Whatever your thoughts are on All Elite Wrestling, one thing became very clear during Saturday’s Full Gear pay-per-view: This is a company that is not afraid to go for broke. While the entirety of the show is worth your time, the main event was something that wrestling fans haven’t seen on mainstream television for some time now. What was billed as a "Lights Out" match between Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley turned very quickly into something less euphemistic: a good old-fashioned deathmatch, violent and uncomfortable in equal parts.
First, a quick primer: A deathmatch is a match with no rules in the storyline, where anything and everything goes. Well, that’s a hardcore match—it evolves into a deathmatch when the performers are more willing to risk life and limb in order to entertain. WWE hardcore matches have become a placated version of that in the last decade or so. You’ll see some creative weapons but nothing that looks or feels actually dangerous. What Moxley and Omega did was take that template and throw barbed wire, broken glasses, and mousetraps at it. Oh, and lots of blood.
That type of match is not for everyone. In fact, the reaction to that main event has been as polarized and split as anything AEW has done in its short lifespan. The main critique is also what made it viscerally fascinating: It was just too realistically violent. When Moxley hit Omega with a barbed-wired-covered bat, you could feel it, because barbed wire is something everyone knows. Ditto when the two went through a barbed wire platform of sorts.