AEW Full Gear 2020 Preview
The night is almost upon us, All Elite Wrestling's latest pay-per-view offering FULL GEAR 2020 comes to you LIVE on BRLive.com (Order Now) starting at 8pm EST/7pm CST, with the BUY-IN kicking off absolutely free at 7pm EST!
This past Wednesday night set the table for the event with a face-to-face confrontation between the World Champion and challenger, the Tag Team Champions assaulting their challengers, Cody putting his challenger on notice, Nyla Rose doing the same for the Women's Champion, and much more insanity on the eve of the PPV extravaganza.
As the saying goes, the time for talking is now over and the fighting is ready to begin...
AEW WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP “I QUIT” MATCH...
JON MOXLEY (c) vs. “THE MAD KING” EDDIE KINGSTON
On the September 23rd edition of DYNAMITE, “The MurderHawk Monster” Lance Archer was set to challenge Jon Moxley for the AEW World Title, but health precautions forced the match to be rescheduled for a later date.
Up stepped Eddie Kingston...
Using the fact that he was not technically eliminated from the CASINO BATTLE ROYALE at ALL OUT 2020 as the lynchpin of his argument, Kingston publicly stated he would step up as a last minute challenger once Moxley demanded to still defend his championship. In what proved to be a truly grueling contest, Moxley would defeat “The Mad King” via referee stoppage after the challenger was rendered unconscious with a Bulldog Choke.
Kingston isn't wrong in claiming he never gave up, that he never tapped out or said “I Quit”, but it falls on the referee, in this case Bryce Remsburg, to look out for the safety of the competitors and stop the contest when necessary. Suffice to say when Eddie realized what had happened, as The Lucha Brothers assaulted the champ inside the ring, he was less than pleased with the decision.
As anyone who has followed Kingston throughout his nearly twenty year career would be aware, the tenacious fighter was not about to let that moment be the end of his AEW World Title aspirations. Whether it be verbally, or physically as on the 10/14 DYNAMITE when he choked out Moxley following the Archer title match, Eddie has been quite clear that he wanted another opportunity to take the championship from Moxley and was going to keep pushing until it became a reality.
On the October 21st DYNAMITE, that part of the mission was accomplished when it was announced Tony Khan had signed Kingston versus Moxley for FULL GEAR 2020, and to put an end to Kingston's rants of never giving up and never quitting in the previous battle, this one would be contested under I QUIT stipulations!
That added wrinkled has only added additional fuel to this fire raging between two men whose relationship dates back nearly to the beginning of their wrestling careers. As both men have publicly put out there, especially in that emotional face-to-face embedded above, their families have intertwined through the years, they have shared both the ring and the dinner table. The two men traveled similar roads, until they diverged into distinctly separate paths, before converging once more under the auspices of the AEW banner.
Kingston, from his perspective, sees Moxley as a sellout who left all his friends behind to claw their own ways through the mire, despite apparently promising to lift everyone else up along with him. Whether or not Kingston actually cares about the “everyone else” and not just himself could be debated, but one need only look at his relationship to The Butcher, The Blade, and The Lucha Brothers to lend credence to the notion he has some level of concern about his fellows.
On Moxley's side, he has expressed repeatedly how happy he was for Kingston to make his way to the AEW stage, and how ecstatic he was to share a locker room with someone else whose roots are planted in many of the same Arenas, lodges, and whose tires have put miles traveling equivalent roads. Alongside that excitement though has bloomed confusion, if not utter disappointment, for how Kingston has conducted his business after signing his name on an AEW contract. When he made his surprising debut to answer the TNT Title Open Challenge, the man once known as “The King of Diamonds” presented himself as the individual Moxley knew once upon a time. He came across as a man grateful for the opportunity, rather gracious in defeat, and even hopeful that the one failed opportunity (in a lifetime of them if as Eddie tells it), would not be the end of them where AEW was concerned.
And then he signed his deal, he inserted himself as a peacemaker between Butcher, Blade, Penta, and Fenix, and suddenly the mask began to fall away. The “thank you for the opportunity” Eddie became the loudest man in room, and from Moxley's perspective “The loudest one in the room is the weakest one in the room”.
Eddie is not weak, he has never in nearly twenty years of wrestling shown himself to be a weak man, but this Saturday night on pay-per-view, Jon Moxley aims to make him the weakest man in the fight. I Quit matches have been seen in professional wrestling prior to this, there is a long track record of their violent tendencies, and the damage they have inflicted on one wrestler after another. But seldom have two men such as Kingston and Moxley entered into this kind of a fight, seldom have fans witnessed this stipulation go down between two warriors with such a personal, emotional, deep-seeded history.
And it's rare to see such a fight happen between two men whose careers have been built on never giving up, never quitting, never stopping. So what will it take to make that happen? What on this Earth can Jon Moxley do to Eddie Kingston, and vice versa, to make the words “I Quit” slip from between their lips? We shall see Saturday night if such a feat is even possible...
AEW WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH...
***IF THE YOUNG BUCKS LOSE, THEY WILL NEVER CHALLENGE FOR TITLES AGAIN***
FTR (CASH WHEELER & DAX HARWOOD) (c) VS. (#1) THE YOUNG BUCKS (MATT & NICK JACKSON)
Yes this match has been brewing since May 27th when FTR made their shocking appearance on DYNAMITE to save The Young Bucks from a beating by The Butcher and The Blade, but in truth, it has been something anticipated for much longer than that. This is a meeting fans across the world have been waiting to happen since both teams broke into the consciousness of the wrestling world. Both teams are widely viewed as representing two distinct fashions in approaching duos competition; FTR champions a more traditional version of the style, a throwback if you will, to the foundations of tag team wrestling while The Young Bucks can rightfully be credited for heralding a new approach to the tag team game.
Neither side is inherently wrong in their approach to the fight, merely two different ways to accomplish the same goal, and that goal forever remains claiming the World Tag Team Championship as their own.
It was a goal many wrestling pundits assumed would be accomplished by the brothers Jackson last year when the tournament to crown the very first champions went down. To the shock of absolutely everyone both in AEW and around the wrestling world, Private Party delivered the upset of the century when they bested The Young Bucks in the opening round of the tournament! Matt and Nick would be frustrated on two more occasions, by both the eventual winners of the tournament, Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky, as well as their championship successors Kenny Omega and Adam Page.
It seemed as if the goal of becoming World Tag Team Champions would be an unattainable one after Adam Page cost them a #1 Contender's Gauntlet match on the eve of ALL OUT 2020, but the fortunes of The Young Bucks would change on October 21st when Matt and Nick topped Private Party, Reynolds & Silver, as well as The Butcher & The Blade to earn a championship match this Saturday night. This time it would not be Page and Omega who would be standing across the ring from them, but the men who usurped their position at the top: FTR.
The collision that has been anticipated for so long has finally come to fruition and it will take place this Saturday night during the FULL GEAR 2020 pay-per-view extravaganza, and the Cash Wheeler/Dax Harwood combination has been owning the competition in AEW in preparation for this battle. Prior to wresting the titles from Page & Omega in September, FTR amassed an unblemished tag team record, racking up seven straight tag team victories leading into ALL OUT 2020. In fact, the only two negatives on their record came in multi-man tags that paired Cash and Dax with The Young Bucks on their team.
And in the weeks since becoming the new World Tag Team Champions, FTR, with Tully Blanchard at their side, has successfully defended the belts three times. But something else has also come along with the rise of FTR to the top of the mountain, and that is a look into their willingness to do absolutely anything in order to first obtain, and now retain, the championship. They spun out Adam Page so badly he screwed over his own friends and ultimately cost his team the championships, Tully has certainly played his part in helping the pair impact the division, and they showed absolutely no remorse in assaulting Matt Jackson several weeks ago, using a chair to severely injure his ankle heading towards the title fight.
As evidenced above, it was only the timely intervention of Hangman Page, in a mea culpa of sorts, who prevented a second assault from occurring on Wednesday night. In the aftermath of The Young Bucks finally evening the score with Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen for that upset a year earlier, there was even a bit of an Elite reunion, albeit short-lived, but gave some hope for the future of that family.
But going into Saturday night, the wonder is if there is a glimmer of hope for Matt and Nick Jackson given the condition of the former's ankle. Add in the self-imposed stipulation of never challenging for the World Tag Team Titles again, and one must wonder if the desperation of The Young Bucks to finally claim the prizes many presumed were their, in a fashion, birthright will be their undoing.
There is no doubt FTR is at the top of the mountain in All Elite Wrestling's tag team division, and that as the champions they can rightfully be considered the greatest tag team in the all of professional wrestling. Cash and Dax have proven with each successive win just how good they are, and defeating The Young Bucks at FULL GEAR 2020 can finally put to rest the debate of who is the best duo competing today. One thing the champions will apparently have to make due without this Saturday night though, as we learned after DYNAMITE, is Tully Blanchard (https://twitter.com/AEW/status/1324193676864749568).
This match Saturday night is about that “greatest tag team” moniker, it is about the championship itself, and given the assaults on Matt and Nick, and even on the Rock 'n' Roll Express weeks ago, it's not about putting on the greatest tag team exhibition in the history of the division, it's about the fight, and punching each other in the faces.
AEW TNT TITLE MATCH...
“THE AMERICAN NIGHTMARE” CODY (c) VS. (#4) DARBY ALLIN
“I solely recruited you Darby...”
Cody's words from Wednesday night on DYNAMITE following the main event ring true as wholeheartedly as any others. The fact that “The American Nightmare” stepped up to wrestle Darby Allin himself at FYTER FEST 2019 is testament to the belief Cody had in the potential of Allin and what he had to offer to All Elite Wrestling. And the end result, a time limit draw that June 29th night, stood as proof that Cody was absolutely correct when it came to pushing for Allin's inclusion in AEW.
Darby again verified Rhodes' faith in him by being the very first challenger to Chris Jericho for the AEW World Title on October 16th in Philadelphia. He may not have won, but Allin certainly showed the world once more why Cody's faith was well-placed.
But one thing that never left Darby's mind, no matter who he wrestled or what the result may have been, was that time limit draw with “The American Nightmare”. And so when it came to Cody looking for a helping hand against MJF's hired guns of The Butcher and The Blade, Darby Allin saw his opportunity to pursue that rematch.
December 18th on DYNAMITE, Darby stood beside Cody to face The Butcher and The Blade, and in that tag team victory, Allin also achieved a personal victory: the rematch with Cody on the January 1st edition of DYNAMITE. While the result of that battle was not the same as the original encounter, no time limit draw here, it was not in the favor of Allin. Cody secured the victory, and Allin was left frustrated he didn't capitalize on the opportunity.
But the two competitors were not done with each other by any means; both were entered into the TNT Title Tournament to crown the very first champion. After advancing in their respective quarter-final matches, Cody and Darby were united in tag team competition against Shawn Spears and Sammy Guevara on the April 1st DYNAMITE. Once again, fortune did not sway in the favor of Darby and he took the loss for his team.
Unlike the last time with their singles rematch, when Cody attempted to comfort Allin after the loss, Darby decked Rhodes in frustration. What a way to head into their semi-final match in the TNT Tournament, and how Cody would deliver some comeuppance for that shot by defeating Darby to win the match, and eventually go onto become the first TNT Champion.
As the very first champion, Cody racked up eight defenses over his eighty-two day reign before Mr. Brodie Lee delivered a devastating beating to end the first title reign. Cody rebounded though, returned to dethrone Lee in a Dog Collar match, and has already racked up another pair of successful defenses against Orange Cassidy for his second title reign, one coincidentally via time limit draw as well.
Now Darby sits on the precipice of his greatest opportunity since the TNT Title Tournament as he challenges Cody once more, but this time with the TNT Title on the line. Sitting at the number four position in the rankings, with a 13-5 overall record as a singles wrestler, Allin is certainly deserving of this title opportunity, but it means so much more than just a championship match with the history between champion and challenger.
As for where Cody sits regarding Darby on the eve of his third title defense since reclaiming the belt on October 7th, well “The American Nightmare” made his thoughts clear as crystal on Wednesday night as heard in the video embedded above. And if you want to hear Coach Arn Anderson's thoughts, well click here (https://twitter.com/AEW/status/1324197997442441216) for a little more info on that.
AEW WOMEN'S WORLD TITLE MATCH...
HIKARU SHIDA (c) vs. (#1) “THE NATIVE BEAST” NYLA ROSE (w/ VICKI GUERRERO)
On May 23rd at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2020, Hikaru Shida brought an end to the World Title reign of The Native Beast in a No Disqualification Match. With 101 days as champion under her belt, Nyla Rose certainly anticipated receiving a rematch in short order, and her perpetual standing atop the Women's Division rankings also lent itself to her belief that the collision would come sooner than later.
But after five months of sitting back to watch Shida successfully defend against Penelope Ford, Thunder Rosa, and Big Swole, Rose got fed up with waiting for her rematch. On behalf of her client, Vickie Guerrero issued the challenge on AEW DARK, and Shida would immediately accept on the subsequent DYNAMITE, with the long awaited rematch scheduled for this Saturday night at FULL GEAR 2020!
Wednesday night on DYNAMITE, after Nyla Rose defeated Red Velvet, Vicki Guerrero first laid into Brandi Rhodes who was at ringside with Velvet before turning her attention to Shida. The champ, seated at ringside to watch her challenger, took great offense to Guerrero and gripped up Rose's manager. Rose leaped to her defense, leading to brief but intense tussle between the two warriors as they head towards their championship rematch.
Will Nyla become the first two-time Women's World Champion on Saturday night? Or will it be Shida who slays The Native Beast once and for all and moves onto whatever challenge comes her way next?
IF HE WINS, HE'S IN...
“THE DEMOGOD” CHRIS JERICHO VS. (#2) MJF (w/ WARDLOW)
What does the allegiance of two of the most despised men in All Elite Wrestling look like to you? If it looks like Chris Jericho and Maxwell Jacob Friedman both wearing the colors of The Inner Circle, then you may see your worst fears fulfilled on Saturday night.
After weeks of back-and-forth verbosity, after a rather unique Le Dinner Debonair and the Inner Circle Town Hall, the original AEW World Champion and the... “Ratings Ruler”....will lock horns with MJF's future as an Inner Circle member at stake. Suffice to say the majority of The Inner Circle is not on board with the idea of Max's inclusion in the unit, particularly Sammy Guevara and Ortiz as evidenced Wednesday night on DYNAMITE where they chose to fight MJF and Wardlow in a tag team bout.
The Inner Circle duo were not successful in asserting their opinion on the matter with the match, in some small part to Matt Hardy tossing a chair at Guevara's skull, and Max would go above and beyond just the victory to make his final statement on the matter.
As he and Wardlow exited the ring towards the tunnels, Max launched himself at an oblivious Chris Jericho, comfortably seated at the announcer's desk, and attacked The DemoGod. As a final word on the subject before the pay-per-view, the unexpected assault was certainly a poignant statement but one guaranteed to have consequences on Saturday night.
Jericho is the one who laid this stipulation on the table, what remains to be seen is if he will grow to regret the choice or if he can block Mister “Salt Of The Earth” from his membership in The Inner Circle. And if MJF does get past this one last piece of gatekeeping to secure his spot within The IC, will he ever be excepted by the other men who fill the ranks of Jericho's crew?
WORLD TITLE ELIMINATOR TOURNAMENT FINALS...
***WINNER EARNS A FUTURE WORLD TITLE MATCH***
“THE CLEANER” KENNY OMEGA vs. “HANGMAN” ADAM PAGE
The saga of Adam Page and Kenny Omega is one that extends well beyond their World Tag Team Title reign, beyond just what has happened inside the AEW ring over the last year, and into the world fans don't see when the cameras are rolling.
As The Elite, these men stood as allies but also as friends. That friendship led to Omega reaching out to Page when Hangman first began to spiral out, and essentially dragging him kicking and screaming into the world of tag team wrestling. It was a world they proved quite adept at, reigning as the World Tag Team Champions for nine successful title defenses over 228 days, before it all imploded. The blame for it can easily be laid at the feet of Adam Page in most respects, and for a deep dive into the extent of this whole relationship click here (https://www.allelitewrestling.com/post/hangman-vs-omega-straight-no-chaser), but this week on DYNAMITE it felt that fences could be mended. For just one moment, when Page and Omega both came to the ring to help The Young Bucks as they were assaulted by FTR, it looked like The Elite could find a common ground once more.
Page, with empty drink in hand, stood inside the ring right alongside Omega and each one extended their hands to share a fist bump. Yet for some reason, as Omega turned his back simply to check on the condition of The Young Bucks, Hangman took umbrage with the action, and all hopes of a reunification were quickly dashed.
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So it will be this Saturday night that the former World Tag Team Champions will collide in the finals of the World Title Eliminator Tournament, and to the victor goes a future shot at the AEW World Championship. For Kenny it would be a first opportunity, and a chance to fulfill the potential some (possibly Omega himself) feel was squandered when he chose to enter the tag team ranks with Page.
For Page it is a chance to make right the errors of, not just his recent past, but also dating back to ALL OUT 2019 when he failed to become the very first AEW World Champion.
Page or Omega, The Hangman or The Cleaner, who will be the next one to step up and challenge for the World Title? And what will it cost the man who ends up on the wrong side of the decision?
ELITE DELETION MATCH...
MATT HARDY VS. “THE SPANISH GOD” SAMMY GUEVARA
The violence between Matt Hardy and Sammy Guevara has left a great deal of blood in its wake, most of it belonging to the battle hardened Matt, and offered many scary moments since it all began. It started as Hardy extending his hand to Guevara in an effort to help lead the promising athlete down a road opposite that which Chris Jericho and The Inner Circle offered, but it was rebuked, and nothing but ugliness has ensued.
A chair split Hardy wide open, broken tables have been left in their wake, the future of the historic career of Hardy has even been left in question. Even this past Wednesday on DYNAMITE fans witnessed both men trying to get in that last shot before this PPV battle as Hardy directly played into The Inner Circle losing their tag team fight while Sammy laid out Matt prior to Private Party's battle with The Young Bucks.
Ad now at FULL GEAR 2020 it will culminate in this ELITE DELETION MATCH, but the question remains just what this means. Anyone familiar with the extensive history of Hardy's career knows that anything with DELETION in the name is destined to be a wild, unpredictable, insane situation. A look at Matt's Twitter (@matthardybrand) will give you a glimpse into what he seems to have in mind, and his latest MULTIVERSE OF MATT HARDY (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhkFIOcEHF8) video demonstrates just what is spiraling in this man's head going into Saturday night.
How can Sammy Guevara possibly prepare himself for something that defies expectations? Perhaps the only question is which man will survive and what will be left of him...
“FRESHLY SQUEEZED” ORANGE CASSIDY VS. JOHN “4” SILVER
Orange Cassidy and The Dark Order have been at odds since “Freshly Squeezed” unsuccessfully challenged Mr. Brodie Lee for the TNT Title many weeks ago. And although it was a failed bid, it did not stopped Lee's minions from getting involved in Cassidy's two bids for the TNT Title against Cody, nor for John Silver to get directly involved in costing OC the Lumberjack Match right on the cusp of victory.
Saturday night, as part of the free BUY-IN prior to FULL GEAR 2020 kicking off, Orange Cassidy will have a chance to repay Silver for sticking his nose into Cassidy's business. If Johnny is as hungee as his shirt says, OC is aiming to give him a mouthful of Orange Punch...
NWA WORLD WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...
SERENA DEEB (c) vs. ALLYSIN KAY
On the heels of her first successful title defense against Leyla Hirsch, the newest NWA World Women's Champion will make her second defense this Saturday night during THE BUY-IN, and the recipient of this title opportunity is a former champion herself: Allysin Kay.
Having reigned as the NWA champ for 272 days prior to Thunder Rosa ending her reign, Kay racked up five successful defenses of her own, but fell once again in the two competitors rematch. But on Saturday, under the auspices of the AEW banner, Kay will have a fresh opportunity to reclaim the title and be known as a two-time NWA Women's World Champion! But Deeb is not going to give up that title without a fight, now so soon in her reign, not now, not ever....
All Elite Wrestling's final pay-per-view offering of the year, FULL GEAR 2020, comes to you LIVE at 8pm EST/7pm CST on BRLive.com (Order Now) , with the BUY-IN kicking off at 7pm EST and absolutely free! And do not miss out on the preview showing dropping at 11pm EST Friday night on TNT! This may be the most loaded professional wrestling event of the year with five title matches, Page and Omega, the ELITE DELETION, Jericho and MJF, and more! Do not want miss it!