AEW Full Gear 2021 Was Better Than All Out 2021


Let's start by saying this: AEW All Out 2021 was an incredible pay-per-view. In fact, it was one of the best wrestling events I've seen in the last 20 or so years. That's what makes it even more amazing that Full Gear 2021 was better.

The quality of the matches at Full Gear was incredible. Every match was good and several were classics. MJF vs Darby Allin was honestly one of the best professional wrestling matches I've seen in a while, and probably one of the best show openers in years. But that's not all. Bryan Danielson vs Miro was great, the Falls Count Anywhere match was great, the tag team title match was great, and CM Punk vs Eddie Kingston wasn't just a great match but it was an emotional one as well. It told a story that wasn't just realistic, but one that was unique and filled with passion and heart.

And, obviously, if you're going to talk about emotion and passion and heart and great storytelling, you have to talk about the main event. Hangman Page finally won the World Title, and the way he won it was absolutely perfect. It was the culmination of one of the finest pro wrestling stories that I can remember. His victory meant something to the people watching. In fact, it meant a lot. 

That's what Full Gear did. It made you feel something. It let you forget about the scripted nature of the show and even real life itself and fully live through the characters in the ring. 

That's what puts it ahead of All Out for me: The match quality combined with the emotion. Not only did the show have incredible wrestling but it had incredible storytelling. In that sense, it was actually most similar to Revolution 2020, which had the outstanding tag title match with Adam Page and Kenny Omega defending against the Young Bucks along with Jon Moxley becoming AEW Champion. That show had a lot of great wrestling combined with emotional storytelling. Then Full Gear took that formula and made it better. 

At Full Gear, excellent wrestling and excellent stories came together. All Out had a lot of that too, with CM Punk's return, the Lucha Bros vs the Young Bucks, and all the debuts, but I'd still place Full Gear ahead of it. It was a more complete show. Every match mattered. 

In my opinion, there wasn't a single bad thing on the show. Sure, it had definite high points, but it didn't have any obviously lulls or "breaks" in the show, such as the Paul Wight/QT Marshall match at All Out.  Even things like the Inner Circle vs The Men of the Year and American Top Team were entertaining in their own right. In fact, if there was a weakness at Full Gear, it's that it went too hard for too long and the crowd couldn't keep up. That was evident in the Britt Baker/Tay Conti match, which was great, but had to deal with a tired crowd. 

Whether you agree with this post or not, think about how incredible it is that AEW has reached this point. When All Out 2021 ended, the general consensus was that we'd seen the greatest wrestling pay-per-view in years... and then Full Gear happened and rivaled it in quality. That's impressive. 

You can say what you want about ratings or booking or whatever, but the bottom line is that the last two AEW pay-per-views were some of the greatest shows in recent wrestling history. For a company that's been around for less than three years, that's honestly amazing.

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