AEW Full Gear 2023 Meltzer’s Star Ratings Revealed (Winners & Losers)

Hamish Woodward

The fifth-annual AEW Full Gear event is taking place in 2023, and it is looking like one of the best cards AEW have put on so far. Adam Copeland, who debuted in All Elite Wrestling at the end of WrestleDream last month, will likely make his PPV debut for AEW at the show, wrestling alongside a host of other top stars in the promotion.

MJF will continue his legendary streak of title defenses by battling Jay White for the AEW Championship. White stole the title belt weeks ago, and has been lauding his crime over MJF in the shows leading up to the event. After MJF’s title defense against Kenny Omega, he became the longest-reigning AEW Champion of all time, and will want to add to his legend by a win over his Kiwi opponent.

Toni Storm continues her strange rise to become the star of the show as the Timeless wrestler takes on Hikaru Shida for the AEW Women’s Championship. The pair have wrestled multiple times so far in AEW, so you can expect this to be a fantastic match if their previous encounters are anything to go by. Other matches will be added to the AEW Full Gear 2023 match card closer to the date of the event, so check back here to learn about more bouts added to the show.

AEW Full Gear 2023 Match Card

Here is the card for AEW Full Gear 2023. Keep checking back to this page to see new matches being added onto the pay per view.

  • MJF & ??? vs The Gunns (ROH Tag Team Championships)
  • Sting, Darby Allin & Adam Copeland vs Christian Cage, Luchasaurus & Nick Wayne
  • Hikaru Shida vs Toni Storm (AEW Women’s Championship)
  • Orange Cassidy vs Jon Moxley (AEW International Championship)
  • “Hangman” Adam Page vs Swerve Strickland
  • MJF vs Jay White (AEW World Championship)

How To Watch AEW Full Gear 2023

In the United States, AEW Full Gear 2023 will be available to purchase on pay per view on Bleacher Report. The show will be priced at $50, which is the usual price for an AEW Pay Per View in America. With use of a VPN, American users can purchase the pay per view on Fite.TV for the price of $20, after changing their location to be outside of the United States.

Click here to learn how to watch AEW in the UK.

AEW Full Gear Star Ratings

Here are the star ratings for every match at AEW Full Gear 2023. These will be taken from Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer, the users at Cagematch.net and our own rating at Atletifo.

If you disagree with any of the star ratings on this page, let us know in the comments what match rating you would give to the matches.

Eddie Kingston vs Jay Lethal (ROH Championship)

The Full Gear 2023 pre show kicked-off with a clash between the current and former ROH World Champions, as Eddie Kingston put his title on the line against a spirited Jay Lethal. Kingston took inspiration from all the legends of All Japan Pro Wrestling, as he “walked the King’s Road” with some explosive moves against Lethal in the first match in the Kia Forum.

The match was a great back-and-forth encounter, heating up the crowd that was ready to see some fantastic wrestling. The threat of Jeff Jarret, Santam Singh and Sonjay Dutt at ringside was a constant threat, but it was Kingston’s former friend Ortiz who used Jarrett’s guitar on him to nullify the threat of the TNA legends.

Eddie Kingston reversed a Lethal Injection into a half-and-half suplex, before hitting his Uriken to pin Lethal for the win. He retained both his ROH Championship and NJPW Strong Championship, and interrupted Renee Paquette and RJ City at ringside to cut a short promo, thanking the fans for their support.

  • Dave Meltzer’s Star Rating – TBD
  • Cagematch Rating – 5.75
  • Atletifo Rating – 2.5 Stars

Claudio Castagnoli vs Buddy Matthews

The House of Black clashed with the Blackpool Combat Club at Full Gear, as Buddy Matthews battled Claudio Castagnoli in a match that will go down as one fo the best pre-show matches in AEW history. Doing his best Kenny Omega impression (as always), Matthews style matched perfectly with Claudio’s European/American combination style, making for a classic match that fans have been looking forward to for years.

The pair traded strikes throughout the match, with Claudio Castagnoli only getting the upper hand when he finally used his supreme strength to good use. He hit some incredible suplexes on Buddy Murphy throughout the match, and used a combination Ricola Bomb into the Sharpshooter (paying tribute to his former tag team partner, Tyson Kidd) to force Buddy Matthews to tap out and get the win in Los Angeles.

After the match, Buddy Matthews teased shaking the Swiss Superman’s hand, before bumping his shoulder and walking away. Claudio Castagnoli was seen doing the John Cena “You Can’t See Me” gesture as Matthews walked away, teasing a match between the Blackpool Combat Club and the House of Black.

  • Dave Meltzer’s Star Rating – TBD
  • Cagematch Rating – 6.67
  • Atletifo Rating – 3 Stars

MJF & Samoa Joe vs The Gunns (ROH Tag Team Championship)

After weeks of searching for a partner to help him defend the ROH Tag Team Championships, MJF reluctantly accepted help from Samoa Joe in his quest to keep his title reign with Adam Cole alive. The best friends have been torn apart by Cole’s ankle injury, and MJF has done his best to defend their tag team belts by himself.

However, the challenge of The Gunns (Austin and Colten Gunn) proved too much for him to go alone. In exchange for a shot at the AEW Championship, Samoa Joe agreed to help MJF in his endeavor, even holding the ropes for MJF as he entered the ring on the Full Gear pro-show.

The match was really a nothing match. It was mainly posturing from the face team, trying to one-up one another by tagging each other in and attempting to hit The Gunns with their respective moves. It was fun to watch, but not worth a high star rating.

The crowd absolutely erupted at the end of the match, as Adam Cole’s music hit in a huge shock. Nobody expected him to be there (Tony Schiavone said as much), and the distraction helped Samoa Joe tap out Austin Gunn to retain (win?) the ROH World Tag Team Championships, handing Samoa Joe a shot at the AEW Championship.

After the match, The Gunns jumped MJF and destroyed his knee with a chair. He was carted off in an ambulance, shouting for Adam Cole “don’t let them take my Championship!”. It was a fun end that built to tonight’s main event, so I can’t fault them for that.

  • Dave Meltzer’s Star Rating – TBD
  • Cagematch Rating – 5.65
  • Atletifo Rating – 3 Stars

Sting, Darby Allin & Adam Copeland vs Christian Cage, Luchasaurus & Nick Wayne

Opening the main show of AEW Full Gear 2023 saw the PPV debut of Adam Copeland, as well as Jackass star Steve-O making his debut in the crowd. Christian Cage led his family out to a chorus of girls signing, while Adam Copeland (clad in Sting-inspired face paint) led his team out in matching Edge-style jackets.

The crowd even sang Edge’s licensed entrance music once it had stopped playing through the speakers, showing how hot they were to see the Rated-R Superstar’s first big match in AEW. The bulk of the match saw the heel side beat down Darby Allin, with occasional feats of impressive strength by Sting to give the LA crowd one last chance to see The Icon in person.

The whole match saw Christian Cage goading Adam Copeland, but refusing to actually step into the ring with him. This included mocking him by doing a spear in the corner, crawling under the ring to attack him, and Cage fleeing as soon as Copeland tagged into the match. The trio of Allin, Sting and Copeland hit some impressive triple team moves, including a Scorpion Death Drop into elbow drop combo. During all of this, Christian Cage was nowhere to be seen – he was busy hitting Ric Flair in the nuts.

Christian Cage was fantastic in his refusal to get into the ring with Adam Copeland, evoking the scenes shown in the MJF vs CM Punk. A combination of a spear and Coffin Drop saw Adam Copeland pin Luchasaurus to win the match for his team, and the pair celebrated with Ric Flair in the ring.

This was nearly a four-star match, but if I could give Christian Cage an individual performance, it would be five-stars – even though he didn’t do anything.

  • Dave Meltzer’s Star Rating – 3.75 Stars
  • Cagematch Rating – 6.69
  • Atletifo Rating – 3.5 Stars

Orange Cassidy vs Jon Moxley (AEW International Championship)

One of the most anticipated matches of the night came very early on, as Orange Cassidy vs Jon Moxley brought a different kind of intensity to the Full Gear. Moxley’s size and power was once again on display, as he attempted to replay his performance from AEW All Out and regain the AEW International Championship.

While commentary continually pointed out that Orange Cassidy may have lost his confidence, his performance showed anything but. It was a new side of Freshly Squeezed, who learned from is previous loss from Moxley and did his best to counter as much of Moxley’s offense as he possibly could – even busting Moxley open early on (can you even imagine it?!).

The bout went from Cassidy out-wrestling his larger opponent, to an abrupt change of pace as Moxley laid him down with some big slams and destructive pile drivers. The former AEW Champion was as aggressive as he ever has been, but this did not stop Cassidy from going back to his classic “hands-in-pocket” routine to send Moxley flying, head-first, into the exposed turnbuckle.

While injuries had established a weakness in Cassidy’s finisher – the Orange Punch – I took great pleasure in seeing him lay six consecutive Orange Punches into the bloody face of Moxley, before dropping him with a Beach Break to pick up the biggest win of his career, vanquishing a former World Champion in an incredibly cathartic performance.

While it wasn’t quite as good as their previous encounter (which we rated as five stars), this was still a fantastic match, and was the match of the night up to that point at AEW Full Gear 2023.

  • Dave Meltzer’s Star Rating – 4 Stars
  • Cagematch Rating – 6.99
  • Atletifo Rating – 4.5 Stars

Hikaru Shida vs Toni Storm (AEW Women’s Championship)

Following the brutal clash for the AEW International Championship, the fans needed something different – and that is exactly what Toni Storm gave them. Not only did she and Hikaru Shida put on a fantastic match in an in-ring perspective, but she worked her character perfectly to become the first ever three-time AEW Women’s Champion.

“Timeless” Toni Storm used a variety of weapons to try and take the title from Hikaru Shida. The Japanese star gave her all, while look exasperated at every second of the match. After kicking out of a shoe attack, Shida could not handle a hip attack with a metal tray inserted in Storm’s shorts.

After the match, Mariah May came down to the ring to bring Toni Storm a bunch of flowers, as she cried in the ring with her newly won AEW Women’s Championship in her grasp. Her performance was dramatic, over the top and exactly what it needed to be – superb work from Toni Storm.

  • Dave Meltzer’s Star Rating – 2.25 Stars
  • Cagematch Rating – 4.88
  • Atletifo Rating – 2.5 Stars

Ricky Starks and Big Bill vs La Facción Ingobernable vs. FTR vs Kings of The Black Throne (AEW Tag Team Championship)

I can understand why people found this match enjoyable. The action was good, with some fun spots involving some of the best wrestlers from across the world. As most four-way tag team ladder matches, the action kept you on the edge of your seat, and there was never a dull moment in the match.

I just really struggled to care. Eight men in a match is too much. I could barely bring myself to care about the action between eight men as it is, but adding ladders into the mix just made the whole thing an overindulgent I simply could not get invested in.

The one spot that actually got me invested was a short brawl between Brody King and Big Bill. These two behemoths facing off was a match I never knew I wanted, and is exactly what I can away from this match dying to see. That is something that 4000 flips off ladders will not do.

I did like Malakai Black using the ropes to slingshot a ladder into Cash Wheeler’s face though.

  • Dave Meltzer’s Star Rating – 4.75 Stars
  • Cagematch Rating – 7.84
  • Atletifo Rating – 2 Stars

Kris Statlander vs Julia Hart vs Skye Blue (TBS Championship)

Skye Blue showed a new side of her personality in this match, with Julie Hart’s black mist maybe getting the better of the quirky young Chicago wrestler. Blue and Hart worked together in the match to take out Statlander, before turning on one another in their quest to become the TBS Champion.

The match was a refreshing one, after the car crash of a ladder match just minutes before. It told a logical story, and did not resort to ridiculous bumps to keep the fans attention. All three women came close to winning the belt, but it was Julie Hart who stole a pin after Kris Statlander hit Skye Blue with a “Saturday Night Fever” to win her first title in AEW, becoming the third ever TBS Champion.

This was one of Kris Statlander’s best matches in AEW.

  • Dave Meltzer’s Star Rating – 3.5 Stars
  • Cagematch Rating – 7.18
  • Atletifo Rating – 3 Stars

“Hangman” Adam Page vs Swerve Strickland

Adam Page did not take long to stamp his mark on this match. He didn’t even wait for his music to hit before he attacked Swerve in the ring, hitting him with a Buckshot Lariat just seconds into their Texas Death Match.

It’s not like it wasn’t warranted. Swerve Strickland broke into Hangman’s house and threatened his baby, which I dare say is a big no-no to new parents – especially those whose job it is to beat you up. He quickly tied Swerve’s hands together with duct tape, before stapling his bare skin in some disgusting scenes. Blood flowed down his face as Hangman stapled his child’s drawings onto his face, before he drank Swerves blood in soe disgusting, horrific scenes.

Swerve soon got the upper hand and stapled himself, giving this match a very, very different feel. Still disgusting, but made both men look like absolute monsters. As if the addition of barbed wire chairs weren’t enough, Swerve Strickland poured broken glass over the back of Adam Page, before launching into him with a 450 splash (followed by a JML Driver).

After some ridiculous and dangerous moves that were awesome, it took Page wrapping Swerve’s head in barbed wire and hitting him with a Buckshot Lariat to finally put Swerve away – if not for interference from Brian Cage and Prince Nana. In the end, Swerve hit Page over the head with a cinder block, before hanging him with a chain before he could win this classic match.

I’m not the biggest fan of these kinds of matches, but this was a five-star match.

  • Dave Meltzer’s Star Rating – 5 Stars
  • Cagematch Rating – 9.65
  • Atletifo Rating – 5 Stars

Golden Jets vs Young Bucks

A pair of low blows and a Judas Effect cemented The Young Bucks heel turn in a disappointing match against Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho. Despite having four of AEW’s top stars in the match, this match was a slower-paced, less exciting match than you’d expect, and not up to three of the four men’s usual standard (yet, Jericho, of course I am talking about you).

It appears like the only kind of story the Young Bucks can tell is about somebody being jealous about other people having friends. It worked great with Adam Page in 2020, but they’ve gone to that well one too many times at this point. The final stretch of the match was very good, but all four men seemed slightly off their usual pace.

Kenny Omega won the match for his side, choosing Jericho over the Bucks when he hit Nick Jackson with a V-Trigger, and nailed Matt Jackson with a one-winged angel to win the bout. Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega won the Young Bucks tag team title shot, available to use any time.

  • Dave Meltzer’s Star Rating – 4.25 Stars
  • Cagematch Rating – 7.28
  • Atletifo Rating – 3 Stars

MJF vs Jay White (AEW World Championship)

MJF’s title defense at Full Gear 2023 did not quite go as planned. After his attack from The Gunns on the kick-off show, it was reported on air that he would not be able to compete in the bout. Jay White was about to be awarded the AEW Championship, before Adam Cole hobbled onto the stage and vowed to take MJF’s place – one legged or not.

MJF did get back in time for the main event – stealing an ambulance and hobbling to the ring to the delight of the fans. Instead of wrestling a normal match against Jay White, MJF decided that he needed to wrestle with an injured leg, completely devaluing the match and making Jay White look so much worse than he needed to.

Jay White struggled to put away a one-legged MJF in a thirty-minute match, even with interferance from The Gunns. MJF retained his title in a match that was good on the face of it, but completely stupid when looking at it from a booking standpoint. MJF kicked out of a shot with the title belt, while on one leg the whole match, and came back to win with his Dynamite Diamond Ring.

This was the worst AEW main event ever. 1 star. It is the worst booked match in AEW history, and has ruined Jay White as a credible main event star in AEW.

  • Dave Meltzer’s Star Rating – 4.5 Stars
  • Cagematch Rating – 4.43
  • Atletifo Rating – 1 Star

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