“Sports Entertainment Solidified” is a pro wrestling column by Maddy Myer.
All Elite Wrestling spent all week entrenched in the Los Angeles area. It started with AEW Dynamite on November 15 at the Toyota Arena, then moving over to the Forum for AEW Rampage and Collision on November 17 before their Full Gear pay-per-view at the Forum on November 18. It was an incredible week of wrestling for the company, where new stars were solidified, and old stars showed they still have what it takes.
Out of the entire week of action — some of which I was able to see live at the Forum — Full Gear had the most impressive matches. Some standout performances came from “Hangman” Adam Page and Swerve Strickland, Orange Cassidy and Jon Moxley, and arguably AEW’s most over star at the moment, Maxwell Jacob Friedman, better known as MJF. Here are the top pro wrestling matches from Full Gear.
Hangman Adam Page vs. Swerve Strickland (AEW Full Gear, November 18)
This matchup started as an absolute brawl that showed just how much these men hate each other. They didn’t call this match a Texas death match for nothing, and it was clearly evident from the start. Hangman Adam Page even landed his finisher— the buckshot lariat — early on before going for more damage on Swerve Strickland, including an early on chair shot. Soon after, Page taped Strickland’s hands together and began to put staples into his chest and arms. Eventually, a bloody Strickland had enough and turned the tables on Page, driving his head into a barbed wire-wrapped chair. Strickland proceeded to slam Page’s upper back straight into a cinder block. At this point both men were bloody and not giving up, using everything they could — from glass to a barbed wire-covered slab of wood — to get the job done. In the end, Strickland picked up the victory after using a metal chain wrapped around Page’s neck until he passed out.
Orange Cassidy vs. Jon Moxley (AEW Full Gear, November 18)
Speaking of two men that hate each other, Jon Moxley and Orange Cassidy also fit that bill. Moxley took the fight right to Cassidy, dragging him outside the ring and slamming his abdomen on the barricade. The bigger Moxley continued to manhandle Cassidy with suplexes and submission holds. Cassidy eventually turned it around with a suplex of his own, but this time from the top rope. He followed that up with a diving DDT and another DDT right after, as well as three outside dives to take Moxley out. In the closing moments, Cassidy picked up the victory and retained his AEW International Championship by delivering six orange punches to Moxely followed by his beach break finisher.
MJF and Samoa Joe vs. Austin and Colten Gunn (AEW Full Gear, November 18)
Though an unlikely pairing, MJF and Samoa Joe took the fight to Austin and Colten Gunn (The Gunns). Early on, there were some chemistry issues, but Joe showed he was there for MJF and even took out both Gunns with an outside dive early on in the match. Once MJF was back in, the Gunns took some cheap shots and every opportunity to isolate him, but MJF eventually reversed their double-team move with a double DDT. The chemistry issues started up again, with MJF and Joe tagging each other in at inopportune moments. Joe got pinned for the 1, 2, 3, until MJF saved him and started 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 victory. Adam Cole, MJF’s actual partner and fellow Ring of Honor World Tag Team Champion, made his return to stand by ringside, as he’s still injured but wanted to support MJF. Joe already left the ring area after stepping in to help MJF pull off the victory. With no support, the Gunns used this as an opportunity to injure MJF with deliberate chair shots to his knee, knowing MJF had to defend his AEW World Championship later that night. AEW played the storyline well and took MJF out in an ambulance to truly sell the injury.
“Sports Entertainment Solidified” runs every Monday.