Super Wrestling: AEW – Full Gear 2020

Full Gear and all the images you see I this recap are owned by All Elite Wrestling and Shahid Khan

For months we have been waiting for this day to arrive, and now that it’s here I’m not sure how to even feel about it.  TRUMP LOST THE ELECTION!!  Oh yeah, and we’ve got an AEW PPV to watch, BUT TRUMP ISN’T GOING TO GET A SECOND TERM!!  Frankly the world being saved from the brink of everlasting doom is a big break for this show as even I probably wouldn’t have felt up to watching it if facing four more years of this chaos had become a reality, but aside from it being the big event to occur mere hours after this country realized it could breathe easy again, does AEW have a solid lineup of great matches to justify being on of the four big shows of the year, or is their last PPV of 2020 going to be the last big disappointment of what is already the worst year in recent memory?  Let’s find out!!  And as always, we start with the Buy In match!

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Serena Deeb Vs. Allysin Kay – NWA Women’s Title Match (Buy In)

The issues with AEW’s women’s division have been well documented and I’ll have PLENTY more to say when we get to the match that ACTUALLY pertains to this company, but the NWA talent coming in and trying to liven things up has been a net positive for AEW and hopefully for NWA as well.  Thunder Rosa may not have knocked it out of the park EVERY time (her PPV match with Shida wasn’t all that great), she brought life and vitality to the division that was stuck doing nothing for months.  Now we’ve got another Serena Deeb title defense after her match against Leyla Hirsch two weeks ago was such a bright spot on the show, but can Allysin Kay hold a candle to her?  Perhaps not, but Kay is still VERY impressive with a great look and a huge advantage in regards to her height.  It’s practically a Monster Match where the Baby Face has to overcome an overwhelming force and Kay plays the part quite well with a suite of big moves that she unleashes on Deeb.  You’ve got your Powerbombs, your Spine Busters, there’s even a point where she just throws Deeb into the air and she lands her neck on the top rope!

“This is REALLY not gonna end well for you.”     “I CAN SEE THAT!”

The match IS a bit on the slow side though as they do a lot of holds throughout, and Deeb doesn’t come off as good once she starts in on her counterattack but I think that has more to do with Kay’s selling than anything else.  In fact, while I have checked and she’s been wrestling for over a decade, Kay came off as a bit green to me with Deeb carrying a lot of the match for her.  Kay has the height and the power to do the big moves, but it’s up to Deeb to sell them and to keep the rest of the match on track with Kay’s shortcomings being highlighted whenever she’s the one who has to start doing the carrying.  Perhaps I’m over analyzing things as it IS one of the better matches the division has had in some time so let’s give them a bit of slack here on the Buy In.  Deeb’s entire strategy is to try and get Kay in her Serenity Lock as she’s unlikely to keep her down long enough for a three count so in between throws and bombs from Kay she keeps trying to roll her up into the submission hold.  What eventually gives her the advantage though is when Deeb lands a Dragon Screw on Kay while she’s in the ropes which messes up her knee and leaves her vulnerable for a Face Plant.  For whatever reason she tries to go for a pin despite Kay still being right next to the ropes and of course she does a rope break, but then Deeb drags her away and THEN does the Serenity Lock which Kay taps to.  I’m not sure why they did that spot between landing the Face Plant and putting on the submission, but in any case Deeb is still the NWA women’s champion… BUT FOR HOW LONG!?  As soon as the match ends, Thunder Rosa’s music hits and she comes out to menace Deeb; clearly indicating that she wants a rematch sooner rather than later.  It was a decent match, but still felt a bit clunky at points as Kay seemed a TINY bit lost from time to time and that weird spot at the end where Deeb should have gone right into the submission, but I still had a good time watching it.  And with that, we head straight for the PPV!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (11-04-2020)

AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT

I don’t know about you, but I’ve barely gotten ANY sleep this week and this whole “wrestling” thing feels a bit small and inconsequential given what’s going on in the US right now.  Hopefully by the time we get to the PPV on Saturday the votes will be tallied and we can all focus on fun things again, but there’s no doubt that AEW has a big uphill battle here with this Go Home show leading into Full Gear.  Do they manage to put on something memorable despite the world being laser focused on politics this week, or will it get lost in the shuffle like everything else?  Let’s find out!!

We begin the episode with Dasha interviewing Jericho (flanked by Jake Hager and Santana) who spends a good few minutes praising Jake Hager for his win at Bellator last week which hey, good for him!  It was certainly better than in his last match where he punched a dude in the groin and it got called a No Contest, but before Jericho can finish singing his praises, MJF comes in and interrupts them to tell him how much he appreciates the opportunity he’s been given.  Jericho, not too happy about being interrupted, doesn’t share this enthusiasm and in fact claims that MJF lacks something vital to be part of The Inner Circle; a Killer Instinct.  The same Killer Instinct that got Jake fifteen stiches in a fight he ended up winning and earned Santana his reputation as a ruthless fighter in the world of wrestling.  MJF?  Well until he proves otherwise, Jericho believes he’s just soft, and that’s just not going to work for them.  MJF doesn’t like any of these accusations and storms off; leaving Jericho to head to the announcers desk as he’ll be calling matches all night.  I kind of wish they’d also let Santana and Hager get sit at the desk too, but too many heels running the show and with Eric Bischoff having JUST shown up last week, people might start getting flashbacks to Souled Out and nobody wants that.

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Sammy Guevara & Ortiz Vs. MJF & Wardlow

Okay, quick question.  Perhaps I’m just hearing things, but they played the Inner Circle’s theme song here for Ortiz and Sammy’s entrance… and doesn’t it kind of sound like a knock off NWO theme?  I don’t recall ever hearing it before as they always used Jericho’s song Judas, and it just reminded me of that; especially when it starts with a deep voiced dude saying THE INNER CIRCLE which is not unlike how the NWO’s theme starts.  In any case (before I go on any OTHER weird tangents), let’s talk about the match itself.  More than any other story line for this upcoming PPV, including the Moxley match, the tag titles, and ESPECIALLY Sammy’s feud with Matt Hardy, the unrest within The Inner Circle brought about by MJF’s attempts to join them has been rather compelling so far and this match being the first flare up of this tension means it will certainly have consequences for the story on Saturday and going forward.  Now this might be a tag match, but for the most part it’s really all about Sammy and MJF with Wardlow and Ortiz being there to give the other two an opportunity to strut their stuff.  Sammy in particular looks VERY good here with an early hot tag that has him overcoming both Wardlow and MJF with relative ease.  The guy has had a ROUGH time of it the last few months with controversies, botches, and injuries overshadowing everything else, but his performance here is a strong first step for him to regain his clout as one of wrestling’s rising young stars.  MJF looks good here as well, but for most of the match he’s fighting with the upper hand and isn’t really pushing himself.  He’s has had his share of rough matches, but by design he’s never really excelled at that as he gets desperate way to quickly and resorts to cheap tricks at the slightest hint of a disadvantage, which goes towards Jericho’s assessment of him being soft.  He’s not to be discounted however even if he starts to waiver under pressure, and once it’s Sammy and MJF alone in the ring, the both of them start to work out their frustrations on each other in an excellent display of acrobatic violence.  Sammy ends up proving himself here as he actually manages to get the advantage and nearly gets a pin on MJF, and even though Wardlow breaks it up its clear that Sammy might just be the better fighter.  Ortiz gets back in the ring after dealing with Wardlow on the outside and him and Sammy get MJF on the turnbuckle.  They are setting up a tandem Superplex, but Wardlow comes in and suplexes all three of them with his mighty muscles, and the best part of this is MJF’s over the top selling as he seems to have taken the brunt of the damage while Wardlow poses for the audience.  All of this is fun and it does a good job of setting up the important dynamics between these wrestlers, but sadly things start to go off the rails at the end.  Sammy seems poised to win this if he can just get back himself and MJF back into the ring, but then Matt Hardy attacks him with a chair and not even a minute later MJF gets Ortiz into his Salt of the Earth arm bar where he taps out almost immediately.  MJF and Wardlow win the match and start heading for the back, but then MJF breaks off and sprints towards Jericho at the announce table; spearing him in his seat and having to be dragged away by Wardlow as Jericho gingerly gets up and smiles at his assailant.  Perhaps this man DOES have a Killer Instinct and Jericho will be surprised at what happens on Saturday!  The ending drags the match down considerably for me, but I liked the performances of everyone involved and MJF proves once again just how good he is at playing a character while also putting on a great wrestling match.  Presumably he’s going to win on Saturday or some other shenanigans will ensue as I doubt they’re going to drop this storyline with a clean Jericho victory, and I can only hope a long convoluted character drama already set up for all five (soon to be six!) members of the Inner Circle; like Shakespeare but with more chair shots!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (05-27-20)

AEWDYNAMITE

AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT

Now that Double or Nothing is in our rearview mirror, this week’s dynamite has the unenviable task of trying to pick things up where the big payoff of the show left off and start things fresh, all while making an entertaining wrestling program in the worst time to be running wrestling shows!  Is this a successful follow-up enticing us with things to come, or are they gonna need another week or so to get their wind back?  Let’s find out!!

The show begins with The Inner Circle at their lowest point; commiserating their lose in the Stadium Stampede match at Double or Nothing.  It’s not just because this latest failure is yet another hit to their ego (and even more broken bones for Sammy), they had purchased boxes upon boxes of INNER CIRCLE STADIUM STAMPEDE CHAMPIONS shirts in anticipation of their victory, and now they won’t be able to sell them.  I’m not sure why as I’d certainly buy one of those shirts, but in any case, this is yet another hilarious segment from The Inner Circle and really got the show off on the right note!

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Young Bucks & Matt Hardy Vs. Private Party & Joey Janela – Six Man Tag Match

Speaking of great comedy segments, Matt Hardy and The Bucks have a promo before the match where they cycle through Hardy Personas to find the right fit for the match which is one upbeat pop song away from a Trying On Clothes Montage in an eighties film.  I’m actually not sure which personality the settle on as it’s implied to be an even earlier version of Matt Hardy than the Hardy Boyz persona and I didn’t realize there was such a thing, but regardless of that it’s always fun to see what he comes up with and how he changes his style and presence depending on what side of him he settles on.  It’s actually kind of a brilliant gimmick that I’m surprised more wrestlers don’t do!  We were certainly begging for Christopher Daniels to be the Fallen Angel again during his feud with The Dark Order, right?  As far as the match itself… well, it’s fine but perhaps a bit too straightforward.  We haven’t seen The Bucks team together in some time and Matt Hardy is really hot right now, so Private Party and Joey Janela are once again on hand to make the other talent look good.  Sure the whole thing is in no way a squash match as AEW is not about burying its talent, but it feels a bit too much like they’re just going through the motions to shake off the ring rust after The Bucks’ long sabbatical.  Still, Isiah, Marq, and Joey put a lot of heart into this match and certainly hold their own against The Bucks and Hardy even if we know where it’s all headed.  The match comes to an end when The Bucks land a Bang For Your Buck on Isiah Kassidy (which basically means they jump on him three times), and Matt Hardy pins whatever’s left for the win.  As soon as the bell rings, Matt Hardy jumps down and helps Marq Quen to the back with the ref and a very bruised Isiah Kassidy in tow; leaving The Bucks alone in the ring and Joey… somewhere else I guess.  They are then immediately jumped by The Butcher & The Blade, presumably still upset about the Superkick, when out of nowhere a car rolls up on Daily’s Stadium and none other than the former Revival who are now referred to as FTR get out and head to the ring.  Initially, they feign assisting The Butcher & The Blade… but instead they turn around and whoop their butts; saving The Young Bucks from the savage beating they were in the middle of.  After the ring is clear and it’s just FTR and The Bucks, FTR walks out of the ring and out of Daily’s place without a word but definitely making their mark.  These guys have been MISERABLE for the past year or so under their WWE contract and I’m glad to see them on TV again and clearly enjoying what they’re doing!

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