After every WWE - and now AEW - PPV, we ask you all to rank each match on the show using the star rating system made famous by Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer.
The results are in from Fall Gear, a show that paid off a story All Elite Wrestling’s been telling since its inception. Here’s how our little corner of the wrestle web graded what happened in the ring in Minneapolis on Nov. 13 - and how our subjective grades compare to Meltzer’s.
Many have asked “why Dave?”, which to me is fairly obvious. Love, hate, or don’t care about him, the Observer Star Rating is the proverbial industry standard. No one else’s are tracked by Wikipedia and other web outlets. You can’t place online bets on what grades other pundits will give big matches.
But in order to not make this all about Meltz, we added another fan-voted rating to the mix - this one from Cagematch. That site uses a ten point scale, so in calculating the difference between our score and theirs, I halved the Cagematch rating.
Here’s what that all looks like:
There’s a segment of the wrestle web that believes Uncle Dave is biased toward Tony Khan’s company. While these completely unscientific data points don’t prove anything, they certainly don’t disprove anything either.
One thing we’ve seen over the years of doing the Cageside Community Star Ratings is that, for the kvetching people do about Meltzer, his and our ratings tend to line up pretty closely. The only match we’re really on the same page about when it comes to Full Gear is the MJF/Darby Allin opener, however. Beyond that the differences are striking. On the eleven 2021 WWE events to date, there have been six matches where there was a one star or greater delta between our rating and Meltzer’s. There were four on AEW’s November show.
Full Gear is the first AEW PPV we’ve asked y’all to rate, so we can’t say that we’re regularly harsher than the Observer on the company’s shows. But it’s worth keeping an eye on, especially since the other fan voting mechanism was more aligned with our scores than it was Meltzer’s.
That wasn’t the only anomaly. CM Punk vs. Eddie Kingston won our “Match of the Night” poll after Full Gear ended, but it was only the third highest rated one here. Granted, that race was tight, but the bout we scored the highest in this exercise (Allin/MJF) finished third in that one. It’s not bizarre, but it is unusual.
The important thing is, Full Gear kicked ass. The average Cageside Community Star Rating of 3.72 is the highest given to any show we’ve graded this year. Unfortunately, that doesn’t include Revolution, Double or Nothing, or All Out, and it’s reasonable to assume at least that last one would have scored as high or higher. But everyone agrees it was a great show, so try not to let quibbling over stars dampen your appreciation of that.
Do Cageside’s Community Ratings match up with your personal ones? Any final thoughts on Full Gear?