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    Tuesday, November 10, 2020

    The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: Full Gear 2020

    Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston in AEW Full Gear

    The 2020 edition of Full Gear may have been the most predictable AEW pay-per-view in recent memory and that’s not a bad thing. Just because the results didn’t surprise anyone doesn’t mean that the journey to get those results wasn't satisfying and if AEW knows anything, it’s long-term storytelling—for the men, at least.

    All the matches were good-to-great but there were four major talking points here—wait, you know what? Five.

    Kenny Omega vs. Hangman Page was an absolute banger that, once again, continues to add to this long-term story that has grabbed us AEW fans. It was fast-paced, hard-hitting, and had me at the edge of my seat. I thought they were crazy opening the show with this but, thankfully, these two held back a bit. The fact that Kenny won so decisively with the One-Winged Angel and no heelish tendencies is a big indication that we’ll be getting a more intense rematch down the line as Hangman's redemption continues.

    Adam Page and Kenny Omega in AEW Full Gear

    Cody Rhodes vs. Darby Allin was arguably the weakest match they’ve had with one another, but it was still great stuff. Both men have amazing chemistry and Allin is crazy enough to do all these insane spots, including that top-rope Cross Rhodes. Thankfully, AEW decided to give Darby the big win here, making him the TNT Champion and continuing the story of Cody losing his edge a bit. Team Taz also made their presence known so it looks like Darby won’t be done with them anytime soon. I’m just glad that they gave a young guy a big win and it’s a well-deserved one, too, considering all the matches they’ve had.

    Darby Allin in AEW Full Gear

    The Young Bucks vs. FTR was a wild ride and almost made me forget that I hate The Bucks’ current characters. They had an absolutely incredible tag team match, though I’m not sure if this will please everyone who had this pegged as a dream match. Expectations are a bitch but both teams worked their hardest to meet them. There was the solid story of Matt Jackson’s injured knee and Dax Harwood’s injured hand after punching the ring post, meaning no Superkick Party or trademark fists from these men, for the most part.

    Considering the stipulation of The Bucks never challenging for the belts ever if they lose, their championship win here was easy to predict, even with Cody’s big loss under the same stipulation last year. However, as I mentioned earlier, the journey to the end was a great one. Cash Wheeler wanted to add some insult-to-injury, not just superkicking Matt (TWICE) but going for a springboard 450 Splash. This backfired and, somehow, Matt won with a lone superkick. It was unbelievably good and it almost made me forgive The Bucks for superkicking innocent people. Almost.

    The Young Bucks win the AEW Tag Team Championship in AEW Full Gear

    Also, when was the last time ANYONE in AEW won with a freaking superkick? I think Sammy Guevara did once but I can't recall any other occasions. I legit loved that ending and will begrudgingly call this my Match of the Night.

    So, as The Young Bucks vs. FTR showed, Full Gear is proof that good wrestling can sometimes overcome shoddy storytelling, especially when you’re Hikaru Shida and Nyla Rose. If you’ve never seen an episode of AEW Dynamite and watched this show on its own, you’d think that Shida and Rose have had an epic rivalry that's gone on for weeks, but the reality is that it was actually just a last-minute addition to the card. That’s how good the video package before the match was. The match itself was good, too, and Shida won but if Nyla did, you wouldn’t care because AEW didn’t make you care. These two deserve so much better, as do all the women under contract with them.

    AEW Women's Champion Hikaru Shida in AEW Full Gear

    Finally, Jon Moxley v.s Eddie Kingston. What a main event. These two beat the crap out of each other and it was glorious wrestling violence. Kingston showed his Mad King tendencies by wrapping barbwire around his fist and constantly punching Moxley, pouring rubbing alcohol on the champ’s back after it was slammed on thumbtacks—Jesus Christ—and throwing thumbtacks on his former friend’s face, some of which stuck to his head FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. Moxley eventually made Kingston quit by—deep breaths—wrapping barbwire around his arm and choking out his opponent till he finally said those two words. 

    Eddie Kingston in AEW Full Gear

    Not sure if I need a cigarette or a psychiatrist after seeing this show but it was damn good. 

    Final Grade: Watch Full Gear. A.

    Bullet Point Party:

    • Serena Deeb retained the NWA Women’s World Championship against Allysin Kay during the Buy-In show: This was a decent enough match you could also catch on AEW Dark but not much else. Deeb is a good talent, but I want to see more from Kay. Plus, it was nice seeing Thunder Rosa again, so that feud should be electric (lol).
    • John Silver couldn’t (freshly) squeeze out a victory against Orange Cassidy: Don’t sleep on this match! Despite going on second, it was a funny and well-wrestled affair that made Silver look good, while also showing how great Cassidy is. Seriously, that spot where Cassidy countered a spinning move into a tilt-a-whirl headscissors was jaw-dropping. I hope Silver gets more opportunities to show his talents.
    • Matt Hardy deleted Sammy Guevara in the Elite Deletion match: Simply put, if you like all the Broken Matt Hardy nonsense like I do, watch this. If you don’t, skip it. Just some silly spots all around, including Hardy and Guevara using fireworks like machine guns on each other. Bonus points for getting Santana, Ortiz, and Private Party involved. It was also neat seeing Hurricane Helms and Gangrel—of all people—appearing, resolving that two-year-old story. I also appreciated the final few beats where Hardy made Guevara bleed (but not really) the same way Guevara made him bleed earlier in this cursed rivalry.
    • MJF beats Chris Jericho and joins The Inner Circle: Not gonna lie, this was an okay match but it was also probably the worst wrestling on the show, though it is worth watching. I don’t know why but I marked out when Jericho did his comeback from the WWE 2K games, which I somehow have ingrained in my memory.
    • On-set promos from QT Marshall, Dustin Rhodes, Kip Sabian, and Miro hype up this week’s Dynamite: Nothing special but they didn't take up too much time and reminded people that other talents exist. Harmless and appreciated.

    Images from AEW

    Nico Parungo is a freelance contributor for Geeky PH and previously wrote for Epicstream. He provides weekly recaps of AEW Dynamite for Smark Henry and has contributed several reviews of PWR and MWF shows. When he isn't frustrated about the WWE, he's playing video games at home and is bugging his friends with glorious puns. He's new to the world of Twitter drama but is quickly getting hooked.
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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: Full Gear 2020 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Nico Parungo
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