AEW Full Gear Preview
On Saturday night November 9th, airing on pay-per-view courtesy of B/R Live (Watch Here), All Elite Wrestling presents “Full Gear” live from the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore! Over the last six weeks on “AEW DYNAMITE”, fans have seen the birth of Chris Jericho's Inner Circle, have witnessed the crowning of the very first Woman's World Champion and World Tag Team Champions in Riho and SCU respectively, and watched the continued evolution of all the men and women in the AEW locker room live on TNT. Now we are at the doorstep of “Full Gear” this Saturday night, and the time has come for many a resolution...
AEW World Title Match
Chris Jericho (c) defends vs. Cody
For weeks now we have been on the road to this collision, Chris Jericho and Cody battling it out over the AEW World Title, and now it is upon us. Fans watched the birth of The Inner Circle on the premiere episode of “Dynamite”, witnessed the the broken glass and building-wide brawl in Pittsburgh, watched in shock at the vicious assault on Dustin Rhodes in the shadow of the official contract signing, and just this past Wednesday watched The Elite and The Inner Circle tear into one another in the closing minutes of “Dynamite” in Charlotte. It has been a chaotic path to this World Title collision, and prior to that brawl, as seen in the video above, Cody added a further wrinkle in stating he will never challenge for the championship again if he fails to defeat Jericho at “Full Gear”.
It is a bold move, one born out of the confidence Cody has in his ability to defeat “Le Champion” and become the 2nd champion in AEW's history. It's a calculated risk for sure that, as Cody stated, also originates in the histories of professional wrestling, and in the men who occupied positions similar to that which Cody occupies within AEW's framework. It's motivated by family and passion and years of Cody proving that he is truly undeniable.
For Jericho it is all about being champion, and about lording that fact over the rest of the AEW locker room. It's about bubbly baths and luxury suites and surrounding himself with an army in The Inner Circle that is as much about protection as it is about cultivating the future. Yes it may be hard to believe Jericho cares about the talents of Sammy Guevara, Santana, or Ortiz, but he will certainly care about taking some credit for their successes in the future.
But this Saturday night, it won't be those three men or Jake Hager defending the AEW World Title, it will just be Chris Jericho standing across the ring from Cody, and a trio of judges at ringside to make the call should we witness a 60 minute draw. Meaning Jericho can't run and hide and draw it out in hopes of retaining the belt on a technicality; but nor can either man, as athletes across the spectrum know, leave it in the hands of the judges to decide their fate. It is up to each man to step up in this spotlight and insure their own victory. No judges, no Inner Circle, no Elite...just Cody and Jericho colliding with the AEW World Title at stake. Will this be Cody's one and only shot at history, or the beginning of him shaping a new history for the championship? Take a look at this video to see how Jericho views it...
Lights Out Match
Kenny Omega vs. Jon Moxley
Jon Moxley is not happy; it is safe to say that is fairly obvious to anyone with eyes to see his actions or ears hear his words. But, listening to his diatribe above, it is quite clear he has reached a whole new level of misery, a misery he clearly intends to pass on to Kenny Omega Saturday night, and AEW itself by proxy.
This is something that has been building since “Double or Nothing” when Moxley surprised the world and laid out Kenny Omega atop a giant stack of poker chips. It was a visual as surreal as the arrival of Mox himself was to the fans in attendance and watching on PPV. In his first fight for AEW, Moxley defeated Joey Janela in a Lights Out Match at “Fyter Fest” in preparation for the collision between the he and Kenny that was supposed to go down at “All Out” in Chicago, but a bout of MRSA made that an impossibility. Mox stayed silent between the initial announcement of his condition and the debut of “Dynamite”, but on the first episode on TNT, he made his presence felt with an attack on Kenny Omega that culminated in the Elite member suffering a Paradigm Shift DDT thru a glass table.
Since then these two men have gone at it on several occasions, with barbwire wrapped implements of destruction in their possession as a matter of fact, and in an actual sanctioned tag match that saw Moxley attack and then bail on his partner Pac in Philadelphia. Now, after both men being involved in that battle that capped off Wednesday night in North Carolina, they will finally meet one on one in a Lights Out Match that, much to the chagrin of Moxley, means it does not count in the official AEW standings. Long time fans of Jon Moxley know what he is capable of in these situations, we saw a some of it in the aforementioned “Fyter Fest” match, but with the sort of rage encapsulated in his above interview, fans may see an even sicker side of this man that no one is ready for, least of all Kenny Omega.
AEW World Tag Team Title Match
SCU (Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky) (c) defend vs. Private Party (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen) vs. The Lucha Bros (Pentagon Jr. & Rey Fenix)
Less than 2 weeks ago the SCU combination of Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky defeated Pentagon Jr and Rey Fenix to become the first ever AEW World Tag Team Champions. It was a road that saw Christopher Daniels put on the shelf with an injury that very first night leaving the impromptu Sky & Kaz duo to defeat The Best Friends in the first round. They followed that up with a win over The Dark Order in the Semi-Finals, and then the aforementioned victory over The Lucha Bros in the finals that took place in West Virginia.
Private Party had an outstanding showing in the tournament themselves, despite not making it to the championship contest. They upset The Young Bucks in the very first round, and took Pentagon and Fenix to their limit in the semi-finals before tasting defeat. This past Wednesday on “Dynamite” they were offered a chance at redemption, a battle against The Dark Order with the winner sliding into the World Tag Team Title match at “Full Gear”. Once again Isiah and Marq Quen demonstrated just why they are nipping at the heels of a greatness that would cemented by capturing the tag titles live on PPV and bringing an abrupt end to the nascent reign of SCU. And it certainly is not of a lack of talent for PP, it's more a case of contending not just with the champions, but also with the very team that knocked them out of the tournament in The Lucha Bros.
Pentagon Jr and Rey Fenix, the AAA Tag Team champions who topped The Young Bucks in Escalara de la Muerte, who put Christopher Daniels on the shelf, who knocked Private Party out of the tournament, and who have shown a willingness to pull out all the stops in pursuit of glory, and championship successes. They are by far the most dangerous element in this match, having proven their penchant for violence on numerous occasions, most notably in AEW with that ladder match. What lengths will they go to here to be known as tag team champions in two different companies?
This such an unpredictable situation, in large part because of the entry of a third team into the equation. The current champs, the team they beat become champions, and the team the challengers beat to get to that final bout in West Virginia. SCU vs. Lucha Bros vs. Private Party; if you want to get nuts, this one is going to get nuts!
AEW Woman's World Title Match
Riho (c) defends vs. Emi Sakura
Teacher versus student is a story that has hit close to home likely for as long as the people have had an ability to communicate. Somewhere, on some long forgotten cave wall, is probably a painting depicting just such a story that took place before languages were formed. And here we have it unfolding before our eyes inside the AEW ring between the very first Woman's World Champion Riho and Emi Sakura. Sakura was the champion's trainer, she was the opponent for the 6th match of Riho's career according to Cagematch.net, and involved in 331 of the 879 matches listed as of November 7th.
They are as intimately tied to one another as possible, have squared off in three tag team situations under the AEW banner with Riho capturing the win in two, while (as seen above) Emi captured the victory on the most recent encounter this past Wednesday night. Arguably, that victory may be the single most important win, up to this point at least, of the 331 times they have been inside the ring together. It is on the eve of Riho's second World Title defense, her first one on pay-per-view, and she is heading into “Full Gear” on the losing track. It may only be one loss, it may have been in a tag team situation, but that is all it takes to get inside someone's head. It only takes one time, one misstep, one error to send life into a downward spiral. What is an innocuous moment to one, may be life changing to another, and that is what Riho may be dealing with as she walks into the arena Saturday night. Can she defeat the woman who brought her into the game 13 years ago? Has the student surpassed the teacher? Will the championship title find a new place to call home Saturday night? Those may be the questions ricocheting inside Riho's mind after that loss on “Dynamite”, but what effect it has on her game come Saturday night is something totally in her own hands.
Tag Team Grudge Match
The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) vs. Proud And Powerful (Santana & Ortiz)
Santana and Ortiz, collectively known as Proud and Powerful, made their presence felt in spades at “All Out” in Chicago following The Young Bucks absolute war with The Lucha Bros in Escalera de la Muerte. They entered the ring under disguises, laid out both battle-weary teams, and revealed themselves to a shocked Sears Centre audience. Two world class athletes, one of the strongest duos in all of tag team wrestling had arrived in AEW, and they made sure the impact was felt on day one. But they weren't done, not by a longshot.
They were revealed as AEW World Champion Chris Jericho's partners on the debut episode of “Dynamite” in a bout against The Elite trio of The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega. They signed on to The Inner Circle alongside the champ, decimated the legendary Rock 'n' Roll Express in West Virginia the night Ricky and Robert were supposed to present the World Tag Team Titles to the very first champs, AND later in the night the brothers Jackson also fell victim to Santana and Ortiz. They have been ruthless in their assaults, dominant in the pair of AEW matches under their belts, and have a massive championship pedigree prior to their signing on with All Elite Wrestling.
On the other side of the ring though, it's The Young Bucks. The team that has innovated, renovated, and dominated the tag team wrestling scene around the world for nearly two decades. They have been champions absolutely everywhere they have ever competed, wrestled and defeated every name that has ever crossed their paths, and, up until the dawn of AEW, Matt and Nick Jackson were the first name on any fan's lips when discussing the tag team wrestling scene. Then AEW began, and life got more complicated, their focus was required toward numerous avenues as this venture grew, and the in-ring competition took a bit of a back seat.
They won then lost the AAA Tag Team Titles to The Lucha Bros, and failed to reclaim them in the ladder match at “All Out”. They won a 6-Man Tag against Penta, Fenix, and Laredo Kid but dropped the rematch in Mexico. They beat Cody and Dustin Rhodes at “Fight For The Fallen”, but fell to The Inner Circle on the premier of “Dynamite”. They shockingly lost to Private Party in the first round of the World Tag Title Tournament, but yet, in that defeat, Matt and Nick, who had seemingly lost some confidence in their “best tag team in the world” moniker found a renewed focus.
Since that loss in Boston, The Young Bucks have picked up victories on “AEW Dark” from Philly in 8-Man tag action, defeated The Best Friends in Pittsburgh, and beat The Hybrid2 and Kip Sabian in a six man tag match, with Kenny Omega at their side, in West Virginia. The confidence is back, the focus is strong, and it will all be directed at Santana and Ortiz this Saturday night as the war between The Inner Circle and The Elite continues to burn white hot.
“Hangman” Adam Page vs. PAC
The first time we thought we were going to see this match was at “Double or Nothing” way back in May, but that was not to be after Page traveled to the UK to confront The Bastard, and suffered a knee injury that put his ability to even compete at “DoN” into question. PAC pulled out following that altercation, and instead, that May night in Las Vegas, Page earned the right to compete for the AEW World Title by winning the Casino Battle Royale. Page versus PAC was something fans expected to never see inside an AEW ring...
Then came the last minute surprise at “All Out” as PAC stepped up to face Kenny Omega in the void left by Jon Moxley's MRSA infection that forced him to pull out of that Chicago event. PAC shocked the world when he defeated Kenny Omega via referee stoppage that night, and declared himself here for the long haul after the event. That night Page failed to capture the AEW World Title, falling victim to Chris Jericho's Judas Effect elbow, and has been trying to get himself back on track ever since.
Part of that included a fight with PAC on the debut episode of “Dynamite” in which The Bastard defeated Hangman. They would meet again in tag team action two weeks later, Omega alongside his Elite brethren and the volatile Jon Moxley with PAC. Suffice it to say that the latter pairing was short-lived as PAC stopped Mox from introducing weapons into the bout, leading Mox to lay him out with a Paradigm Shift DDT and walking out on the bout. The Elite duo picked up the win that night, but for PAC it led to a fight with Moxley the following week, one that ended in an unsatisfying (for both men) time limit draw.
Wednesday night we witnessed PAC defeat Trent soundly, then again make his presence felt in the main event, directly costing Page & Omega the match against Jericho & Guevara with a low blow to “Hangman”. Chaos followed, as fans can see in the video at the close of this piece, but PAC safely skirted away before everything went pear-shaped in Charlotte. That bring us to Saturday night where Adam Page will have one more chance to make it right, to enact some retribution against PAC, and right the ship that has been adrift since “All Out”.
Shawn Spears vs. Joey Janela
Shawn Spears made an impact on Cody's skull with that steel chair many months ago, and surprised the world when he pulled the legendary Tully Blanchard back into the game to be his adviser. Unfortunately success has not come with these moves as he dropped the “All Out” fight with Cody, and got dropped by Jon Moxley on the 2nd episode of “Dynamite” that emanated from Boston. But he stepped back, regrouped, and returned to “AEW Dark” in West Virginia to dominate Michael Nakazawa. Yet that wasn't the only way his presence was felt during that edition of the YouTube exclusive vent; he and Tully also attacked Joey Janela in the backstage area as revenge for an incident months prior between The Bad Boy and the Horseman.
Joey did not let it go unaddressed as, following Spears victory over Brandon Cutler in Charlotte, the New Jersey native raced to the rescue whilst Spears attempted to assault Cutler with a chair post-match. Quickly a fight between the two men was signed for “Full Gear”, and there is no doubt who is coming into this one with the fan support in his corner. Joey has impressed the world with two very different but very amazing bouts against Kenny Omega in the last month, as well as an impressive tag team victory over Jurassic Express with Jimmy Havoc as his partner and a win over Brandon Cutler on “AEW Dark” in WV and Philly respectively. Add in the Lights Out clash with Moxley, the Cracker Barrel Clash from “All Out”, and Janela has amassed a pretty impressive AEW resume even if the L's outweigh the W's.
This match here is a chance for both Janela and Spears to fulfill the promises of their potential LIVE on PPV in front of a worldwide audience, and make a statement on their future of their AEW careers. Who will walk out with their hand raised?
“Buy In” Singles Match
Dr. Britt Baker vs. Bea Priestly
Simply put, as all can see in the video above, these two do not like each other whatsoever and are getting the chance to settle their score during the “Buy In” prior to “Full Gear” kicking off on PPV. Baker no doubt wishes she was headed into this one was the AEW World Woman's champion, but Riho put an end to that dream (at least for now) a few weeks ago on “Dynamite”. Instead this one is going down for the simplest reasons of all: to settle a score that has been quietly building for months, and hopefully allow the winner to move on to the next chapter of their AEW career. Britt would certainly like another crack at the championship, while Priestly would love to get her name into that contender's picture as well. This one will play in factor in the rankings no doubt, but perhaps more importantly for the night, it will allow these two fierce competitors a chance to settle it once and for all. Catch the “Buy In” on B/R Live or on the official AEW YouTube channel absolutely FREE!
Limited tickets are still available on AEWTix.com (Purchase Tickets) so you can catch all the action of AEW “Full Gear” live and in-person at The Royal Farms Arena! If you can't be there, hit up B/R Live in the United States & Canada, ITV Box Office in the UK, or Fite TV internationally, to watch it all in the comfort of your own space. The World Title is at stake, rivalries are set to explode, unsanctioned action, tag team battles, plus more, and it all goes down on pay-per-view this Saturday night right before your very eyes!