AEW FULL GEAR PRIMER: Preview & Predictions for MJF vs. Jay White, Cassidy vs. Moxley, Statlander vs. Hart vs. Blue, Shida vs. Toni Storm, Darby & Sting & Copeland vs. Christian & Luchasarus & Nick Wayne

By Javier Machado, PWTorch contributor


Full Gear will be held November 18, 2023, at the Kia Forum in Inglewood, California. Along with the following matches, Tony Khan has announced that he will be signing a top wrester to AEW. The only two that I think would match the hoopla are either Will Ospreay (my guess) or Mercedes Mone. Just to spitball a couple of other (unlikely) names, Golberg, Giulia, Matt Riddle, Nic Nemeth, or Sami Callihan.

MJF (c) vs. Jay White – AEW World Championship match


MJF & ??? (c) vs. Austin Gunn & Colten Gunn, ROH World Tag Team Championship match

Story in a nutshell: In order to force AEW World Champion MJF to agree to a title maxtch, Bullet Club Gold leader Jay White stole MJF’s title belt and has been parading around with it, while the Gunns challenged MJF for the ROH World Tag Team Championship.

Jay White told MJF that he was going to take MJF’s AEW World Championship from him. Jay made good on his promise when he and his cohorts in Bullet Club Gold attacked MJF and stole the belt. This led to a series of confrontations between MJF and Bullet Club Gold. Meanwhile, Samoa Joe, Wardlow, and others have made their intentions on MJF and his championship known. Austin and Colten Gunn also challenged MJF for the ROH World Tag Team Titles. MJF finds himself alone with his tag partner and only ally, Adam Cole, out with an injury. While MJF begrudgingly accepted help from his stalker, Max Caster and the rest of the Acclaimed, they were taken out by a mysterious group led by a man in MJF’s devil mask that MJF claimed was stolen. Samoa Joe has offered MJF help but it comes at the price of a future title shot that MJF is loath to give Joe.

Prediction and analysis: MJF retains both titles with Joes help as his tag partner (if not Joe, then maybe Goldberg). There are still too many people gunning for his title, and I expect him to have to deal with Joe and possibly Wardlow (though that could be after MJF drops the title) before Adam Cole’s eventual betrayal as the one behind the masked devil. (CM Punk would be the only other real option in the swerve of all swerves.) Keeping the tag titles on him keeps that extra pressure on him, making Cole’s inevitable betrayal all that more heart breaking since MJF insists on defending the tag title in honor of his friend.

Orange Cassidy (c) vs. Jon Moxley – AEW International Championship match

Story in a nutshell: After losing his AEW International Championship to Rey Fenix who then lost it to Orange Cassidy, Jon Moxley targets the man he has already beaten once for the title.

After a brutally taxing run as AEW International Champion, Orange Cassidy finally lost the title to Jon Moxley. Losing the title made Cassidy really appreciate it and motivated him to take the title from Rey Fenix who had recently won it from Moxley. Moxley, who had been injured in his match with Fenix, returned and attacked Cassidy, claiming that he wanted to take the title back from someone he believes is beneath him.

Prediction and analysis: Had Moxley not been legitimately injured in his match against Fenix, I think Cassidy would have still been motivated to get the title back from Moxley having to chase Moxley since Moxley doesn’t respect him. Cassidy then would have won then earning a level of respect from Moxley. I think that’s still what happens, only it is Cassidy defending the title.

Adam Page vs. Swerve Strickland – Texas Death match

Story in a nutshell: Swerve Strickland escalated things in his feud with Adam Page when Swerve staged an invasion of Page’s home while Page was not there.

Swerve Strickland challenged Adam Page to a match stating that he was coming after Page’s “spot” since he felt like Page had become complacent. Swerve won their match at WrestleDream albeit by using a foreign object to get the win. Later, Page went after Swerve, calling him out for his cheating. Swerve ominously told Page that consequences are sometime visited upon those closest to one instead of the one who triggered them. Swerve went after Page’s family in Page’s absence. This has enraged Page who wants to get bloody revenge. Swerve for his part pointed out that Page has finally found his motivation.

Prediction and analysis: Page lost the first match, and with his personal life being invaded, I can’t see a way where he doesn’t pay Swerve back in blood.

Hikaru Shida (c) vs. Toni Storm – AEW Women’s World Champion match

Story in a nutshell: Toni Storm had been appearing after Hikaru Shida matches which goaded Shida but put her AEW World Championship on the line.

After Toni Storm lost the AEW Women’s World Championship to Hikaru Shida, Toni has been slowly losing her mind. This split her from her stablemates, Saraya and Ruby Soho. She eventually began acting like a starlet of yesteryear complete with black and white grainy footage. She began showing up at Hikaru Shida matches until a thoroughly vexed Shida accepted a title match. In the meantime, new AEW signee, Mariah May has been obsessing over Toni.

Prediction and analysis: I really hope they keep it on Shida and, I don’t know… give her some storylines or something? If Toni wins, the title has basically hot-potatoed around to the same place it was back in August with no one who has held it being anymore over thanks to the title.

Darby Allin & Sting & Adam Copeland vs. Christian Cage & Luchasaurus & Nick Cage

Story in a nutshell: Sting convinced Adam Copeland that his hopes of reuniting with his former tag team partner Christian Cage were futile, and that Copeland should team with Sting and Darby Allin against Christian and his crew.

Christian Cage was able to defend his TNT Championship from Darby Allin, when Darby’s protégée, Nick Wayne, turned on him. Sting came out to save Darby from a beatdown but was overwhelmed. Before Sting could be taken out, a debuting Adam Copeland made the save. Later, Copeland tried to reason with Christian, hoping Christian would abandon his path and team up with him once more. Christian wanted nothing to do with the former “Edge”. Eventually, Sting pushed Copeland into realizing Christian was not the friend he remembered and recruited Copeland into Sting and Darby’s long running feud with Christian Cage and his lackeys. Oh, and Sting declared he’s retiring soon. Instead of a gold watch, Tony Khan, gave Sting Ric Flair as a retirement gift.

Prediction and analysis: Team Sting wins but, with Ric Flair now being signed, I wouldn’t be surprised if he turns on Sting, maybe with Copeland, since that tends to happen around Sting.

Chris Jericho & Kenny Omega vs. Nick Jackson & Matt Jackson

Story in a nutshell: The Bucks, Nick and Matt Jackson, wary of (if not jealous of) the bond that has been forming between Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega due to their feud with Don Callis, have challenged Jericho and Omega to a match where the Bucks guaranteed title shot is on the line.

Feuding with the Don Callis Family has made allies of long-time enemies, Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega. The Young Bucks, Matt and Nick Jackson, have been upset that Omega hasn’t relied on them, that together they were the Elite. Omega called the Bucks out for their childish behavior. The fact that Omega had previously beaten the Bucks before came up. A challenge was made where a guaranteed title shot the Bucks had won would be up on the line. However, If Jericho and Omega, now called the Golden Jets, lost, they wound never be allowed to team together again.

Prediction and analysis: The just named themselves the Golden Jets… Jericho and Omega win this.

Kris Statlander (c) vs. Julia Hart vs. Skye Blue – AEW TBS Championship Three-way match

Story in a nutshell: AEW TBS Champion, Kris Statlander finds herself in the middle of the issues between Julia Hart and Skye Blue.

House of Black’s, Julia Hart misted Skye Blue. This mist has the property of corrupting those it infects like it did Juilia, once upon a time. Since she was misted, Skye Blue has experienced a change in her personality, becoming surlier and more aggressive. Willow was misted as well but her upbeat demeanor has helped her resist the mist better than most. All of these women have had encounters with AEW TBS Champion, Kris Statlander. Julia has been trying to sway Skye and Willow to her side but blames Statlander for her lack of success. It was decided that the winners of two matches would face Statlander at Full Gear. Julia Hart defeated Willow in her match, and Skye Blue defeated Red Velvet.

Prediction and analysis: Either Skye fully succumbs to Julia’s mist and helps her win, or Stalander retains, and Willow turns. Either way, with so much riding on the mist, someone’s getting corrupted.

Ricky Starks & Big Bill vs. Rush & Dralistico vs. Cash Wheeler & Dax Hardwood vs. Malakai Black & Brody King, AEW World Tage Team Championship Four-way match

Story in a nutshell: They wanted a bunch of bodies in a match.

FTR, Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood were angling for a way to get a shot to win back the AEW World Tag Team Championship that they lost to Ricky Starks and Big Bill. When FTR got into trouble, La Faccion Ingobornable, Rush, Dralistico (formerly Mystico II, formerly Dragon Lee I), and Preston Vance surprisingly got involved and saved them. Later House of Black, Malakai Black and Brody King got involved for Malakai’s inscrutable reasons. Eventually, Starks and Bill were told that they would be defending their titles against all three teams at Full Gear.

Prediction and analysis: The winner of this faces either the Golden Jets or the Bucks so it’s likely FTR, though I’d be happy to see La Faccion win.

RECOMMENDED NEXT: AEW DYNAMITE RESULTS (11/15): Ajani’s alt-perspective report on Full Gear hype, eight-man street fight, Moxley & Yuta vs. Cassidy & Hook, MJF-Jay White exchange

OR CHECK THIS OUT AT PROWRESTLING.NET: AEW Rampage results (11/17): Powell’s live review of Christian Cage defending the TNT Title against the winner of a four-way match on Collision, Toni Storm vs. Emi Sakura, the final push for AEW Full Gear

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