Sports Entertainment Solidified is a professional wrestling column by Maddy Myer.
All Elite Wrestling spent the entire week in the Los Angeles area. It started with AEW Dynamite on November 15th at Toyota Arena, then moved to the Forum for AEW Rampage and Collision on November 17th before their full pay-per-view in the Forum on November 18th. It was an incredible week of wrestling for the company where the new stars were solidified and the old stars showed they still have what it takes.
From the entire week of action – some of which I was able to see live on the forum – Full Gear had the most impressive matches. Some notable performances came from “Hangman” Adam Page and Swerve Strickland, Orange Cassidy and Jon Moxley, and perhaps AEW’s most over-the-top star right now, Maxwell Jacob Friedman, better known as MJF. Here are the best professional wrestling matches from Full Gear.
Hangman Adam Page vs. Swerve Strickland (AEW Full Gear, November 18)
This match started off as an absolute brawl that showed just how much these men hate each other. They didn’t call this match a Texas Deathmatch and that was clearly evident from the start. Executioner Adam Page even landed his finisher – the machine gun lariat – early on before dealing more damage to Swerve Strickland, including an early chair slam. Soon after, Paige taps Strickland’s hands and begins applying staples to his chest and arms. Eventually, one damn Strickland had enough and turned the tables on Paige, driving his head into a chair wrapped in barbed wire. Strickland proceeded to ram Paige’s upper back right into a cinder block. At this point, both men were bloodied and not giving up, using everything they could – from glass to a barbed wire-covered wooden slab – to finish the job. In the end, Strickland got the win after using a metal chain wrapped around Paige’s neck until she passed out.
Orange Cassidy vs. Jon Moxley (AEW Full Gear, November 18)
Speaking of two men hating each other, John Moxley and Orange Cassidy also fit that bill. Moxley took the fight right to Cassidy, pulling him out of the ring and slamming his belly into the barricade. The elder Moxley continued to manipulate Cassidy with suplexes and submission holds. Cassidy eventually reversed him with a suplex of his own, but this time off the top rope. He followed that up with a diving DDT and another DDT right after that, as well as three outside dives to take out Moxley. In the closing moments, Cassidy picked up the win and retained his AEW International Championship by hitting six Orange Punches on Moxley, followed by his Beach Break.
MJF and Samoa Joe vs. Austin and Colten Gunn (AEW Full Gear, November 18)
Although an unlikely pairing, MJF and Samoa Joe took the fight to Austin and Colten Gunn (The Gunns). There were some chemistry issues early on, but Joe showed he was there for MJF and even took out both Gunns with an outside kick early in the match. After MJF came back, the Gunns took some cheap shots and every opportunity to isolate him, but MJF eventually reversed the move with a double team double DDT. Chemistry issues began again, with MJF and Joe turning on each other at inopportune times. Joe was pinned for the 1, 2, 3 until MJF made the save and began attacking the Gunns outside the ring. The Gunns turned their attention back to the ring – where Joe was waiting for them – and used Joe’s submission for the win. Adam Cole, MJF’s de facto partner and another Ring of Honor World Tag Team Champion, returned to stand at ringside as he was still injured but wanted to support MJF. Joe has already left ringside after interfering to help MJF get the win. Unsupported, the Gunns used this as an opportunity to hurt MJF with deliberate chair shots to his knee, knowing that MJF had to defend his AEW World Championship later that night. AEW played the storyline well and brought MJF out in an ambulance to really sell the injury.
“Sports Entertainment Solidified” takes place every Monday.