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411’s AEW Full Gear Preview

November 19, 2022 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
AEW Full Gear Image Credit: AEW

Hello 411 guys, gals, enbies, and everyone else! Welcome to 411’s AEW Full Gear preview! I’m Jeremy Thomas, here as always, and today brings AEW’s latest PPV effort with a stacked card. The company has toned down a little bit from past shows which is nice; we only have 10 matches instead of the ungodly 15 for All Out. There are some big matches on the show with a lot of potential to deliver and a ton of titles on the line. We have a lot to get into for Saturday’s show so without further ado let’s jump right in!

Darby Allin & Sting vs. Jeff Jarrett & Jay Lethal

Image Credit: AEW

Jeff Jarrett made a splash when he debuted in AEW earlier this month, attacking Darby Allin for his idolatry of Sting. Jarrett is a coup for AEW in terms of a backstage person who can handle their live event schedule, but let’s be honest; with all due respect to his accomplishments, no one is dying to see him on AEW TV. And yet here we are, with Jarrett and Jay Lethal teaming up to battle Allin and Sting. Now, for a short-term feud to get Sting and Darby on the PPV, this is fine. Jarrett’s teaming with Lethal works after Ric Flair’s Last Match and this should be solid enough. However, this should hopefully be a one-and-done for Jarrett for now. For that to happen, Allin and Sting should get the win. Allin is still one of the pillars of the company, even if his momentum has stalled due to feuds like this, and a win is needed to get him back on track a bit.

WINNER: Darby Allin & Sting

Saraya vs. Britt Baker

Image Credit: AEW

From the moment that Saraya arrived in AEW, the big question was whether we’d see her return to the ring. If she hadn’t been able to get cleared, there was a lot that Tony Khan still could have done with her, but fans have wanted to see her get a Bryan Danielson-like triumphant return since she had to go into retirement due to her neck injury in 2017. And here we are.I think I speak for most fans when I say that there’s a little bit of trepidation here, just like there would be for any performer coming back after so long; we don’t want to see Saraya come back just to get hurt worse. But putting that aside, this is the most logical match and feud for her. Britt Baker has been the dominating face of the AEW women’s division since day one in the company, and Saraya is the logical choice to face her next as she is kept away from the title picture a bit. It’s fair to say that Saraya’s start has had a couple of stumbles, and she is likely to have some ring rust so this match is in a difficult spot where fans may not be happy with the in-ring work, but I still have hopes for this to be a solid affair. In the end, Saraya needs to get the win here to get off to a strong start; a Baker win would feel very deflating for the newer arrival.

WINNER: Saraya

Steel Cage Match
Jungle Boy vs. Luchasaurus

Image Credit: AEW

Jungle Boy’s feud with Christian Cage and Luchasaurus has been rolling along nicely, and has been able to withstand some injury issues to be consistently enjoyable. That said, it’s time for Mr. Boy to start picking up some wins here. Christian beat him at All Out, and Luchasaurus beat him on Dynamite last month. A steel cage match is a nice chance for him to even the odds here. Of course, Christian is the main course for Jungle Boy even if Luchasaurus is just as important of a rival to beat; Jungle Boy can’t get to the final boss without defeating the stage boss here. These two had a really fun match on Dynamite, and there’s every reason to expect that they’ll be doing the same thing at Full Gear. Expect Jungle Boy to defeat his former tag team partner to put him in position for the final match with Christian soon enough.

WINNER: Jungle Boy

AEW TNT Championship Match
Wardlow vs. Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Samoa Joe

Image Credit: AEW

Wardlow’s run as TNT Champion has been fine, but far from spectacular. This seems to be a bit of a running theme with this title, to be fair. Miro, Sammy Guevara, Scorpio Sky… if you aren’t Cody Rhodes or Darby Allin, the TNT Title tends to be a place where you stall out a bit. And that’s not a knock on Wardlow by any stretch; it’s simply that as a secondary title in a promotion with way too many titles, you’re not going to be a focus. That’s something AEW needs to look at as a way to improve, but I digress. While Wardlow’s title run hasn’t been the most memorable, he’s still has the aura around him of someone who can easily move up into a bigger position. Meanwhile, Powerhouse Hobbs is a guy who has been waiting for his chance to run with the ball. Full Gear feels like that time.

Wardlow’s issues with Samoa Joe exploded when Joe attacked Wardlow, putting them on a collision course while Hobbs is taking his chance to step in and try and win the title. Joe already has the ROH TV Title, and putting the TNT Title on him as well would be a mistake. But with Final Battle coming up, this seems like a ripe opportunity to get Wardlow vs. Joe one-on-one for that PPV. That works better if Wardlow doesn’t have a title, and after he’s done with Joe Wardlow could easily move into a new upper-card position if Tony Khan wants. All that is to say that this is Hobbs’ moment to finally break out and win the title, and hopefully he gets a chance to do a bit more with it than the last few guys.

WINNER: Powerhouse Hobbs (NEW AEW TBS Champion)

AEW TBS Championship Match
Jade Cargill vs. Nyla Rose

Image Credit: AEW

Jade Cargill is barrelling her way toward her 50 – 0 win-loss record, though her newest stop on that road is a more interesting one than many of her other bouts. Nyla Rose has presented a challenge that Cargill hasn’t had to face through the entirety of her time in AEW to date; for once, Cargill is the chaser, not the chasee. It’s changed up the dynamic and added a different wrinkle to this feud. Rose has been quite entertaining in this role; additionally, as an in-ring competitor Rose presents a different type of threat to the champion which should allow this to play out differently than many of Cargill’s other matches. I’m definitely intrigued to see how this match is going to go; it will be a test of both Rose and Cargill’s growth in the ring and I have moderately high hopes here. All that said, don’t be fooled into thinking that Rose will be the person to dethrone the TBS Champion. Cargill still has a bit of mileage left with her title reign, and by the end of the night there will be no reason to suspect that she won’t have her championship back.

WINNER: Jade Cargill (STILL AEW TBS Champion)

AEW Trios Tag Team Championship Match
Death Triangle vs. The Elite

Image Credit: AEW

The AEW Trios Tag Team Championships had a bit of a rough start thanks to the All Out of it all. There’s no getting around the fact that The Elite’s suspension due to the backstage mess with CM Punk overshadowed the institution of these titles. Fortunately Death Triangle were right there to pick up the ball and run with it, and they’ve done an admirable job of rescuing the titles from their inauspicious start. Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks’ returns are a big part of the selling point here, and obviously the match will be an absolute blast. But while I think conventional logic says that The Elite win the titles back here, I don’t think that’s the way to go. Putting the titles back on The Elite immediately upon their return sends a wrong message, and it undercuts Death Triangle to boot by making it clear how temporary of champions they were intended to be. It’s more interesting of a story to have PAC and the Lucha Bros. retain the titles and make The Elite have to reckon on screen with their loss. There are plenty of other trios teams that Death Triangle can battle for the titles while The Elite sort their shit out and eventually perhaps come back and claim the titles some other time. I’m probably wrong here, but I’m going with my heart and predicting a Death Triangle retention.

WINNER: Death Triangle (STILL AEW Trios Tag Team Champions)

ROH World Championship Match
Chris Jericho vs. Bryan Danielson vs. Sammy Guevara vs. Claudio Castagnoli

Image Credit: AEW

Chris Jericho’s quest to destroy the legacy of the ROH World Championship has been a nice little direction for the Jericho Appreciation Society leader. It’s worked to give Jericho something to do that keeps the rivalry between the JAS and the Blackpool Combat Club going, and it’s given the ROH Title a nice little focus storyline as we approach ROH Final Battle next month. Jericho has defeated a number of former ROH World Champions in solid to great matches, and that brings us to this four-way bout in which two JAS members and two BCC members battle it out for the championship. Jericho has defeated Danielson and Claudio so far, and conventional wisdom might suggest that one of them gets their revenge by winning the title here, especially if Sammy Guevara costs Jericho the title while trying to win it for himself. That said, we are just a month out from Final Battle and it makes more sense for this title change to happen on a ROH PPV than on an AEW one. Jericho going into Final Battle as the champion gives that show some extra star power, and they can culminate this feud by giving someone the win over the ultimate sports entertainer there. Expect Jericho to retain — probably by JAS sneakery or perhaps a pin on Guevara to bolster some tension between them if they wanna go that way — and head into Final Battle as the champion.

WINNER: Chris Jericho (STILL ROH World Champion)

Interim AEW Women’s World Championship Match
Toni Storm vs. Jamie Hayter

Image Credit: AEW

Listen, I love Thunder Rosa as a competitor. And I also don’t mind interim titles as a general rule; it’s a decent way to have a ready-built feud if a champion is injured for a short time. But the “interim” status of the AEW Women’s World Championship has gone on for too long at this point. Toni Storm has held the interim title for two months now, and Rosa hasn’t defended the main title for a total of three months with at least another month-plus to go before she’s back. It’s time to consider the interim champion as the actual champion.

I say all that because Toni Storm’s title reign hasn’t been given a lot of credit to date, and I do believe it’s in no small part because of that interim qualifier. She’s had a fair amount of quality defenses since she won the title at All Out, but she needs a storyline and it feels like AEW is holding back on that so they can go back to the ThunderStorm feud when Rosa is back. Meanwhile, Hayter is getting the chance at the title that she seems entirely ready for, but I don’t think it’s her time. Putting the title on Hayter leads to an inevitable Hayter vs. Britt Baker feud for the championship, and Baker doesn’t need to be back in the title picture yet. The better play here (and what I think they’ll do) is have Storm pick up the win, perhaps by Baker turning on Hayter after she’s angry about her loss to Saraya, and then kick off the Hayter and Britt feud without the title to get Hayter even more over. Hopefully Storm can then get recognized as the non-interim champion and we can get her a more involving storyline until Rosa does come back to chase her title.

WINNER: Toni Storm (STILL Interim AEW Women’s World Champion)

AEW World Tag Team Championship Match
The Acclaimed vs. Swerve In Our Glory

Image Credit: AEW

The Acclaimed won the AEW World Tag Team Championships from Swerve In Our Glory at Dynamite Grand Slam in September and since then, they’ve shown no signs of slowing down. They’re arguably one of the hottest things going in wrestling, and less arguably so when it comes to AEW. Meanwhile, Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland seem to be prepping for the split that’s been foreshadowed for a while now. What I’m saying is, this is probably the easiest match to predict on the Full Gear card. Sure, it’s always possible that Anthony Bowens’ apparent shoulder injury is both legit and serious enough to necessitate taking the titles off the team, but I kind of doubt that both are the case. These two teams have been duking it out for most of the past few months and they always entertain when they’re in the ring together and I expect nothing less here, but unless there is an absolute necessity to take the titles off the champs due to injury I can’t see how this doesn’t lead to the Acclaimed retaining and Lee & Strickland finally splitting in an emphatic manner.

WINNER: The Acclaimed (STILL AEW Tag Team Champions)

AEW World Championship Match
Jon Moxley vs. MJF

Image Credit: AEW

We can complain about aspects of AEW over the years, but MJF’s ascension to this point is an inarguable success story. I’m not saying anything that isn’t obvious there, of course. MJF is one of the top performers in wrestling period in terms of character work, and AEW has done a great job of taking its time to build him up without hitting the gas too quickly. And his storyline leading into the PPV has been well-done; is he going to turn babyface, or will it all turn out to be a big swerve by the Devil? Either option is intriguing and will position him as one of the premiere stars in the industry when he wins the World Title. And that’s exactly what needs to happen here. Jon Moxley has been a reliable champion for the company, and his current title reign has been very solid. But this match has to be MJF’s crowning moment, because the time is now. There are a lot of options here; if he turns face he can have feuds with Ethan Page, Chris Jericho, Bryan Danielson and others, while a dive deeper into heel territory would set him up for feuds with Wardlow, Hangman, more with Moxley or any number of other big names. There is no really bad option here, but it really does need to be MJF coming out on top to cement a new era for AEW moving forward.

WINNER: MJF (NEW AEW World Champion)

And that’s all we have for AEW Full Gear! AEW has all the tools they need to succeed and it looks like a great show on paper; let’s hope they can deliver. Thanks once again for reading and remember that we will have live coverage of the show courtesy our own Steve Cook right here on 411mania.com. I’m outta here before the media scrum begins, because we know how they go…

Image Courtesy of Tenor

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AEW Full Gear, Jeremy Thomas