Rate every AEW Full Gear game from CM Punk-Eddie Kingston’s slugfest to the highly anticipated Hangman Page showdown with Kenny Omega.
AEW Full Gear absolutely delivered the goods on every single level.
If you wanted high-flying mastery, you got it at the Target Center in Minneapolis, MN on Saturday night. If you wanted an absolute brawl between two wrestling legends, that was in store too. If you wanted the pinnacle of top-notch storytelling on the bigger stage, AEW Full Gear provided that too.
From start to finish, this was an absolutely outstanding PPV for AEW to close the year 2021 in terms of major events. And we’re going game by game through the tab in chronological order to distribute the votes for the show.
AEW Full Gear Match Ranks and Results
Buy-In: Hiraku Shida and Thunder Rosa def. Jamie Hayter and Nyla Rose
It might be a little harsh, but it honestly felt like AEW needed something to put into the pre-show and that was the best they had.
These are four talented women in the world of pro wrestling and, all in all, there was nothing necessarily bad about the performance they put up at AEW Full Gear for the buy-in portion of the programming. It just didn’t do much to create excitement for the main card or even just seemingly to make the crowd so excited, although they didn’t need much help with this once the show started.
MJF def. Darby Allin
If you’ve ever seen someone question MJF’s ability as a worker in the ring, tell that person to kick rocks.
Whether it was the grappling showdown that kicked off the match between him and Allin, the countless near-drop combos the two men have combined for, or pretty much anything in this match, these two guys have brought the fruits.
And the final sequence was a fantastic job too, with Allin continuing to not give in to MJF’s mind games trying to get him to use the skateboard as a weapon, but then that flashback as the best heel in professional wrestling used the his Dynamite Diamond Ring to score the win.
Lucha Brothers (C) def. FTR – AEW World Tag Team Championship
Simply as far as the wrestling that took place is concerned, there’s really no big shock that the FTR and the Lucha Bros are able to absolutely tear it apart in the square circle. There were too many great places to count in this match, that was to be expected, but these four men brought their best games to the table.
Where this match gets slightly hooked for me is with storytelling. With the FTR masks and some pretty confusing sequences at match points, things got a little tricky at times when they didn’t really need them. It was a shame to see how this could have been another first class match if it wasn’t for that.
Bryan Danielson def. Miro – Final of the Eliminator tournament of the world championship
To be sure, this seemed like the first chapter in a long story to be told between these two exceptionally talented wrestling veterans. Danielson was at his peak in terms of technical prowess and Miro did the job of being an absolute monster beautifully. Also, the two told a fantastic story with Miro’s neck being his only “weakness” that ultimately allowed Danielson to score the win.
Who knows where Danielson will go from here in terms of winning the title. However, the story told by this match, especially with an intentionally weird ending, seems to indicate that there is more between him and Miro. What we saw on Saturday should have excited fans for it.
Jurassic Express and Christian Cage def. SuperKliq
Crazy spots. High altitude oddities. Thumbtacks in Jungle Boy’s mouth. This match was completely out of my mind, but in the funniest ways possible.
It would be understandable if this wasn’t the match for you, as it was definitely a wild, raucous party (which the crowd definitely gobbled up) and there were loads of extra-curricular activities all around. Plus, it’s only gone a hair too long if we’re honest.
Still, it was a lot of fun and the right team reaped the victory the right way with Jungle Boy getting the pin. That said, I’d still like to see these two three-man tag teams have a legitimate match without all crashes counting everywhere, insanity that took into account how I rated the contest.
Cody Rhodes and PAC def. Malakai Black and Andrade El Idolo
The rating of this match was the hardest on the AEW Full Gear card. Just by looking at it, there were a lot of seemingly bumpy spots that didn’t land the way you would have liked and, frankly, looked sloppy at times.
At some level, however, this may have been the point. Cody and PAC were supposed to be the team that couldn’t make things work together, and if they were trying to make it look that way, they did it brilliantly.
However, I’m not sure this card loaded without even a bad match was the place to tell that story as it stood out in a striking way and not in a positive light.
Dr. Britt Baker, DMD (C) def. Tay Conti – AEW Women’s Championships
Especially if you look around on social media, it seems like how you felt about this match is largely down to how you feel about Baker as a champion and how he’s working right now.
I tend to fall somewhere in the middle of that debate, which is where I fell with this match. There was too much interference and the game definitely dragged into the points, sadly it seems every time the champion was on offense. Tay Conti, for her part, was phenomenal as she clearly expressed her best for the event.
Still, I’m intrigued enough by Baker to see where she goes, but I recognize that she and AEW need to do a little better in terms of storytelling with her title race.
CM punk def. Eddie Kingston
You would think there would be a lot to say about this match but, ultimately, there isn’t really.
This match was announced about Punk and Kingston just wanting to tear the other man apart and they went into the ring and did exactly that. These two veterans tore apart with each other for 11 minutes in an old-school brawl that looked like it was straight out of the archives of 1980s pro wrestling.
And this, frankly, what exactly the game was supposed to be and let’s hope this isn’t the end of these two trying to destroy each other.
The inner circle def. American Top Team and Men of the Year
First, I want to say that the Chris Jericho tribute to Eddie Guerrero at the end of the match before Dan Lambert pinned him was thrilling and wonderful.
I want to say this first because, well, I would have been fine if this match hadn’t been planned and this longstanding feud had been resolved on Dynamite or something.
There have been some fun times, sure, but it will happen when you have a lot of talented guys in the ring. Overall though, this looked like what would happen in an old wrestling video game when you have too many characters involved in a match being created at the same time and therefore you can’t follow any of them.
Hangman Adam Page def. Kenny Omega (C) – AEW World Championship
Hopes were high for the likely culmination of a years-long story arc with Hangman Page and his shot at Kenny Omega and the title didn’t disappoint.
Page has arguably fought one of the best matches of his career – which is definitely saying something – as Omega delivered once again on a big stage. Whether it was Omega holding back for using the Angel with a winger against him, the big points on the outside or the beautiful finish involving the Young Bucks, this match was perfection.
For such an anticipated game, living up to the billing is something truly special. AEW has been telling professional wrestling stories better than anyone for a long, long time and this was a perfect example of exactly that.
Grade: A +