SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
I’m generally not over dramatic about these types of things, but the 2022 edition of AEW Full Gear is pretty damn important to the future of All Elite Wrestling.
Oh, Zack. Don’t be crazy.
A reasonable response I suppose, but Tony Khan has a lot on the line Saturday night. In pro wrestling, timing can mean everything. Going with a certain star, angle, or feud and not going with a star, angle, or feud can be the difference in a hot or cold product. Tony is at that crossroads right now and he needs to pick the right way?
That crossroads is MJF as a heel or babyface for the next few years. MJF is a homegrown talent for AEW and is on the cusp of superstardom. Audiences want to cheer him, media outlets outside of wrestling want him on their shows, and he regularly exudes the aura of the top leading act for the company whenever he’s on television. The time is now to go with him and finally give fans the permission to cheer him outright.
MJF may not want that and going all in on that call, making MJF champion over Jon Moxley, and running with him instead of Mox may have diminishing returns for Moxley, but so be it. MJF’s time is now. Full Gear 2022. One way or the other we’ll remember this show for quite sometime.
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?
Darby Allin & Sting vs. Jeff Jarrett & Jay Lethal
I’ve come to enjoy Sting matches and there is nothing about this match that screams disaster. Will Jeff Jarrett do a job? Ha! Yeah right. Darby is pinning Jay Lethal here and though that’s not very dramatic, it’s the right call. Let’s see you politic your way out of this one, Jarrett!!
Britt Baker vs. Saraya
What a damn mess. If you’d have given me a list of ways that AEW could really jack up this match for both women, none of them would compare to what we’ve seen take place the last few weeks. Promote Saraya’s return match? Nah. Make Saraya unlikable? In. Britt Baker’s the heel, but let’s have her defend AEW? Sure, why the hell not. None of this had made any sense and outside of the meta intrigue as to how they make it through from a booking perspective, this may be the biggest miss we’ve seen Tony Khan make – after the exploding barbed wire nothing match that is. Saraya takes it, but who the hell really cares at this point?
Chris Jericho vs. Sammy Guevara vs. Bryan Danielson vs. Claudio Castagnoli – ROH World Championship
Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhh. More ROH content on AEW shows. The worst kind, too. Do we need to be doing this? There hasn’t been a good story told and nobody buys dissension between Guevara and Jericho. A whole lot of nothing going on with this one. I’m sure Tony Khan wants Jericho to hold the title going into Final Battle so he retains.
Jade Cargill vs. Nyla Rose – TBS Championship
Are we supposed to like Nyla Rose? Yes? Well, nobody does. Look, you can’t just claim belts and all of a sudden be the champion. Commentary selling Nyla as the real champion is befuddling. This entire thing is silly, but Cargill wins definitively.
The Elite vs. Death Triangle – AEW World Trios Championship
The match is going to be excellent. I can promise you that with quite a bit of certainty. The build? Not so much. How are we not getting more out of The Elite returning to AEW? They appear in a graphic? No angle? Nothing? Look, they will retain their titles here, but their return isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of their star power within the company.
Toni Storm vs. Jaime Hayter – Interim AEW Women’s World Championship
This feels like the third most important women’s match on the show, which isn’t a great look for the world champion. That said, the personality history between both women that AEW has gone out of their way to show has made for an interesting program with a grudge feel to it. I think Storm takes the win here, but Hayter is close. Tony Khan needs to give fans the all clear to straight up cheer her on.
Jungle Boy vs. Luchasaurus – Steel Cage Match
Once again, this feud with Jungle Boy is the best built match on the show. The narrative is, “let’s get into a cage and find out who the real monster is.” It’s simple, but it works and when Jungle Boy wins, he’ll be elevated because of it.
The Acclaimed vs. Swerve In Our Glory – AEW World Tag Team Championship
The Acclaimed is the hottest act in the company, so they will unquestionably be getting the win here. The question is how. Swerve is going full heel, that’s how. Strickland turns on Lee, they feud, and The Acclaimed continues their reign with a showdown against FTR looming.
Wardlow vs. Samoa Joe vs. Powerhouse Hobbs – TNT Championship
I’d have like to have seen a singles match between Wardlow and Hobbs, but Joe won’t hurt this either. The match will stand out because it’ll be so different from others on the card. Lots of power moves here, but Wardlow overcomes the odds to hang on to his title.
Jon Moxley vs. MJF – AEW World Championship
The money match and what I’m predicting will be the match of the night. AEW needs to get this right and right means MJF winning clean, staying babyface, and being the guy moving forward. The story here is that Jon Moxley is going to get something out of MJF. They will pay that off, but in the end, Max wins. A handshake with Mox would be a nice touch as well. Any other outcome here is disappointing and not the best way forward for MJF, if the company wants him to be its face.
CATCH-UP: Update on AEW status of CM Punk