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411’s AEW Full Gear Preview

November 13, 2021 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
AEW Full Gear

Hello 411 guys, gals, enbies, and everyone else! Welcome to 411’s AEW Full gear preview! I’m Jeremy Thomas, and this weekend AEW presents one of their biggest shows to date. And I don’t just mean that in terms of stature — this is a BIG card, clocking in at the same number of matches (10) that All Out and Double or Nothing had. It worked out quite well for All Out, though that show also had the benefit of a couple little debuts while Double or Nothing had the benefit of the first full AEW PPV crowd of the pandemic. Can Full Gear deliver in the same way? It’s a challenge to say the least, but they certainly have some matches that have the potential to pull it off. Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself a bit; we have a lot to dig into, so let’s just hop right in and take a look at Saturday’s bouts.

The Buy In
Nyla Rose and Jamie Hayter vs. Thunder Rosa and Hikaru Shida

It’s a testament to the effort that AEW has put into growing its women’s division that we can have a match like this on the Buy In with two former champions and a clear future champion in Thunder Rosa, and it feels like right to be here. By which I mean to say that there’s still a lot of room to grow, but the division has absolutely progressed enough that putting the former champions in the TBS Women’s Championship Tournament and having them battle in a preview match on The Buy In doesn’t really feel like a step down. This is on here basically to build some hype for the tournament, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It should be a solid match that will get people in the mood for PPV action while also promoting said tournament. That said, there really aren’t any major stakes for this match, which gives AEW the freedom to book whoever they want for the win. My instinct is to say that Rose and Hayter could probably use the momentum a tiny bit more, but I have a feeling AEW will want to start the show off with a babyface win. Either result is thoroughly possible, but I’m gonna lean toward Team Babyface taking it here.

WINNER: Thunder Rosa vs. Hikaru Shida

PAC and Cody Rhodes vs. Malakai Black and Andrade El Idolo

Malakai Black and Andrade El Idolo are an alliance I like in theory, but I haven’t been fully invested in what they’ve been doing thus far. It’s not on the fault of either performer; it just seems like things haven’t quite fully come together the way they should have up to now. That said, they’re still doing engaging work for the most part and a match like this should do them some good. The combustible nature of Cody and PAC makes this the perfect match for the heels to win, perhaps with a surprise appearance for someone new to add to the little Injustice League that Black and Idolo have going on here. The match itself should be decent to very good, but this is honestly one of the least exciting bouts on the card for me.

WINNER: Malakai Black and Andrade El Idolo

Falls Count Anywhere Match
Christian Cage & Jurassic Express vs. Adam Cole & The Young Bucks

This six-man tag team bout is one that frustrates me on a certain level. On one hand, it feels like Jungle Boy is a guy that AEW really wants to get behind. On the other hand — when exactly is that going to happen? Part of Jurassic Express’ appeal is that they’re the underdogs you want to root for, but wins against the likes of Anthony Bowens, Brandon Cutler, and Chaos Project aren’t exactly the wins he needs to hit to get to the next level. On the other side, you have Adam Cole in his first PPV match since he debuted at All Out and the smart money is on giving him and the Bucks the win here. I’m not concerned about match quality here, because this has all the potential in the world to a good time and you know the crowd is going to be super into what’s going on. But if you look at it from simply a booking and future positioning perspective, the result seems pretty obvious to me. Christian Cage can take losses and not lose a touch of shine, nor does a loss hurt Luchasaurus all that much while the Bucks are coming off their World Tag Team Championship loss at All Out. The Super Elite will pick up the win here and I’m good with that, but AEW does need to figure out exactly when they’re going to give Jungle Boy that push he’s been seeemingly ready for.

WINNER: The Super Elite

CM Punk vs. Eddie Kingston

Ah, now here we go. For a feud that was started just a couple of weeks ago based on a minor backstage interaction, this has certainly picked up a lot of heat. But then, when it’s CM Punk and Eddie Kingston dueling on the microphones what else would you expect? This is a feud that very much feels like the heated rivalry it should be, and Full Gear should has every opportunity to reap the benefits. Both of these guys have the passion and in-ring storytelling needed to make this shine, and honestly this prediction isn’t quite the slam dunk I would have said such a match would have been a couple of weeks ago. A win for Kingston would let them continue the feud in a natural way and would instantly catapult him up the card. That said, a loss won’t hurt him either, and I don’t think it’s quite time for Punk to lose yet. I expect some good, hard-hitting action here, but in the end I suspect that Punk walks away victorious once again. And honestly if they want the rivalry to continue there are several ways they could do that coming off a Kingston loss, so if that’s the way they go I wouldn’t mind seeing more from these guys.

WINNER: CM Punk

MJF vs. Darby Allin

The battle between two of the four AEW Pillars has been as entertaining as we’d expect it to be up to this point, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing how it plays out on Saturday. Allin and MJF seem like such natural opponents, it’s kind of surprising (in a good way) that AEW held off so long on matching them up. The story tells itself — MJF’s cocky, clean-cut asshole energy against Allin’s dark, alternative rebel vibes. And neither man have disappointed in the build up to this match. I appreciate that while both men are coming off PPV losses, neither of these guys feel like they’re in a “can’t afford to lose” situation. And by the same token, both of them absolutely feel like they could get the win here, depending on which way AEW wants to go. An MJF win would put him well in line for a potential title shot, while an Allin win would also fit into title contention while also giving a solid excuse for the feud to continue if so desired. My inclination though is that this is where MJF picks up the win. It propels him into too many feud possibilities (including perhaps one with Sammy Guevara over the TNT Championship in another “Pillar vs. Pillar” clash) and Allin has several storyline possibilities with a loss here. Either way, this should be fun.

WINNER: MJF

Minneapolis Street Fight
The Inner Circle vs. Men of the Year, Dan Lambert, Junior dos Santos, & Andrei Arlovski

This feud has done some real good in terms of putting some shine on Men of the Year. Sure, there’s been a lot of other good stuff; the American Top Team members have been quite entertaining (notably Paige VanZant), Dan Lambert is having a blast, and it’s given Inner Circle something to do which is always a plus. But the biggest benefit has been boosting the statuses of Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page, both of whom I am a big fan of. That said, based on the way this feud has been built it feels to me like Chris Jericho and company have to go over here. A loss at this point doesn’t wipe clean all the progress Men of the Year have made, especially when a guy like Lambert can take a loss. As for the match quality itself, this is a question mark to some degree due to the novice nature of the ATT guys as pro wrestlers but you have a lot of talented people to bump for them and do the heavy lifting. I don’t expect this to be a top workrate match or anything, but it should be able to be entertaining and give the Circle their win without pushing Page and Sky back down to where they were before. That’s all I’m asking.

WINNER: The Inner Circle

AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament Finals
Bryan Danielson vs. Miro

Before Miro ended up battering his way into the tournament, I think this was a clear way to give Bryan Danielson a tournament win. Sure, it’s been entertaining and put the spotlight on all the competitors, but this was Danielson’s tourney to win. Now? Call me crazy (and maybe I am), but I feel like this is a good way to get Danielson his first loss and propel Miro into a title shot. And let’s make this clear: this is going to be a ridiculously good match. The motivated Miro that we’ve seen for the past six month has been the best he’s ever been, and he can put on an absolute clinic with Danielson here. This is the kind of match where you can book a Danielson loss in a way that does nothing to hurt his shine, whether by outside shenanigans from someone or just because Miro is a beast. And it would be a shocking result which would do wonders for the former TNT Champion. As certain as I would have been about a Danielson win a couple of weeks ago, I’m now all for a win by the Redeemer.

WINNER: Miro

AEW World Tag Team Championship Match
Lucha Bros. vs. FTR

The next couple of matches are much easier to predict. As great as this match between FTR and the Lucha Bros will almost certainly be, I don’t expect to see a title change take place here. AEW (and AAA) have done a lot to build up that possibility, to be sure. Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood’s AAA World Tag Team Championship win over Fenix and Penta last month set up an interesting dynamic where one could absolutely see FTR win on Saturday, then the Lucha Bros. win at TripleMania Regia to get the AAA titles back and leaving both teams with championship gold. And if the duo weren’t relatively new into their AEW World Tag Team Championship reign I could buy that scenario a lot better. But Penta and Fenix still have plenty of life left in their title reign and I don’t see it ending at Full Gear. Both of these teams can obviously go and anticipation is high for a hell of a battle here, but in the end I would legitimately be kind of surprised to see the gold change hands.

WINNER: Lucha Bros. (STILL AEW World Tag Team Champions)

AEW Women’s World Championship Match
Britt Baker vs. Tay Conti

There’s even less mystery about the result in the AEW Women’s World Championship match than there is in the Tag Team Championship bout. That isn’t to say I’m not looking forward to this match. Obviously Britt Baker is absolutely killing it as AEW’s World Women’s Champion, and I’m a huge, huge fan of Tay Conti. I think Conti, while still early in her progression, has already grown by leaps and bounds and it’s been a lot of fun watching her do so. That said, there’s no question that this match is a stop on Baker’s continued path through the women’s division toward the eventual clash with (presumably) Thunder Rosa. A Conti win would be anti-climactic here and so she should put forth a strong effort before eventually going down, leaving the good Doctor as still our champion.

WINNER: Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. (STILL AEW Women’s World Champion)

AEW World Championship Match
Kenny Omega vs. Hangman Page

Honestly, even if most of the rest of the matches were lackluster, this would still be enough to be looking forward to this card. Say what you want about Kenny Omega, but he’s had a strong run as champion and the long-term storyline build to this match has been great. Even with Page taking time off due to his and his wife’s child on the way, this has never seemed to be overly dragged-out and I don’t even know how that’s possible because it’s a storyline that’s more or less been going for two years now. Sure, it’s had its ebbs and flows but they’ve seemed natural or at least not due to a lack of direction. Now we’re here, and I think that you 100% have to do the title switch. It’s been such a good build that having Page fail to win here would feel like pulling the rug out from under him, and I don’t see any benefit to that. Page and Omega are obviously great performers and this match should be fantastic, with the only risk being if they overbook this too much. Sure, I expect Elite run-ins and probably a Danielson appearance to even the odds. Maybe even a surprise appearance to add to the whole thing. But the focus on this needs to remain Page’s ascent to the top of AEW. As long as they can pull that trigger without undercutting it, they should have nothing to worry about.

WINNER: Hangman Page (NEW AEW World Champion)

And that’s all we have for AEW Full Gear! It’s a big-ass card with some big-ass matches, but AEW has every opportunity to deliver in a big way for the fans and I expect nothing less. Thanks once again for reading, and remember that we will have live coverage of the show courtesy of the one and only Steve Cook right here on 411mania.com. Now I’d better run, just in case one of those rumored debuts shows up and — well hell, here he comes…

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AEW Full Gear, Jeremy Thomas