The SmarK Rant for AEW Full Gear 2022 – 11.20.22
By Scott Keith on 20th November 2022
The SmarK Rant for AEW Full Gear 2022 – 11.19.22
Live from Newark, NJ
Your hosts are Excalibur, Jim Ross, & Taz
Cage match: Luchasaurus v. Jungle Boy Jack Perry
Jack slugs away in the corner to start, but he goes up and gets caught, before adjusting and jumping off the cage in a cool spot. Luchasaurus puts him down with a big boot and javelins him into the cage, and Jack is busted open already, messing up his beautiful face! Took him about 10 minutes to do it, as well. Luchasaurus beats on him in the corner and follows with a corner clothesline and side slam for two. JB takes another trip to the cage and he’s sporting a pretty impressive crimson mask. Jack fights back and gets powerbombed into the cage as a result, and that gets two. Jack fights back with a hanging armbar in the corner, but Luchasaurus slams him off the top rope and follows with the burning hammer for two. He goes after the ref to provide distraction, which allows Christian to steal the key and open up the cage, and they go brawling to the floor. Luchasaurus catapults him into the cage and luckily he finds a table under the ring and sends that in, along with some chairs. Back in the ring, Perry comes back with dropkicks to send Luchasaurus into the cage, but he goes for a piledriver and gets backdropped on the apron. I’ve heard it’s THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING but I can’t confirm. Luchasaurus tries a chokeslam on a chair, but Jack reverses into a destroyer for two, and then hits a Killswitch on another chair for two. But then he gets chokeslammed on the chair for two. Luchasaurus puts him on the top rope, but Jack reverses to Sliced Bread #2 and now he’s MAD. Luchasaurus puts him down with a headbutt to win a slugfest, but Jack sees his own blood and beats on Luchasaurus before hitting a piledriver for two. Jack sets up the table, but Luchasaurus flips it over to irritate the crowd and then hits a tombstone and then goes right into his facebuster slam for two. Back to the table, but Jack fights him off with a sleeper and then puts him on the table and comes off the top of the cage with the flying elbow through the table, and the Snare Trap finishes at 18:42. Started a little slow with the in and out of the cage stuff, but the drama at the end was great and it delivered. ***1/2
AEW World Trios title: Death Triangle v. Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks
As rumored, the Elite are now using “Carry On Wayward Son” for their entrance music. And the crowd is SALTY, chanting “Fuck CM Punk” while Pac and Omega do their stalemate sequence at the start. Kenny with the facebuster, but Pac bails to the floor to foil him and brings Fenix in. Nick and Fenix trade kicks on the apron Nick puts him on the floor, but Fenix rolls back in with the cutter and Nick escapes that. So they trade spinkicks and battle to a stalemate, and then it’s Bucks v. Lucha Bros and they all trade superkicks until they all go down. Pac comes in and he gets a taste of superkick, and Kenny chases him to the floor. Penta escapes a double team in the corner, but the Elite clean house again and Nick hits Pac with a dive and then stops to share a drink with a fan. Back in the ring, Pac dropkicks Kenny’s knee and puts the boots to him, and then the Death Triangle hit triple dropkicks on him. They work Kenny over in the corner and Pac goes up, but Kenny dodges him and it’s back to Matt. He gets the northern lights on the Lucha Bros, but they fire back with the flying yambag drop and Matt is Buck in Peril. He fights back with a facebuster on Fenix and Nick comes in with a running knee on Pac before taking both Luchas down with a headscissors. Back to Omega, and he hits everyone with snapdragons to set up the Terminator Dive. Nick tries a dive but Fenix cuts him off, so Matt dives in with a DDT on the apron in a crazy spot. Yelling “I’LL SEE YOU IN HELL!” was a nice touch too. And then everyone piles up and Nick hits Penta with a rana from the top to the floor. Back in the ring, Omega with a package neckbreaker for two on Pac. Pac ducks the V-Trigger and hits him with a german suplex, and then we get a crazy spot with the Death Triangle hitting triple tombstones before Fenix comes off Penta’s shoulders with a splash, into a destroyer from Penta, and into a cutter from Fenix, ending with the Black Arrow and Brutalizer on Kenny before Nick makes the save. The Bucks get tossed and the Lucha Bros hit them with stereo dives. Back in, Fenix with a double stomp on Kenny, but Pac sends his trusty bell hammer in and Fenix wants no part of that. So Kenny hits the V-Trigger and Tiger Driver for two. Should have used the hammer I guess. Penta hits everyone with sling blades, but he walks into triple superkicks and the BTE Trigger for two, as Pac makes THAT save. Pac goes back to the hammer himself this time, but Nick takes him out to the floor, still holding the hammer, leaving Kenny to hit Fenix with the V-Trigger. But then Pac gives him the hammer AGAIN, and this time he nails Kenny to counter the One Winged Angel and rolls him up for the pin to retain at 18:50. I love that Penta is inherently evil already and he’s totally fine with using hammers and shit, and it’s only Fenix who has any kind of issue. So yeah, what a way for the Elite to return! I was a little disappointed that no one got bitten or hit with a can of seltzer or something but there would probably be legal problems with that. *****
TBS title: Jade Cargill v. Nyla Rose
Jade is a Thundercat for this occasion, while Nyla enters in a low rider. I think Jade wins. Jade slugs away in the corner to start and MAN they are in the death spot here after that last match. This should be 2 minutes long because they have no chance of following the six-man. They fight to the floor and Jade boots Nyla into the front row, but Nyla takes over in the ring. Splash gets two. Nyla with a cannonball in the corner, but Jade fights her off and goes to the middle rope, missing that. Jade misses her pump kick and Nyla drops her on the top rope and hits the diving knee for two. Nyla tries the powerbomb and Jade escapes that for a double down and this match is dying, as expected. They just don’t have any chemistry together at all. Jade manages to power her up with a powerbomb for two. Nyla sort of reverses Jaded, but Jade still gets two. That was ugly. Nyla gets her own Jaded for two and goes up, but misses a swanton and Jade boots her down and thankfully finishes with Jaded at 8:00 so she can move onto something else. This was too long and no good. *
ROH World title: Chris Jericho v. Sammy Guevara v. Bryan Danielson v. Claudio Castagnoli
Big brawl to start and Danielson hits Sammy with a dive while Jericho beats on Claudio and runs him into the railing. Back in the ring, Jericho and Danielson exchange chops, and then the BCC double-teams him with forearms before putting Sammy down with more of the same. But then they shake hands and that turns into a challenge and they exchange forearms themselves. Bryan takes him down with an armbar and they reverse into cradles for two, before Jericho kicks them both in the head to break it up. So the BCC double-teams him with a Boston Crab, and Sammy breaks it up with a double cutter and gets two on Claudio. Jericho and Sammy double-team Danielson, and Jericho gets a death valley driver for two. They continue double-teaming Danielson, but he fights back with the kicks on both and gets two on Sammy. To the top for a rana, but Sammy lands on his feet and hits a Spanish Fly on Danielson and Jericho follows with a Lionsault for two. But then Sammy breaks it up and Jericho is not happy about that, triggering a fight between them. They slug it out and Sammy takes him down with a codebreaker for two and then tries for the Walls, which Jericho reverses into his own. Danielson flies in to break that up, but Jericho catches him in the Walls as well. Claudio throws boots to Jericho’s face to break it up, but Jericho goes all STRONG STYLE on him and won’t sell, so Claudio suplexes him into a Sharpshooter. Jericho tries to cover Danielson at the same time, so Danielson puts him in the Lebell Lock and Sammy has to break that up. So they bond over that, but Sammy turns on Jericho with the GTH and goes up with a shooting star press for two. Sammy goes after Bryan with the hammer elbows, but Bryan gets his awesome annoyed look on his face and just stands up and slaps him, and then Claudio presses Sammy onto Jericho outside…and Bryan turns on Claudio with the Bu saiku knee for two. Bryan with the elbows on Claudio, but Claudio switches to his own and Bryan backslides him for two. Claudio with a lariat for two. They head to the top and Claudio tries for a superplex, but Sammy breaks it up with a cutter on Claudio and a Spanish Fly on Bryan. But that immediately gets reversed to the Lebell Lock, and Jericho has to save. Springboard dropkick puts Bryan on the floor, but Claudio hits Jericho with the running forearms and then hits Danielson with a Neutralizer out there for good measure. Sammy with a shooting star on Claudio to the floor and he flies back in the ring, but Claudio catches him in mid-dive with SWISS DEATH and that gets two. Sammy reverses the Ricola bomb into a rollup for two, but Claudio gets the Giant Swing and Jericho dives in with a Judas Effect to break it up, and then hits a second one for the pin to retain at 21:50. The finish wasn’t quite as perfect as they intended but it was a friggin’ fantastic match otherwise, with tons of cool little stories and sequences all the way through. ****1/2
Saraya v. Dr. Britt Baker DMD
They fight to the lockup to start and Britt takes her down off a headlock, as Saraya pretends to be injured again and then laughs it off. Saraya chases her to the floor with a superkick, but Britt grabs the neck and beats on it with elbows, before taking her down to the floor with a neckbreaker. Back in the ring, that gets two. Britt works on the neck and gets the neckbreaker out of the corner for two. Britt preps the glove and gets another neckbreaker for two. They head to the floor again and Saraya gets a crossbody to the floor, and back in for two off that. They’re struggling out there. Saraya with a series of clotheslines for two. She chokes Britt out in the corner and reverses another neckbreaker into the Page Turner for two. Britt cradles for two and goes for the Lockjaw, but Saraya quickly makes the ropes. Britt with an Air Raid Crash for two. Curb stomp for two. They head to the top and Saraya brings her down with a sloppy powerbomb for two. Saraya with a full nelson, but Britt takes her down and into the Lockjaw, and Saraya reverses for two. Saraya with a knee strike for two. Britt with the neckbreaker and another curb stomp for two. Saraya with a knee strike for two and the Rampaige DDT, and that gets the pin at 13:24. It definitely took a long time for them to find their footing and it ended up OK, but it was a pretty big disappointment with a mostly dead crowd. Too much repeated stuff like the knee strike spot from Saraya and all the neckbreakers from Britt, which didn’t end up leading anywhere. **
TNT title: Wardlow v. Powerhouse Hobbs & Samoa Joe
Everyone brawls on the floor and then slugs it out in the ring, and Hobbs puts Wardlow on the top rope and beats on him with forearms. Joe breaks it up, so Hobbs suplexes him and continues beating on Wardlow, but Wardlow comes back with a Poetry in Motion on both guys and swanton on Hobbs, but Joe breaks it up with his own senton. Joe with the enzuigiri on Hobbs in the corner and he gives him the boot rakes before beating on him with knees and going to a guillotine. Wardlow breaks that up and slams Hobbs, then hits Joe with a spinebuster for two. Wardlow and Hobbs slug it out on the floor and Joe hits them with a dive, but Hobbs runs him into the railing. Back in, Hobbs with a spinebuster on Wardlow for two. But then Wardlow reverses Hobbs into the powerbombs, only for Joe to break it up with a belt shot and choke out Hobbs to win the TNT title at 10:00! I was not expecting that finish. Wardlow was so cold recently that it’s probably best to get the belt off him anyway. They were trying for a hoss fight here but it was just kind of a mess. *1/2
Meanwhile, Chris Jericho is still ROH World champion and Jake Hager is still wearing his favorite purple hat. But Orange Cassidy stops by and issues a challenge to Jericho on behalf of Tomohiro Ishii, for Dynamite. And he offers Jake a shot at the All Atlantic title as well. And Jake likes the hat!
Sting & Darby Allin v. Jay Lethal & Jeff Jarrett
Jarrett is back in his 2000s WCW gear instead of the Last Outlaw cowboy gear here, as he goes for extra trolling points I guess. Darby leaves a body bag decoy at the ramp and then attacks Lethal and his goons, while Sting appears in the ring and attacks JJ. Sting slams Lethal on the apron in a sick bump while Darby fights Jarrett into the crowd, and apparently this is a no DQ/countout match so I presume this will be our Attitude Era tribute brawl on the evening. Sting and Lethal head into the crowd as well and Sting drops him on the railing right on the yambag, repeatedly. Then Darby tries a coffin drop on Jeff from the top of a ladder on the ramp, but he lands on Satnam and gets caught and slammed on the ramp as a result. Crazy spot there with really impressive timing from both guys. So Satnam heads over to Sting and Lethal, and Sting dives onto him from the balcony while Jarrett beats on Darby at ringside. Back in the ring, Jarrett chokes Darby out and stops to strut, and Lethal gets an abdominal stretch. Darby escapes that and Sting gets a hot tag and hits the heels with Stinger splashes before putting JJ in the Deathlock, but Sonjay breaks that up. And then Satnam chokeslams him and Jarrett gets two off that. Back to Darby and he slugs it out with Lethal, but Jay hits the Lethal Combination for two. Jarrett grabs his guitar, but Darby hits Lethal with the stunner and goes up, only to land on an El Kabong to the back. But Darby makes his own comeback, so Satnam charges in again, but this time Sting gives him a Scorpion Deathdrop with help from Darby. That leaves Lethal, who tries the Lethal Injection and lands in a Death drop, and Darby finishes him with the Coffin Drop at 11:04. This was sloppy as hell but a lot of fun, your Party Match of the Night. ***
AEW Women’s title: Toni Storm v. Jamie Hayter
They trade headlocks to start and Hayter takes her down and then goes for the lariat early, but Storm slips away from it. Storm sends her to the apron and out to the floor with her ass, and they fight out there, as Hayter runs her into the railing, but Storm sends her into the post. But then she chops the post by mistake, which was actually called by Tony, and Hayter takes over back in the ring with the snap suplex for two. Another one gets two. Hayter chops her down in the corner and follows with a back elbow for two. Hayter with the chinlock and Storm fights out of that and comes back with a Thesz Press and HIP ATTACK OF DEATH. Flying bodypress gets two. Storm with a DDT for two. They slug it out and Toni falls on top for two off that. This brings Rebel out and they trade running forearms, but Rebel hits Storm with the belt behind the ref’s back and Hayter hits a lariat for two. So Rebel gets tossed, but Storm gets her own ripcord lariat for two. Hayter bails to the apron and dodges another hip attack, and Britt Baker jumps out of the audience and stomps Storm on the belt, allowing Hayter to hit a piledriver for two. The crowd was NOT happy about that kickout. Hayter goes for the finish, but Storm hits her piledriver for two. Storm goes after Britt and Hayter hits the backbreaker for two off that. Hayter with elbows in the corner, but Storm runs her into Britt. But the turnbuckle pad is dislodged, and Hayter runs her into that and finishes with the lariat at 15:00 to FINALLY get the title to a gigantic pop. I was getting seriously concerned there for a while because it looked like TK was going to try and hold off even longer. Another one where it started slow but once they started doing the crazy near-falls, it got awesome and the crowd was hugely into Hayter’s chase. ***3/4
AEW World tag team title: The Acclaimed v. Swerve in Our Glory
No Daddy Ass at ringside and Bowens is still selling the arm injury from Dynamite to really build them up as underdogs. Keith immediately pounds on the shoulder, but the Acclaimed clothesline him to the floor and double-team Swerve. Scissor Me Timbers and Bowens puts the boots to Swerve in the corner and pounds the neck with elbows. But then Lee comes in and immediately hits Bowens with a hammerlock slam, ironically being the one with the killer instinct this time. So Swerve heads into the crowd and finds a piece of barricade that he leaves on the ring apron, but Keith wants none of that tomfoolery. Swerve goes to put Bowens through the railing himself, but Bowens fights him off with a suplex. Back in, Lee slams Bowens for two and clubs on the shoulder some more. Over to Swerve, and he further punishes the shoulder, but he tries an electric chair drop and Bowens reverses to a poison rana and makes the hot tag to Caster. Max runs wild and dives onto Swerve, but he tries a slam on Lee and gets stuffed. So he does a rana instead and goes to the top, but Keith blocks him, so Max sends him down for a legdrop and then hits Swerve with a death valley driver for two. Bowens comes in with a cutter on Swerve for two. Swerve sends Bowens into Caster and rolls him up for two, but they all head to the apron and Caster splashes Keith Lee through the railing. Back in the ring, Bowens gets two on Swerve. Swerve rolls into a flatliner and hits a leaping kick for two, and another pair of them for good measure. A fourth one gets two. Swerve goes up to finish, but Bowens grabs his foot and hits his slam, and Caster drops the mic for two. Lee saves and hurls Caster around, then hits Bowens with the pounce to set up the double team powerbomb on Caster for two. So Lee tries another powerbomb, but Bowens makes the tag off that, and Lee sends them both to the floor, where Swerve runs Caster into the table and then tries to break fingers with a pair of pliers. This finally brings Daddy Ass out to save and he immediately gets escorted back, so Swerve gives Lee the pliers and wants him to make use of them. But Keith doesn’t go for those shenanigans and they have words about it, which finally leads to Keith Lee walking out on Swerve, as Bowens rolls him up for two. Bowens makes the comeback while Caster gets the blind tag, and he hits the double-team slam on Swerve to finish and retain at 19:35. Yeah this was the weakest of their trilogy by far, with a few good moments but mostly it was clunky and slow. **1/2 I would presume the next step is now FTR?
Meanwhile, we learn that the Trios title match is actually now a best of seven series, with the second match on Dynamite. That’s gonna be a lot of Elite v. Death Triangle.
AEW World title: Jon Moxley v. MJF
MJF is clearly the crowd favorite here, probably due to his new abs. Moxley beats him down in the corner with chops and then gives him a BEARD BURN in the most vicious spot of the show, so MJF sends him to the floor and teases a dive. But of course he doesn’t. So Mox bites him in the corner and flips off the crowd to establish that if they want to boo him, then boo him. The crowd continues their disrespect of the champ, so he chokes out MJF on the ropes and hits him with a drop suplex for two. Mox with an STF, but MJF bites the hand to escape, so Mox hits him with a falcon arrow and turns it into a cross armbreaker. MJF escapes that, so Mox clotheslines him to the floor, where MJF finds a bottle of Coke and spits it in Mox’s face. Hey, carbonated water in the eyes would burn. That’s legit. Back in the ring, MJF gets a lariat out of the corner and comes back with an atomic drop and slugs him down. Max misses a blind charge and Mox goes for the DDT, but MJF reverses him into the turnbuckles for two. MJF goes and puts the timekeeper’s table at ringside, but takes too long out there and walks into a cutter. Moxley kicks his head in to heel heat as this match has a weird energy to it. They head to the apron and Moxley teases a piledriver through the table, but MJF reverses to a tombstone on the apron, the HARDEST PART OF THE RING. Back in, that gets two. Back to the apron for another try, and this time Moxley manages to hit a piledriver off the apron and through the table. And MJF beats the count at 9, but Moxley hits the Paradigm shift for two and then takes out the knee and gets the figure-four. Max does the big babyface reversal and Moxley makes the ropes. Mox retreats to the apron, so MJF brings him back in with the Heatseeker DDT for two. Another try is blocked by Moxley, and he clips the knee and goes to work on it again. Mox goes up and Max crotches him, but Moxley beats on him with the hammer elbows and then brings him down with a scary top rope DDT that gets two. MJF fights up so Mox is like “Give me your best fucking shot! Hit me!” and Max gives it a try but doesn’t have much left. So they slug it out and Moxley kicks the knee again, but MJF pulls the ref in the way of a charging Moxley and puts him down. MJF teases the diamond ring, but Mr. Regal comes down and warns him not to use it, and Max listens! This allows Moxley to get the sleeper, but MJF reverses to a cradle for two. And then a SECOND ref gets wiped out while Moxley gets the bulldog choke and Max taps out with no ref. But then Regal sends Moxley to wake the ref, and as we all expected, gives MJF the brass knuckles for the POWER OF THE PUNCH to make MJF the World champion at 23:14. Well I totally called that one, although thankfully they just went with the obvious finish because it was the right one that made the most sense. ***1/2
Despite a few missteps this was mostly a great show, although in this case I found the 4 hours to be too long and I think it would have been better served at 3. You could easily move stuff like the TNT title and TBS title matches to, you know, TNT and TBS. Thankfully I didn’t watch the pre-show tonight because I would have been REALLY burned out by the main event, and I think the crowd was as well. But overall, a pair of ****+ matches, some very notable title changes, and nothing I’d call overly bad makes this an easy thumbs up.