2020 has been a year of high highs and low lows for wrestling pay per views in general. The global pandemic has made to ensure that talent will be able to perform, and the lack of substantial live crowds have led to some large gambles when it comes to cinematic matches and big fights. These issues are industry-wide, and no promotion has been safe from this complicated year. That being said AEW's 2020 edition of their All Out Pay Per View received mixed reviews, to say the least.
The flaws in AEW's labor day weekend show were apparent throughout the entire night. There were strange booking choices, such as initially putting Britt Baker and Big Swole on the pre-show, bad in moment decisions, like allowing Matt Hardy to continue his match with Sammy Guevara following his injury, and unexpected issues that were out of the control of the company like the unbearable humidity that sucked the energy out of the wrestlers and the small live crowd.
There were still good moments in All Out, the Tag-Team Championship match and the Women's Championship match were both highlights of the night, and the World Championship match between Jon Moxley and MJF had a good build and was fun to watch.
But this week AEW has a chance to redeem themselves with their 2020 edition of their Full Gear Pay Per View. So let's take a look at the card and the build and find 5 ways that Full Gear 2020 can surpass All Out.
5. More Impactful Tag Matches
AEW is renowned for having one of the best tag-team divisions in pro wrestling right now. So it already surprising that there is only one tag-team match currently booked for Full Gear. I expect that FTR vs. The Young Bucks will be a banger of a match and that the added stipulation of the bucks losing future title opportunities if they lose the match will make it very exciting. It is surprising to not see Best Friends or Santana and Ortiz on the card considering the reaction to their parking lot brawl back in September.
On the other side of the coin is All Out which featured three tag matches with only one of those matches having any kind of consequences at all. AEW needs to find the balance when it comes to tag matches, the goal isn't to shove as many people on the card as possible while still allowing the wonderful talent in your tag division to shine.
I imagine that this week's Dynamite will introduce at least one more tag match between Best Friends and Miro and Kip Sabian who have been feuding recently and maybe a number one contender's tag match between maybe The Natural Nightmares and The Butcher and The Blade.
4. A More Brutal AEW World Championship Match
This one is almost guaranteed to happen. There is no way that Eddie Kingston is walking away from Full Gear with the belt, but the "I Quit" stipulation is very promising. At All Out Mox was bound to a contractual obligation to not use his Paradigm Shift finisher (although he did hit it behind the ref's back to get the win), but this time around there is no such limit.
If you have followed Kingston or even if you just found out about him it is clear that the man can withstand a lot of pain and serve up even more than he can take. His match with Cody for the TNT title is one of my personal favorite TNT title matches to have happened so far. I expect this match to be a lot of fun, so if AEW is using this article as a checklist they can go ahead and mark this one done.
3. Add Another Women's Match
Most weeks I see NXT fans get into fights with AEW fans about the latter's lack of attention to their women's division and honestly, the easiest way for AEW to win this fight would be for them to do something with their women's division. As of writing this, there is only one women's match scheduled for Full Gear and that is a Women's Championship rematch between Hikaru Shida and Nyla Rose which I would be excited about if AEW would give either woman time to hype up the match or to even get in the ring on Dynamite.
Although at this point, it is likely that any added women's matches will have very little build, still come on AEW. This isn't that hard. Back in September, I wrote an article with a list of matches that could revive the AEW women's division, and while the nightmare sisters are not defunct, AEW could just pick a match from that list and at least give us something fun to watch.
2. Streamline The Card
I know I have been advocating for adding some matches to the card, but I also want us to be realistic in the time given to each match. At All Out, there was no reason for The Young Bucks and Jurrasic Express to go over 10 minutes, same with The 8-man match between The Nightmare Family and The Dark Order. It is hard to say if the Matt Hardy and Sammy Guevara match should've gone longer considering we saw a condensed version of the match due to the injury scare, but Britt Baker and Swole only got a 10-minute cinematic match.
AEW needs to take a look at their card going into Saturday and be honest with themselves about how much time needs to be given to certain matches. Even if AEW ends up keeping the card as is, they need to make sure that the pay per view doesn't become a bloated mess filled with unnecessary 20 + minute matches. Especially if they don't plan on having any titles change hands.
1. Put The TNT Title on Darby Allin
Darby would be one of AEW's first "homegrown" stars and while he has a substantial fanbase already, putting the belt on him is a great idea. Darby has already shown that he can go to the limit with Jon Moxley for the AEW World Championship, so it's not like he would be an unbelievable champion. I know that the TNT Championship "isn't a mid-card title," but Darby is the perfect kind of upper mid-carder to find the right niche for this title.
Beyond that, All Out was criticized for not only lacking any singles title changes but for not even having the TNT title defended on the show. So, AEW has already fixed one mistake by having Cody defend the title on pay per view. How about they go ahead and fix another mistake by giving Darby Allin the TNT Title.
Allin deserves the recognition, the TNT Championship needs to find a niche, and the people would love it. This is a no-brainer, but it could end up being my biggest disappointment of the night.
What do you think? Will Full Gear end up better than All Out? What matches would you like to see added? Let me know by tweeting at me @robbydeshazer!
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