AEW Under Investigation by Maryland State Athletic Commission for 'Full Gear' Match

The Maryland State Athletic Commission is currently investigating AEW for a match that happened at their Full Gear PPV event in Baltimore on November 9th.

The match in question is the Kenny Omega vs. Jon Moxley "Unsanctioned Lights Out" bout that closed the show. It was also the most violent match in the brief history of the promotion, which is one of the factors in the investigation as the Commission specifically prohibits wrestlers from lacerating themselves (blading) or their opponents, and the Commission also prohibits introducing human and/or animal blood into a match.

The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that former WCW announcer Christopher Cruise contacted the commission regarding the match. The Commission repeated the above rules to Cruise and told him that they had staff at the event and a doctor on site. Cruise was finally told that the Commission is now investigating the match and couldn't comment further until that investigation is over.

Cruise has been a vocal critic of AEW. Speaking to the Wrestling With History podcast (h/t Wrestling Inc.), Cruise said, "AEW has millions of dollars from the son of a billionaire and is not setting the world on fire and will not succeed. It may last a long time, but will never be profitable. Somebody once said 'if you want to be a millionaire, start with a billion dollars and buy an airline.' It's the same thing with a pro wrestling organization; it's just going to bleed you dry. Not everything is guaranteed to last forever. It's my convention that wrestling has seen better days."


According to an article published by the Baltimore Sun in 2010, the Commission in Maryland "has always had a reputation for being overbearing in its regulation of pro wrestling." Famously, a Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger title match at the Great American Bash in 1988 was "stopped" by the Commission due to Luger bleeding too much (when you watch it back, the blood is fairly minimal).

The Sun article notes that there had been numerous bloodbaths in wrestling matches that had taken place in the state over the years, so the finish of the Luger vs. Flair match was kind of an inside joke to the Commission rules within the state being selectively applied.