AEW Full Gear 2020 is in the books and the consensus began growing quickly to name it the most stacked, adrenaline-filled card All Elite Wrestling has put out to date. What really stood out, and what might it tell us about where the company’s going from here? We asked a panel of WrestleJoy contributors for their thoughts. Spoilers for Full Gear are included from here on out!
What was your favorite moment of Full Gear?
Lizzy: The Young Bucks winning the Tag Team titles was definitely my biggest pop of the night! They’re one of the best tag teams in history, and I can’t think of anyone (besides the Lucha Bros.) more deserving of those belts.
Thumbly Squeezed: Darby Allin winning the TNT title. Being seen as The Next Guy is never a sure thing. So for Darby to go toe-to-toe with Cody, take that Avalanche Crossrhodes, win clean and then hoist that belt was an absolute thrill. His face said it all.
Caro: The entire show was so good. I honestly can’t narrow it down to a single moment. Here are a sample of my personal favorites: Kenny winning, the Elite Deletion match, Darby winning the TNT title, Nyla Rose’s Mega Man gear, everything!!
Katie Rose: The Elite Deletion. It wasn’t the first match Matt Hardy’s held at his home and I hope it’s not the last. Everything from the fireworks, the Lake of Reincarnation, and the surprise cameos had me totally intrigued and entertained throughout the match!
Vince Carey: I hate to admit it, but the smug little smirk MJF had on his face after fooling the world with his light up robe had me in stitches. Jericho has been the ultimate troll over the years and for MJF to come out and beat him at his own game was fantastic.
Biggest surprise of the night for you?
Lizzy: I know I just wrote about this, but the Young Bucks winning the titles was a huge surprise to me! FTR’s reign was pretty short, and I thought they would hold on to the belts a little bit longer.
Thumbly Squeezed: Hikaru Shida retaining. Shida had more than justified her reign and Nyla seemed set to take on a line of waiting babyface contenders. Seeing Shida raise her level of fire to match the bloodthirsty Rose and then have her hand raised caught me off guard. It might just mean big news for a certain Role Model.
Caro: I was hoping that Hardy/Guevara would tie in some easter eggs from the Broken Universe, but got even more than I hoped for. I popped hard for Gangrel and The Hurricane, and even seeing the Dilapidated Boat made me so happy! You can see how hard Matt Hardy’s worked to craft his own world in the past several years, and I think it all tied together beautifully here.
Katie Rose: Darby Allin winning the TNT title. I predicted Cody having an even longer reign. It was a surprise but a very pleasant one! They put on a great match!
Vince Carey: Eddie Kingston actually said the words “I Quit!” Look, obviously someone was going to say it, but I had the hardest time believing either guy would actually utter the words and give up until it happened. A great finish to an awesome feud!
What was the best overall match?
Lizzy: For me, it was Hangman vs Kenny. I feel like that match gave us a glimpse of the amazing singles matches both of those guys are capable of, both in terms of physical ability and storytelling. It was very reminiscent of their time in NJPW!
ThumblySqueezed: Moxley/Kingston. This story escalated dramatically and in a way that felt real. When Kingston wrapped that barbed wire around his fist it was like the best of ECW; sheer violence but with a purpose – to sacrifice everything for the ultimate win. It all paid off by the end with Mox shining as the best at what he does. Top-notch stuff.
Caro: It’s a tie between Young Bucks vs FTR and Hangman Vs Kenny. Both of these matches had excellent storytelling and build. There were so many emotions I had going into them, and I’m happy that they exceeded my expectations.
Katie Rose: Definitely Moxley vs Kingston. They absolutely went for it and had me on the edge of my seat. I loved that they pulled out all the tricks, including thumbtacks, chairs, and even the barbed-wire bat! They beat each other senseless! My kids were in bed and I was trying to keep myself from yelling right along with the fans in the crowd from the beginning of the match until the end!
Vince Carey: I might as well draw a match out of a hat, this show was damn good from top to bottom. I’ll go with the Young Bucks vs FTR. I’m a sucker for shout outs to other wrestlers and I really enjoyed watching both teams pull out all of the stops to try and prove they’re the best in the world.
Was this the best AEW PPV so far?
Lizzy: I’ll always have a soft spot for the first Double or Nothing, mostly for Cody v Dustin and Jon Moxley’s debut. That will always be the best PPV in my eyes. That being said, though, Full Gear had a ton of amazing matches and storytelling, and I loved every minute of it!
Thumbly Squeezed: Looking back the past ones have given us indelible moments: Cody/Dustin, Cracker Barrel Clash, That Tag Match. This one stood out as having those moments over and over. To me it’s the best one start-to-finish.
Caro: YES. Every match was consistently great, the event had a good pace, and every moment had a purpose on the card. This is the best event, from the Buy In to the main event, that AEW had put together so far. Especially after All Out, AEW needed an event like this.
Katie Rose: This to me WAS and IS the best PPV that AEW has had so far! Each match was so entertaining and kept me interested. I haven’t been solely invested in a PPV from start to finish in a long time!
Vince Carey: This is so difficult, but I’m going to say it was. Every match delivered, I thought the bout order was set up perfectly and it just felt like the most complete show we’ve seen from AEW yet.
What are you most looking forward to coming out of this show?
Lizzy: I’m really excited to see Moxley and Kenny Omega feuding again! Their next match, whenever that may be, is bound to be a classic.
Thumbly Squeezed: The Young Bucks heading for a lineup of formidable challengers. Seeing them against Best Friends, Proud & Powerful, Jericho & Hager, a return date with Lucha Bros. It’s ALL guaranteed action!
Caro: MOXLEY VS OMEGA 2. Enough said.
Katie Rose: Mostly Kenny Omega and Hangman Adam Page’s storyline now that Hangman lost. I’m interested to see if they might reconcile their rocky relationship or if there will be any kind of lingering jealousy now that Omega is next to have a shot at the title. I’m also excited to see Moxley vs Omega part 2!
Vince Carey: The Omega/Hangman aftermath is going to be insane to watch play out, but I’ll mix it up a bit. MJF as the newest member of the Inner Circle is going to be a ridiculous amount of fun to watch. His chemistry with Jericho is next level and all 7 men in the crew are extremely entertaining in their own ways. I have no idea how long it’s going to last, but I’m going to savor every minute of it!