The main event of AEW’s Full Gear PPV saw a match that was originally scheduled for ALL OUT between Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley. Given the stipulation and the fact that there were no DQs and no count-outs made it all the more exciting. In a surprising move, they were even given the main event spot over the AEW World Championship, though it seems to have been a wise move in hindsight.
Had they put the World title match at the main event, chances are that they would have gotten a deflated crowd that wouldn’t have reacted too well to the match. However, the actual main event was met with some controversy. Many industry experts called it overkill and a step too far, even by AEW’s standards.
We know for a fact that AEW is TV-14 and they’re going to push their boundaries as much as they possibly can to get an edgier product. This is perhaps one of their strategies to get one over NXT and WWE and it could just work! It seems as though Moxley took more damage in one night than he did in over 7 years with WWE.
It was the Jon Moxley of old. The man who made his name in CZW and created a reputation of being one of the edgiest and daring superstars in all of wrestling. While many knew that he would bring out new arsenal as a freshly motivated superstar, nobody expected him to unleash the side of himself that he did.
So where is it that we draw the line between “hardcore” and “too edgy” or “too violent” for viewing. There is still a large chunk of fans who want WWE to bring back Attitude Era-like programming even though they don’t seem to recall the negatives that come with it as well. Firstly, it’s unlikely that WWE will ever move out of that PG rating simply because of the money they make and the positive publicity it brings them. Going PG opened the door for them to all sorts of sponsors and associations that they couldn’t have had before.
AEW doesn’t seem to care as much about PG programming but knows well that mindlessly having adult content and blood all the time won’t help – which is why they save it for special occasions such as this. However, a field of barbwires and all the scraping and blood wasn’t what people expected, which is probably why many were surprised.
As to whether the match needed such violence – the answer would be no. But did it add a whole new element to it that made it a huge spectacle? Absolutely. We must remember that the match was Moxley’s specialty and it was entirely put together to put him over as the next big star. It was a match that was long overdue and a good thing that AEW chose not to wait it out and delay the match any further.
Omega and Moxley have great chemistry in the ring and the use of weapons was a great part of the storytelling in the match as well. It was also about whether Omega would stoop to the lower depths to take out a man he hates and we saw his character arc develop further as well. To add to it, Moxley’s stock has only grown after the win and he’s proved exactly how tough he is outside of the WWE banner. Although he’s been around since Double or Nothing, Moxley managed to establish himself as one of the biggest stars of the company.
And looking away from the small negative aspects, the reality is that a lot more positive came out of the match.