AEW Full Gear 2019 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights
All Elite Wrestling invaded Baltimore on Saturday for Full Gear, its first pay-per-view extravaganza since debuting Dynamite on TNT. The show, headlined by Chris Jericho defending the AEW World Championship against Cody in a blockbuster main event, also featured Kenny Omega vs. Jon Moxley in an Unsanctioned Lights Out match as part of its stacked card.
With championships at stake and rivalries to be decided, who emerged from the night's top battles with their arms raised in victory? What did those outcomes mean for AEW moving forward?
Find out with this recap of the November 9 spectacular.
The Buy In: Dr. Britt Baker vs. Bea Priestley
Born of a wicked kick that left the doctor concussed at Fight for the Fallen this past July, the rivalry between Britt Baker and Bea Priestley culminated in a grudge match as part of the AEW Full Gear Buy In pre-show.
Baker's aggression proved costly early. She let Priestley goad her into a chase around the ring, then ate a kick to the head. She responded, taking the New Zealand native down and hammering away. She continued her offensive and tried for the Lockjaw, but Priestley escaped and stomped her previously concussed opponent in the head again.
The commentary team revealed Baker was fighting the flu, putting her at even more of a disadvantage as Priestley worked her over. Baker attempted a bodyslam, but her lower back, worked over by her opponent, gave out and put her back on the defensive.
A double clothesline spot allowed Baker to create some separation.
Baker finally mounted a comeback, firing off strikes, clotheslines, back elbows and a sling blade for a near-fall. The fight headed to the top rope, where Baker delivered a superplex. Priestley fought out of a vertical suplex and scored a crucifix rollup for two.
Priestley scored a near-fall off a shoulder capture and applied the Regal Stretch, looking for a submission victory. Baker, though, fought through the pain and made it to the ropes, forcing the break. The heel continued to punish her opponent, delivering a double stomp to the back of Baker on the ring apron.
Baker fought out of the Queen's Landing, delivered a destroyer and still only managed a two-count. Baker again tried for the Lockjaw, but Priestley rolled her opponent up. Baker escaped and reapplied her submission hold for the tapout win.
After the match, Awesome Kong and Brandi Rhodes made their way to the ring. Kong obliterated Priestley and proceeded to cut a lock of her hair off at the instruction of the Chief Brand Officer.
Baker defeated Priestley
This was a very strong opener that served as a fitting conclusion to the rivalry.
Priestley was focused, ferocious and dastardly at times, and she really looked like a star, despite the story of the match being Baker's search for revenge.
Baker continued to showcase the consistent improvement that fans have watched over the last month or so. The doctor is almost certain to be in the women's championship hunt going forward, especially now that she has wrapped up this first chapter of her AEW run.
The post-match arrival of Kong and Rhodes put the focus on the latter's transformation of late while, if desired, setting up a feud between Kong and Priestley.
The Young Bucks vs. Proud and Powerful
Proud and Powerful's Santana and Ortiz attacked The Young Bucks following a thrilling ladder match back at All Out on August 31. Since then, the rivalry between the teams has escalated, as has the war between The Inner Circle and The Elite. The two teams looked to earn their respective group the first bragging rights of the night in a red-hot tag team opener.
Nick Jackson goaded a ramped-up Santana into a spear from Matt, and the Bucks earned momentary control of the bout, raining down with a series of blows to their opponents' faces. The popular tandem maintained a handle on the opposition, working over Ortiz's left arm.
Proud and Powerful took over, applying a double submission that punished both of their opponents simultaneously, much to the awe of the fans in Baltimore. The heels slowed the pace of the match, isolating Nick and working him over with double-team offense. The babyfaces continued to inflict pain on their rivals, but a fired-up Nick errantly threw a kick at Ortiz, who ducked, resulting in Jackson striking the ring post.
On the floor, Santana threw Nick into The Rock and Roll Express, who threatened to jump the guardrail and gain some revenge for the beating they endured a week ago on Dynamite. The heels regained control of the match from there.
A superkick by Nick allowed him to make the tag to Matt, who exploded into the bout with a quintet of suplexes as chants of "A-E-Dub" rained from the stands. The Bucks followed with Risky Business, but it became clear the injury to Nick's leg was problematic.
Proud and Powerful looked for The Streetsweeper, but Matt countered it in midair. The Bucks uncorked superkicks and delivered a super Sliced Bread #2 for a near-fall on Ortiz. They set up for the Meltzer Driver, but Nick's knee gave out in midair.
That did not prevent him from returning to the match and unloading on his opponents before succumbing to a powerbomb/kick combo. With Matt stunned on the floor, the heels scored the win with The Streetsweeper.
After the match, Sammy Guevara hit the ring to continue the beatdown of the Bucks before Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson emerged from the crowd and helped the babyfaces fight off The Inner Circle.
Proud and Powerful defeated The Young Bucks
What a phenomenal way to kick off the show.
Ortiz and Santana dominated their fair share of the match, and when the time came, they sold for the opposition. The high level of risk was there, the dazzling tag team work by the babyfaces was as great as ever, and the finish was exactly what it needed to be.
The strength of the match, though, was Nick Jackson selling his knee to the extent that he did. The Bucks have long had a reputation for not selling anything, but over the last year, they have turned that misconception on its ear with some excellent in-ring psychology.
Without this, and the story the four athletes were able to tell around it, the quality would have dipped.
The only negative? The supposedly dangerous Inner Circle being beaten down and selling for The Rock and Roll Express, essentially negating some of the heat built via the victory.
"Hangman" Adam Page vs. Pac
With their records against each other tied at one win apiece, "Hangman" Adam Page and Pac rekindled their rivalry in an intense grudge match.
Page took the fight to The Bastard early, beating him around the ringside area and soaring through the ropes with a dive onto his rival. He continued his onslaught back inside the squared circle with a fallaway slam that earned him a two-count.
Taking advantage of an accidental distraction by the official, Pac slingshotted the ropes into the face of his opponent and stomped away to seize control of the bout. Pac tenaciously worked over his opponent, negating a size disadvantage in the process.
An overconfident Pac tried for the Phoenix Splash but ate mat as Page rolled out of the way. 'Cowboy s--t' chants spilled from the stands as Hangman fought his way back into the match, bumping his opponent around the ring. He executed a moonsault from the top rope to the floor as his roll continued.
Page set up for the Buckshot Lariat, but Pac stumbled out of the way and to the floor. Page followed him out and paid dearly, enduring a brainbuster into a steel chair and the guardrail. Barely returning to the ring and avoiding a countout loss, Page again found himself on the receiving end of The Bastard's beating.
Pac set up for the Black Arrow, but Page crotched him on the top rope. A super fallaway slam followed as Hangman bought himself a few minutes of recovery time. The competitors traded high-impact moves before Page set up for the Dead Eye. Pac countered it into the Brutalizer, but his opponent tumbled them both into the ropes, necessitating the break.
The finishing sequence saw Page block Pac on another attempt at a low blow, obliterate him with the Dead Eye and score the pinfall victory.
Page defeated Pac
This built perfectly, crescendoing with an intensity-fueled late comeback by Page. He put months of frustration into a nasty lariat, dropped Pac with a Dead Eye and picked up a much-needed victory.
The commentary team suggested the win may right the wrongs that Page had endured following his loss to Chris Jericho at All Out. It may even be the first stop on a road to redemption that ultimately sees Hangman challenge Le Champion for the title he truly believed he would win in Chicago.
Pac losing was a bit of a surprise because he had been presented so strongly to this point, but that credibility he built over the first few months of his AEW career helped elevate Page by proxy.
Joey Janela vs. Shawn Spears
The intensifying rivalry between Shawn Spears and Joey Janela gave way to the third match of the evening.
Despite an early offensive by The Bad Boy, The Chairman slowed things down and targeted the back of his opponent. He utilized parts of the ring to his advantage, dropping Janela on the ring apron, then exposing the turnbuckle and tying his hair in it.
Janela fought out of the makeshift binds but quickly found himself trapped in the Sharpshooter. A fired-up Janela fought back into the match, diving from the ring onto his opponent on the floor. Spears cut his momentum off, but The Bad Boy scored a two-count off an inside cradle. A tope suicida followed, and a series of kicks stunned The Chairman.
Spears recovered and dropped Janela perpendicularly across the top turnbuckle. With Tully Blanchard distracting the official, Spears exposed another turnbuckle. With referee Earl Hebner's attention diverted, Blanchard joined Spears for a spike piledriver on the floor.
The heel delivered his C-4 finisher to put Janela away.
Spears defeated Janela
Spears was great here, as he did everything he possibly could to gain an advantage and cheat his way to victory. In the end, it was misdirection that ultimately allowed him and Blanchard to seal Janela's fate.
Neither man had been able to build a tremendous amount of momentum for themselves in the weeks leading up to Full Gear. Janela earned rave reviews for great matches with Kenny Omega, while Spears was busy working with Michael Nakazawa on AEW Dark.
This may not have done much for Janela, but it did afford Spears a big PPV match that may help him develop into one of the few high-profile upper-midcard heels not associated with The Inner Circle.
The Bad Boy is over to the extent that his character pops crowds, and as a result, wins and losses don't quite mean as much now as they could down the road.
AEW Tag Team Championship Match: SCU vs. Private Party vs. The Lucha Bros
Newly crowned AEW tag team champions SCU (Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian) put their titles up for grabs against The Lucha Bros (Rey Fenix and Pentagon Jr.) and Private Party (Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy) in a Three-Way match.
The Lucha Bros made the first real impact of the match, teeing off on Kazarian and knocking Private Party off the ring apron, looking to avenge their defeat in the finals of the AEW Tag Team Championship tournament.
Quen and Kassidy exploded into the match and kept the luchadores off-guard until a doomsday dropkick that, for the second time in the match, had the masked villains rolling. Pentagon sent Quen to the mat with a backstabber, but Kazarian broke up the pin. He proceeded to send Kassidy over the top rope and onto the entrance ramp.
The action steadily broke down, and dives from Quen and Kazarian dominated. Sky attempted one, but Fenix cut him off with a nasty kick to the face. Kassidy delivered a torneo, and Fenix put an exclamation point on it with a dive of his own.
Back inside, a springboard crossbody by Fenix nearly earned The Lucha Bros the titles. Kazarian delivered an assisted tornado DDT for a near-fall of his own. Private Party reassumed control of the bout as Kassidy delivered a Sliced Bread #2, and Quen followed with a Shooting Star Press for a count of two.
The champions recovered, and Kazarian joined Sky for SCU Later for the successful title defense.
After the match, Pentagon and Fenix attacked the victors. The lights dimmed, and when they came back on, a second Pentagon Jr. was in the ring. He dropped Pentagon, then grounded Fenix with Angel's Wings. He unmasked to reveal the returning Christopher Daniels, who received a nice ovation from the fans.
SCU defeated The Lucha Bros and Private Party
This was great fun, but it felt more like the latest chapter of the story than any sort of settled business. Private Party's Quen ate the pinfall, preserving the Lucha Bros' heat, and Daniels' return suggests the issues between the champs and their top contender will continue.
As they should.
This has been a month-long storyline told by AEW's creative team to great effect. The question now is whether or not Sky will step back and allow Daniels to fill his spot in the championship tandem or if the breakout star of AEW Dynamite will continue to shine in the role.
The match itself was a dazzling display of high-risk moves and athleticism, but giving some spots a second to breathe would have helped the transition from traditional three-way to the wild and chaotic match it ultimately became.
AEW Women's Championship Match: Riho vs. Emi Sakura
It was teacher vs. student Saturday as Riho defended the AEW Women's Championship against the woman who trained her for in-ring competition, the legendary Emi Sakura.
Sakura controlled early until Riho downed her on the ring apron and followed with a double-knee to the back and shoulders. She followed up with a single-leg crab, but Sakura fought out and re-established control of the bout with a corner crossbody and a rolling surfboard that tested the champion's will to continue.
Riho dropped Sakura across the ropes and delivered a 619. She fired off a running knee strike in the corner, but Sakura answered with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. The challenger followed with a wicked double stomp, then a senton for another two-count.
The champion fought out of a tiger driver and delivered a double stomp to create some separation. Fired up after an exchange of strikes, Riho pummeled away at the woman responsible for her in-ring career. She scored another double stomp and followed with a Northern Lights suplex for another near-fall.
An improvised springboard double stomp gave way to a more impressive top-rope double stomp, but Riho still could not put her challenger away. Sakura recovered and delivered a backdrop driver but failed to win the title.
A series of lightning-quick rollups gave way to a high-stack rollup from Riho for the successful title defense.
Riho defeated Sakura
The action here was fast-paced, featured strong work from both women and showcased both competitors.
The teacher vs. student story probably could have been better presented to build heat for the match, but the wrestlers did a fine job of sucking the audience in and getting them to care about the action with every passing minute.
The one issue that continues to plague the women's division is the lack of story. Riho is the consummate underdog who fights from underneath to somehow pull off a victory, but beyond that, there are so few established stories despite the wealth of talent within the division.
As soon as that issue rights itself and fans have a reason to invest in the talented women that make up the AEW roster, the division will be right where it needs to be.
AEW World Championship Match: Cody vs. Chris Jericho
The first of two main events saw Chris Jericho defend the AEW World Championship against Cody, who was accompanied to the squared circle by MJF, who was described by Excalibur on commentary as his "best friend, protege and the man he is grooming." Backing up Jericho? Inner Circle teammate Jake Hager.
Prior to the bout, the commentary team introduced Dean Malenko, Arn Anderson and The Great Muta as the three men who would decide the winner should the match go the 60-minute distance.
Cody scored the first significant offense of the match, sending Jericho to the floor and following right behind him with a tope suicida. The challenger worked the right arm, undoubtedly hoping to take the Judas Effect away from his opponent.
The American Nightmare's momentum came to a sudden halt when he soared through the air and crashed face-first into the entrance ramp, lacerating his forehead in the process. With the official distracted, Hager exploded with a clothesline that turned Cody inside out.
The challenger continued to nurse his ribs and torso, taking away the effectiveness of his offense. A big knee from Jericho to the midsection left him writhing and on the defensive again. He managed to create momentary separation and tried for a moonsault, but Jericho dodged it, and Cody crashed abdomen-first on the mat below.
Cody finally thwarted Jericho's focused attack and dropped him with a Diamond Cutter for a near-fall. MJF fired up the crowd, who responded favorably to the challenger's comeback. He dropped Jericho with a Disaster Kick to the floor.
The champion recovered and slammed Cody back-first into the ring post. Jericho took a moment to talk trash to his opponent's mother, Michelle, and paid for it in the form of a slap and a spear by Cody. Back inside, the suddenly surging challenger applied the Figure Four as the crowd implored the champion to tap.
Right hands from Hager on two separate occasions led to his ejection from the ringside area by referee Aubrey Edwards. The undefeated MMA competitor answered by assaulting MJF, sending him into the guardrail.
With Edwards distracted, Jericho blasted Cody with the AEW title. After some sly selling to avoid detection, the champion covered but could only keep the challenger down for two. Jericho tried for the Judas Effect, but Cody blocked and delivered Cross Rhodes, but he still could not put Le Champion down for three.
A Bionic Elbow earned him two. The Codebreaker did the same for Jericho.
Frustrated, Jericho removed his own weight belt and proceeded to whip Cody with it. Edwards wrestled the belt away from the heel and tossed it to the floor. Up top, Cody looked for the hurricanrana, but Jericho countered and applied the Liontamer. Cody fought his way to the ropes, forcing the break.
A frustrated Edwards shoved Jericho right into a rollup for two. Jericho countered and reapplied the Liontamer while MJF screamed from ringside. He threw in a white towel, bringing about the conclusion of the bout in a less-than-satisfying fashion.
After the match, MJF feigned tears and proceeded to drop Cody with a low blow to a chorus of boos.
Jericho defeated Cody via referee stoppage
And with that bit of brilliant booking, AEW has set Cody up to be the ultimate sympathetic babyface.
Not only did he lose out on the opportunity to compete for the title he was as instrumental as anyone in introducing, but he also lost a friendship he thought was unbreakable. Two of the most important things in his life were ripped away from him by the selfish, egotistical MJF, and now, AEW has a feud on its hands that can dominate Dynamite for months before the inevitable blowoff match.
MJF was brilliant as usual, expressing a roller coaster of emotions and culminating with a brash, arrogant grin following the betrayal. He is poised to go on the sort of run that will elevate him to the top of the promotion and provide AEW with a breakout star that will define this first year of its existence.
Jericho was great here as the ruthless champion, unconcerned with the wellbeing of his opponent or anyone but himself. Despite the fact that this was less his story than it was Cody's, he still managed to shine on his 49th birthday.
Lights Out Match: Jon Moxley vs. Kenny Omega
Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley wasted little time taking their Unsanctioned Lights Out match to the stands, where The Cleaner delivered a nasty double stomp to his opponent's midsection. Moxley answered with a snap suplex on the arena floor.
Moxley retrieved a barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat and brought it down across his opponent's back, leaving visible puncture wounds on Omega. He dug the wire into his rival's back and stomped on it, leaving Omega writhing in pain.
Omega tried for a snapdragon suplex, but Moxley broke his grasp by grating his arm with the barbed wire. Turnabout was fair play later when Omega caught the back of Moxley's head with his own barbed wire broom. He dug the bat into Moxley's face, then delivered a drop toe hold that sent him face-first into the broom.
Omega delivered a trash can-assisted moonsault for a near-fall. He headed outside the ring and retrieved a giant board of mousetraps as fans looked on in horror. Moxley turned his opponent inside out with a lariat, then delivered a release suplex onto the mousetraps. He introduced anchor chains and dropped Omega on them with a sidewalk slam.
He used the chains to further torment and torture Omega until a flurry of trash can lid shots to the head allowed The Cleaner to create separation. Consecutive snapdragon suplexes fueled Omega's comeback, which saw him hang Moxley with the chains.
With his opponent reeling at ringside, Omega cleared the top rope with a dive and drove Moxley through a table. He introduced a bag of glass from the table he was driven head-first through on Dynamite and proceeded to cut the face and fingers of his opponent.
He emptied shards of glass all over the mat, the delivered a sit-out spinebuster onto it. He dragged Moxley back-first across it and applied the Sharpshooter. On the defensive, Moxley crawled across the glass to reach the bottom rope.
Omega shoved glass into the mouth of his opponent, then dug an ice pick into his forehead. He ordered Hangman Page and The Young Bucks to "bring it," to which his Elite teammates reluctantly did. The emerged from the back with a barbed wire spiderweb, setting it up just off the ramp.
The competitors teased moves before Moxley delivered a suplex that sent both into the barbed wire. After ring crew, the Bucks, Brandon Cutler and others pulled the out, Omega delivered a V-Trigger that sent both crashing through the stage.
As the fight spilled back into the ring, Moxley delivered the Paradigm Shift for a two-count. He proceeded to pull the ring apart, exposing the wood underneath the canvas. He tried for a package piledriver, but Omega countered into a back body drop. Omega delivered his own Paradigm Shift for a two-count.
The EVP of AEW tried for a Phoenix Splash but crashed and burned, leaving Moxley to deliver the Paradigm Shift for the win.
Moxley defeated Omega
There are certain expectations fans have of certain gimmick bouts, and given the bar that had been set when Moxley battled Joey Janela at Fyter Fest, the expectations for his match with Omega were off-the-charts. Rarely in those situations are the performers able to deliver.
Moxley and Omega did just that, providing 30-plus minutes of hardcore ruthlessness and violence.
Each spot, each introduction of a weapon escalated the sadism of the match before the jaw-dropping missed splash from Omega sealed his fate.
There will be those who suggest the violence was distasteful and unnecessary, and those people would be right. But when a company promotes a match as being unsanctioned due to the hell the performers are certain to put themselves through, that's almost what you want.
Moxley was on fire before, during and after the match, throwing around F-bombs and being the antithesis of the comparatively tame Dean Ambrose character he was elsewhere. Which is good, because this is the version of him fans had begged for. They have him now, and hopefully not for too short of time because of a significant injury suffered in a match like this.
While this was a suitable conclusion to an intensely personal rivalry that began back at Double or Nothing, it is time for Moxley to move past the garbage wrestling and remind fans outside of Japan that he can deliver without weapons to lean on.