AEW’s Full Gear card looked a bit bloated

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Full Gear was worth watching, even if it was a little too long.

Full Gear was worth watching, even if it was a little too long.
illustration: AEW

Because I know how avid AEW fans become, and I’m one of them, let me get this out of the way on top. I don’t think Saturday night Complete equipment The PPV was bad. Away from it. It was nice. Maybe even very good. And any show that ends with the climax of Hangman Page’s two-year storyline is by definition cathartic. Even sitting on my couch with just my girlfriend, and knowing what the outcome would be for months, we both jumped to our feet when the referee counted three. That’s how you know that match and this story were expertly and satisfyingly done.

Maybe it’s just my suspicious nature of everything that makes me happy as AEW almost always does. And AEW is certainly not the only thing that puts me in that mood which I also consider like walking on a frozen pond. At what step will it crumble beneath me? It may look as sturdy as it can be, the unique sight, the thrilling adventure, yet you can’t help but fear being instantly ripped off of it all.

It might as well just be a matter of being WWE, where all of us have been trained that enjoying what we like and a company that gives us as much of what we like as possible is actually an impossibility, or at best just one. ploy to make us miss football once again.

So perhaps I am overly critical of any missteps made by the AEW, not because they have been plentiful (they have been almost non-existent), but because of the dread that the next one could mean a slip from the very high altitude they ‘ve reached. No fan wants to see AEW end up like WCW, which has puffed its own farts so heavily that it practically gorged on itself until there was nothing left after just two years at the top of WWE. I think it’s highly unlikely to happen to AEW, but you can never completely escape that fear.

This fear was fueled by the length of Saturday’s PPV and Tony Khan’s insistence that each PPV forward would be around four hours. This isn’t a big deal, as AEW currently only handles four PPVs per year. I can find four hours every three months. But that doesn’t mean I should do it when AEW doesn’t really have four hours of quality to offer.

Perhaps the best thing about AEW in its more than two years of existence is that almost always after Dynamite or fury, a fan feels empty. Not because of the length of the shows, as they are only three hours put together, but because AEW has been so adept at consistently packaging them with so much quality. A fan is left exhausted by euphoria and euphoria. It’s the best ride in the amusement park.

The company’s PPVs almost always adhered to this too, and they usually hovered around three hours. And they had a good pace. Saturday may have been the first exception. Personally, I have never noticed the length of September All out. This is their biggest show and every fan understands that AEW’s calendar basically revolves around that show. If it has to be bigger than normal, cold. This is why I don’t really put my underpants in a pile the length of WrestleMania or.

But I noticed it on Saturday. If AEW and Khan were honest with themselves, they would admit only six of the nine fights they offered on paper they were PPV worthy. It would be MJF-Darby Allin, Danielson-Miro, the match for the tag team title (which some might even start, but I thought it was really good and somehow nullified by a goofy sloppy ending), Baker-Conti, Punk -Kingston, and the main event.

Looking back at the All Out card, the relationship between matches that really felt like a PPV type event and the rest is pretty much the same. The difference was that for All Out, matches that lacked the estimate or anticipation of the PPV value were much shorter. Jon Moxley’s match with Satoshi Kojima lasted only 12 minutes, with a few minutes later for the appearance of Minoru Suzuki (certainly worthy of the PPV). Paul Wight’s squash only lasted three minutes.

Additionally, the women’s battle royale, while recording 22 minutes, felt much shorter, given the structure that a new group of competitors entered every few minutes. There was an ebb and flow all night. We had a break when we needed it.

On Saturday, however, the AEW went fully prog rock with its show layout. He had two multi-man match tags that weren’t DQ, and both lasted 20 minutes or more. While Inner Circle’s goof-a-palooza was a lot dumber than that of Superkliq and Jurassic Express, it’s still asking a lot from fans to witness two 20+ minute games that have things happening all over the place. And neither of these really had that build or story involvement leading them, and they both felt they would be much better positioned as the main event on Dynamite.

Of course, Cody’s tag match with Pac against Malakai Black and Andrade El Idolo also lasted more than 15 minutes, although this has virtually no structure or history other than Cody trying to tell the world, “I’m not owned, you six!” Why the fuck shouldn’t he do this when it comes to Cody? I guess Cody’s trips to the bathroom are 10 minutes too long as he understands how to solve racism further. While the other three guys in that match should be in every PPV ever, they should be there with stories and dance partners that make contextual sense. It wasn’t that.

Complete equipment it only featured one match in under 15 minutes, and it was CM Punk and Eddie Kingston getting off in their version of Sarlacc’s pit. And that may have been the best game of the night.

While AEW shows and PPVs often feel like you don’t have time to breathe, this usually comes from a sense of excitement. This time around, he swayed a little too much in just being knocked down. Simply putting the AEW tag on a match or feud doesn’t make it worthy of a PPV. Some things just don’t get to that level, and AEW doesn’t have to fill the shows just because they want to, or feel they have to.

AEW has caused a big shake in the wrestling world by keeping it simple. Clean storytelling, excellent combinations, linear work that anyone can follow. It’s a punk rock aesthetic applied to wrestling. Don’t get bored, move on to the chorus, as Tom Petty would say (and yes, Tom Petty isn’t punk rock, but he certainly brought the same ethos into his songwriting and that’s it for fuck’s sake). When you start doing each eight minute song with three bridges and keyboards and wind sections and what the fuck is a harp doing here, you lose the feeling of what you did in the first place. AEW would do well to remember this before it becomes a real problem.

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