AEW: Three things they got right at Full Gear 2020

AEW Logo (photo courtesy of AEW)
AEW Logo (photo courtesy of AEW) /

November 7 was the second annual AEW Full Gear. The card was one of the best they’ve had thus far.

AEW Full Gear has come and gone again. The card was stacked from top to bottom–really from pre-show to bottom.

The pre-show kicked off with a match for the NWA Women’s World Championship with current champion and AEW signee, Serena Deeb. Deeb faced off against Allysin Kay, who is a new free agent.

From there, the matches were solid and building off of the momentum. The card had a lot of hype and lived up to expectations.

One surprise may have been John Silver vs. Orange Cassidy. It was the second match on the Full Gear show. The match did a good job mixing in the comedy we expect from both men, but also showed that they both can go. This is a feud that should get more time and matches.

AEW got a lot of things right with Full Gear, but here are three that really stand out.

New AEW champions

AEW had five title matches with two title changes. Darby Allin defeated Cody Rhodes (who dunked everyone on the media call by saying Rhodes would only be for third party ventures and not wrestling) to become the AEW TNT Champion.

Allin should have been the inaugural TNT Champion. This title is a tier below the AEW World Championship. In many ways, it can help future faces of the company get experience as champion. It also gives guys like Scorpio Sky, Jungle Boy, and Ricky Starks something to achieve and showcase their talent.

Allin is a special talent. He is unique in his style and his presentation. He is the perfect way to grab newer fans and to pack a punch for fans not familiar with the independent scene.

In the media scrum after the show, Tony Khan really put over Allin. He’s very clearly a fan of Darby and said multiple times that he is going to be a big star. Having him be the “Face of TNT” is a big step in that direction. Khan also let it be known that Allin has already had a multi-year deal extended and will be around for many years.

The other title change was the Young Bucks finally winning the AEW Tag Team Titles. This story was two years in the making. The Bucks were knocked out of the tag team tournament in the first round by Private Party. There was the story of “do the Bucks still have it?” “Can they win the big one?”

They answered both questions last night with a resounding “yes”. They put on a “love letter to tag team wrestling” as Khan put it. Their match against FTR was a dream match for many fans and exceeded the hype.

Matt Jackson called this win the “biggest accomplishment of their career” and compared it to winning the Super Bowl. Nick said now they have to prove it wasn’t a fluke and they want to have a lengthy title reign. Their next goal is to have a tag team matches main event and they want a massive tag team match to main event either Dynamite or a pay-per-view.

Storytelling is AEW’s bread and butter

AEW has been masterful in long-term storytelling. The new champions tie into this.

Allin had faced Cody three other times but had never won before last night. After winning, Allin was attacked by Team Taz. This goes back to Taz trying to offer Allin advice and Allin rebuffing him. Taz had been waiting for payback after being disrespected and was ready to strike the moment Allin had the title.

Hangman Page and Kenny Omega have had some of the longest storytelling in the company. It started with Page losing the inaugural AEW Championship match and wanting to distance himself from The Elite. He begrudgingly became Omega’s tag team partner, when lo and behold, they went on a title run. They lost the titles and Page was eventually kicked out of The Elite after costing the Young Bucks a title shot.

Page and Omega won the tournament for a match to determine the Number One Contender for the AEW World Championship. In an excellent match to kickoff Full Gear, Omega bested Page for a shot at the biggest title of them all.

Later in the night, Omega celebrated with the Bucks are their tag team match. In the babyface entrance stood Page, watching his friends celebrate. He contemplated joining them, but ultimately left without them noticing.

Perhaps the biggest story last night came in the main event when Jon Moxley faced Eddie Kingston in an “I Quit” match for the AEW World Championship. This story only had a few weeks, but it was masterful.

Kingston is a master on the mic and excellent in the ring. If anyone can go toe-to-toe with him, it’s the AEW World Champion. They played up their longtime friendship, complete with an emotional promo from both men on the go-home Dynamite.

Kingston thinks Moxley is a sellout and left him behind to struggle on the Indies. Moxley invoked the name of Kingston’s mother and said that he will have to live with the fact that he broke a promise to her when he fails to win the AEW World Championship. After a brutal match, Kingston mumbled that he quit.

Cinematic match

AEW has had a few cinematic matches and one of their best was last night when Sammy Guevara came to the Hardy Compound for the Elite Deletion. This match also has long-term storytelling.

At All Out, in the now somewhat infamous match between Guevara and Hardy, Hardy was badly injured. Hardy smacked his head on the concrete and was visibly out of it. The match shouldn’t have been allowed to continue. They rushed the ending and Hardy was victorious.

That wasn’t the end of their story. Guevara attacked Hardy which ultimately led to the Elite Deletion.

Hardy has cemented himself as a fantastic storyteller, especially with the creation of the Broken Universe. He has now told stories in this universe across three companies. Upon returning to the Hardy Compound, fans got to see Neo1, Hologram Matt Hardy, Skarsgard the dilapidated boat, the Lake of Reincarnation, and Señor Benjamin.

There was some actual wrestling, mostly between Santana and Ortiz and Private Party. Fans were also treated to surprise appearances from Hurricane Helms and Gangrel. Hardy and Guevara eventually ended up in the Dome of Deletion, where Hardy ordered the door to be closed so it was just him and his nemesis.

The match had a call back to Hardy’s injury from All Out. Though we didn’t actually see Guevara’s head hit the floor, there was a pool of blood and a gash (likely makeup) in the back of his head. Hardy got his revenge by hitting Guevara in the head, another callback to the moment that their feud began.

After pinning him, Hardy called in Private Party to assist with putting “The Spanish God” in a trash can and loading him into the back of a pickup truck driven by Señor Benjamin.

It was a fun match and a way to end this story for now.

Next. AEW: Nyla Rose talks regaining the title, women's wrestling and the woman behind the badass. dark

AEW got a lot of things right and really delivered with Full Gear. This is the last pay-per-view until Revolution in February. Khan did let slip a bit of breaking news last night when he said on top of big Dynamite episodes in Decemberthey will also have Beach Break in January. While he didn’t go into detail, it seems AEW will build on Full Gear’s momentum to close out the year and bring in 2021.