The SmarK Rant for AEW Full Gear 2019 – 11.09.19
Thanks to Fite.TV for providing me with this show so I can bring you the review. They’ve always been awesome to deal with.
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Live from Baltimore, MD
Your hosts are Excalibur & Jim Ross, as Tony is sadly on assignment. Why not keep Taz on for the full show, I wonder?
Buy In: Bea Priestley v. Dr. Britt Baker DMD
Uh oh, apparently Bea hurt Dr. Britt for REAL so now it’s a SHOOT. I could do without that, but you know what’s great? Britt explaining the science behind the mandible claw in clinical detail. You just don’t get anatomy lessons on wrestling shows enough these days. The return of the old school ramp on the ring is also great in its own way. Britt attacks to start and immediately tries to roll into the LOCKJAW, but Bea rolls out of it and stomps Britt in the head. Uh oh, she’s SHOOTING again. Bea whips her into the corner and awkwardly kicks her in the back a couple of times, then bends her around the post and chokes her out on the ropes. Running elbow to the back gets two. Bea works the back, but Britt comes back with forearms. Swinging neckbreaker gets two. Britt misses a charge and Bea goes up, but Baker cuts her off with a superplex into rolling suplexes, but the back gives out. So Britt boots her down for two instead, and Bea reverses into a crucifix for two. Britt misses a lariat and Bea counters with a german suplex for two, and into a submission move on the mat. This gives us the first discussion of Akira Maeda I can ever recall hearing on American TV. Britt makes the ropes, but Bea slingshots to the apron with a double stomp to the back, and that gets two. Ouch. Bea with the electric chair, but Baker escapes and into the Canadian Destroyer for two. Another suplex, but the back is still hurt and Bea reverses to a small package for two. Britt recovers with another neckbreaker and tries the finish, but Bea rolls over for two after pulling the hair. Baker superkicks her and it’s LOCKJAW for the submission at 11:33. That was a HELL of a match on the pre-game and easily the best match ever for Dr. Britt. She was bringing the fire here. ***1/2
And then with Bea recovering, Awesome Kong and Brandi hit the ring for some destruction and then cut off a chunk of her hair as a trophy.
The Young Bucks v. Santana & Ortiz
We get cheapshots on both sides to start and everyone immediately slugs it out, and Matt hits Santana with a spear to put him in the floor. The Bucks hit them with stereo dives and Nick tosses Ortiz into the front row, which leaves Santana alone with the Bucks in the ring. They go to work on the arm in their corner, but Santana escapes and brings Ortiz in, and he immediately gets taken down with an armdrag. “WHAT HAPPENED?” yells Santana from the apron in a funny bit, and then they switch off behind the ref’s back and it’s disallowed. So we get a wacky four person submission hold, which leaves Nick as the face in peril, and LAX goes to work. Santana with a suplex for two. They each do a senton and Ortiz gets a splash for two. Nick escapes the FINGERNAIL SCRAPE OF DOOM and makes the tag to Matt, who goes up with a dive onto Ortiz on the floor and then drops a flying elbow on Santana for two. The Bucks double-team Santana in the corner with Nick’s double-stomp from the top, but he showboats and runs after Ortiz and then shin-kicks the ringpost by mistake. Ortiz: “DAMN! I’M A GENIUS!” The Bucks take some more punishment on the floor and Matt gets tossed into the laps of the Rock N Roll Express at ringside, and Nick takes the beating in the ring. Nick fights off a double superplex, but they take out Nick’s knee with double kicks and Ortiz gets two. Nick fights back again with forearms and puts Ortiz down with a superkick (complete with comedy sell from Ortiz) and it’s hot tag Matt. Rolling suplexes on Santana and then he does it on both of them for two. Ricky Morton acting as cheerleader at ringside is of course great. Nick goes up despite his leg injury and a frog splash gets two. Back to Matt while Ortiz takes out Nick, and Santana rolls into a cutter on Matt for two. They set up for the Street Sweeper, but Matt counters with a powerslam on Santana in mid-air, and rolls up Ortiz for two. Superkick and he makes the tag to Nick for a SUPERKICK PARTY while Ortiz is chewing on the ropes, and another one for Santana to block a quebrada in an incredibly timed spot. They hit Ortiz with a powerbomb/blockbuster combo for two, but took too long. They try the Meltzer, but Nick’s knee gives out on the springboard and Matt puts him on the top rope to try to set up for More Bang for Your Buck that way. This allows Santana to tag in again, and he PICKS UP NICK’S GUM and chews it in a horrifying spot that even Joey Janela wouldn’t do. Nick valiantly fights back with kicks on both despite the bad knee, but Ortiz hits him with a powerbomb for two. Matt charges and hits the post and they hit Nick with the Street Sweeper to finish at 21:00. Fun opener, although not next level stuff or anything. ***1/2 Sammy Guevara comes in for the beatdown attempt, but the Rock N Rolls make the save and Ricky Morton does a Canadian Destroyer on Santana here in 2019. OK, I feel like we can retire that move for a while now.
Pac v. Hangman Page
Page tosses him right away and runs him into Pac’s only friend, the steel barricade. Apparently “Cowboy Shit” is both a shirt AND a chant now. If he’s not wearing a bolo tie and a “Jesus is Lord” belt buckle, he’s not a real cowboy, and that’s just science. Also, I’m really disappointed we never got to meet his late horse, Hunter Horse Helmsley, before he died. Page tosses him again and follows with a suicide dive, and JR points out the same thing we all have been: Hangman should be hitting guys with lariats, not doing dives and flips and shit. In short, dives are not “cowboy shit”. Back in, Page with a pumphandle slam for two, but Pac escapes to the apron and boots him in the face from there to take over. Pac chokes him out in the corner and goes to a facelock, and a running forearm gets two. Pac throws boots in the corner and continues choking him out for two, and goes to the chinlock. Hangman comes back with chops, but Pac dropkicks him in the back of the head and goes to a headlock to be a jerk. Page fights back with some COWBOY SHIT and forearms and they fight on the apron, where Page hits him with a sideslam. He follows with the moonsault to the floor and back in for the big boot that gets two. Pac rolls away from the buckshot lariat and bails to the floor, where he suckers Page into a brainbuster on a CHAIR. For some reason that doesn’t result in a countout, as Page makes it back in despite what should have been a broken neck. Pac goes up with a missile dropkick for two and throws the kicks, then goes up to finish, but Page crotches him. He tries the buckshot lariat, but Pac superkicks him to block and powerbombs him, into an abdominal stretch that’s a standing version of the Brutalizer. Page makes the ropes, so Pac goes up with the Black Arrow, but it misses. Pac tries a low blow and Page grabs the leg to block, and the Deadeye finishes at 18:44. Weird that Pac was the one doing all the hard-hitting stuff here and Page was flying around, but it worked for the most part and Hangman needed the win. ***1/2
Shawn Spears v. Joey Janela
They trade shots in the corner to start and Spears bails for some advice from Tully, who has been WOEFULLY underused thus far. Back in, Janela catches him with a rana and they head to the floor, where Spears powerslams him off the apron. Back in, Spears works the back and goes to the chops in the corner, but Janela fires back with his own until Spears takes him down and drops him on the apron with a back suplex. Back in, Spears with the chinlock, and he tosses Janela for a crazy bump to the floor as Joey’s back bounces off the apron. Back in, Shawn uses the tag rope to tie Joey’s hair to the turnbuckle in a unique spot, leaving him trapped in the corner. Joey manages to untie himself and goes up for a dropkick, but that misses and Spears puts him in a Sharpshooter until Joey makes the ropes. Joey beats him down in the corner and follows with a running knee in the corner, but Spears bails to escape and Janela follows with a somersault senton to the floor. Back in, Spears catches him with a suplex on the way back in for two. Janela with a small package for two and he tosses Spears for a suicide dive and follows with a suplex for two. Tully provides some distraction and Spears drops Janela on the top turnbuckle with a backbreaker in another creative spot and then undoes a turnbuckle pad while Tully takes the ref. So while the ref tends to the turnbuckle, Spears and Tully team up with a SPIKE PILEDRIVER on the floor, and Spears finishes him with the death valley driver at 11:38. Felt like more of a TV match but it was fine. **1/2
Meanwhile, Kip Sabian talks about his new alliance with Penelope Ford and blows off Goldenboy.
AEW tag team titles: SCU v. Private Party v. The Lucha Bros
Kazarian grabs a headlock on Quen to start and rolls up Fenix for two, but Fenix superkicks both SCU and both Private Party as well. Suplex gets two on Kazarian off that and the Luchas double-team Kaz for two. They clothesline each other and Kassidy tags in and bulldogs Pentagon for two. Double team enzuigiri and the leapfrog double stomp get two for Quen. The Luchas come back with a Doomsday Device on Quen for two and they set up for the package piledriver, but Quen escapes and Penta gets a backstabber for two. Scorpio comes in with a dropkick on Fenix and slingshots in with a cutter into a dragon sleeper, but Pentagon breaks it up with a kick to the face. This crowd seems very partial to the Luchas tonight. Kaz tosses Pentagon and follows with a rana, and Quen hits them both with a dive, but Sky sets up for a dive and Fenix hits him with a ropewalk kick. This leaves Fenix as the last man standing, so he does a crazy corkscrew moonsault onto everyone else, and then hits Sky with a springboard crossbody back into the ring for two. Fenix goes up, but Kaz brings him down with an assisted tornado DDT for two. Private Party throw Fenix out and double-team Kaz in their corner, setting up Quen’s shooting star for two. They set up the Gin & Juice, but Kaz holds onto the ropes to block the rana and SCU hits the SCU Later to finish at 13:03. Well you knew that PP were in the match to do the job. Mostly just a bunch of crazy highspots with the crowd really wanting the Lucha Brothers to win and not getting it. *** Pentagon goes for the kill on Kaz afterwards, but the lights go out and another Pentagon appears, laying out both Luchas before unmasking as Christopher Daniels. That probably would have went over bigger if the crowd wasn’t cheering for the Lucha Brothers so hard.
AEW Women’s title: Riho v. Emi Sakura
Sakura throws Riho around to start and knocks her off the apron and into the railing. Back to the apron, Riho hangs her in the corner and follows with a double stomp onto the apron. Back in the ring, Riho hits the double knees in the corner for two and rolls into a half crab, but Sakura makes the ropes. Sakura counters out with a neckbreaker and follows with the running crossbody in the corner and hooks her in a rolling surfboard while paying tribute to Freddie Mercury. Sakura stops to dance to escape a suplex, but Riho comes back with a 619 into a high cross for two. Sakura hits a backbreaker and goes up for a Vader bomb that turns into a double stomp instead, and then follows with a senton for two. Sakura with a Tiger Driver, but Riho rolls into a double stomp and both are down. They slug it out with forearms and Riho snaps into a rolling double stomp and a northern lights suplex gets two. Another double stomp and she goes up with yet another double stomp for two, but Sakura bridges out of it. Sakura clings to the leg and then fires off a backdrop suplex and torture rack slam for two. Riho flips out of a Tiger Driver and hits double knees, and they do a crazy series of rollup reversals until Riho hits double knees to the head and rolls her up for the pin at 13:11 to retain. Oddly, they seemed to be on different pages at times despite having hundreds of matches together previously. ***1/4
AEW World title: Chris Jericho v. Cody Rhodes
So if Cody cannot win the title, he never gets to challenge for it again. I think they should have tied into Jericho more specifically, by saying that he can’t challenge JERICHO for the title again, but maybe he’ll win and it’ll be a moot point? Your judging panel tonight: Dean Malenko, Arn Anderson, and Keiji Muto. That’s quite the mix. Hopefully Muto isn’t still pissed at Arn for winning the TV title in 1990. The crowd chants “Fuck your birthday” at Jericho, which I’m sure is the best present he could have gotten. The symbolism is thick here, with Jericho dressed in black tights and a black weight belt, and Cody dressed in white. They fight for a takedown to start and Cody cartwheels away from him, so Jericho slaps him and runs away to stall. Jericho has some words for Deano Machino, and back in they fight for the hammerlock. Cody gets control of the arm and works on that in the corner, then beats on it to hopefully remove the Judas Effect. Snap powerslam gets two. Cody clotheslines him to the ramp, but tries a dive and smashes his own head into the ramp, nearly folding over like Lita in 2004. And of course, he’s busted open already. That must have been a slick bladejob if he pulled it off in mid-air. Back in, Jake Hager gives Jericho a chair for a good sit while Cody recovers. Replay shows that he did not in fact gig himself in the air like Shawn Michaels. Jericho works on the cut and tosses Cody again, which allows Hager to get a shot in. Jericho suplexes him on the top rope and pounds the cut, but Cody fights up until Jericho puts him down with a knee to the gut and gets two. Jericho works him over in the corner, but Cody goes up…and misses a moonsault. Jericho gets two off that, and goes to the abdominal stretch. Cody fights out and hits a Diamond Cutter for two, and gets fired up with clotheslines and the punches in the corner as Jericho runs away again.
Cody hits the Disaster kick on the apron and Jericho backs off again, then suckers Cody in for a kick to the ribs and runs him into the post. Cody has a healthy bleed going again, so Cody’s mom hauls off and slaps Jericho, allowing Cody to spear him into the railing and come back again. Back in, Cody with the Alabama Slam for two to set up a figure-four, but Jericho reverses it and Cody rolls him over again. Hager gets involved, but Cody runs Jericho into him and gets two. Hager nails Cody from the apron, however, and the ref tosses him as a result. So MJF beaks off at Jake and gets beat up while Jericho grabs the belt and knocks Cody out. That gets two. Judas Effect is reversed into the Crossroads for two. A closeup of the cut shows it might have been hardway on the ramp, because it’s a pretty nasty one. They slug it out from their knees and Cody makes the comeback with the Flip Flop and Fly, and the bionic elbow gets two. Disaster Kick is countered into a codebreaker for two. Jericho beats on him with knees in the corner and chokes him out on the ropes, and it’s time to WHIP HIM, WHIP HIM LIKE A DOG! Hopefully not Cody’s dog specifically, that poor dog has been through enough with the pyro and all. Jericho goes up and Cody follows with a rana, but Jericho drops down into the Walls of Jericho and Cody has to power out of that and get to the ropes. Jericho stops to argue with Gurl Hebner and Cody rolls him up for two, but Jericho goes back to the Walls again. At this point, MJF finds a towel and throws it in for the submission at 29:41 for the mega-heat, as Jericho retains and Cody can’t challenge for the title again. So MJF kind of screws over his best friend, but there’s still plausible deniability. And then JUST as I’m typing all that, MJF kicks him in the balls to finally turn heel and be done with it. This was a true “big fight” match, as both guys knew how to work for the cheap seats. ****1/4
LIGHTS OUT MATCH: Kenny Omega v. Jon Moxley
Slugfest to start and Kenny boots him down, but walks into a black hole slam from Moxley. Mox declares “It’s time for some fucking garbage wrestling” and grabs a garbage can, but Kenny takes him to the floor and tosses him into the front row before following with a dropkick over the railing. They fight in the crowd and Kenny bounces a beer can off his head and then comes off a railing with a double stomp onto a garbage can. Ironic that the Cleaner is spreading garbage all over the place. Back to ringside, but Omega tries a moonsault off the railing and Moxley shoves him into the crowd again and follows with a snap suplex, and then it’s barbed wire time with the baseball bat to the back. Like, digging right in the back, which earns him a “you sick fuck” chant. I dunno, the gum spot from earlier was pretty nasty, too. He goes for the face with the bat, but Kenny fights back with chops, so Moxley rakes the barbed wire on Kenny’s arm. Jay-sus. Kenny fights him off with a piledriver on the garbage can, but he throws away the bat and wants a table instead. And of course, the barbed wire broom. Moxley throws a trash can at his face, but Kenny gives him the barbed wire to the head and beats on his back with it. Kenny then SWEEPS THE BACK with the broom and follows with a senton as Moxley is bleeding from the neck in a somewhat horrifying scene. Kenny takes him into the broom with a drop toehold and Kotaro Krusher for two. Kenny with the You Can’t Escape plus a trash can on the moonsault for two. And then Kenny finds, I shit you not, a board covered in mousetraps, but Moxley hits him with a lariat. And then follows with a drop suplex onto the mousetraps, which would be a first for good ol’ JR. What do you even say to that? I don’t even wanna know what else is under the ring, but Moxley finds some anchor chains and hits a sideslam onto them for two. Neckbreaker onto them gets two. Moxley chokes him out with the chains, but at least there’s a dentist on site. Moxley with a rear naked choke, but Kenny escapes with a trashcan lid, so Moxley goes shopping again and finds what appears to be an ice pick this time. Kenny fights back with the chain and the pick gets stabbed into the turnbuckle and will probably factor in later, but Omega fights back with the snapdragon suplexes. Kenny wraps him up with the chain and hangs him outside the ring, but Moxley slips out and hits the floor. So Omega tries the Terminator Dive, but it proves to be a DARK FATE for him as he accidentally puts himself through his own table. And then it flops spectacularly and loses tens of millions of dollars. No, wait, sorry, that was the movie. Kenny manages to recover first and it must be Christmas season because he finds…
Yup, it’s apparently the broken glass from the table he went through on Dynamite. And there’s a reference I never though I’d have to pull out. Although that table was tempered glass so it’s mostly like chunks of sand. Still, not good. Omega hits a spinebuster on the glass remains for two, and then grinds Moxley’s back into the glass and gets a Sharpshooter. Emphasis on SHARP. Moxley literally has to crawl through broken glass like John McLane to escape. Hopefully he won’t get a gun next, too. Kenny rubs some glass in Moxley’s face and tries to feed it to him like we’re on Oz, but Moxley suplexes him on the glass. Omega comes back with a pair of V-Triggers and Moxley bails to the ramp, so Kenny follows him with the icepick and digs it into Moxley’s forehead. This doesn’t work, so Kenny yells at the Bucks and Page to bring out what appears to be a barbed wire covered bedframe. They tease finishers on it and then Moxley suplexes Kenny off the ramp and both guys land on it. Well, at least the mass of barbed wire broke their fall, I guess? So the various ring crew guys rescue them from that, but Moxley punches them all out and tries to suplex Kenny through another piece of the set, which turns into Kenny hitting a V-Trigger and putting them through the plexi instead. Moxley is up first, but Kenny makes the comeback now as the head back into the ring…and Moxley hits the Dirty Deeds on the glass out of nowhere and gets two. So now Moxley makes one last try, literally cutting up the ring apron and pulling the canvas apart to expose the wood. He tries a Gotch piledriver, but Kenny backdrops out of it and hits a V-Trigger, then hits his own Dirty Deeds on the wood for two. Moxley is still out, so Kenny goes up, but misses the Phoenix splash and splats on the wood. And that still only gets two for Moxley, so he hits Kenny with the elevated DDT and that finally ends it at 38:45. Moxley questions whether that makes him #4 or #5 on the rankings, and then settles for “Number one” and flips off the camera. Boy, you cannot say they didn’t deliver everything promised leading to this match and then about 100 times more on top of it. ***** Also, good on them for confining every crazy garbage spot to this match only, so that they were all fresh for the crowd.
Well that was an exhausting last 90 minutes. The undercard was all solid and nothing was worse than “average”, and then the double main event delivered everything that people were looking for, I’d think. Strong thumbs up here, and this gets an easy WATCH IT from me.