Full Gear 2021 was a raging success with top matches up and down the card, but how does it compare to Full Gear 2019? I decided to look up the first Ever Full gear, and see where all these wrestlers are now, what they are doing and how they are doing.
Pre-Show: Britt Baker vs Bea Priestley
This was the blow-off, they had wrestled a couple of times, both times Bea inadvertently injured Britt, The first she stiff kicked her in the back of Britt’s head, giving Britt a whopper concussion. The second time, Bea accidentally gave a stiff strike that left Britt with a black eye. So, the match had to happen to give Britt a win and revenge, which she got.
Britt Baker D.M.D: Britt still wrestles for AEW having turned heel in January of 2020, she spent a portion of the year injured, but kept cutting incredible promos week after week. She would finally win the AEW World Women’s championship off Hikaru Shida at Double or Nothing 2021, a title she still holds and is set to face Tay Conti at this year’s full gear.
Bea Priestley: Bea disappeared from TV a while after this, and when the pandemic hit, she was stuck in the UK, eventually being released from her contract. She would eventually briefly return to Japan to wrestle in STARDOM and also manage her real-life Partner Will Ospreay in New Japan, this didn’t last. After a month she left both Stardom and New Japan to join the UK Branch of NXT, now going by the name Blair Davenport.
Proud and Powerful (Santana and Ortiz) vs The Young Bucks
The story behind this match was that PNP attacked the Young Bucks after their incredible ladder match at All Out 2019, after that, they then aligned with Chris Jericho at the Debut Dynamite and beat them again, the next week the Inner Circle faction was formed. So, this match was put together to see if the bucks could get a spot of revenge. They didn’t lose another match when the bucks were being selfless and putting over newer tag teams to try and get them over (a complete reverse Kevin Nash).
Proud and Powerful: The team is still together and still in the Inner Circle, they recently finished up a majority of the year feud against the Pinnacle and by extension FTR beating the latter in their second matchup, and now they are feuding with the men of the year (Ethan Page, Scorpio Sky) and Dan Lamberts American top team.
The Young Bucks: After chasing the titles for over a year, The bucks finally won them after some flip-flopping as they tried to get over they were angry frustrated babyfaces, they beat FTR at last year Full Gear holding them for 9 months, in which time they turned heel joining Kenny Omega and Don Callis to form the super Elite, in this time they’d have huge beards, then loud obnoxious clothing. Eventually, The Lucha Bro’s would take the titles off the Bucks in an excellent tag steel cage match at All Out 2021. Upon losing they would move into a feud against Christian and Jurassic Express and are set in six-man action against them in this upcoming Full Gear show.
‘Hangman’ Adam Page vs Pac
This is a rematch from the first Dynamite, Adam wanted to get a win back, having beaten Pac in a tag match but never in singles. Adam did win the evening here.
Adam Page: The Hangman is looking to stir some cowboy shit at this year’s Full Gear as he faces Kenny Omega in a rematch from last years Full Gear, in which he lost. At the start of 2020, Hangman got more and moreover with his cowboys and his beer, before the pandemic stopped that, even so, he was the tag team champion until taking the pin and losing the titles to FTR as mentioned in my previous where are they now list. Page made his return at Dynamite‘s Second Anniversary on October 6 as the surprise entrant in the seven-man Casino Ladder match. He won the match and secured himself a future shot for the AEW World Championship, which he would win from Kenny Omega. Thus the story goes full circle.
PAC: The bastard is a bastard, he would admit that, he’s been having amazing matches throughout 2021, against Omega, Dax Harwood recently and Andrade El Idolo. Recently though, he’s gotten involved with Cody, taking on the dastardly Andrade and his partner Malakai black, with him and Cody taking them on at this year’s Full Gear.
Shawn Spears vs Joey Janela
I honestly can’t remember why these two were feuding, but I remember the match being so-so, it was here to give Shawn a win following his loss to Cody at All Out.
Shawn Spears: Shawn did a lot of flip-flopping, relegated to the undercard on Dark for much of 2020, despite having Tully as his manager, he had a loaded punch gimmick for a short while before that went away, finally though, he found his calling, as a Member of MJF’s Pinnacle, though he is regularly doing the jobs, he is featured regularly on television and does get wins on Dark.
Joey Janela: Joey since this hasn’t done much on tv, he did wrestle Jericho but got squashed, he also wrestled in the casino ladder match at double or nothing 2020, he did form a tag team with Sonny Kiss, but that didn’t go anywhere, with Janela eventually turning heel on Sonny to then have a feud on dark, Joey has now had a manager called Kayla Rossi, since then Janela recently hasn’t appeared on dark since Oct 12th 2021 where he wrestled and beat Crowbar in Philadelphia. Pretty much-going ghost since then.
So Cal Uncensored (Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) vs Lucha Brothers vs Private Party
The basis behind this match was simple enough, Lucha bros wanted a rematch, and some of the other teams wanted another chance with the Private Party earning the bronze medal spot.
The match I recall was very good in parts, So Cal retained this night.
So Cal Uncensored: The Tag team lost the belts on the cruise ship in January 2020 to Omega and Page. Unfortunately, the team no longer exists, as Christopher Daniels and Kazarian lost to the young bucks in a title match and due to the stipulation, they set for themselves, they had to break up. Kazarian was the bullet club hunter but has since disappeared off of TV, while Scorpio is part of the Men of the year tag team and are looking to defeat the inner circle at the Upcoming full gear, as for Christopher Daniels, he’s mostly retired now, though he did appear at a recent IMPACT wrestling show.
Lucha Brothers: The Lucha Brothers were stuck in Mexico for a while due to the borders being closed during the pandemic but have since returned and been putting on clinics nearly every week. Recently they beat the young bucks in the cage match I mentioned earlier to become the new tag team champions.
Private Party: Unfortunately, they haven’t had any tag title success, but they are somewhat featured as part of Matt Hardy’s HFO stable, being under the wing of one of the greatest tag team wrestlers is no small feat, hopefully soon, they will have tag title gold wrapped around their waists.
Riho (C) vs Emi Sakura for the AEW women’s title
Match build-up was simple enough, Emi pinned Riho on an episode of Dynamite so she was the number one contender, she would lose, in what I recall was a decent match between student and teacher.
Riho: Riho would lose the title to Nyla Rose on a February Dynamite, after which she would sadly be stranded in Japan for most of 2020, she would finally return around December for the American branch of the Women’s title eliminator. She would then set up her base in America, so she looks to be staying here long term. She did lose an NWA title match to Serena Deeb at DoA 2021, since then she’s been on dark and dark elevation and wrestled at Wrestle Princess 2 for TJPW.
Emi Sakura: She hasn’t been able to appear on AEW tv for the entirety of 2020, but she has since set up her home in the States and is now wrestling on Dark and Elevation with her protégés Lulu Pencil and Mei Suruga. Hopefully, she reappears on AEW television again soon.
Chris Jericho (C) vs Cody for the AEW World Title
The build for this was excellent with Cody being the excellent heroic babyface and Jericho being the perfect snide heel, the best part of this build was the promo Cody cut on Dynamite where he said that he will never challenge for the title EVER again if he lost this match. He did indeed lose this match when his friend MJF threw in the towel while Cody couldn’t escape the walls, MJF then betrayed Cody after the fact.
Cody: Cody, now Rhodes, since he got his name back, has been a regular fixture, putting over new talent generally quite strongly, he has upheld the stipulation, having not wrestled for the world title since losing this match, he is since a two time TNT champion, being the inaugural champion after winning a tournament before losing the title to Brodie Lee, then beating Brodie Lee in a rematch for what was Brodie Lee’s last ever match for AEW, an excellent chain match. Unfortunately, Cody is getting the John Cena treatment, with fans turning against him, believing he is burying all the hot new AEW talent despite evidence to the contrary, being squashed by Malakai Black in their debut match, then losing a rematch, only to win the second rematch which did everything to protect Malakai. Cody has stated he will never turn on the people and they are welcome to boo him as much as they want. We’ll see what happens in the future for him.
Chris Jericho: Jericho would lose the world title to Jon Moxley at Revolution 2020, he would spend much of the year feuding with Orange Cassidy, putting the man over and making OC a star, after this, he would later feud with MJF and his faction The Pinnacle turning his faction face. They would lose a Blood n’ Guts match (Wargames with Original rules; submit or surrender, no pinfalls), They would then beat in the Pinnacle in a stadium showdown match DOA 2021, after this Jericho would have a couple of singles matches with MJF, losing the first by submission, and winning the second at All Out 2021. Since then, Jericho and the rest of the Inner Circle are feuding with American Top Team, Men of the year and Dan Lambert as mentioned above.
Full Gear 2019: Jon Moxley vs Kenny Omega | Lights Out Match
The build to this match goes back to the first Double or Nothing, Moxley made his first appearance since leaving WWE to destroy Omega and Jericho post-match. After this, their match was set up for All Out 2019, but Moxley pulled out due to a staph infection. After this Moxley attacked Omega at the Debut Dynamite, that’s how we got to a ‘Lights Out’ match. Moxley won this match, though it didn’t go on either record as it was lights out. One interesting Tidbit is AEW did get fined by the Maryland State Athletic Commission, ($30,000 I believe) for use of real Barbed Wire in this match.
Jon Moxley: Jon has had a very accomplished career in AEW beating Jericho for the title as mentioned earlier, carrying the company throughout the Pandemic era, He would lose the title to Omega in December at Winter is coming. Since then, he rematched Omega at the Revolution 2021 PPV in an exploding barbed wire deathmatch. Then would team with Eddie Kingston to unsuccessfully the bucks for the tag titles. After this Moxley would get more vicious in his matches upon his return following the birth of his daughter and even released a book. He seemed destined to turn heel, however before that would happen, Moxley would put himself into in-patient alcohol therapy. We all hope the best for Moxley and his family.
Kenny Omega: Omega has accomplished a ton in AEW, he is currently the longest-reigning AEW Champion in history, he is now a heel, running the Super Elite Stable with The Young Bucks, Adam Cole and having Don Callis as his Manager. Kenny faced Hangman in a rematch at Full Gear 2021, having pinned him twice and Hangman won his 1st AEW World Championship.
There you have it, where all the wrestlers for the first-ever Full Gear are now. Incredibly, AEW has excellent talent retention, only one wrestler has been released. Who knows what can happen at the upcoming Full Gear show, who will show up, who will win, find out November 13th, 2021, available on PPV and B/R Live in the states and on FiteTV internationally.