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Full Gear III - 11/13/2021


Dolfan in NYC
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Jericho's spot calling was super noticable, but that match actually held together amazingly well.   It was definitely clunky at times, and I'm definitely over the IC at this point and would rather see Jericho on vacation clips on Dynamite, but it is what it is.  The crowd seemed exhausted and it was put in a cool down spot but they actually put on a good show.  I enjoyed it.

I also really liked the Cody/PAC v Black/Andrade match.  Those guys all come off as mega stars to me for their own reasons, and there's something I've always loved about thrown together singles stars in a tag situation.  This played to my bias as a fan, so I was all in for it.  And I definitely had a moment in the middle of this match where I thought "WWE had all 4 of these great motherfuckers and totally missed the boat on all of em.  whiffff"
 

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6 hours ago, Dog said:

A recent episode of Wrestlenomics played a clip of Khan on a different podcast. Said he's been talking to Warner Media about options, and that "The House Always Wins" was always meant to be used as "exclusive" content for a streaming service.

"It's gonna be soon," was his exact quote.

He talked about this some on the Full Gear post-show press conference as well. He said they also filmed this year's Jericho Cruise shows specifically for this reason.

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A few thoughts:

- These shows are just too long. It’s tough on fans both live and in their homes. NJPW would do it better with the brisk undercard and longer feature matches. It’s great the guys have space to tell their stories but some editing is really required for consumption. 

- Dax quite obviously yelling at Tully to get into position for the trip spot was funny

-Tag title match had some amazing stuff but they hit their peak and the finish was gassed. A clever idea but it required both FTR guys masked causing confusion. That said, wasn’t there word Dax got waffled (hence he didn’t appear for the run-in later)?

-the Cody match isn’t getting nearly enough love. That turned into quite the match with tons of great stuff. 

-finish to MJF-Darby was just perfectly done, totally paying off the great pacing and storytelling of the match. The way Max caught Darby after knocking him out was terrific. The payoff is surely the big match where someone gets the ring from Max and returns the favour.

- was Punk setting the table with the video of him watching Necro v Joe? A great fight, perfect length. Punk has a great wrestling mind.

-Britt and Tay both worked their butts off but probably went 5 minutes too long without a general like a Deeb or Rosa. Both ladies bring charisma in spades however. My 4 year old son has just starting noticing me watching wrasslin’ and loves the ladies. He thinks the DMD is the greatest!

-I’m going to say it; for good or bad, Kenny Omega is going to go down as one of the most influential figures in modern pro-wrestling. His big match layout, style and amazing attention to detail is incredible. It’s amazing to think this is not the end of the story, just another chapter.

 

Edited by matwarz
Grammar
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For everyone saying there were too many Eddy Guerrero tributes on the show, firstly you're wrong because it's EDDIE FUCKING GUERRERO, and it's physically impossible to pay too much of a tribute to how awesome he was. Secondly, the show was on the anniversary of his death, in the city he died in. Thirdly, almost everyone paying tribute to him was either a personal friend of Eddie, or grew up idolising him as their personal hero.  And fourthly, his widow works for the company, so if someone wants to pay tribute to Eddie and it gets nixed, that's a personal insult to Vickie, isn't it?

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I really dug most of this show. 

MJF and Darby Allin are just two guys who don't do anything for me. I'm just not a big fan of either guy, and the fact that it seems a foregone conclusion that MJF is the next champ after Adam Page makes me weep for AEW's future. Well-worked match, though, and I didn't hate the finish.

FCA match was dope. I watched it the first time with a cynical eye, as I figured a SuperKliq victory was a forgone conclusion, but I was pleasantly surprised. I could watch a Jackson get Conchairtoed one million times a day. All three babyfaces got shine, and Luchasaurus brought his working boots. Probably the best he's looked while underAEW contract. You see Jurassic Express work like that and then I can't help but think the Jacksons should've dropped the titles to them rather than Lucha Bros. Jungle Boy needed that moment to move up to the next level. Good for him.

LB/FTR was a weird ass finish, but those four have good chemistry. The FTR w Andrade thing reeks to me of "we had other guys lined up for this, but visa or contractual issues forced a pivot."

Danielson/Miro was man-sized. What an absolute brawl. Bryan Danielson is the best wrestler alive. Debate a wall.

King/Punk was hateful, but I felt like Kingston really needed that win. At some point he's gotta go over someone of consequence. 

Britt/Tay was really great, and the finish protects Tay, but at some point one of these title reigns needs to just be a title reign. You can go back to Britt again and again in the women's division. She doesn't need the "one long reign" treatment like the men's titles have. Tay could've won it and lost it back. I felt that way about Anna Jay and Ruby, too. It's ok to have quick title changes if they mean something.

ATT/IC was a mess, but it was worth it just to see how much fun Junior Dos Santos was having. I was worried those MMA guys wouldn't play ball, but JDS understood the assignment. I thought Dan Lambert did a good job, but there was no need for this match to really exist.

Cody/PAC vs. Black/Andrade was a thing. Andrade and Black both come off as megastars, but they both really, REALLY need to dominate their next feuds. Feed Andrade members of the Best Friends or the Varsity Blondes, let him get some wins. Black could do his "House of Black" thing. Get them the hell away from Cody. Cody is such a goof. Just reaching Cena levels of heat-leeching. Maybe next Cody can bring in Enzo & Cass and do them like Cena did. 

They did the right thing. Page over Omega. I never doubted it for a second. Maybe now Omega can take a long, long break and take his buddies with him. Looking forward to a fresh approach with Page as the champ.

 

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Two things I think AEW needs to tighten up -

1 - Agents need to coordinate spots/sequences across matches.

I understand the Eddie Guerrero tributes on this show but we had multiple people hit the Three Amigos on this show which felt 'off'. It's made worse when a guy like Penta clearly can't do the spot properly.

2 - They need to shorten some of these matches. Not everything needs to be a 15-20 minute 'epic'. This show would have flowed much better if the 3 tag matches were all a few minutes shorter.

I would have also LOVED if Kingston/Punk was a no contest after Eddie's before the bell backfist.

AEW is starting to develop a formula and they need to be careful that they don't fall into the trap of having everything go to long.

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4 hours ago, just drew said:

I really dug most of this show. 

MJF and Darby Allin are just two guys who don't do anything for me. I'm just not a big fan of either guy, and the fact that it seems a foregone conclusion that MJF is the next champ after Adam Page makes me weep for AEW's future. Well-worked match, though, and I didn't hate the finish.

FCA match was dope. I watched it the first time with a cynical eye, as I figured a SuperKliq victory was a forgone conclusion, but I was pleasantly surprised. I could watch a Jackson get Conchairtoed one million times a day. All three babyfaces got shine, and Luchasaurus brought his working boots. Probably the best he's looked while underAEW contract. You see Jurassic Express work like that and then I can't help but think the Jacksons should've dropped the titles to them rather than Lucha Bros. Jungle Boy needed that moment to move up to the next level. Good for him.

LB/FTR was a weird ass finish, but those four have good chemistry. The FTR w Andrade thing reeks to me of "we had other guys lined up for this, but visa or contractual issues forced a pivot."

Danielson/Miro was man-sized. What an absolute brawl. Bryan Danielson is the best wrestler alive. Debate a wall.

King/Punk was hateful, but I felt like Kingston really needed that win. At some point he's gotta go over someone of consequence. 

Britt/Tay was really great, and the finish protects Tay, but at some point one of these title reigns needs to just be a title reign. You can go back to Britt again and again in the women's division. She doesn't need the "one long reign" treatment like the men's titles have. Tay could've won it and lost it back. I felt that way about Anna Jay and Ruby, too. It's ok to have quick title changes if they mean something.

ATT/IC was a mess, but it was worth it just to see how much fun Junior Dos Santos was having. I was worried those MMA guys wouldn't play ball, but JDS understood the assignment. I thought Dan Lambert did a good job, but there was no need for this match to really exist.

Cody/PAC vs. Black/Andrade was a thing. Andrade and Black both come off as megastars, but they both really, REALLY need to dominate their next feuds. Feed Andrade members of the Best Friends or the Varsity Blondes, let him get some wins. Black could do his "House of Black" thing. Get them the hell away from Cody. Cody is such a goof. Just reaching Cena levels of heat-leeching. Maybe next Cody can bring in Enzo & Cass and do them like Cena did. 

They did the right thing. Page over Omega. I never doubted it for a second. Maybe now Omega can take a long, long break and take his buddies with him. Looking forward to a fresh approach with Page as the champ.

 

Legitimately curious: what about the booking of this feud or the history of booking in this company made you think there was any possible finish to the FCA other than Jungle Boy getting the win?

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Awesome PPV! My top 3 matches were MJF/Darby, Punk/Kingston, and Hangman/Omega, though every match had at least something compelling or entertaining about it. 

I'm not stoked about the Jay Lethal signing, but if he is being brought in to help train younger wrestlers in every aspect of pro wrestling except tight finishers, I'm good with it. 

I'm convinced that Tony (Schiavone) and JR have legitimate beef. Hopefully it doesn't come to an ugly head, because I know who does more for the company and who would be out of a job Sooner (see what I did there) than later. 

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21 minutes ago, Brian Fowler said:

Legitimately curious: what about the booking of this feud or the history of booking in this company made you think there was any possible finish to the FCA other than Jungle Boy getting the win?

They gotta get this Christian/Jungle Boy feud going one day.

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5 minutes ago, Jiji said:

They gotta get this Christian/Jungle Boy feud going one day.

I'm sure that's coming, but it literally never crossed my mind that anything other than JB getting the win would happen in this match. The way AEW books, that was the only possible end 

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31 minutes ago, Brian Fowler said:

I'm sure that's coming, but it literally never crossed my mind that anything other than JB getting the win would happen in this match. The way AEW books, that was the only possible end 

So is the story they went with JB hesitating and then volunteering at the end that Christian is trying to "harden" him and instill in him a killer instinct but could also be turning him heel and that's where the friction comes into play? Interested to see where this goes, but the sooner the better. I enjoy that they don't rush angles and aren't quick to turn people or break up teams, but the time to get Christian vs. Jungle Boy in motion is now. Christian heel, Wardlow face. LFG.

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7 hours ago, AxB said:

For everyone saying there were too many Eddy Guerrero tributes on the show, firstly you're wrong because it's EDDIE FUCKING GUERRERO, and it's physically impossible to pay too much of a tribute to how awesome he was. Secondly, the show was on the anniversary of his death, in the city he died in. Thirdly, almost everyone paying tribute to him was either a personal friend of Eddie, or grew up idolising him as their personal hero.  And fourthly, his widow works for the company, so if someone wants to pay tribute to Eddie and it gets nixed, that's a personal insult to Vickie, isn't it?

I've got no issue with people paying tribute to Eddie but off the top of my head, I think 4 different people hit the Three Amigos - Cash, Penta, Jericho & Punk - which just shouldn't happen IMO.

Cash doing it for heel heat is fine. Penta then flipping the script was great, even if poorly executed. Leave it there. No frog splash.

Jericho doesn't need to hit the Amigos. He could beat down Lambert, clearly have the match won, then head up top for the Frog Splash.

If Punk wanted to pay tribute to Eddie then that match would have been better suited to call back to something like the old "Throw a chair at the other guy then fall down" spot. Play up Punk being a bit of a heel who maybe isn't up to fighting Eddie fairly.

Lots of ways to do it without having everyone do the shimmy and Amigos spot.

 

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27 minutes ago, Jiji said:

So is the story they went with JB hesitating and then volunteering at the end that Christian is trying to "harden" him and instill in him a killer instinct but could also be turning him heel and that's where the friction comes into play? Interested to see where this goes, but the sooner the better. I enjoy that they don't rush angles and aren't quick to turn people or break up teams, but the time to get Christian vs. Jungle Boy in motion is now. Christian heel, Wardlow face. LFG.

That's kinda the vibe I'm getting, yeah. Christian is mentoring him and bringing out an edge, but maybe also taking a bit of his soul along the way. At some point, JB is gonna hit the brakes, and Christian is gonna beat the holy hell out of him.

And then they're gonna tear the fucking house down

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Currently, we've got my review of MJF/Darby and a quick one of Danielson/Miro up and all three of us tackling the Kingston/Punk match:

http://segundacaida.blogspot.com/2021/11/aew-five-fingers-of-death-week-of-118.html

Will post my Punk/Kingston thoughts here, but make sure to read everyone else's:

Punk vs Kingston.

MD: Totally unique, unbridled match, with a lot to pull apart. Was it a case where the match got away from Punk in the most amazing ways or was it the plan all along? They definitely got the mood right here to start, with Punk skipping all of his usual pre-match antics and getting right to it, only to walk right into the backfist. That said, while it never really let up from there, it did take a somewhat bizarre turn. The blood came early, to the point where Punk worked most of the match with it and the back half of the match with it basically dried all over his face. I'm not sure I've ever been more disappointed with announcers than in this one. They left so many potential hooks on the table, and with Khan's post-match comments about the boos for Punk being like Rock's at Mania vs. Hogan, I can only imagine some of the way the match turned wasn't entirely the plan. Those boos came late in the match when Punk pounced on a mostly defenseless Kingston with the elbows and knees, though. They weren't facile boos. They weren't boos in a bubble. They weren't goofy Canadian nostalgia boos. The fans specifically disliked what Punk the wrestler chose to do in that moment. It was heat. And it had been something building in the match until then.

Before that, Punk clearly disrespected Kingston by hitting the Cena spots. Even with the blood coming down his face, that's what he chose to do against this opponent, with this issue, in this setting. Then there was the moment that the crowd first went from dueling chants to chanting solely for Eddie, a real turning point in the match. How did Punk respond to it? By deciding it was time to do the Guerrero tribute (the third or fourth of the night at that). Whether or not it was genuine and heartfelt and whether or not it just happened to be the point in the match when it was originally planned, it came off as a complete jerk move, using Eddy's memory as a way to willfully (and pettily!) misunderstand and twist how the crowd had decided to solely get behind Kingston with their chants. In the end, even if the announcers didn't pick up on virtually any of it, even if Khan seemed to indicate it was something else in the media scrum, I'm pretty certain Punk knew what he was doing, and it all added to the animosity in the match and got the crowd more and more behind Kingston and his defiance. Ultimately, I had a sense that Punk, the character, was punishing Kingston for ruining his fun, and though it seemed like he was offering his respect with the handshake post-match, to me, there was something else going on entirely. Hopefully this isn't the end of it, because there are still places for this one to go.

Edited by Matt D
C+Ped too quickly, but no one's up anyway but Nick.
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Late thoughts: 

- Hayter is such a great base for flying wrestlers. Maybe the best women wrestler in the country at that.  Thunder Rosa is basically in that Hangman spot from a year ago that the fans are starting to clamor for it so when they decide to take her all the way she's going to be over huge. Her beating Baker should be the next big destination event for the company.

- MJF vs Allin was a bit of a modern classic. That's an all-time opener. 

- I hated the FTR finish. Like some, I'm over the FTR Mid-Atlantic cosplay stuff. They're not nearly as good at what they do as they think they are and it leads to a ton of dumb stuff. 

- Danielson vs Miro was a little disappointing but it was just a different style than what AEW usually does. Was surprised Danielson won.  

- Six-man was egregiously long but all in all a pretty epic match. Would have probably hit better as the opener or if the other three matches hadn't gotten so much time. I'm not sure the "Christian wants Jungle Boy to be a killer" story had really been explained well before this match, though. I like the idea, though. Actually, my head canon is that basically Christian wants Jungle Boy to be more like Edge. Also, I know Christian does get a lot of respect as a worker but he is really, really good. Just an all-time performer. When has Christian ever had a BAD match? 

- The Cody tag was a mess. It was a tough spot but if these guys were more over or more into the story the fans would have been into it. It felt like four guys fighting over who Vince secretly loved more and would have pushed if it wasn't for [insert whatever person they blame for their WWE failures]. The "can they co-exist" story is something that the WWE has abused into the ground and I have zero desire to see it. 

- Baker and Tay had an iffy start and I was afraid Conti was gonna kill herself. By the end of it, though, the crowd was into it and there was some good stuff. 

- Punk vs Kingston was exactly what it needed to be and is what AEW needs a LOT more of. Short, violent, emotional brawls. Punk's in-ring stuff has been so much better than anticipated. 

- ATT tag was a ton of fun. I kind of think it should have been saved for TV, though. 

- Hangman vs Omega was a classic. Hit all the beats of the classic babyface win. I mean, it won't be a top 15 Omega match of all-time but he played his role perfectly. Page was great. All the tropes they did worked (the ref bumps, false finishes). It was just a real rollercoaster. It's not the best match this two could have had but it was the best story they could tell in a match. 

I'm going to rewatch some matches because I'm sure in a vacuum a few I didn't like are better but this was a truly great PPV. 

 

 

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Didnt get to watch all of the PPV live and did my best to stay off wrestling internet until I got to watch it all. And goddamn, that was a fun show. Yeah, the 10 man street fight was kinda meh (why were they treating it like a traditional tag match when it was a street fight? Shouldn't it be tornado rules?), but other than that....AEW, you did it again. Pumped to see how things move forward on Dynamite and Rampage this week!

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I have to think that going into the match they could have predicted that there would at least be a chance that the crowd would be pro Eddie. He won a lot of the crowd over in their awesome argument. And then he had the incredible Bleacher Report article that gave him so much sympathy as we learned more about his path. Everyone in the arena probably read it, as did most of us watching at home. 

The only reason why I got the PPV was because of that match. There were a few other people I know who did the same. 

I have very little knowledge of Kingston besides of what I was exposed to in Chikara, which is not a lot. But he comes off as the most genuine persona in wrestling in years. And maybe ever? 
 

Like what was said on Segunda Caida — I just watch him and want him to win. It’s like how I felt during Bayley’s run to the title in NXT or Kofi-Mania. But it’s even a little more than that.

I think it’s because Kingston more than any other wrestler in memory is one of us — the dude who ran around to get obscure wrestling tapes, who went out of his way to find early ECW on whatever ridiculous UHF channel it was broadcast on at 3 AM, etc. Only that he’s also a street kid whereas most of us are nerds.

Either way, I cannot stop thinking about that match. That might have been my favorite wrestling match since Bayley/Sasha or Shield/Wyatts.

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