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Pantoja’s AEW Full Gear 2022 Review

November 20, 2022 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
Saraya AEW Full Gear Image Credit: AEW
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Pantoja’s AEW Full Gear 2022 Review  

AEW Full Gear
November 19th, 2022 | Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey

Not only will be reviewing this show but I will also be reviewing some Christmas-themed beers that I picked up from my local booze shop. They let you mix and match, so I grabbed a bunch of different ones and will drink them throughout the show.

We are starting with Blitzen Flavored Ale made by Maumee Bay Brewing Company. It has 7.7% alcohol and is spiced with orange and cinnamon. I’ll go 8/10, very tasty.

Best Friends, Danhausen and Rocky Romero (0-0) vs. The Factory (0-0)
I love that Danhausen was advertised as a very evil mystery partner. The match started with no Danhausen either. It was 100% the match you’d expect and the match it needed to be. The Factory are the jobbers there to bump and get in a few bits of heat while the faces did their signature stuff and got the crowd hype. I liked the faces going for the big hug, only for it to get cut off and the Factory to do their own hug. It got massive heat. As QT had things in hand, we got the arrival of EXTRA EVIL DANHAUSEN with a spike and jar of teeth. He ran through the Factory with more offense than we’ve ever seen from him. An Orange Punch to Comoroto set him up to have the jar of teeth poured on him and Danhausen beat him with a pump kick in 11:49. That was a fun match that did everything it needed to. [**½]

AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament Semifinals: Brain Cage (34-8) vs. Ricky Starks (36-7)
Cage jumped Starks during his entrance since he just had a brutal match a night prior. Cage beat up Starks in and out of the ring for a bit. I missed the opening bell so my stopwatch will be a bit off. Starks had to fight from beneath but also got stopped in his tracks a few times because of his damaged shoulder. Starks used a Destroyer to escape Cage’s finisher(?) and then won with Roshambo after about 9:00. Like I said, my watch was off. This was fine as I just can’t seem to ever get into Cage outside of Lucha Underground. Page/Starks is the right finals of two guys who haven’t been pushed enough. [**½]

Eddie Kingston (24-11) vs. Jun Akiyama (1-0)
I am here for these Buy-IN shows just being the place for Kingston to live how his hard hitting dreams. This is his ultimate dream match and they went to war just how you’d expect. Akiyama is an old man but he clearly could still do some stuff. We got the moment where Kingston lit up Akiyama with chops who fired back with forearms only to eat more chops. Akiyama survived a backfist, blocked a second, and dropped Eddie on his head. There was a lot of strikes and dropping people on their heads. Eddie dropped the straps and used a second backfist to win at the 10:31 mark. That wasn’t anything great but you could see how important it was to Eddie and that adds a bit to it. [***½]

The two embraced after the match and Ortiz even came out to show love to Kingston. Now, it’s time for the main card.

Next up for me in terms of beers is Edgy Elf Ale from Millersburg Brewing Company. 6.25% and a fair bit of ginger taste. Not my favorite, 6/10.

Steel Cage Match: Jungle Boy (23-13-1) vs. Luchasaurus (12-3 in 2022)
Their match on TV a few weeks ago was really good (***½). You can only win via pinfall or submission which is a shame given that I appreciate the escape gimmick. JB did his best to use his speed to his advantage but Luchasaurus caught him and beat him to a pulp. He got lawn darted into the cage and was busted open within the first two or so minutes. The visuals of a beaten JB with blood all over his face was great because he’s such a great sympathetic babyface. You want to see him overcome the odds and Luchasaurus is a great foil for him because of that. Christian stole the key from a referee and unlocked the door before being taken away by security. That was enough of a distraction for JB to get going as they battled outside. That portion of the match really didn’t go anywhere though and JB was back in trouble until he started kicking Luchasaurus’ head into the cage inside. I would’ve ended this at the Killswitch on the chair because it was a perfect middle finger to Christian by JB. However, I absolutely loved when JB sat up right after Luchasaurus to stare him down. JB finally hit an elbow through a table off the top of the cage and added the Snare Trap to win in 18:42. A hell of a match though it could’ve been something truly epic without as many false finishes as those went a bit overboard. Still, a banger and now we need JB/Christian soon so everyone can move on to something new in 2023. [****¼]

This is the fourth Full Gear and all have had banger openers. Santana and Ortiz vs. Young Bucks (***¾), Page/Omega (****), and Darby/MJF (****½).

AEW Trios Championship: Death Triangle [c] (11-3) vs. The Elite
It’s great to see Kenny and the Bucks back. The Elite came out to “Carry on my Wayward Son” by Kansas, which is awesome. I missed the Elite’s record because I was jamming. Loud “Fuck CM Punk” chants. The PAC/Omega exchange was sick, while the Bucks and Lucha Brothers did the fast paced stuff they’re known for. Those teams have wrestled so much that they could have a good match in their sleep. Look, I’m not going into detail about the spots because there were so many ridiculous ones. It lacked the storytelling level of the All Out trios tag but was ripe with the absurd spots you’ve come to expect from these six. The Black Arrow into the Brutalizer would’ve been a sweet finish but this kept going. The story aspect came into play when Fénix declined using the bell hammer PAC wanted him to use. That allowed Omega to hit the V-Trigger and Tiger Driver ’98 for a legit near fall. Things got dire for the champs and PAC gave Fénix the hammer once more. He used it to escape the One Winged Angel and pin Kenny after 18:42. Another great match though not on the level of the one from the last PPV since the storytelling aspects weren’t nearly as good. [****¼]

AEW TBS Championship: Jade Cargill [c] (41-0) vs. Nyla Rose (14-2 in 2022)
I’ve said it before but I really wish this was booked as two dominant forces clashing rather than about Nyla stealing stuff. Nyla showed up with Vickie and Marina in a lowrider. Vickie also had an “I’m Your Mami” shirt. Hey, Kiera Hogan was back with the Baddies tonight. Jade had Thundercats gear. Jade was aggressive early but Nyla has enough size to combat that. Nyla was in control for a lot of this and it was odd to see Jade sell so much. It’s not something she’s had to do much so it wasn’t going too great. Nyla’s offense didn’t click much either. Jade hitting her own Beast Bomb was pretty impressive though. Nyla’s Jaded counter looked like shit before she hit one of her own for two. Jade fired up with the pump kick and won with Jaded in 7:59. That was pretty rough as I expected. The Kris Statlander injury really killed things because it felt like she was in line to beat Jade and since then, Jade has kind of been treading water in terms of feuds. [**]

Beer #3: Fathead’s Holly Jolly Christmas Ale; 7.5% ABV. I feel like I taste the malt flavor more than expected. Didn’t like it much as first but it grew on me. 7/10.

ROH World Championship: Chris Jericho [c] (10-3 in 2022) vs. Bryan Danielson (26-6-2) vs. Claudio Castagnoli (13-2) vs. Sammy Guevara (12-5 in 2022)
This feud is BEYOND tired. There are three great wrestlers in here. Sammy is a wrestler, I can say that much. Anyway, everyone brawled at the bell before we got some Claudio vs. Bryan exchanges. You know the BCC has no problem fighting each other. The crowd felt like they were dying a bit during the middle of this. The action was fine but we’ve seen basically every incarnation of this rivalry over the past year or so. It’s too much. We got the expected moment of Sammy and Jericho getting into it because of the heat of a title being on the line. The crowd did react positively to Sammy hitting him with offense. Meanwhile, I popped for Sammy’s elbows having no effect on Danielson and him getting beat up because of it. The Busaiku Knee near fall was sick too. The Judas Effect sucks but I liked Jericho hitting a leaping one (it didn’t look great but the idea was nice) to interrupt the Giant Swing. He added another to beat Claudio at the 21:42 mark. A bit too long but they added a handful of story elements in there to make it better than expected. I do think this would’ve been better with Garcia instead of Sammy purely for the storytelling. [***¾]

Britt Baker (38-15) vs. Saraya (0-0)
It’s Saraya’s first match in about five years. As far as I can see, her last televised match was with Mandy Rose against Bayley and Mickie James on Raw on 12/11/17. Lots of emotion from Saraya. She took a shoulder block bump and got up slowly but seemed fine. As Britt targeted the neck and worked Saraya over, she stopped to talk smack to Saraya’s brother in the front row. Saraya spent a lot of time selling but finally got something going after about five minutes. The crowd was hot for the start of this but they seemed less into this during the middle portions, which weren’t great. I appreciated that you could sense Saraya’s desperation to get this done because the longer it lasted, the more things favored Britt. Saraya survived the Curb Stomp and won with two Rampaige DDTs (I wonder if the name is different now) after 13:25. It was largely fine and actually better than expected given how long it has been for Saraya. [**¾]

AEW TNT Championship: Wardlow [c] (27-2 in 2022) vs. Powerhouse Hobbs (15-3 in 2022) vs. Samoa Joe (10-1)
BIG MEATY MEN SLAPPING MEAT! Wardlow went after Joe to start and Hobbs kind of chilled before getting involved. The crowd was kind of not reacting to stuff until Wardlow woke them up with a Whisper in the Winds and Swanton Bomb. Wardlow the new Jeff Hardy. Some of Joe’s stuff looked pretty rough. He hasn’t had the best of runs in AEW so far. Wardlow looked great though from his crisp offense to his intense facial expressions. I also really like Hobbs too. Joe got taken out by a shot outside before Wardlow survived a spinebuster. He started in with the Powerbomb Symphony but wasted too much time with it. Joe got back in and knocked out Wardlow with the title before slapping submission on Hobbs to win in 9:54. That was a fine hoss battle with an unexpected result. [***¼]

Chris Jericho and Jake Hager were interviewed in the back. Jericho said things with Sammy were fine and Orange Cassidy interrupted with Danhausen to say that another former ROH Champion wants a shot at Jericho. That would be Tomohiro Ishii who will face Jericho on Wednesday. We also got a setup for OC vs. Hager for the title. OC likes Hager’s hat as much as him.

Darby Allin and Sting vs. Jay Lethal (22-8 in 2022) and Jeff Jarrett (0-0)
The absolute balls of AEW to book Lethal and Jarrett on a PPV in 2022. Jim Ross has been replaced in the booth by Tony Schiavone, so the rest of the show sounds 10/10. Jarrett having “My World” as his theme is also 10/10. Double J came out with a bunch of fake Stings and then the faces tricked them by having a body bag on stage which allowed Darby to sneak out and attack with a skateboard. Sting snuck in behind Jarrett to start this and I thought they’d go with the quick finish but it wasn’t to be. Darby went for a massive Coffin Drop but Satnam Singh caught him in mid-air and slammed him on the ramp. Singh caught Lethal in another part of the arena and NEW JACK STING jumped off to take everyone out. From there it became a more traditional tag which is far less interesting. Darby’s next Coffin Drop attempt was also a fail as he ate a guitar shot in midair but then popped up like Sting and got going. The Coffin Drop assisted Scorpion Death Drop on Singh was cool. Sting then caught a bad looking Lethal Injection into another drop and Darby added his move to end this in 10:59. That did not need to go that long. Still, I dind’t like the majority of the people in the match, yet it managed to be pretty fun. Sting can do that. [***]

Beer #4! Madtree’s Thundersnow Scottish Ale. It has cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and vanilla bean and 8.5% ABV. Oh, baby. That is smooth. 9/10, let’s go!

AEW Interim Women’s World Championship: Toni Storm [c] (18-2) vs. Jamie Hayter (8-3 in 2022)
Fantastic reaction for Jamie. I’m still waiting for Toni to have a great match in AEW. I don’t think she’s had one since she worked Shayna in 2018 and I say that as a fan. They opened things with some mat work because taking the fight to the outside where it got much more intense. Hayter took a shot into the ring post and came back by throwing Toni around. Jamie took control but made the mistake of getting too cocky, which allowed Toni to get going again. It was as if the Britt Baker influence was kicking in for Jamie and it cost her. Both ladies were down after a headbutt spot and Rebel (not Reba) ran down for potential shenanigans. Toni had a busted nose from Jamie’s shots. Rebel hit Toni with the title to set up a massive near fall and Rebel got ejected. Britt Baker also hit a Curb Stomp onto the title and Jamie hit Storm Zero, yet it still only got two. The crowd was 100% behind Jamie by this point. Toni took a shot into the exposed turnbuckle and ate Hayterade to rightfully give us a new champion after 15:16. I don’t think they needed some of the overbooking and I didn’t like the finisher kickouts but that ruled and I was totally invested because of how much I love Jamie. [****]

AEW World Tag Team Championship: The Acclaimed [c] (12-3 in 2022) vs. Swerve In Our Glory (15-3)
Their last two matches got ****½ and ***½ from me. There was instant drama for the challengers as Lee nearly walked past Swerve during their entrance. We got an extra long rap from Caster here. No Daddy Ass either. The challengers immediately isolated Bowens and targeted his damaged shoulder. Lee wasn’t happy with Swerve bringing a guardrail into play too. The work on Bowens’ arm was really well done. Everything SIOG did was on that body part and Bowens sold the shit out of it. Caster got a tag sooner than I expected and did his thing. I loved Lee saving Swerve from taking a guardrail bump only for him to take one himself when Caster did a cross body off the top. This got better as it reached the closing stretch, with Lee looking like a beast. As Swerve went to use the pliers again, Daddy Ass ran out for the save. Officials stopped him but it was enough to prevent Swerve from doing the deed. Lee tossed the tool aside saying he doesn’t want to win that way and Swerve slapped him. Lee walked out on Swerve and that was it for the duo. The Acclaimed hit a tandem move (with a name I don’t know) to retain after 19:38. I thought the arm work was really good and the finish made sense. It did drag a bit though. [***½]

DYNAMITE
• Death Triangle vs. The Elite have Match 2 in a Best of 7 Series
• Ethan Page vs. Ricky Starks in the World Title Eliminator Tournament
• OC vs. Hager for the All-Atlantic Title
• Chris Jericho vs. Tomohiro Ishii for the ROH World Title

AEW World Championship: Jon Moxley [c] (64-5-1) vs. MJF (33-12)
Their All Out 2020 main event was great (****). Moxley opened this with a haymaker, setting the tone for the bout. He was here to fight, while MJF made sure to stop and taunt or play to the crowd. This had a slow pace to it as you could tell they were getting some time. MJF’s attitude got him in trouble as Moxley kicked his ass but MJF turned the tide and hit a Tombstone on the apron. Alas, the move hurt his knee and he immediately grabbed it in pain. I did think it was weird to give us a piledriver through a table off the apron in the next spot. The crowd played a big part late as they were way behind MJF to the point where they even chanted “Fuck you Moxley” a bit. He pulled the referee in the way of a Mox shot and brought out the Diamond Dozen Ring. William Regal showed up to scold him about using the ring. MJF tossed the ring aside and we got the Survivor Series ’96 Bret/Austin pin but a second ref counted two and he also got knocked out soon after. MJF tapped to the Bulldog Choke but the referee was down and Mox let go too soon. Regal tossed the brass knuckles to MJF, who knocked out Moxley with them and won in 23:09. A few parts of this felt a bit disjointed but I liked a lot of the story elements and that finish made total sense. [***¾]

9.0
The final score: review Amazing
The 411
I’ll say that was the best PPV for AEW of the year and their best since All Out 2021. The card overdelivered, we had several ****+ matches and a bunch at over ***+ plus the emotional moments of Hayter’s win and Saraya’s return. The company needed a bit of a refresh and this could be it.
legend

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AEW Full Gear, Kevin Pantoja