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Full Gear IV - 11/19/2022


Dolfan in NYC
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One thing, and I'm not sure if it's attention to detail from Tony K, or if I'm working off my own brain here, but you know how Bryce Remsburg had spent the last few weeks actually catching bad guys and outside interference "in the act"? Was that to set up this moment where he missed the knux?

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I'll have more thoughts Monday night when I can sit down and actually formulate thoughts on most of the matches (not MJF/Mox tho), but the one I did watch and cared about a lot was Saraya versus Britt Baker.

And it was fine. It felt like a women's match from 2015 WWE or something, but that isn't exactly shocking. Neither of them are workers like Hayter, Storm, Deeb, etc. Anyone expecting some kind of great match is naïve, because, well, Britt Baker kind of sucks in-ring and Saraya was only ever good for the time period she was in. Even when she returned to WWE with Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville, there were far, far better workers on the roster at that time. This is 5 or 6 years after that, and a different company.

All of that said: wasn't bad, wasn't good. It was there. It was more of an emotional type of match than anything. The real test starts now, and where we go from here with Saraya and how she looks in subsequent matches. I don't really care what Britt Baker does - she does nothing for me in-ring, but everything else about her is superb.

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4 hours ago, HumanChessgame said:

I saw someone say you could see a blade in Moxley's wrist tape and thought for sure someone was going to bleed in that match, but no such thing.

That's crazy! Mox didn't bleed in a main event title match! Do you know how much money we could have won on DraftStars?  

And, @SirFozzieISiSirFozzieISirFozzieISiSirFozziFozzieISiSirFozzieISirFozzieISiSirFozz

I can confirm that there are few finer feelings than having DEAN curse at you for making a dad joke!

also I guess I can confirm I still have issues with @-ing people.

Edited by Gordlow
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Joe now with a TNT, ROH TV, ROH Pure, WWE US Heavyweight, TNA X Division mantle of secondary world titles. He’s an IC and NXT NA short of some sort of grand slam type thing. 

Putting your title on Joe is sort of like putting it on AJ or Jericho to me. Like it’s never a wrong answer. Opens up a lot of different things they can do now, and whatever they do he’ll make it seem important.

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Might be a hot take, but as long as Jarrett isn’t involved in a World title scene, I’ll gladly watch anything he does in whatever promotion he pops up in. I still like his in-ring work, too.

But I’ve been doing an Attitude Era rewatch with my coworker so I’ve seen a lot of WWF Jarrett from 97 to 99 lately.

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So to review: You're Tony Khan, it's November 2022, your new world champs (MJF and Hayter) are 26 and 27 years old respectively, and you're about to blow up KANSAS. Wrestling is amazing.

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Combo of lots of moving parts for Thanksgiving week and no commute this week, so it'll take me a while to get through this whole show, but I do have some early thoughts.

  • Factory vs Chaos/Best Friends/etc. was a thing I willed into the universe and I enjoyed it. I would have liked to see a little more Comoroto. Trent always looks so sharp. Lee Johnson is developing into a good stooging heel, but I kind of wish they had protected him somehow? He should really become the Ace of the Factory, a guy who they can elevate to a higher level. I like the Rocky Romero sneaky style thing (more on that later) as sort of a follow to rat boy Ogawa? It makes me sort of want to track down some of his Japan stuff where he leans in heavily to that. I kept waiting for Danhausen and for a moment which would really warrant his arrival and I'm not sure it was built up quite enough but him coming down as a monster is sort of funny "Finn as the Demon" thing, which frankly, just makes the notion of Finn as the demon even funnier, right? I'm all for it.
  • Hook vs Moriarty was a good match for Hook to have. Nice to see him sell. I thought he did a good job of it. I liked the series of gut punches on the comeback. The transition into redrum wasn't as exciting for me as it was the announcers.
  • Starks vs Cage was good. Starks working from underneath to beat two monsters worked for me. The spear not being enough worked. I feel like I'm still getting used to Starks as a babyface. Page was very good on commentary.
  • Eddie vs Akiyama was a hell of a thing. I usually like Eddie vs Japanese guys the worst out of all of Eddie's matches, but not this, not this at all. This was a joy. I'll write it up for Wednesday. The post-match was probably the most emotional AEW thing all year.

----

And so far I've seen the top title matches (sans spoilers):

  • Hayter vs Storm was very good. I loved that they leaned into matwork early (which gave good contrast to Mox coming in with a punch to start his match) which gave it a real title match feel, and all of the familiarity. It got brutal out on the floor. The blood certainly helped, especially after the Rebel title shot. The crowd was up for Hayter of course but didn't turn on Storm either necessarily (like they did Mox). I don't love the finish. It feels like Hayter's win and the feel good moment was built on a throne of lies, basically. She fought hard but it didn't feel earned at all. It was a hell of a moment when Britt suddenly appeared because she knows how to make the best of the camera, and the hugging at the end and everything felt special, but this wasn't Eddy Guerrero being lovable and lying, cheating, stealing. It was an ace babyface dethroned by a bunch of cheating, disingenuous heels and as good as Hayter was and as hard as she fought, it wasn't enough and it wasn't going to be enough on her own. And the fans just ate it up like candy. If I was Storm, I'd go heel hard and team with Athena and just break Hayter's face to get revenge on the crowd. Just real shaky foundation here given the match they were having and the crowd not caring about basic good and evil and hard work and what was earned. They just wanted their moment. It's the sort of booking which undermines other more earnest attempts that may come later because it just tosses basic morality out the door.
  • Main event was good. Very similar thing. AEW is basically a heel-as-face promotion right now and I don't know if that's sustainable in any way. It's not attitude era resist authority stuff either. Like I said, Mox came out fighting so it had a different feel. He's basically Hansen and people have to endure him as he brings out what's inside. We know this. MJF has a lot of conflicting things inside. If Romero is sneaky style, he's got a lot of scum style in him, the way he'll grab a rope instead of trying to get a kick out and I do appreciate that. Again, a lot like Adam Page, what makes him interesting in ring are his vulnerabilities and weaknesses and how he overcomes them. He got overzealous and hurt his knee. He pushed too hard and got reversed on the pile driver through the table attempt. He got goaded into the punch exchange and Mox going to the kick midway through the exchange isn't about honor and heeling, it's about the fact Mox is a wild animal and he acts on instinct. My sincere hope on the finish is that it wasn't some sort of DEVIOUS PLAN but instead Regal rewarding MJF for tossing the diamond ring aside, that in that moment he proved something to Regal and therefore was allowed to be a true villain.
  • Rest of the show over the rest of the week. I'll admit some disappointment on no debuts. I know AEW doesn't need it but you know, candy.

I have a plan for what I'll be watching and reviewing in AEW TV space instead of Elite vs Death Triangle as that sounds like literally the worst possible wrestling imaginable btw. 9 match series spanning nine years, two continents, and three territories. I did see the Elite's entrance though and that was really great.

Edited by Matt D
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5 hours ago, Cristobal said:

If this is the end of the Blackpool Combat Club then good riddance. Moxley and Regal don't need it, it's done nothing for Claudio, they put all that work into getting Yuta over at the beginning and now he's doing nothing of note again, and the way Danielson has become a complete afterthought in AEW is borderline criminally negligent

It was always very bizarre. Given the way it started with Danielson coming in with some heel-like qualities, and Regal running the "good child / bad child" schtick when discussing Danielson vs Moxley, the obvious way to run it was as an all-dominating 2 Man Trip putting tag and/or single titles on them both then running the break up and Danielson vs Moxley which should be strong PPV-headline stuff. Instead it devolved into some silly cartoon antics that went nowhere with a schmuck like Yuta Wheeler of all people getting the "shine" and predictably falling flat when the actual names backed off. What a waste for them.

 

RE: the show - caught the first half up to the Baker / Saraya match. Jade/Nyla was fun. Trios match was good if a little over-choreographed at times. As ever the real test is where they actually go with the characters / stories from here on. Saw Wardlow dropped his title .. no idea what on earth that was all about. Wardlow as TNT chasing MJF as World another easy story that writes itself.

Edited by A_K
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1 hour ago, A_K said:

It was always very bizarre. Given the way it started with Danielson coming in with some heel-like qualities, and Regal running the "good child / bad child" schtick when discussing Danielson vs Moxley, the obvious way to run it was as an all-dominating 2 Man Trip putting tag and/or single titles on them both then running the break up and Danielson vs Moxley which should be strong PPV-headline stuff. Instead it devolved into some silly cartoon antics that went nowhere with a schmuck like Yuta Wheeler of all people getting the "shine" and predictably falling flat when the actual names backed off. What a waste for them.

 

RE: the show - caught the first half up to the Baker / Saraya match. Jade/Nyla was fun. Trios match was good if a little over-choreographed at times. As ever the real test is where they actually go with the characters / stories from here on. Saw Wardlow dropped his title .. no idea what on earth that was all about. Wardlow as TNT chasing MJF as World another easy story that writes itself.

Do you think Wardlow would actually bring in enough viewers to make it worth their time? I agree he’s good, but there’s so many younger talents on the roster that are worthy of a push too. 

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7 hours ago, Cristobal said:

If this is the end of the Blackpool Combat Club then good riddance. Moxley and Regal don't need it, it's done nothing for Claudio, they put all that work into getting Yuta over at the beginning and now he's doing nothing of note again, and the way Danielson has become a complete afterthought in AEW is borderline criminally negligent

It's really weird but Danielson in AEW does nothing for me. The matches have been great, I'm not that crazy, but I was going through the roster in my head last night and there's really no one on the roster I'm dying to see him feud with. On the flip side, take Ridge Holland out of the Wargames match and put Bryan in there and I would be all over it. For me, Bryan and Claudio just work better in WWE and I don't really know why.

Rather than the BCC, I would have just had Mox with Yuta as his American Shooter for the last few months.

Anyway, fantastic PPV. Viva Hayter

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36 minutes ago, LF2 said:

Do you think Wardlow would actually bring in enough viewers to make it worth their time? I agree he’s good, but there’s so many younger talents on the roster that are worthy of a push too. 


Now no - but it was possible. They ran the direct Wardlow / MJF conflict way too soon. That program should have been capped with Wardlow defeating Spears as sub-boss, earning his freedom and moving on, then being heated up to taking the TNT Title while MJF in parallel took the World Title. Then you run a Goldberg/Hogan style super-main of champion vs champion.

Instead, they heated Wardlow up with zero plan for what to do after, have let him go cold then dropped his title with no where to go. Meanwhile MJF already dropped the fall to Wardlow in comprehensive fashion. What could have been an epic top of card event down the line was fumbled too soon in the mid card. There is no compelling storyline for MJF right now as world champion. 

As with the Moxley/Danielson fumble after some great promo / character work with Regal, this comes back to Khan being the antithesis of a “long term booker”. All the programs that have the potential to be marquee angles for them are either hot-shotted way too soon with a wholly anticlimactic ending or simply fall by the wayside to be forgotten about and never seen again.

Edited by A_K
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7 hours ago, HumanChessgame said:

I saw someone say you could see a blade in Moxley's wrist tape and thought for sure someone was going to bleed in that match, but no such thing. 

Mox carries taped blades everywhere like we carry wallets.

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2 hours ago, A_K said:

It was always very bizarre. Given the way it started with Danielson coming in with some heel-like qualities, and Regal running the "good child / bad child" schtick when discussing Danielson vs Moxley, the obvious way to run it was as an all-dominating 2 Man Trip putting tag and/or single titles on them both then running the break up and Danielson vs Moxley which should be strong PPV-headline stuff. Instead it devolved into some silly cartoon antics that went nowhere with a schmuck like Yuta Wheeler of all people getting the "shine" and predictably falling flat when the actual names backed off. What a waste for them.

 

RE: the show - caught the first half up to the Baker / Saraya match. Jade/Nyla was fun. Trios match was good if a little over-choreographed at times. As ever the real test is where they actually go with the characters / stories from here on. Saw Wardlow dropped his title .. no idea what on earth that was all about. Wardlow as TNT chasing MJF as World another easy story that writes itself.

I have to respectfully disagree with you and @Cristobal on BCC. I thought it was one of the best stables anywhere in a really long time - part of me was hoping for something nearing in length to the Shield's run together. They had a clear mission statement that greatly appealed to me (teach the young ones to hit harder and bleed more), they had three champions in their ranks at one point, they had really cool merch, they had a nice 'big debut' in Claudio. Just checked all the boxes for me. I don't disagree on what the original intent may have been, with regard to the Mox/Danielson two man team, but I can't get behind the idea it was terribly cartoonish. They did the the early ROH tough guy shooter stuff but without leaning too much into the faux-MMA, Davey Richards kind of bullshit that would have made it cartoony in my book, and that's a tough balance to strike given the nature of the show 

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I like the BCC but would much rather prefer Bryan Danielson in the main event as AEW World Champion but if Bryan doesn't want that, please persuade him to. Bryan's AEW September 2021-March 2022 is one of the best runs in wrestling history by the greatest to ever do it.

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What I can interpret through different podcast interviews, a lot of the creation and development of the BCC was very reactive to the content of promos and what was happening in the wrestling landscape. It was a Danielson as heel facing face Moxley and trying to get in his head to them hinting at and maybe teaming. The promo mentions mentoring the younger guys. Regal getting realized from the WWE so they quickly sign him to form a team. Jericho hears Danielson’s promo about teaching the young guys and now he wants to do that with 2.0 and he supposedly laid claim to having Garcia stay with them and be his young boy. So the build (at least from Jericho’s perspective?) was doing Sports Entertainment vs Pro Wrestling. What jumbled that up (maybe for the better?) was Kingston being the most captivating part of the feud. Then after that a series of injuries, drama, and inter-promotional politics whatever plans to end, continue, or change the BCC more than likely got changed.

 I loved the BCC and I think now would be a good time to implode. Maybe Danielson is a dick again and injures Mox so he can take a well deserved vacation. Or they just dissipate. The ball is in the booking court.

I liked the dojo concept of like minded fighters training to toughen up. We got a lot of great moments and matches. Like a lot of AEW I feel a good deal of booking could have been different, but I thoroughly enjoyed this ride. 

Interesting side note: Danielson said in a podcast (unrestricted?) that he pitched for a different wrestler to recruit originally, but they had an injury. Who do you think that was?

 

I was debating on posting this in the November thread, but it was relevant here. Just like @Zakk_Sabbath, I respectfully disagree with @A_K and @Cristobal. But they’re far from wrong. Personal taste is an awesome thing. I know it’s obvious and silly to say that, but I’ve read a lot of unnecessary cheap shots on taste elsewhere and I feel compelled to include this in my ramble.  I’m too tired in life moving around right now for mean-spirited pettiness. But saying that, if anyone disagrees with me I hate them and their entire family and I curse anyone they love or that is pitiful enough to love them. Let’s work together for a better tomorrow.

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