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 for the 2022 edition of AEW’s annual fall event, Full Gear. Here’s how our little corner of the wrestle web graded what happened in the ring on Nov. 19 in Newark, New Jersey - 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 we’ve halved their ratings for ease of comparison.
Here’s what that all looks like:
For the most part, Cagesiders were stingier with the stars than either Meltzer or Cagematch’s voters. It resulted in more greater-than-1⁄2 star deltas than normal; the biggest of which was for the Trios title match (which we’d later learn was the first of a best-of-seven). Death Triangle’s win over Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks also won our “Match of the Night” poll immediately after the show ended, and 12% of Cageside voters gave it “0 Stars”. One possible interpretation of those data points is that anti-Elite sentiment in our community drove down the rating when those folks could do something more than just vote for something else as their favorite thing on the show.
Could pro-CM Punk votes also have been a factor in the lower score we gave to matches involving Chris Jericho or Jon Moxley — two men who gained responsibilities backstage in the wake of Brawl Out?
It didn’t hurt two of Full Gear’s three women’s matches, where our Star Ratings were much higher than Dave’s. That’s not unusual, however, so “personal preference” is definitely still at least part of the explanation for these numbers. It’s also why when we average things out across every bout on the card, the differences aren’t that big,
Both the Observer and cSs gave Full Gear the second lowest average Star Rating among AEW PPVs this year. It was right in the middle of the pack for Cagematch. At least it represented a bounce back from All Out from all three systems...
Is AEW’s PPV match quality on the decline? Or are fans’ feelings about behind-the-scene issues affecting their evaluation of the on-screen product?
Weigh in on that below as you let us know what you think about Cageside’s Community Ratings for Full Gear.