All Elite Wrestling Full Gear 2020: Reactions & Review

Here are my final thoughts on All Elite Wrestling’s Full Gear 2020!

Serena Deeb (c) vs. Allysin Kay (NWA World Women’s Championship)

Reactions: Serena Deeb has been on a tear as of late on recent episodes of Dynamite. Her matches have been surprisingly good, which has gone a long way towards solidifying the NWA brand in the eys of AEW’s fans. This match was another shining example of Deeb’s strong in-ring work and budding partnership between the NWA and AEW.

The latest free agent in women’s wrestling showed up and showed out, while Deeb was her usual hard-hitting self. The back and forth action between both women was solid here – I wouldn’t mind seeing Allysin Kay make a few more AEW appearances in the near future. The post-match staredown between the retaining champ and the returning Thunder Rosa has me pretty excited for what’s to come.

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Kenny Omega vs. “Hangman” Adam Page (AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament Finals; Winner Receives a Future AEW World Championship Match)

Reactions: I had a feeling this combination of former tag-team champions would make for great dancing partners. And while this PPV opener was a good one to go with, it was just a few notches away from being great. By the time it came to a close, I was a bit deflated since it felt like it could go on for another 10-minutes or so. I still enjoyed what took place between Kenny Omega and Adam Page, though – the brutality put on display here was on another level, which gave this tournament final some Puroresu flavor. The chops were plentiful, the counters were frequent, and the big moves truly mattered.

I bit on the big near-falls and actually thought Adam had Kenny down for the count at one point. But it was all for naught on Adam’s end – all it took was one devastating One-Winged Angel to end his championship aspirations. Kenny’s the new #1 contender to the AEW World Championship after winning a kickass opener. I just wish it could have gotten even more time to blossom into a MOTY candidate.

Rating: 3 & a Half out of 5 Stars

Orange Cassidy vs. John Silver

Reactions: Jon Silver’s breakout performances on Being the Elite and the last few episodes of Dynamite got him into this PPV spot. And he did a good job of proving himself here as a credible threat in the squared circle. Orange Cassidy and John provided their usual brand of hilarity at the beginning of this grudge match, but they quickly got serious and kicked things into a higher gear.

Both men proved their worth by working a smartly paced encounter that featured some crowd popping moments throughout. It would have been cool to see John get the surprise win here, but I’m not too upset at watching him fall in defeat to Mr. “Freshly Squeezed.” Solid work from these two.

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Cody Rhodes (c) (with Arn Anderson) vs. Darby Allin (AEW TNT Championship)

Reactions: WOW! They actually did it! AEW finally went full steam ahead with the Darby Allin hype train and gave him the big W over Cody Rhodes. After succumbing to the blonde-haired one on two separate occasions, Darby overcame his biggest AEW rival thus far and won the TNT Championship in the process. And it came after a great slow-burner of a bout that focused on a great story all about Cody working over Darby’s injured arm. Cody did everything in his power to destroy Darby’s weakened limb, while Darby pushed through the pain and used his speed and tenacity to pull through.

The craziest part of this bout has to Cody’s high-impact Cross Rhodes off the top rope. But the biggest shocker of ’em call came when Darby rolled up Cody outta nowhere to get the shocking win. Darby didn’t get to celebrate with his newly won title for too long, however – Team Taz came out to disrupt the happy proceedings with a vicious post-match beatdown. I’m all-in for a feud that sees Darby and Cody put aside their differences to go to war with Brian Cage and Ricky Starks.

Rating: 3 & a Half out of 5 Stars

Hikaru Shida (c) vs. Nyla Rose (with Vickie Guerrero) (AEW Women’s World Championship)

Reactions: These women have developed quite the chemistry with each other. And they made sure to remind us of that fact tonight. Nyla Rose switched up her game plan here thanks to the assistance of Vickie Guerrero. Hikaru Shida’s leg got worked over by her much larger foe, which cut off much of her game plan. But as time went on, Hikaru shook off the limb damage being done to her and retaliated in kind with some big moves of her own.

Both women laid into each other with some stiff strikes and some impactful slams, which went a long way towards turning this match into a more intense affair. The one thing that kept this from being a bit better than its Double or Nothing predecessor was its match length – it seemed to go on a bit too long and overstay its welcome near the end. I still enjoyed what was presented here, though. The champ retains and is most likely moving onto Britt Baker in the near future.

Rating: 3 & a Half out of 5 Stars

FTR (Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood) (c) (with Tully Blanchard) vs. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) (AEW World Tag Team Championship; If The Young Bucks Lose, They Will Never Challenge for the AEW World Tag Team Championship Again and Tully Blanchard is Banned From Ringside)

Reactions: The one theme I’ve enjoyed about some of tonight’s matches is the smart limb work playing a huge part in how they’ve broken down. Coming into this match, Matt Jackson was clearly being hampered by a bum leg. And from the very start of this fight, it was clear that FTR were going to take aim at Matt. And thankfully, we got all that and more. This years-in-the-making contest incorporated a whole bunch of entertaining elements – painful leg work, fast & furious tag-team maneuvers, hot tags, crazy near falls, and plenty of chaotic action.

The usage of classic tag team finishers definitely got a huge reaction out of me – The Young Bucks pulled off a pretty sick 3D outta nowhere! Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood pulled off some pretty sick tag-team finishers of their own – watching them pull off #DIY’s big move was a nice callback to their storied NXT days. This match got all the time it needed and both teams made the most of it. The long wait was certainly worth it as we got a classic barn burner between two of AEW’s finest duos. So where do we go from here? Hopefully a two-out-of-three-falls rematch!

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Matt Hardy vs. Sammy Guevara (The Elite Deletion)

Reactions: Ever since these two began their months-long feud, Matt Hardy’s been dealt a bad hand due to constant injuries. Thankfully, the controlled environment of the Hardy Compound allowed for this hardcore brawl to go down in a less worrisome manner. The cinematic match blueprint that’s been a big part of wrestling in 2020 was used to a delightful degree here – we got a Monster Truck run-in, surprise appearances by Gangrel & Hurricane Helms, hardcore brawls, and even a shooting match that involved the use of fireworks!

The added presence of Santana & Ortiz and Private Party threw in some extra mayhem into this whole affair, which I also got a kick out of. I especially enjoyed the portion of this bout that transpired in the parking garage – Sammy looked to have certain victory within his grasp after delivering a Swanton Bomb through a table, but Matt remained resilient and brutalized Sammy until he could fight no more. The violent war between Matt and Sammy has finally met its definitive end after a pretty wild Elite Deletion. As you can probably tell, I really enjoyed this.

Rating: That was…DELIGHTFUL!

Chris Jericho vs. MJF (with Wardlow) (If MJF Wins, He is Allowed to Join The Inner Circle)

Reactions: I wasn’t a huge fan of this one. While I enjoy watching Chris Jericho and MJF doing their best to out heel each other during promos, I’m not too keen on watching a visibly slower “Demo God” compete against faster opponents. Without the smoke and mirrors tied to a garbage brawl, it’s hard watching Jericho struggle to keep up with a more youthful foe during a regular match. Both men certainly put in a ton of effort and tried their best to put on a worthwhile bout.

Unfortunately, the action produced here was a bit too slow for my liking. I definitely have to hand it to both men for the clever ending, though – MJF did say he was willing to do anything to join the Inner Circle, so he did just that by using his wits to outsmart his new stablemate. Fun ending, but the lackluster match that came before it was nothing to write home about.

Rating: 2 & a Half out of 5 Stars

Jon Moxley (c) vs. Eddie Kingston (“I Quit” Match for the AEW World Championship)

Reactions: This blood and guts filled main event wrapped up Full Gear 2020 on a high note. The AEW World Champ and his former best friend took it to the extreme with steel chairs, a barbed wire bat, thumbtacks, and some good old fashioned strikes & slams. The violence factor was high here as both men battered each other in and outside the ring.

Eddie Kingston proved himself as highly deserving of this main event slot and Jon Moxley showed why he’s one of the best champions in wrestling today. This was a CZW-like encounter that was full of real emotion and the type of spots that constantly make you wince in pain. The use of the barbed wire as an enhancement tool for both competitors’ offense was definitely a highlight of this match. And the ending showed the depths of brutality Jon is willing to go to in order to keep his title run intact. I definitely enjoyed this show closer.

Rating: 3 & a Half out of 5 Stars

Match of the Night

FTR vs. The Young Bucks!

Final Verdict

From top to bottom, this year’s Full Gear was a worthwhile show that didn’t feel like a total drag. The match quality ranged from above-average to great with the worst match on the show still offering some form of entertainment. Kenny Omega and Adam Page put on a spirited opener, Darby Allin finally won championship gold, FTR & The Young Bucks met the high expectations I had going into their first-time meeting, Matt Hardy and Sammy Guevera put on a wild cinematic brawl, and the main event saw two former best friends hash out their problems in the most brutal way possible. Overall, Full Gear 2020 provided a fun night of wrestling that teased some interesting developments for the months ahead.

Final Score: 3 & a Half out of 5 Stars

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