The jury is still out on which AEW pay-per-view will be the brand’s tentpole annual event, the way WrestleMania is for WWE. It’s especially difficult to use this year as a measuring stick, given the unique challenges presented by operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, if Saturday night’s show from its home venue of Daily’s Place in Jacksonville was any indication, Full Gear could assume that position of prominence sooner rather than later.
The opening bout of the evening between Kenny Omega and former tag team partner Adam Page could easily have closed a show, and the same could be said about several other matches. All told, Full Gear truly had something for everyone, from the somewhat lighthearted Orange Cassidy-John Silver bout to the pleasantly bizarre Elite Deletion cinematic match.
And for fans of more hardcore fare, the card culminated with a violent, brutal showdown with the AEW World Championship at stake, with Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston putting their bodies in continuous jeopardy — a fitting end for a build-up that turned instensely personal the longer it went.
A serious looking Kingston came to the ring the conventional way, followed by Moxley’s customary walk through the crowd. The challenger paced energetically, waiting impatiently for a chance he’s reminded everyone had been 18 years in the making.
The two men went right to trading punches and chops, neither one giving an inch. Kingston pulled an MMA style full guard when Moxley took him to the canvas, biting Moxley’s ear as well. More strikes followed, with Kingston pulling off the first real wrestling maneuver in the form of a suplex.
On the outside, Mox worked over Kingston’s fingers in painful fashion. Kingston raked the champ’s eyes to end yet another exchange of strikes, and both men ended up on the concrete. Moxley locked in a bit of a crossface, but no hold was lasting too long, and Kingston histled back toward the ring and hurled his foe into the barricade.
Kingston bounced Moxley’s head off the ring post then grabbed chairs to hurl into the ring. Mox went hunting as well, finding a barbed wire baseball bat and immediately putting it to use. Bright red blood flowed from Moxley’s head and was joined by blood being coughed up by the challenger. Dodging another bat shot, Kingston found a second gear to hit two suplexes and throw a chair at the champ.
Slaps from Kingston gave him control, hurling Moxley across the barbed wire bat and following with a chair shot. Shrugging off the pain to himself, Kingston tore off a piece of the barbed wire and wrapped it around his fist for punches and a spinning back fist. The Mad King followed Mox to the canvas, locking in a kimura until Moxley bit him in the leg to escape.
In search of more weaponry, Kingston grabbed a bag from beneath the ring and poured thumbtacks over the mat below one corner. The combatants traded German suplexes before Moxley connected with a powerful clothesline. Evading a Paradigm Shift, Kingston pulled off a belly to belly suplex to bring the tacks into play, then stomped painfully on Moxley’s groin.
Adding pain to … well, pain, Kingston emptied a bottle of rubbing alcohol across the champ’s back, setting him up for a rear naked choke. The ref leaned in closely to see if Mox would yield, but he ended up reversing the hold into a sleeper. Moxley landed a piledriver, then an elevated Paradigm Shift, forcing the referee to check on the challenger instead.
“There’s no other way out, Eddie,” Mox shouted as he wrapped barbed wire around his arm. Agony in Kingston’s face was evident as Moxley choked his challenger with barbed wire until he finally told Bryce Remsberg he was finished. After the bell, Omega emerged from the back
The next AEW pay-per-view is Revolution on Feb. 27, 2021.
AEW Full Gear 2020 Full Results
Kenny Omega vs. “Hangman” Adam Page – AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament Final
Omega offers a handshake but gets rebuffed by his former partner. Page appears to be a step ahead of Omega early on, and takes the action out to the floor where he retains the upper hand until Kenny connects on a moonsault off the barrier. That gives Omega momentum to earn several near falls, though Page powerbombs his foe on the outside to swing things back in his favor. A series of reversals and counters ends with Page dropping Omega on his head, but Page dodges the Buckshot and nearly rolls Omega up for three. Another Buckshot also misses the mark, and though Page tries to fight it off from Omega’s shoulders, the One-Winged Angel connects, and no one kicks out of that.
Winner: Kenny Omega by pinfall
John “4” Silver (w/ Dark Order) vs. “Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy (w/ Best Friends)
Considering the difference in personalities here, this should be a good comedy/change of pace bout. Perhaps thinking that Cassidy’s strength comes from his pockets, Silver rips them out of his jeans. It doesn’t seem to have too much of an effect on him, as he’s able to outhustle Silver for several minutes. While we debate whether Cassidy’s jeans are actually made of denim since they have a massive drawstring, he survives a series of stiff kicks and hits the Orange Punch followed by the Beach Break to get the win.
Winner: Orange Cassidy by pinfall
Darby Allin (challenger) vs. Cody Rhodes (champion) – AEW TNT Championship Match
Allin isn’t afraid to stand toe to toe with Rhodes, who regroups on the outside for some strategy talk with Arn Anderson. That works out well as he gets Allin in a hammerlock and tosses him over the top rope onto the stage. The obligatory stretch where Allin takes a bunch of punishment commences, and just when it appears Cody has him beaten with a Cross Rhodes off the top turnbuckle, Darby gets his arm under the bottom rope to stay alive. With Allin on his back attempting a sleeper, the champ goes up top and falls straight back, forcing the challenger to roll out to the floor to gather himself. Allin’s Coffin Drop isn’t enough to seal the deal, but a scramble later ends with Darby getting the three count he’s been chasing for so long. Rhodes hands the belt over to an emotional Allin as the fans chant “you deserve it.”
Winner … and new AEW TNT Champion: Darby Allin by pinfall
It’s a great moment, but Taz seems more than happy to ruin it by mocking Allin for showing his emotion and the fact that he’s never been there before. Turns out it’s just a setup for an ambush by Brian Cage and Ricky Starks, who have a brief moment of tension over the TNT belt but then turn their attention to trying to break Allin’s arm in the door of the car he rode in on. A chair-wielding Will Hobbs sends them scurrying into the Jacksonville night. That probably counts as his formal rejection of the offer to join Team Taz.
Dasha Gonzalez catches up with the Natural Nightmares, who are upset about The Bunny’s betrayal and fired up to throw down with Butcher and Blade.
Nyla Rose (challenger) vs. Hikaru Shida (champion) – AEW Women’s World Championship Match
Not waiting for the challenger to get her bearings, Shida comes out firing with forearms to the face and a running knee strike. Trying to end it quickly, eh? The fight goes out to the floor, where Aubrey Edwards has to step in and keep Rose from taking a table out. Vickie Guerrero uses the distraction to sneak in a cheap shot, which flips things toward her client for several minutes. The game plan for the challenger is to work over Shida’s knee, including a leap from the corner with the champ strung out over the top rope. No injury can stop Shida from launching into a missile dropkick for two, but the announcers wonder if the leg will hold up. Rose flips the double bird to Shida and hits a running knee for a two count. Shida connects on a falcon arrow that appears to be the match-winner, but she lifts her opponent’s shoulders up intentionally at two. That might open the door for Guerrero to intervene, a concern that goes away after Shida throws Rose into her. Several more near falls follow where the knee pain factors in, but Shida finally fights through it to retain her title. A good match that simply dragged on a little too long.
Winner … and still AEW Women’s World Champion: Hikaru Shida
After the match, Guerrero gets into a screaming bit with Rose, which is dangerous but ends without her being destroyed.
Young Bucks (challengers) vs. FTR (champions) – AEW World Tag Team Championship Match
Despite concerns about the health of Matt Jackson, he tries to show there’s nothing wrong with his ankle by starting the match for the Bucks. Nick Jackson and Dax Harwood put on a nice display of chain wrestling before the Bucks explode into one of their trademark strings of tandem offense. An errant Harwood punch on the floor smashes his hand into the post, opening it up and giving the Bucks a body part to target. Both he and Matt Jackson look the worse for wear as they fight on the floor, and FTR looks like they want to zero in on Matt in earnest now. He’s finally able to send Harwood crashing into the post, but it only slows him for a second before he hits Matt with a superplex. Cash Wheeler comes off the top rope as well, only to see Matt get his knees up and use an inside cradle for a near fall. Classic tag team wrestling as you expect as FTR attempts to keep Matt from tagging in his brother, but Nick gets the hot tag and unleashes on both of the champs. Wheeler rolls through a high cross body and lifts Nick off the mat, though the Bucks lose their mojo once Matt tags back in. A frantic series of near falls follows, stopping only when Harwood goes for more right hands and remembers it’s hurting. FTR hits the double knee strike for two, but the Bucks end up with stereo Sharpshooters on the champs until Matt’s knee won’t allow him to keep the hold locked in. The Bucks regroup to hit the BTE Trigger, forcing Wheeler to hustle to save Harwood from the ensuing cover. Matt ends up with a chair, thinking better of it and ending up as a victim of the spike piledriver. Only rolling close enough to the side to get his boot on the rope prevents him from being pinned. Removing Matt’s boot, FTR tries to make him submit, getting bailed out by Nick’s somersault splash off the top turnbuckle. Perhaps feeling out of options, Wheeler abandons the “no flips just fists” mantra, crashing and burning on his own somersault splash. Matt covers for three, and Omega emerges to celebrate with the new champs while Page can only watch, drink in hand, from the tunnel.
Winners … and new AEW World Tag Team Champions: Young Bucks by pinfall
Matt Hardy vs. Sammy Guevara – The Elite Deletion
Get ready for some strangeness. Sammy pulls up in his Spanish God golf cart only to find it shut down by NEO 1 and crushed by a monster truck. I’m not making this up. The brawl goes through the forest and into the yard, taking a brief detour by the fountain behind the house and over to an actual wrestling ring. That doesn’t mean it turns into a catch as catch can affair, as Hardy puts Guevara through a table and immediately has to fend off attacks from Santana and Ortiz. Private Party, who Hardy was talking to before the match, finally decides the time has come to ride to the rescue, and of course it wouldn’t be a match at the Hardy Compound without some fireworks. This has basically turned into a paintball match except with fireworks. Hardy hits a Twist of Fate but is halted in his tracks by a captive Hurricane Helms, whose assailant removes his mask to reveal he is Gangrel. Well, well. Helms ends up in the Lake of Reincarnation in his civilian identity as the battle rages back to the ring. Only for a moment, though, as Hardy and Guevara next head for the Dome of Deletion, a.k.a. Matt’s garage. There’s a ring in there too (no surprise if you’ve seen previous bouts on Matt’s home turf), so Sammy disassembles the ropes and uses them to choke Matt. Setting up a big ladder in the ring, Guevara hits a 450 splash through a table that somehow isn’t enough for the win. A Twist of Fate is next, followed by a spear between the ropes and through a table by Hardy. Guevara looks to be bleeding pretty badly from the back of the head, and the front won’t be feeling too good either thanks to a chair shot. With Sammy face down on the concrete, Hardy lets loose with a vicious chair shot, and as J.R. says, “thank goodness it’s over.” Probably the whole feud too, not just the match. Hardy calls for Private Party to help him take out the trash, and he means it literally as they stuff Sammy in a garbage can and wheel him out to the bed of a pickup truck. Senor Benjamin drives off into the night. This was something to type up, for sure.
Winner: Matt Hardy by pinfall
Jake Roberts is in a joyful mood watching Lance Archer beat someone up in an alley. He has to feed his client, and Archer wants opponents, not food. Archer delivers a warning that even being Elite or part of a Family won’t save anyone in AEW, because everybody dies.
MJF (w/ Wardlow) vs. Chris Jericho (w/ Jake Hager)
Only up against MJF could Jericho be treated as the face once his entrance theme ends. Le Champion quickly becomes his own cameraman, showing MJF the middle finger after dropping him on the outside. After MJF lets out an expletive in mid-back-body-drop, he catches Jericho coming off the top turnbuckle for a quick near fall. He presses his advantage while being serenaded by boos. A Frankensteiner puts MJF in full dramatic selling mode, but he bounces back quickly with a suplex for a near fall. Jericho shakes off early damage to his arm and applies the Walls of Jericho; MJF responds with a spike piledriver with Jericho tangled in the ropes. Back and forth they go with a Jericho Codebreaker for two, and both men end up with weapons as Wardlow slips MJF the Dynamite Diamond Ring and Jericho grabs his bat, Floyd. Thinking fast, MJF acts like he’s been hit with the bat. When referee Aubrey Edwards turns around, MJF grabs Jericho’s tights and rolls him up for the three count. A tense moment after Jericho calls for the music to be cut ends with Jericho saying, “MJF … Wardlow … welcome to the Inner Circle.”
Winner: MJF by pinfall
Cassidy tells Dasha he has no thoughts on his win tonight, but his Best Friends are confronted by Kip Sabian and Miro. Just to make sure we don’t forget about their feud, one assumes.
Eddie Kingston (challenger) vs. Jon Moxley (champion) – AEW World Championship I Quit Match
Winner … and still AEW World Champion: Jon Moxley by verbal submission
AEW Full Gear (2020) 11/07/20
Daily's Place, Jacksonville, Florida
Even when a pay-per-view has a loaded card, the matches still have to deliver, and Full Gear did that throughout. With a minimum of filler and solid to outstanding performances from everyone involved, this was either the best AEW event to date or pretty darn close. It was a great way to end the year in terms of PPV shows for the promotion, and should set the stage for a strong start to 2021.