SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
FULL GEAR 2019 DVD FLASHBACK REPORT
NOV. 9, 2019
AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AT PRO WRESTLING TEES
(A) BEA PRIESTLEY vs. DR. BRIT BAKER
This was a fine pre-show match. Baker has gone on to become the top act in AEW’s women’s division thanks to her dynamic personality and having a signature Lights Out match with Thunder Rosa earlier this year.
This wasn’t really a glimpse so much into things to come, as Brandi came out with Awesome Kong after the match. Kong wiped out both men and then cut off some of Brit’s hair. Kong has since retired from wrestling, although her appearances during the early stages of AEW were certainly exciting given what a force she was in women’s wrestling previously in her career and there was certainly the hope she would contribute more than she did in AEW.
(1) THE YOUNG BUCKS (MATT & NICK JACKSON) vs. PROUD & POWERFUL (SANTANA & ORTIZ)
This match took place during a period where the Young Bucks weren’t getting a big push in AEW. They were working with unestablished teams and had recently lost to Private Party on Dynamite the previous month. The Rock & Roll Express were at ringside for this one. Santana and Ortiz got a big push coming into AEW and being put in Chris Jericho’s Inner Circle stable.
I had huge expectations for this match, but it was more methodical than I was expecting. That being said, it was really good and Proud & Powerful picked up a surprise win. They beat down the Young Bucks after getting the win and Sammy Guevara came down with his camera to vlog. Rock & Roll Express ended up making the save for The Young Bucks. Morton hit a Code Red on Santana and then wiped out Ortiz and Guevara with a dive and the fans went nuts.
WINNERS: Santana & Ortiz in 19:00. (***¾)
(2) ADAM PAGE vs. PAC
This was a good match. Hangman Page’s long journey back to the AEW World Championship started shortly after this show as he formed a tag team with fellow Elite member Kenny Omega and they became AEW World Tag Team Champions in January of 2020. Going into this match, Pac had beat Page on the first Dynamite on Oct. 2, 2019. This was a good back and forth match that I had high expectations for. It dragged in parts and was a bit methodical, but overall it was good. I’d like to ask Tony Khan about picking a winner for this match, as you could have made a case that both men needed a win here. Hangman Page hit the Deadeye for the win.
WINNER: Hangman Page in 19:00. (***½)
(3) SHAWN SPEARS vs. JOEY JANELA
Both men put in a good effort here. Janela did a good job of making Spears look good. Spears eventually became part of The Pinnacle stable. Spears never has fully clicked in AEW in a big way, but he’s done a nice job of carving a spot on the roster. Pairing Spears with Tully Blanchard was a good move. With the ref distracted, Tully helped Spears hit a spike piledriver on the floor before winning with a DVD.
WINNER: Shawn Spears in 10:00.
Kip Sabian was interviewed by Golden Boy backstage.
(4) AEW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS SCU (SCORPIO SKY & FRANKIE KAZARIAN) vs. PRIVATE PARTY (MARK QUEN & ISIAH KASSIDY) vs. THE LUCHA BROS (REY FENIX & PENTAGON JR.)
This was a really good high energy match. Out of all the wrestlers in the match, Scorpio Sky, Rey Fenix, and Petagon Jr. have all seen their stock rise since this match took place. Sky is teaming with Ethan Page and American Top Team to take on Inner Circle in a marquee multi-man tag at Full Gear 2021.
Rey Fenix & Pentagon Jr. are coming their biggest push yet in AEW that culminated with them beating The Young Bucks at All In 2021 back in September. They will be facing FTR at Full Gear 2021 in what is sure to be an incredible matchup, especially given the contrast of styles between both teams.
SCU won when they pinned Kassidy.
WINNERS: Scorpio Sky & Frankie Kazarian in 13:00. (****)
(5) AEW WOMEN’S CHAMPION RIHO vs. EMI SAKURA
This match was fine, but the crowd wasn’t into it. Tony Khan has done a great job of building the AEW Women’s division to wear it is today. He’s built Brit Baker as a homegrown star, but the addition of talent like Thunder Rosa and most recently Ruby Soho has been a huge boost to the division.
Due to the pandemic, Riho and Sakura haven’t been part of the AEW’s women’s division. I grew to enjoy both women after this match took place, especially Riho, who I’d love to see back in AEW regularly. Riho won the match with a leverage pin.
WINNER: Riho in 13:00.
(5) AEW WORLD CHAMPION CHRIS JERICHO vs. CODY RHODES
Cody promised to never wrestle for the AEW World Championship again if he lost this match. Cody is getting booed right now in AEW while trying to be a face, but during this period, he was insanely over as a top guy in AEW and it’s fun to go back and look at the build to this match and the reaction Cody got. Cody was paired with MJF at this point as well, although everyone knew in the back of their mind that MJF was going to turn on Cody at some point.
This was a really good match and it helped to launch MJF’s ascension in AEW. MJF threw in the towel for Cody late in the match when Jericho had him in the Walls of Jericho after Jericho kicked his head several times and applied more pressure on the hold.
After the match, Cody was upset with MJF, who cried in the ring. Cody finally seemed to forgive MJF and he helped him up off the mat. MJF then gave Cody a low blow and that set up a huge career-defining feud for him with Cody.
Cody has been asked over and over about if he will abide by the stipulation of this match going forward. People wanted to see Cody in AEW World Championship matches until earlier this year, so perhaps those questions will go away now. I’m still interested in getting the real answer as to why the stipulation was put into this match, but at least with people wanting Cody to be heel, it’s not a question that will follow him around at this time.
MJF has a marquee singles match against Darby Allin on the Full Gear 2021 card. Both men have developed into homegrown stars for AEW and are part of the reason AEW has been able to attract top names like Adam Cole, C.M. Punk, and Daniel Bryan in recent months.
WINNER: Chris Jericho in 30:00. (****½)
(6) KENNY OMEGA vs. JON MOXLEY – LIGHTS OUT MATCH
Moxley clearly had some steam built up from his WWE run and given his death match roots on the independent scene, it wasn’t a big shock that he would do a match like this. Kenny Omega during this period wasn’t being pushed at the forefront of the AEW singles division and his entrance video had him walking around looking sad on a crowded street. It was clear something wasn’t clicking with Omega’s push, as he wasn’t acting like anything close to the Best Bout Machine persona he had adopted in NJPW.
It wasn’t long after this show that Page was paired with Hangman Page as a tag team, which seemed like a strange decision at the time it was made, but in hindsight it was a great decision.
Moxley is and has been a huge star in AEW. He recently left AEW to enter an alcohol treatment program. His fingerprints are all over the Full Gear 2021 card thanks to him constantly working with Eddie Kingston since Kingston came into the company during the pandemic in 2021.
Kingston has a huge grudge match on the card against C.M. Punk that has had an incredible build with a storyline built around their relationship on the independent scene over 15 years ago. I always believed Kingston could be a star in this business and given his growth as a performer in AEW and working with Jon Moxley, he’s wrestling C.M. Punk in a match that feels so heated despite a short build.
This match worked for the live crowd, but it’s not my favorite style of match with tons of weapons, barbed wire, glass, and other plunder used. It went nearly 40 minutes and both men hit so many big moves. It was a tough watch for me personally on a show that went almost four hours. Moxley ended up tearing up the ring to expose the wooden boards under the padding late in the match. He hit a brainbuster suplex onto the wood for the win.
WINNER: Jon Moxley in 39:00. (****)
Overall thoughts (8.5): It is certainly fascinating to look at this show and how the wrestlers on it have fared since it took place, especially when looking at how they are slotted on Full Gear 2021 card.
AEW PPVs are consistently great to excellent and this was no expectation. This was probably the weakest PPV AEW has put on in front of a live crowd to date, but that’s not a bad thing given the heights that their cards can reach.
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