Winners, live scores, reactions and highlights

AEW held its penultimate pay-per-view of 2023 on Saturday night with Full Gear, led by World Champion MJF defending against “Switchblade” Jay White.

This blockbuster main event culminated in a show that saw every major title in the promotion on the line, the culmination of several high-profile feuds, and the unveiling of a new signing:

Who signed on the dotted line, which championships changed, and was MJF able to overcome all his recent struggles by retaining his title?

Find out with this Full Gear recap, complete with scores and analysis for each of tonight’s matches.



Announced before Saturday’s show:

  • AEW World Championship: MJF (c) vs. Jay White
  • International Championship: Orange Cassidy (c) vs. Jon Moxley
  • Ladder Match for the AEW Tag Team Championship: FTR vs. La Facción Ingobernable vs. Kings of the Black Throne vs. Big Bill and Ricky Starks (c)
  • AEW Women’s World Championship: Hikaru Shida (c) vs. “The Immortal” Toni Storm.
  • TBS Championship: Kris Statlander (c) vs. Sky Blue vs. Julia Hart
  • Texas Death Match: “The Executioner” Adam Page vs. Swerve Strickland
  • Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho vs. The Young Bucks
  • Adam Copeland, Darby Allin and Sting vs. Christian Cage, Luchasaurus and Nick Wayne
  • Belt of Honor World Championship: Eddie Kingston (c) vs. Jay Lethal (Zero Hour)
  • Ring of Honor World Tag Team Championship: MJF & Samoa Joe (c) vs. The Guns (Zero Hour)
  • Claudio Castagnoli vs. Buddy Murphy (Zero Hour)
Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Eddie Kingston defended the Ring of Honor World Championship against Jay Lethal to kick off the evening’s Zero Hour pre-show.

With Stokely Hathaway watching from commentary, Jeff Jarrett, Satnam Singh, Karen Jarrett and Sonjay Dutt made their presence felt at ringside, without any repercussions.

Lethal controlled the pace and took control of the action, but the fearless Kingston never gave up and fought his way back into the match. Just as it looked as if Jeff Jarrett’s trademark guitar would play a role in the closing moments of the contest, Ortiz appeared and attacked Dutt with it.

The distraction allowed Kingston to hit Lethal with a backfist and score the successful title defense.

It was a good enough match to start the show, with plenty of attention paid to those at ringside, Hathaway’s intense retaliation against the champion on commentary, and Ortiz’s reunion with his friend after the clash.

Kingston made better than to waste the ROH Title in their opening match in front of half-empty arenas as well.

a result

Kingston defeated Lethal to retain

degree

C+

Key moments and takeaways

  • “what can i do?” said Stokeley Hathaway of the Ring of Honor Board of Directors when pressed by Tony Schiavone about allowing interference from Lethal’s teammates at ringside.
  • Ortiz showed up, grabbed Jarrett’s guitar, and blasted Dot with it. He appeared to reunite with Kingston after the match.
  • Using the Kingston for a live mic is always a fun experience, no matter the setup. He did it here after his win.
Credit: All Elite Wrestling

If you take wrestlers of the caliber of The House of Black’s Buddy Matthews and Blackpool Combat Club’s Claudio Castagnoli and put them in the ring with no frills or outside interference, you’re setting your show up for some great in-ring action.

Neither man disappointed on Saturday night, putting on a good, hard-hitting bout that saw both men bruised and bruised but ultimately won by Castagnoli with a sharpshooter.

The match did nothing to foster any ill will between BCC and The House of Black, but it did give fans a preview of things to come later on the main show with great in-ring action and a good win for Castagnoli, even if Matthews could have exploited the victory more.

a result

Castagnoli defeated Matthews

degree

B+

Key moments and takeaways

  • Chants of “We want Mummy” aren’t exactly what you’d hope for when a man as talented as Paddy Matthews is in the ring. This is an indictment of the creator for not giving fans a reason to care enough about Matthews outside of his place in the House of Black.
  • Matthews used a jackhammer. The mysterious signing is definitely Goldberg.
  • The fitness for the match was evident on Castagnoli, who suffered cuts and scrapes on the right side of his head and left shoulder.
Credit: All Elite Wrestling

AEW World Champion MJF wanted to have nothing to do with teaming with Samoa Joe to defend the Ring of Honor World Tag Team Championship against The Gunns on Saturday night and that was evident on numerous occasions throughout the match.

He didn’t want to tag Joe, even turning his back on him at one point, but eventually realized that he would need The Destroyer’s support if he wanted to retain the titles.

Joe provided just that, coming forward late in the match taking the fight to his opponents. As Austin and Colten Gunn got the best of him, Adam Cole made a surprise appearance, creating a distraction and allowing Joe to score the win with the Coquina Clutch.

After the match, Hills hit MJF and destroyed his knee with a steel chair, casting doubt on his ability to defend the AEW World Championship against “Switchblade” Jay White later in the night and providing a cliffhanger at the conclusion of Zero Hour. Displays.

A solid match, strong narrative, and great angle helped make this the best part of the debut show.

a result

MJF and Samoa Joe defeated The Gunns to retain the titles

degree

B+

Key moments and takeaways

  • MJF wore a purple and yellow robe to the ring with “365” written on the back. Excalibur called him out for being reckless considering his 365th day as World Champion doesn’t come until tomorrow and he still has a main event against Jay White scheduled for later in the show.
  • “I don’t need your help,” MJF told Joe, then turned his back on the former ROH TV Champion as he unloaded on Austin Gunn.
  • Cole’s unexpected appearance generated a sensation, which would quash any fears that he would somehow lose popularity or momentum due to his injury.
Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Sting’s final match in California began with Full Gear and saw him partner with Darby Allin and “Rated R Superstar” Adam Copeland to defeat TNT Champion Christian Cage, Luchasaurus and Nick Wayne in a triple action.

The match featured Allin’s incredible movement, character work, and spectacle befitting the legendary competitors who played in this match. Was it a great match? Not by any means, even less so by the time Ric Flair got involved late.

However, it was an entertaining opener with great energy and a fitting ending as the cowardly Cage left his teammates behind to fight his battle for him. Things did not go well, and now the question becomes whether the feud between these two sides will continue.

a result

Copeland, Allin, Sting defeated Cage, Luchasaurus and Wayne

degree

C+

Key moments and takeaways

  • A children’s choir sang for the heel team in the ring because Christian Cage is for kids.
  • No one should lose sight of the fact that Wayne is in the ring with three legitimate Hall of Famers. What a time for this young competitor.
  • Allin took a disgusting spill over the rope, hitting the apron on the way down like Steve-O donkey I witnessed fame at ringside.
  • Luchasaurus looked strong as he survived a three-on-one attack and stood tall.
  • Cage raced through the crowd to avoid further beatings, leaving his teammates reeling for the loss.
Credit: All Elite Wrestling

AEW International Champion Orange Cassidy defeated Jon Moxley as definitively as anyone to this point in the company’s nearly five-year history, retaining his title and leaving no doubt as to who the better man is.

Freshly Squeezed absorbed everything Moxley threw at him, bloodied his opponent, and rocked him with six orange punches before pinning him after a beach break.

It was a fitting conclusion to a months-long saga and a defining moment in Cassidy’s career.

Moxley doesn’t lose like that. Rarely is he on the losing side of a game, and certainly not definitively, that means even more. It’s more memorable. Above all, it is a sign of respect from the former world champion to Cassidy that he would be willing to put him at this level.

It was a big moment for Cassidy, a solid match with some great storylines, and the passionate crowd helped deliver a huge win for the show.

a result

Cassidy pinned Moxley to retain the title

degree

a

Key moments and takeaways

  • Tony Schiavone revealed in a pre-match promo clip that MJF is injured and will not be able to defend the AEW World Championship later tonight. Adam Cole interrupted and volunteered to do it for him. This is despite being injured and undergoing surgery recently. The booking doesn’t make any sense, no matter what big angle AEW has planned for the main event segment. Big miss.
  • In theory, Cassidy and Moxley shouldn’t have the chemistry they do in the ring.
  • Oh, look, Moxley is bleeding. At least it makes sense in the context of the story, as he broke Cassidy open in September at All Out and Freshley Squeezed caught fire and returned the favor here.
  • “Where’s the trailer panel?!” Bryce Remsburg can be heard asking, a rare referee who is completely unaware of his surroundings inside a professional wrestling ring.
Credit: All Elite Wrestling

“The Immortal” Toni Storm regained the AEW Women’s World Championship, defeating Hikaru Shida in a gimmick-filled match that didn’t live up to the promise of the talent in question.

There was constant interference from Storm’s butler, Luther, and cheating from the rival. The end came when she stuffed a metal tray into the back of her tights and executed a hip attack in the corner.

Despite the questionable quality of the match itself, there’s no denying what this means for the character Storm has created. The coronation of Immortal and Mariah May’s appearance at the conclusion of the match continued to plant the seeds for the obsessed fandom that would emerge in the coming months.

Considering the number of incarnations she’s been through since arriving in AEW, it’s great to see Storm excel, create something completely different from anything else in the company, and reach the point where winning the championship is undeniable.

a result

Storm defeated Shida to win the title

degree

C+

Key moments and takeaways

  • Storm brought out a boot, and after referee Aubrey Edwards caught her, she brought out another boot and rocked Shida with it for a two count.
  • Luther prevented Shida from using her kendo stick on Storm, then paid for it in the form of a low blow and a few shots around the body.
  • “That thing is still sticking out the back of her pants,” Taz pointed out smartly but Edwards somehow missed two different occasions in the final moments of the match.
  • Mariah May joined Storm in the ring to celebrate after the match, bringing her flowers.

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