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KELLER’S AEW FULL GEAR PPV REPORT
NOVEMBER 19, 2022
NEWARK, N.J. AT PRUDENTIAL CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON PPV & FITE TV & YOUTUBE
[“ZERO HOUR” PRE-SHOW]
Commentators: Excalibur, Taz, Tony Schiavone
(A) DANHAUSEN & ORANGE CASSIDY & TRENT BERETTA & CHUCK TAYLOR & ROCKY ROMERO vs. THE FACTORY (Q.T. Marshall & Aaron Solo & Lee Johnson & Cole Carter & Nick Comoroto)
WINNERS: Cassidy & Beretta & Romero & Danhausen when Danhaussen pinned Comoroto in 12:00.
(B) RICKY STARKS vs. BRIAN CAGE – Eliminator Tournament match
Ethan Page was on commentary. Cage dominated early. Starks made a couple comebacks, but Cage overpowered him and cut them short. Eventually Starks countered Cage with a Canadian Destroyer and his Roshombo finisher for the clean win.
WINNER: Starks in 10:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good to see Starks get the win here. Cage has had some losses recently and having him beat Starks would define Starks down quite a bit, yet because Cage is so much bigger, a win gives Starks a good boost going into the next round.)
(C) EDDIE KINGSTON vs. JUN AKIYAMA
WINNER: Kingston in 11:00.
-Kingston talked to the crowd after his win and plugged the PPV. He said fans can cheer MJF, but he’s still an asshole and he’s rooting for Jon Moxley.
-Jim Ross made his entrance to his music.
[MAIN PPV CARD]
Commenators: Jim Ross, Taz, Excalibur
(1) “JUNGLE BOY” JACK PERRY vs. LUCHASAURUS (w/Christian Cage)
Ross touted Perry as a big part of AEW’s future and complimented how much he’s grown. Perry landed an early dropkick off the second rope, but Luchasaurus overpowered him and took over. Ross said Perry is physically simply overmatched. Ross said Christian is “working” his arm injury with a cast longer than “Iron” Mike Sharpe. Perry bled from the forehead early. Perry made a comeback a few minutes in with an armbar in the ropes, but Luchasaurus broke the hold and went back on the attack. They showed Perry’s family watching with concern at ringside.
Christian grabbed the cage key from the ringside ref’s pocket. Christian unlocked the door, but the ref called for security who dragged him to the back. Meanwhile, Luchasaurus and Perry left the cage and fought up the ramp. Perry’s face was covered in blood. Luchasaurus caught a Perry dropkick and catapulted him into the side of the cage. Luchasaurus pulled table out from under the ring and then slid it into the ring. Luchasaurus threw Perry into the side of the cage, then looked around for something else under the ring. He found two chairs and threw them into the cage and then threw Perry into the cage.
Luchasaurus caught Perry with a big boot, but Perry fired right back with three dropkicks, knocking Luchasaurus into the side of the cage. Luchasaurus set up Perry for a chokeslam onto a chair, but Perry broke free and landed a Destroyer. Luchasaurus kicked out at one. Perry hit him with a chair and scored a near fall. Luchasaurus came back a minute later with a chokeslam through the chair for a near fall. Perry fired up a few minutes later and slapped away at Luchasaurus followed by forearms. He then gave Luchasaurus a piledriver mid-ring for a near fall.
After Luchasaurus came back and slammed Perry onto the met a few times, fans chanted “This is awesome!” Perry leaped onto Luchasaurs’s back and applied a sleeper. Luchasaurus tried to power out, but collapsed onto a table set up in the corner. Perry lifted him onto the table and then bashed him across the face, chest, and forearms with a chair. Fans cheered as Perry pointed to the top. Perry climbed to the top of the cage. “Be careful, Jack!” yelled Taz. Perry looked around, then dove off with a flying elbow drop. The table broke udner Luchasaurus. He then applied a Snare Trap for the tapout win. Ross complimented the match.
WINNER: Perry in 19:00. (****)
(Keller’s Analysis: Very good cage match. Good to see a clean finish. I didn’t mind Christian opening the cage door early because he faced ramifications for it and it wasn’t a deciding factor in favor of the heel, although it did lead to the table and chairs being incorporated into the match which Perry ultimately took advantage of. Well paced, good psychology, solid execution, crowd-pleasing finish. It sets up Perry going after Christian hopefully soon.)
(2) THE ELITE (Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks w/Brandon Cutler) vs. DEATH TRIANGLE (Pac & Rey Fenix & Penta El Zero Miedo) – AEW Trios Title match
Death Triangle came out first. The Elite came out to “Carry On Wayward Son” by Kansas. They sang along to the song. Don Callis joined in on commentary. Ross called him a loudmouth. Omega and Pac dazzled at first with some exchanges. Nick and Penta went at it next. It didn’t take long for all six top get involved in the ring. Matt landed a sweet diving corkscrew dive over Nick and onto Pac at ringside. Pac grabbed his face in pain right away. When Omega lifted Penta onto his shoulders, Pac broke it up with a dropkick to his knee. Excalibur said that could be crippling for Omega.
Omega landed a running dive at ringside onto two opponents. Nick gave Fenix a leaping DDT on the ring apron. Then he head scissored Penta onto a waiting crowd of four others at ringside. Fans popped. Everyone was slow to get up. Omega and Pac entered the ring and battled for a while. Pac countered a charging Omega with a released German suplex. Everyone else entered and Death Triangle delivered three Tombstones at the same time to each member of the Elite. Taz said he’s never seen that before. Fenix launched off of Penta’s shoulders onto Omega. The Bucks intervened. Pac climbed to the top rope and landed a Black Arrow onto Omega’s back and then applied the Brutalizer. The Bucks broke it up.
When the dust settled, Fenix took control against Omega. Pac tossed Fenix a hammer. He threw it back to Pac and shook his head. Omega then surprised Fenix with a V-Trigger followed by a Tiger Driver ’98 for a near fall. The Elite hit Penta with a triple superkick. They landed the BTE Trigger on Fenix mid-ring. Pac broke up the cover. Omega hit Fenix with a V-Trigger. Pac put the hammer in the right hand of Fenix. He borke up a Onme-WInged Angel attempt with a hammer shot and then rolled up Omega for the win.
WINNERS: Omega & The Bucks in 19:00 (18 stars… Just kidding… ****1/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: Wild but stellar six-man tag. This had more structure and psychology than some of these spotfests usually have, but not without obvious choreography and shorter-term selling than ideal so they can “get to the next spot.” The crowd ate it up. Ross was on board all the way, which helped. The tease with the hammer and then Fenix using it when all hope seemed lost, compromising his principles when he realized it was the only way to avoid defeat is an interesting chapter in this Pac-Fenix dynamic.)
(3) JADE CARGILL (w/Baddies) vs. NYLA ROSE (w/Vickie Guerrero, Marina Shafir) – TBS Title match
Rose came out in a bouncy old convertible a la Eddie Guerrero. It felt like a big time ring entrance. She had Jade’s belt with her. Jade came out in a new outfit based on Cheetara of ThunderCats. Rose knocked out Kiera Hogan at ringside before the match. Jade grabbed Rose and threw her into the ring and the ref called for the bell. Jade punched and kicked away at Rose in the corner. Jade knocked Rose to ringside and then delivered a pump kick, sending Rose over the ringside barricade.
Back in the ring, Rose took control and methodically battered Jade. Rose landed a leaping knee to the back of Jade’s head and neck as she had her over the top rope, good for a two count. Jade escaped a Beast Bomb and landed a forearm. Both were down and slow to get up. The announcers talked about Jade being undefeated in AEW, so more than the TBS Title was on the line in this match. Rose reverse-whipped Jade into the ropes, but Jade landed a Beast Bomb for a two count. They countered each other’s near fall attempts. Ross called it “bowling shoe ugly.” Rose landed the Jade Effect for a near fall. Ross leaped off the top rope with a flip senton attempt, but Jade moved. Rose barely tucked in time. Jade then landed Jaded for the clean win. Jade took her belt back and gave Rose a middle finger as her music played.
WINNER: Cargil to retain the TBS Title in 9:00. (*1/2)
(Keller’s Analysis: Clunky in spots, but pretty good much of the way. This wasn’t going to be a world class athletic match, but it succeeded well enough given who was involved. This felt like a big deal clash between two forces in the AEW Women’s Division.)
(4) CHRIS JERICHO vs. BRYAN DANIELSON vs. CLAUDIO CASTAGNOLI vs. SAMMY GUEVARA – ROH Title match
Fans sang Jericho’s song on his way to the ring. Ian Riccaboni joined the announcers on commentary. Lots of action early in and out of the ring. Danielson and Claudio cleared the ring and then went to battle with forearms and uppercuts. Danielson took Claudio down into an armbar attempt. Claudio powered Danielson up, but they countered each other into near fall roll-ups until Jericho broke it up. Claudio and Danielson each applied a single-leg crab to Jericho. Guevara leaped off the top rope and hit both with a double cutter. He scored a quick two count on Claudio, then Jericho.
Guevara and Jericho worked together to take over and then struck a pose mid-ring together. They knocked Claudio to the floor and turned back to Danielson, who was down in the corner. Guevara showed a little frustration when Jericho went for a cover and asked him to back away. Danielson came back against both Jericho and Guevera and landed Yes Kicks. He scored a two count on Guevara.
Claudio recovered and gave Jericho a gut-wrench mid-ring. Jericho avoided a swing, so Claudio landed a stomp and scored a near fall. Claudio went for a springboard move, but Jericho caught him out of mid-air with a Code Breaker. Guevara yanked Jericho off of Claudio. Jericho looked up at Guevara, upset and in disbelief. Fans chanted, “You f—ed up!” Taz said, “Who’s in the principal’s office now?” They brawled. Guevara hit Jericho eventually with a Code Breaker for a two count. Ross said that would have humiliated Jericho. Guevara twisted Jericho into an attempted Walls of Jericho. Jericho twisted out of it and then applied the Walls himself. Claudio broke it up and put Jericho in a sharpshooter. Danielson also put Jericho in a LeBell Lock. Guevara broke it up with kicks to both Claudio and Danielson.
Guevara looked around at the fallen wrestlers. He shook Jericho’s hand and helped him up. They hugged, but then Guevara surprised Jericho with a GTH followed by a top rope shooting star press for a convincing near fall. Guevara went after Danielson, but Danielson no-sold him and slapped him. Claudio then pressed Guevara over his head and threw Guevara hard onto Jericho at ringside. Danielson then landed a Psycho Knee for a convincing near fall.
Danielson dropped elbows on Claudio. Claudio reversed position and did the same to Danielson. Claudio went for a lift-and-drop uppercut, but Danielson turned it into a roll-up for a near fall. Claudio came back with a near fall of his own. Both were down and slow to get up, while Jericho and Guevara were still out at ringside. Fans began a “This is awesome!” chant.
Guevara landed a top rope shooting star press onto Claudio at ringside. He showed fire and springboarded at Claudio. Claudio caught him and gave him a lift-and-drop uppercut for a convincing near fall. Guevara rolled up Claudio and put his feet on the second rope for extra leverage. The ref caught him. Claudio gave Guevara a Giant Swing. Ross cited Don Leo Jonathan as being known for that move. Jericho broke up the swing with a leaping Judas Effect. Jericho then hit Claudio with a full Judas Effect for the win.
WINNER: Jericho to retain the ROH Title. (****1/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: Another really good match. They smartly booked the four-way with a good mix of one-on-one, two-on-one, and two-on-two situations. I’m curious how Jericho reacts to Guevara’s actions. I’m a little disappointed that Claudio was the designated jobber, but I get it considering everyone else in the ring. Jericho continues at age 52 to keep up nicely with wrestlers still in their primes.)
(5) BRITT BAKER vs. SARAYA
A pre-match video package focused on Saraya’s comeback. She told people to never give up. Saraya came out first to cheers. They showed Saraya’s brother Zac Zodiac cheering at ringside. Excalibur said Baker doesn’t like sharing the stage with anyone and she made it known when Saraya arrived. Taz said Saraya did a good job getting in the head of Baker. Baker applied a headlock and then knocked her to the mat. She clutched the back of her head and neck after landing. Baker gave Saraya a twisting neckbreaker off the ring apron to the ringside mat. They were really leaning into the idea Saraya’s neck was vulnerable early here. Saraya’s brother yelled encouragement from the front row.
Back in the ring, Britt landed a neckbreaker for a two count. Baker pulled out her glove. Ross said he didn’t like the “it’s my house” thing. “Find another cliche to wear out!” he said. (Ornery Ross is surfacing after two hours!) Baker elbowed the back of Saraya’s neck. Saraya yanked Baker off the ring apron and dropped her face-first. Then she leaped off the ring apron onto Baker. She scored a two count in the ring. Saraya hit some short-arm clotheslines next. The announcers talked about how emotional Saraya was before the match and almost cried. Ross quipped he almost cried when he found out he’d be working with Taz tonight. Ross talked about this being potentially the start of a big rivalry. Saraya landed a Nightcap for a two count. Baker came back and set up a Lock Jaw, but Saraya reached the bottom rope.
Baker landed an Air Raid Crash for a two count. Taz wondered how much was left in Saraya. A “Let’s Go Saraya / DMD” chant broke out. Saraya fought off a top rope Air Raid Crash and turned it into a powerbomb off the ropes for a two count. It was a little sloppy. They fought back and forth a bit. Britt applied the Lock Jaw, but Saraya instantly rolled Baker’s shoulder’s back to force a release. Saraya kicked Baker and then hit a running knee for a near fall. Taz said he was impressed with Saraya no matter who wins the match. Baker landed a discus elbow and a fisherman’s neckbreaker followed by a stomp to her back for a near fall. Saraya landed a kick and two count. She followed with two package DDTs for the win.
Saraya celebrated at ringside with her brother. She was emotional. Excalibur wondered where Saraya goes next. Ross said, “Championships.”
WINNER: Saraya in 13:00. (*3/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: Not really a good match. Sloppy and poor timing a lot of the way. It had some good spots, too, but the crowd just wasn’t into it. They weren’t sure whose side they were on and the build was just awful and undisciplined and unfocused. Saraya looked rusty, too.)
(6) WARDLOW vs. SAMOA JOE vs. POWERHOUSE HOBBS – TNT Title match
Joe and Hobbs mouthed off to each other. Wardlow jump-started the match and focused on Joe. Wardlow beat up Joe at ringside, including whipping him into the ringpost. Hobbs charged at Wardlow and flattened him at ringside, then played to the crowd. Back in the ring, Hobbs dominated for a while. Wardlow landed a top rope flip onto both opponents. He nailed Hobbs with a clothesline. Joe came back with a senton on Wardlow a minute later for a two count. Wardlow drove his shoulder into Hobbs in the corner and then slammed him to the mat. He gave a charging Joe a spinebuster for a near fall.
Joe set up a powerbomb on Wardlow at ringside, but Hobbs charged and tackled Joe into the ringside barricade. Back in the ring, Hobbs hit a spinebuster for a near fall. Wardlow came back with two powerbombs. Wardlow played to the crowd before reaching down to pick up Hobbs for a third. He delivered and then went for a fourth. Joe entered and hit Wardlow with the TNT belt. He then put Hobbs in a sleeper to steal a win. The ref called for the bell quickly.
WINNER: Joe in 10:00 to capture the TNT Title. (**1/2)
(Keller’s Analysis: That was in the range of what you’d expect with those three in this setting. I’m so not a fan of the “anything goes” aspect of a three-way match where someone can win a title with a belt shot to the head. It’s so absurd. This seemed to solidfy Joe as a heel, although who knows these days since all he was doing was taking advantage of the rules.)
-Schiavone interviewed Jericho with Jake Hager backstage. He said he is okay with what Sammy did and said he’s a future champion. He called it competitiveness and he kind of expected it from him. He said he is still the greatest ROH Champion of all time. Orange Cassidy said his good friend Tomohiro Ishii wants to fight him for the ROH Title on Dynamite. Jericho told Cassidy he still owes him $7,000 for the jacket. He talked about Ishii carrying his bags and shining his shoes when he worked in WAR in Japan. He said he still thinks of him as that little young boy. “Your sensei is waiting for you,” Jericho said, accepting the challenge. Hager asked Cassidy what he has in the bag. Cassidy held up his All-Atlantic Title and asked Hager if he likes it. Hager said he does. Cassidy told him to try to take it and then he complimented Hager’s purple hat. Hager yelled, “Damn right it is! I like this hat!”
-They went to the announcers on camera to react to those developments.
(7) JEFF JARRETT & JAY LETHAL (w/Satnum Singh, Sonjay Dutt) vs. STING & DARBY ALLIN
Jarrett came out with four people dressed up as Sting. There was a body bag on the stage. When Letahl wnt for it, Darby emerged through fog on the stage and hit Lethal with a skateboard. Sting showed up behind Jarrett. Jarrett thought it was one of his imitation Stings. Then he begged off. The bell rang to officially start the match. A “TNA!” chant broke out for a few seconds. Sting pounded his chest. Darby and Jarrett paired off and brawled by the stage as Sting and Lethal fought in the crowd. Sting dropped Lethal crotch-first over a barricade. Darby climbed a ladder on the ramp. Taz said something crazy was about to happen. Singh caught him mid-air and threw him onto the stage. Sting dove off the lower deck towards a crowd of heels from about ten feet off the ground. Looked risky, but he popped up.
Jarrett took over against Darby in the ring. Sting hit some Stinger Splashes in the corners and then put Jarrett in a Scorpion Death Lock. Dutt entered and punched Sting. Sting no-sold it. Dutt backed away. SIngh entered and chokeslamemd Sting. Jarrett made the cover, but Sting kicked out at two. Both Jarrett and Sting were slow to get up. Darby and Lethal exchanged strikes mid-ring. Lethal landed the Lethal Combination for a near fall. Jarrett picked up his guitar and wound up, but stopped when Darby escaped Lethal’s grip. Darby then set up a Coffin Drop on Lethal. Jarrett, though, hit Darby mid-air in the back with the guitar. Darby stood a few seconds later and pounded his chest, then rallied against both Lethal and Jarrett. When Singh entered the ring, he tried to give Singh a Scorpio Death Drop. Darby leaped off the top rope and splashed Singh as Sting landed the Death Drop. Lethal went for a Lethal Injection against Sting, but Sting countered into a Scorpion Death DSrop. Darby landed a Coffin Drop on Lethal for the win.
WINNERS: Sting & Darby in 11:00. (**1/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: Very much a Jeff Jarrett style match with the walk-in-brawl with some Darby-style elements mixed it. Felt like an old school formula tag match with traditional heel and face spots that you’d see in different eras.)
(8) TONI STORM vs. JAMIE HAYER – Interim AEW Women’s Title match
Schiavone noted it was quite technical early considering the rivalry between them. A dueling chant early slightly favored Hayter.
Several minutes into the match, both were down and slow to get up. Rebel snuck to ringside and watched as Hayter and Storm exchanged strikes on their knees. Storm was bleeding from her nose. Rebel hit Storm in the head with a belt. Hayter hit a sliding lariat for a convincing near fall. Turner asked Rebel what she’s doing out there. She backed away. He ordered her to the back. She let out a barbaric yell. Storm caught a distracted Hayter with a clothesline for a near fall. Hayter ducked a Storm hip attack. Baker then attacked Storm at ringside with a stomp on the belt. She threw Storm into the ring and hit Storm Zero for a convincing near fall. Hayter looked frustrated when she sat up. Storm gave Hayter a snap German suplex and then a Storm Zero for a convincing near fall. Storm set up a Texas Clover Leaf, but released it to knock Baker off the ring apron. Hayter then caught the distracted Storm with a Hate Breaker for a near fall. Baker removed the turnbuckle pad and Hayter sent Storm into it. She then landed her ripcord lariat Hayer-aid finisher. The crowd popped huge for her win.
Baker and Rebel celebrated with her. Excalibur said the match exceeded expectations. Schiavone said Storm is a good person, but he was really happy to see Hayter with a belt. He didn’t take away any points for it being due to Britt’s interference.
WINNER: Hayter in 14:00 to capture the Interim AEW Women’s Title. (***1/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: Good match. I agree it exceeded expectations. The near falls were well done. The finishing sequences with interference were dramatic and well executed, but it started to seem like too much. It’ll be interesting to see what they do with Hayter considering how popular she is.)
(9) THE ACCLAIMED (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens) vs. SWERVE STRICKLAND & KEITH LEE – AEW Tag Team Title match
Caster rapped on his way to the ring with references to Addidas dropping Kanye, their team dying like Twitter, having to fact check them like a Trump speech, Monsters Inc., Tristain Thompson cheating, and more. He did two verses this time, since it’s PPV and all. Exclalibur noted that Billy Gunn wasn’t there, probably to avoid being a distraction. The announcers noted that Bowens had his shoulder in a sling backstage and taped up for the match.
Caster and Bowens clotheslined Lee over the top rope and his knee hit the edge of the apron as he fell. The announcers reacted like that would seriously hurt. Caster took it to Swerve and played to the crowd. A few minutes in, Swerve tried to suplex Bowens onto a table leaning at ringside, but Bowens countered and suplexed Swerve. Back in the ring, Lee lifted Bowens by his taped arm and then slammed it on the mat and splashed it leading to a two count. Bowens dropkicked Swerve off the ring apron, but Lee held Swerve from falling. Bowens then leaped onto Lee and sent him through the table instead.
Swerve set up a top rope leap, but Bowens moved and then gave Swerve an Arrival side slam. He tagged in Caster who landed a Mic Drop. Lee made the save. Lee tossed Bowens and Caster around. They landed their double team finisher, Fall from Glory, for a near fall. Caster kicked out. Lee had Caster lifted, and Bowens entered the ring. Lee swung Caster into Bowens, then powerbombed him. Both Caster and Bowens rolled to ringside. Strickland found pliers at ringside and teased snipping Caster’s finger. Billy charged out to prevent that. Four referees ran out and ordered him to the back.
Strickland entered the ring and handed Lee the pliers. Lee tossed them aside and said he can’t win that way. Strickland slapped Lee. Swerve was fuming. Lee then walked out on the match. Caser rolled up a distracted Swerve for a near fall. He superkicked Strickland next and then rolled him up for a two count. Caster springboard dropkicked Swerve. Then they hit a double-team finisher for the win.
WINNERS: The Acclaimed in 20:00 to retain the AEW Tag Team Titles. (***1/2)
(Keller’s Analysis: Fun tag match with some good athleticism and a lot of character interaction. The break-up has been teased for a while, so I’m curious how both do when they split off into singles or if they form a new team. The Acclaimed earned this semi-final position on the card and it’s cool to see their rise. The spot with the pliers was dumb because nobody expected for a second he was going to use them as he threatened to do. It’s like the sledgehammer. It never gets used with a full swing, only in a jabbing battering ram motion with a hand over the hammerhead.)
(10) JON MOXLEY vs. MJF – AEW World Hvt. Title match
MJF’s music played and then he ran onto the stage and encouraged cheers. He kneeled and smiled. Hard to gauge the reaction, but he had some cheers. MJF rubbed his face in a woman’s cleavage at ringside, clearly asking permission first. Mox then made his way out through the concourse tunnel as usual, with Regal behind him. Roberts did formal ring introductions. MJF got cheered mostly but with some boos. Excalibur said that’s the first time Long Island was cheered in Newark. I believe there was a “New Champ” chant maybe. Moxley got mostly booed and he gave MJF the middle finger before the bell. Mox handed his belt to Regal. An “MJF” chant broke out. Still seemed like mixed sentiment for both, with a clear leaning for MJF.
Mox punched MJF immediately when they approached each other after the bell. MJF ducked a charging Mox a minute later and then ran the ropes to tease a dive, but then stopped mid-ring with is arms raised. Mox entered the ring and shoved MJF into the corner and bit him. Taz said Mox is done playing games. MJF fought back with some chops. They cut to a nice high wide shot of the packed stands. Mox whipped MJF into the ringside steps, then paraded around ringside with his belt. MJF sprayed something in Moxley’s eyes, probably just a beverage he sipped. Mox fought through it and dropped MJF.
MJF returned to the ring and nailed Mox with a running clothesline. MJF gave Mox an inverted atomic drop and then raked his back. He knocked Mox down with a punch. Mox went for a Paradigm Shift a minute later, but MJF blocked it and whipped Mox into the corner and then leveraged his shoulders down for a two count.
MJF set up a table at ringside. When he re-entered the ring, Mox surprised MJF with a cutter. Mox grabbed MJF’s arms and stomped away at his body and head. Mox pointed down at MJF on the ring apron, then lifted him for a piledriver off the apron through the table. Fans chanted “MJF!” MJF reversed position, although almost lost his balance. He then gave him a leaping tombstone on the ring apron. MJF sold a knee injury on landing and cried out in pain.
MJF went for another piledriver on the ring apron, but he couldn’t execute it. Mox escaped and gave MJF a leaping piledriver through the table a la Ric Flair-Terry Funk circa 1989. Mox re-entered the ring. The ref began a comically slow ten count on MJF. MJF popped up just before the tenth count. Fans cheered, although they knew. Mox then caught MJF with a Paradigm Shift for a near fall. Mox picked up the pace of the attack and then applied a figure-four. MJF yelled out in agony. MJF reversed it and Mox quickly grabbed the bottom rope to force a break.
MJF brought Mox back in with a Heat Seeker for a two count. MJF pounded on his knee to “wake it up.” He set up another Heat Seeker, but Mox blocked it. Mox worked over MJF’s knee. When Mox climbed to the top rope, MJF leaped into the ropes and knocked Mox off balance. Schiavone said it was a simple move, but it worked. Mox countered MJF with an Avalanche Paradigm Shift for a near fall; MJF reached the bottom rope. Mox tried to lift MJF, but MJF was dead weight. Mox pounded his chest and played to the crowd to a mixed response, mostly boos. Taz said the crowd not liking him very much is motivating him. Mox said, “Give me your best f—in’ shot. Hit me, you motherf—er.” MJF spit at him. Mox slapped him.
They stood and exchanged strikes mid-ring. MJF yanked the ref into Mox’s path. Schiavone said, “I don’t know what to say about that.” MJF pulled the Dynamite Diamond Ring out from his trunks and stared at it. “Do what you gotta do, I guess,” said Taz. Excalibur said MJF vowed to win fair and square. Regal walked out and told him to put it down. MJF threw down the ring and gave Regal a middle finger. Mox then put MJF in a sleeper. MJF kicked off the turnbuckles and leveraged Mox’s shoulders down for a near fall. The ref got knocked over. Mox put MJF in his bulldog choke. MJF tapped out, but the ref was down. Regal told Mox to go get the ref. Regal then tossed MJF brass knuckles. He used them to knock out Mox. Fans didn’t pop with cheers. MJF draped his arm over Mox for the three count. Schiavone said Regal just sold his soul for the devil.
WINNER: MJF in 23:00 to capture the AEW World Title. (****)
(Keller’s Analysis: A really good match that veered more toward MJF’s style than Mox’s, which is good because I like when Mox is reigned in a bit. The Regal finish was quite a common guess for the finish. I like MJF being heel for longer, or at least it appears that’s the case. Will he work hard to turn fans against him, for the sake of his future babyface opponents? The finish was a bit convoluted, unfortunately, given that Regal stopped MJF from using the Dynamite Diamond Ring and MJF could have easily subsequently lost. I’m curious if they have a reasonable explanation for that. There’s still a head wind, though, to get MJF booed. Glad The Firm wasn’t involved.)