AEW Full Gear 2020 Review - Triple Threat POV | Smark Out Moment

AEW Full Gear 2020 Review - Triple Threat POV

Posted by Dallas Allsopp Thursday, November 12, 2020
Welcome to another edition of Triple Threat from Smark Out Moment, where three of us get together to discuss three questions based on one big topic going down in the week of professional wrestling.

This week, Dallas Allsopp, Ethan Neufeld and Bodeen Green review the 2020 edition of AEW Full Gear.

Full Gear 2020 was a strong show from beginning to end, showcasing the depth of talent within the company. Was this show a sign of the future for AEW? Was Elite Deletion a worthy cinematic match? And just how exciting will the feud be between Jon Moxley and Kenny Omega?

Question 1: A number of AEW's younger wrestlers impressed fans with their performances at Full Gear. How much did you enjoy the event overall? How bright do you think the future of AEW will be in the hands of Darby Allin, Sammy Guevara and MJF?

ALLSOPP: This show felt like a passing of the torch in some respects, with MJF being fully announced as the future of AEW with his victory over Chris Jericho. I would have liked to see Sammy Guevara win, but his performance was stellar enough that he lost nothing in defeat. For me though, it was Darby Allin's victory that fully embraces the younger stars as the future of AEW. Allin does not look like a top tier wrestler, but once the bell rings, he becomes one of the best wrestlers in the company. Winning the title here will allow him to build his reputation, hopefully setting the stage for a full tilt at the AEW World Championship in twelve months. The future is bright for AEW. Arguably brighter than WWE's future prospects.

NEUFELD: I thoroughly enjoyed the event, and I was quite relieved that AEW put on a top to bottom great show after the promotion’s dismal All Out pay-per-view. AEW really needed a strong showing here, and they delivered on nearly all fronts. The show had great wrestling, solid commentary, and good storytelling. The last year of AEW has been a slow build for many of their younger stars, and we began to see those tales come to fruition, with Darby Allin’s AEW TNT Championship win and MJF’s victory over Chris Jericho serving as great examples. Sammy Guevara’s position arguably got bolstered as well from his involvement in the Elite Deletion match. For that reason especially, this show was a huge success as it set up these younger stars for future stories, allowing them to headline future pay-per-views in their own right. This is what a young promotion needs to do, using established veterans to draw attention, but also use them to build new stars.

GREEN: I enjoyed watching Full Gear as it felt like a solid show from top to bottom, with very little that hurt the event. It was great to see names like Darby Allin and MJF get big wins over established names, especially as it feels they have been hyped up for almost a year, with this event being the right time to pull the trigger. It will be interesting to see how strong Allin is booked as AEW TNT Champion and if AEW will make him look as good as Cody Rhodes. MJF’s victory over Chris Jericho is also interesting as it could help Inner Circle, who have felt all over the place due to Sammy Guevara’s feud with Matt Hardy, whilst Jack Hager not being on television constantly due to his appearances in MMA promotions also hurt the stable. AEW needed a great pay-per-view after the All Out event left a sour taste in the mouths of fans, mainly due to the Matt Hardy injury. Full Gear did this job whilst also helping to potentially cement the future for AEW.

Question 2: Was Elite Deletion an entertaining match from a cinematic perspective? Was it the wrong decision to have Matt Hardy end the match victorious?

NEUFELD: It was entertaining, not amazing. There is a serious feeling of diminishing returns with every Matt Hardy compound match. I thought it was smart to include as many people as they did, in addition to as many silly elements as they did, turning into the skid as it were. I think this match fit into the card well. It was a break between the more intense and competitive matches, giving us a chance to wind down with something silly. I personally would have been completely fine with this being the last Hardy compound match, therefore I would have liked to have seen Sammy Guevara go over, sending Hardy into some ridiculous CGI lava pit, or something like that. I think that the winner of these cinematic matches isn’t really that important because they exist in a separate universe of sorts, quite literally in the case of Hardy. When - in the course of the match - Hurricane Helms transformed into a different person from being dunked underwater, I wasn't too concerned with the booking decisions.

GREEN: Whilst it may be an unpopular opinion, I didn't like the feel of this match. Even though I did enjoy watching the match and felt it was fun, to me, it should have had a more violent nature to it, rather than the usual comedic style we see during these types of matches. This was the blowoff match for a feud lasting months between Matt Hardy and Sammy Guevara, in which both men tried to end the other’s career, so for it to end in a fun cinematic match with only a few brutal spots towards the end, it just didn't seem right to me. I don’t feel Hardy winning hurts Guevara at all, as at the end of the day, the Hardy compound is his homeground, so Guevara losing doesn’t make him look weak in any way.

ALLSOPP: It was a solid match, but it just didn't hit the highs that I expected. Whether it is because Matt Hardy's limitations need covering up, or because we have seen some fantastic cinematic matches from his own warped mind, this offering was lacking in excitement. Sometimes it is actually beneficial in wrestling to go all in with campy production values to make such a match feel over the top, and unfortunately, that was just not on offer here. As I mentioned in the first question, I would have liked to have seen Sammy Guevara win, but in all honesty, he never looked weak in defeat, so I can at least excuse the decision to give Hardy the victory.

Question 3: Did the I Quit match between Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston live up to expectations? How much are you looking forward to Moxley's upcoming feud with Kenny Omega?

GREEN: Even though it took a while to get going, this was a good match that didn’t completely rely on hardcore violence. Both men looked extremely sadistic, with Eddie Kingston in particular looking violent and unhinged. Despite this, it never felt like Kingston had a chance to win, especially after Kenny Omega won earlier in the night. I would have preferred another match to main event the show, with that match being either the tag team bout or the Omega vs Hangman Adam Page contest. This would have been pertinent if AEW wanted the closing shot of Full Gear to be of Omega and Jon Moxley.

Despite Moxley beating Omega last year in their brutal match at Full Gear, there’s a sense that The Cleaner has the advantage here as their title match will be a straight up wrestling match, where AEW can book Omega as having an advantage over Moxley. Moxley has done great work with the belt, therefore he can easily lose it to Omega without looking weak, especially as he has been one of the strongest World Champions in the history of any wrestling promotion.

ALLSOPP: I was so excited for this match, but it did not quite live up to my expectations. Both men put on a great match, but the transition between violent spots didn't feel as organic as it should have. I also struggled to buy into Eddie Kingston winning, which severely took me out of the match. I am looking forward to Jon Moxley vs Kenny Omega, in which I hope we see the true return of The Cleaner in a successful challenge for the AEW World Championship. Both men are capable of magic, so it should be one of the best matches in AEW history.

NEUFELD: I thought this match was one of the only misfires of the show. The story that they crafted between the two men was excellent, mainly due to Eddie Kingston’s stellar promo work. But there were a few factors that I thought doomed the bout. I don’t think Kingston was ever a believable competitor for Jon Moxley, so the thought of him winning wasn’t realistic. The match itself was really nothing special. There’s a place for hardcore matches, but this wasn’t a particularly memorable hardcore match for me beyond the isopropyl alcohol spot (and really, 70% alcohol? You can buy stronger stuff than that over the counter). I think having the pay-per-view end with this match was not wise because it was a jarring change from the rest of the card, serving as a bittersweet note to end on. I would have preferred swapping this with the tag team match.

Based on his work in the G1, I know Moxley can put on his working boots, so it would be great to see a feud with Kenny Omega that revolved around having actual wrestling matches. These two already had a memorable hardcore match, so that doesn’t need to be revisited. They’ll have a strong build and a solid, but not earth shattering match. My early prediction is that Omega matures his heel turn to take the belt off Moxley and become a dominant heel champion to be chased, much like Jericho was.

Those are our thoughts on the issue, but where do you stand?
Let us know your answers to these questions in the comments below!

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Dallas Allsopp is a writer with two main interests, Pokemon and wrestling. He has been writing for a few years for his own personal blogs and is now taking his passion for wrestling and putting it into his writing. You can follow him on Facebook.


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