Full Gear and all the images you see I this recap are owned by All Elite Wrestling and Shahid Khan
While technically being the fifth AEW PPV (sixth if you count All In which was basically AEW Zero), this is the first one since they’ve gotten the TV series and have started to focus more on long term storylines. Not only that, but it’s coming off of a MASSIVE amount of success from Dynamite which has consistently beaten NXT in the ratings, so there’s a lot of hype and high expectations surrounding this PPV which is always a double edged sword as it means more people are interested in seeing it but that they’re also much more easy to disappoint. Can AEW continue their streak of high quality wrestling action with their latest PPV? Let’s find out!!
Britt Baker Vs. Bea Priestly
The only match they had on the pre-show for Full Gear was this match against Britt Baker and Bea Priestly which I GUESS is supposed to be the blow off to a feud, but they never HAD a feud to begin with. They had one match all the way back before they got on TV and I think they were on a tag team match a few weeks ago, but at no point did they interact in any meaningful way to sell this supposed rivalry between them. There’s a video package before the fight where Britt talks smack about Priestly and I just don’t think it works because Britt brings up stuff we’d NEVER heard of until now about her being possibly injured in the Fight for the Fallen match and it’s also completely one sided as Priestly doesn’t even show up in the video, so for all we know she’s just out there doing her thing and being respectful towards everyone while Britt is off to the side seething for no good reason! Now all that having been said, when the two of them actually DO get in the ring they are fighting like this match means something. Britt is definitely all scowls and fury which is a far cry from the babyface she often portrays, and Priestly is definitely relishing just how much she’s gotten under her skin. The moves as well are less coordinated and flashy as they are just slugfests and pain clinics which is how you definitely want to pay off a feud even if this particular one still didn’t feel properly set up.
AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT
We’re back with even more AEW! After Jericho revealed his heel faction last week, will Cody and the rest of THE ELITE band together to face this latest threat? More importantly though, WILL LUCHASAURUS SHOW UP THIS TIME!? Seriously, he wasn’t on LAST week and that’s one too many weeks without Luchasaurus! Let’s hope for the best and take a look at the second episode of AEW Dynamite!
The Young Bucks (Nick Jackson and Matt Jackson) Vs. Private Party (Marq Quen and Isaiah Kassidy) – Tag Team Tournament
Now THIS is a great way to start the show! I’m a bit cooler on the Young Bucks than a lot of people but there’s no doubt that they are IMMENSELY popular, and I really like what I’ve seen of Private Party so far as they already look poised to be the fan favorites of the company. Hopefully AEW (unlike what WWE does with a lot of their more talented tag teams) won’t let these two sit on the sidelines for half of their career with this match is a good indication that they won’t. The match itself was pretty great as both teams are so absolutely fantastic as tag team wrestlers, and Private Party being a lot more straightforward in their style helped to minimize some of the issues I tend to have with The Young Bucks when they’re up against teams like The Lucha Bros. In fact, what I found particularly interesting is that The Bucks fought like heels for the most part as Private Party were the ones fighting earnestly with big moves and lots of effort while The Bucks come off as much more cocky and taking their time to show off. Heck, they even use a few underhanded moves like when Nick does a blind tag and another instance where Matt drops Kassidy on the steel ramp. When they were doing the PPVs, it was a bit hard to tell where they would fall with their endless feud against the Lucha Bros (pretty much being baby faces by default), but I’m all for it if they real are planning on being heels. They don’t have to be the nastiest players in this (I’m pretty Jericho and his crew have that covered), but being part of THE ELITE has always felt more like a heel position and it’s what has made Cody’s status as a face always feel a bit questionable. Surprising absolutely everyone (myself included), Private Party actually won against The Young Bucks which puts them in a VERY good position in the tournament taking down the odds on favorite so early. Like I said, AEW seems to know what to do with young talent like this and I’m glad that The Bucks are willing to step aside to give them such a huge push right now. It’s probably my favorite thing they’ve done since I’ve started watching AEW!
After the match, Jericho comes out with his merry men of bad guys (Sammy Guevara, Jake Hager, and LAX) and takes a good ten minutes to jabber on the mic and make sweet audible love to the teeming masses. A lot of it is exposition to make sure everyone is up to speed on the title picture, but he can make reading a thesaurus look good and I’m glad that AEW hasn’t COMPLETELY abandoned larger than life characters who are allowed to just talk in the ring. What we learn from all this is that Jericho’s faction is called THE INNER CIRCLE (so far it’s reminding me of Ric Flair’s faction in TNA known as Four-tune) and that Jake Hager’s collared shirt from the last episode was not a one off; apparently that’s his look going forward which is a shame because it makes him look like a TOTAL dork. Look, maybe this is yet another unbridled talent that will finally have a chance to shine in a promotion that knows what the heck to do with him, but I don’t know who Jack Swagger or Jake Hager is, and him just staring blankly into the camera with a silly shirt on doesn’t scream AMAZING WRESTLING TALENT as it does I FORGOT ALL MY LINES. Aside from that though, it was a great way to solidify them as the big heel faction of the company which will certainly keep things interesting in the weeks leading up to the next PPV.