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Can you say stacked card? Give it a shot, because it’s the only way to describe AEW’s second presentation of their fall PPV event, Full Gear.
The build, stories, and hype for the matches on this card have been all over the board in terms of success, but come Saturday night, all of them have the potential to steal the show inside the ring. Not only can each of them run away with the match of the night honors, collectively they are diverse in terms of style and bring different wrestling pillars to the table that creates a holistically well-rounded card.
Call this a preview, a calm look into the distant future, or a gaze into a wondrous crystal ball; just don’t hold me to anything, ok?
FTR vs. The Young Bucks – AEW Tag Team Championship Match
This entire program has been a disappointment from day one. I applaud the effort to tell a long-term story with these teams, but if you take into account their rivalry throughout the years when they weren’t inside the same company, they’ve had a long-term story all along. Adding another on top of things, in an overly cute fashion has watered down their feud to the point where both teams are cold and unlikeable. That fact has created an environment in which it’s difficult to find a rooting interest. All that said, the in-ring product has yet to be seen. The Bucks and FTR can reverse the mojo around this rivalry with a premiere performance on Saturday night. I promise you, we’ll get what we’re all clamoring for in terms of a memorable match. Both teams are too talented not to bring it when it matters most and they’ll save their program with it. The Bucks winning with some underhanded tactics will give the feud additional legs for future matches, too. Bank on that.
Orange Cassidy vs. John Silver
The mid-card grudge match of the evening. In that vein, this has delivered nicely. To this point, Orange Cassidy has been involved in big feuds, but with top acts that have carried the interest. Here, its all OC. It’s been his time to lead the program and he’s delivered. Orange Cassidy has a bright future for AEW, but he needs wins to realize it. He’ll get one here. This isn’t a giant win, but it’s a signature win in terms of Cassidy standing on his own and delivering for the first time.
Cody vs. Darby Allin – AEW TNT Championship Match
The nature of the TNT Championship in AEW is not conducive to top tier storytelling between characters. The championship is defended so often against a turnstile of different opponents that there just isn’t time for that storytelling to take place. These matches are just about the championship. Cody and Allin have that storyline too and Cody’s promo this Wednesday emphasized it greatly. Cody and Allin also have a deeper history together that other TNT Championship challengers don’t have. Cody is responsible for bringing Allin into AEW, they have a story between each other rooted in a series of matches, and they seem to have a special chemistry together. They’ve played up all of that in the lead up to the match, but Allin hasn’t said much throughout the build. While that lines up with his act, it doesn’t signal that a big triumph over a rival for the first time is in the cards. This will be close, but look for Cody to retain.
Matt Hardy vs. Sammy Guevara
After what happened at All Out between these two, it’s hard to get behind this program. Period. That said, and while it has suffered because of their history, this has also suffered due to a lack of a second and third chapter to their story. Plus, Sammy has been pulling double duty and playing a totally different character as part of the Inner Circle against MJF. Guevara needs the win here and he’ll get it. The bottom line is, he has a bigger future in the company and after doing some jobs throughout the first year of AEW, he would benefit greatly with a signature win that he could yammer about for the next 18 months. It’s time for Sammy and it’s time for this feud to end also.
Kenny Omega vs. Adam Page – AEW Number One Contender Tournament Final
It’s nice to see Kenny Omega start to find his stride as a top star in AEW. It’s about time. This story has been a bit convoluted at times, but found it’s footing throughout the last 3 weeks. Omega and Page have finessed the notion that they are somewhat friendly, while also being close rivals. That will play out further in this match. I’m expecting, and the AEW audience needs, the signature Kenny Omega match here. It will be rooted in psychology and physicality that will make it memorable. It seems that Page is a long-term project for the company. With that said, watch for Kenny Omega to get a heelish win and jump on the path to face Jon Moxley for the championship in the very near future.
Hikaru Shida vs. Nyla Rose – AEW Women’s Championship
As the AEW PPV’s come and go, we still see the same lack of focus and attention to the women’s division in their company. At some point, they need to put their money where their mouth is and give the division life. This match is just a match. It’s a match that might as well be on AEW Dark. We haven’t seen a story, a promo, or anything that gives audiences a reason to invest. Because of that, I expect Shida to retain. She’s been the one constant inside the division and needs to be protected.
Chris Jericho vs. MJF
A little too cute for me, but Jericho and MJF both played their nuanced roles extremely well. They both have acted the part of inauthentic jerks toward the other, while also appearing friendly. That has been fun to watch. This feud has also slotted Jericho as a babyface, which is smart at this point in his career. People don’t want to boo him. They want to cheer, sing his entrance song, and openly appreciate all he’s done in the business. With the move, MJF will have an over babyface to play off of and build heat from. I mentioned “cute,” and this match can’t be that. As a new babyface, Jericho will need a serious outing and to build heel credibility, MJF needs that too. I’m calling that we see MJF fully turn on Jericho making himself the leader of the Inner Circle while leaving Jericho laying to fend for himself.
Jon Moxley vs. Eddie Kingston – AEW World Championship “I Quit” Match
Outside of Roman Reigns vs. Jey Uso, this is the feud of the pandemic era in wrestling. Moxley and Kingston have told a very personal story and have done it in a way that is emotional, dramatic, and real. Kingston has stepped up his game in how he’s presented himself. He’s balanced being a bad heel while also conveying traits that are relatable in terms of his sacrificing to boast his career. Moxley has been Moxley. Anything he’s touched in 2020 has been gold and this program isn’t any different. The “I Quit” stipulation leads me to believe this will be violent. Moxley should get the victory, but I hope they keep the violence in check. I don’t want to be legitimately worried about Kingston’s well being. I want to fall into the story.
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