NXT guys that came over are still out or are now gone (like Andrade), and I am happy to see more of the AEW I fell in love with in the forefront. There was a definite reason why I chose AEW over NXT, and I felt like it was slipping away for a bit, I didn’t want a rogue version of the “black and gold NXT” just produced by Tony Khan. Guys like Brian Cage, Ethan Page, and Eddie Kingston are getting moments to shine, and longtime staples like MJF and Jungle Boy are back at the forefront. This is a good time to be an AEW fan, and if anything I see this show as the start of a new era.

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