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Full Gear Reviews

Updated: Dec 23, 2022

Rob’s AEW Full Gear Review

Jungle Boy vs. Luchasaurus (Steel Cage)

For my money, this feud has gone on too long, but they put forth a solid opening performance and the most engaging match they could have considering. Some parts of the steel cage didn’t go their way, namely the spot at the end. Jungle Boy was the right guy to win, but I can’t help but feel like Luchasaurus has gotten the short end of the stick in this split.

Final Grade: 5/10 Average

Death Triangle vs. The Elite (AEW Trio’s Championship)

Going into the match, I was expecting this to be the match of the night. Even with those expectations, it didn’t disappoint. The return of the Elite felt like a much-needed burst of energy for an AEW that has struggled through injuries and drama. Their entrance was the right amount of tacky for their characters. Everyone involved had amazing chemistry, and we got an unexpected story development when Rey Fenix used PAC’s hammer to secure the win. Best of all, as announced later in the night, we will get to see it six more times in a Best of Seven series.

Final Grade: 8/10 Great

Jade Cargill vs. Nyla Rose (TBS Championship)

This match was the best you could expect after this strange and disjointed feud. Jade Cargill has so much potential, but it feels wasted as AEW’s midcard championship for the Women’s Division feels like it’s on an island from the rest of the roster. Cargill needed to stay undefeated, as it’s the only momentum her character has right now. The match was okay, but some things need to change about this championship.

Final Grade: 5/10 Average

Chris Jericho vs. Sammy Guevara vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Bryan Danielson (ROH Championship)

These guys have so much experience working with each other, so I’m not sure why I was surprised that they played out the story of this match perfectly. The multi-man match formula is proven in-ring, and the competitors complimented it perfectly with the history between Jericho Appreciation Society and Blackpool Combat Club. Claudio Castagnoli and Bryan Danielson faced off respectfully, and Sammy Guevara finally snapped and challenged his leader Chris Jericho. In the end, Jericho stole a win, but it only took a little away from the fun spots and great match.

Final Grade: 7/10 Good

Britt Baker vs. Saraya

It was worth everything to see the emotion from Saraya returning to the ring for the first time in years. Britt Baker was a true pro and the right first opponent for Saraya. Saraya was the correct winner because AEW can capitalize so much on her name. Otherwise, this match was frankly forgettable.

Final Grade: 5/10 Average

Wardlow vs. Samoa Joe vs. Powerhouse Hobbs (TNT Championship)

I hope Big E was somewhere watching this match because this was big meaty men bumping meat. Wardlow has lost so much momentum since defeating MJF and winning the TNT Championship. Powerhouse Hobbs is super underrated in the ring, but his star wasn’t hot enough to warrant winning this match. Samoa Joe won in the first title change in the night, and it felt like a pleasant surprise.

Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average

Sting and Darby Allin vs. Jeff Jarrett and Jay Lethal

I’m not sure what to say about this match. It was a great rest match for fans at home who need a break from back to back to back slobber knockers on AEW cards. I’m not sure what Jeff Jarret was doing here, but it seems like he had a good time. I guess it’s better that Darby Allin wins, and maybe AEW can do something with him?

Final Grade: 4/10 Below Average

Toni Storm vs. Jamie Hayter (AEW Women’s Championship)

I did not expect going into the night that the person I was going to end up rooting hardest for was Jamie Hayter. She won me over so much by the middle of the match that I was on my feet for every near fall. Toni Storm and Hayter had great chemistry, and it felt like Storm finally fulfilled her potential as champion just in time to lose the title. It felt like AEW was determined not to make the same mistake they made with the Acclaimed. With a little help from her friends, Hayter had her big moment on the big stage. I’m not sure when Thunder Rosa is coming back, but these two did not feel like interim champions having a throwaway match. There are still lots of stories to tell. Britt Baker was amicable tonight, but did you see THAT LOOK she gave the title when Hayter looked away?

Final Grade: 7/10 Good

The Acclaimed vs. Swerve In Our Glory (AEW Tag Team Championships)

The Acclaimed gave one of their best raps yet, and it should be a regular feature of their PPV matches. Swerve in Our Glory seemed out of sync from the beginning, which was good storytelling in line with their characters. These two teams had another great match, only hurt by the fact that it was entirely predictable. The Acclaimed had to retain, and it was time for Swerve in Our Glory to break up. It felt like a mistake for Keith Lee to just walk off instead of having a physical interaction, but I have to assume we will see him throw Swerve as far as he can soon enough.

Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average

Jon Moxley vs. MJF (AEW Championship)

If MJF wanted to, he could be the biggest babyface in wrestling. He worked the crowd for the first ten minutes of the match, and the crowd was booing Jon Moxley by the middle. Moxley got put in a tough situation here. They worked a slow main event style that worked well in this context. By the end, William Regal betrayed Moxley to help MJF win, and my jaw was on the floor. I haven’t been genuinely shocked by a finish like that in so long, but it also made perfect sense with Regal and MJF’s characters. True to how he got there, through whatever he needed to do, and with help from many characters from his past along the way, MJF is the biggest star in wrestling, and now, he is the AEW Champion.

Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average

Rob’s Final Grade

AEW seemed determined to push forward to the future with this PPV, crowning MJF and Jamie Hayter as their new champions. They will still feature great wrestling like Death Triangle and the Elite. They will still feature great stories like MJF/William Regal, Swerve/Keith Lee, and Chris Jericho as ROH Champion. This felt like a cool glass of lemonade on a hot day for AEW. It wasn’t amazing, but it was a sweet and refreshing show at a time when the company needed it.

Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average

Reverse Hipster’s Reviews

Jungle Boy vs. Luchasaurus, Steel Cage 8.2/10 B

The match started well with Luchasaurus bludgeoning Jungle Boy. However, Luchasaurus couldn't put Jungle Boy away. Eventually, Jungle Boy got the win by hitting an elbow off the top of the cage and then choking Luchasaurus with his Snare Trap Submission Finisher. This match is only a B grade because it didn't deliver on its potential. Jungle Boy's comeback was too quick and didn't make sense. For example, for someone who was supposed to be busted open and beaten, Jungle Boy had way too much energy in his offense. These two failed to bring the effects of the early match beatdown with them throughout this match. Also, the big memorable spot of this match was the elbow off the top of the cage, but it just seemed like the spot wasn't completely thought out, and Jungle Boy missed it. Also, making Luchasaurus tap out felt like too strong a finish. Luchasaurus is a monster. He shouldn't be tapping out.

Death Triangle vs. The Elite, Trios Title 9.4/10 A

This match had so many incredible spots throughout, like the triple tombstones and the hurricanrana to the outside of the ring from the top rope. The crowd was chanting fight forever. This was awesome and they were right. Also, the match actually incorporated a story. All month, Pac has been trying to get Rey Fenix to use the hammer. All month, Fenix has refused and it's cost him, but he's been able to recover. In this match, the same thing happened, and it almost cost Fenix the titles. So when Pac handed him the hammer, the second time, he finally used it to win the match. Also, I love that the elite lost this match. It would have felt cheap if they had returned and immediately won the titles. Death Triangle deserves this win.

Jade Cargill vs. Nyla Rose, TBS Title 7.6/10 C

This was a clunky match, where Nyla dominated at first with some simple moves. Then, Jade did the Beast Bomb and Nyla did the Jaded. Eventually, Jade hit the Jaded slam and won the match. However, this match is rated so low because it wasn't PPV level. Jade is too talented and too far along in her career to have these simple one-note matches. Even with this being a simple match, they didn't build up to Jade slamming Nyla to make it special. Frankly, Jade needs more competition. She is much better now, and she is a much bigger name. She is ready to take on the big dogs. I'd love to see her face Saraya.

Claudio Castagnoli vs. Chris Jericho vs. Sammy Guevara vs. Bryan Danielson, ROH World Championship Match 8.6/10 B

This match was really exciting because of the talent in the ring, but also because of the alliances. Seeing these teammates turn on each other to win a championship was cool. The match had amazing sequences and was really on its way to an A, but the ending fell flat. Of all the possible winners, Jericho was the least interesting. That means Danielson and Sammy won't be getting their first World Titles in AEW, and Claudio won't be heroically reclaiming the title. Also, Jericho winning with the Judas Effect didn't do justice to the amazing spots up to that point.

Saraya vs. Britt Baker 7.4/10 C

This is hard to grade because it was Saraya's emotional return, but it was clear she had ring rust. The match told an interesting story, but it didn't tell it exceptionally well. The story of the match was that Britt was going at Saraya's neck and back all match, and all Saraya could do was survive until an opening presented itself. The problem is that Britt's offense, which was 90% of the match, wasn't interesting enough to make it feel like Saraya was being mercilessly mauled. Also, Saraya didn't play up the theatrics of someone trying to hang in there and win. There was very little crowd work throughout this entire match, and it hurt the match because when Saraya came back and won, it didn't feel earned. It felt like, oh, that was it? The right person won and the right story was told, but not well. Britt and Saraya had zero chemistry. Saraya will get better the more and more she gets back in the groove.

Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Wardlow vs. Samoa Joe, TNT Title 7.5/10 C

This match was okay in terms of in-ring moves, but a big man Triple Threat had obvious limitations. However, the biggest knock on this match is the finish. Having Wardlow lose his title via Hobbs to Samoa Joe just felt weak. Also, Hobbs and Wardlow are rising stars who started in AEW, and they were thrown aside here.

Darby Allin & Sting vs. Jay Lethal & Jeff Jarrett 7.7/10 C

This match was fine. It had some high spots that got the rating as high as it is. However, the match had zero story. Even in the best spot of the match, where Darby Coffin Dropped into a guitar, Darby immediately hopped up and no sold it. Also, Darby's team won, and they should have. But I've seen this match so many times from Darby and Sting. We saw Sting do the dive, and Darby was tame in this match by his standards. It just feels like Sting is holding Darby back. As a pillar, Darby shouldn't still be in the random spotfest matches just to be on the card. Darby should be featured like when he faced CM Punk and when he faced MJF. Also, Darby should do it alone.

Jamie Hayter vs. Toni Storm, AEW Women's Title 8.5/10 B

Jamie Hayter brought the fight to Toni Storm. Hayter busted Toni open and punished her throughout the match. To Toni's credit, she fought through Hayter's hard-hitting style and through all of the interferences from Britt Baker and Rebel. Eventually, Toni couldn't go anymore. Hayter threw Toni into the exposed turnbuckle and knocked her out. Hayter won the title, but she didn't need all the interferences. However, all those obstacles did help send Toni out as a courageous champion.

Keith Lee and Swerve In Our Glory vs. The Acclaimed, AEW Tag Championship 8.2/10 B

The story of the match was much more interesting than the match itself. Keith Lee and Swerve's differences finally tore them apart. When Keith refused to cheat, Swerve slapped him. Then, Keith just left Swerve to fight for himself. Of course, Swerve lost. I like the story of Swerve and Lee breaking up, but I don't like it happening midmatch. Lee walking away from the Tag Championships is dumb, and it lets The Acclaimed off the hook. Swerve and Lee basically forfeited, which meant The Acclaimed didn't get to truly defend the belts.

Jon Moxley vs. MJF, AEW World Title 8/10 B-

The match started out really slow. There was a lot of posturing to show who the better man was, but there needed to be more significant moments in this match. Moxley executed the best move of the match when he tombstoned MJF through the table on the outside. The next best moment occurred when William Regal betrayed Moxley and threw MJF the Dynamite Diamond Ring. It's not the plan I would have gone with, but it was very surprising and made me want to tune into Dynamite to hear Regal's explanation. MJF is finally the World Champion. Now, the biggest star in the company is the face of the company. The match was a little underwhelming, but the moment will overshadow the match in the history books.

Reverse Hipster's Final Grade 8.1/10 B

The card was decent. It had three matches that could have been cut and three that underperformed, but the rest were solid to great. This card needed more stipulations to give a few of these underperforming matches more flair.

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