What AEW can ill afford at critical PPV
Full Gear is All Elite Wrestling’s chance to get back to full steam ahead.
The company is still dealing with the effects of the CM Punk fallout and the disastrous All Out press conference but at Prudential Center on Saturday (8 p.m. Bleacher Report) is a chance to turn the page. AEW could crown a new world champion in MJF, who believes he’s pro wrestling’s next megastar, and possibly on the women’s side too as fans have been clamoring for Jamie Hayter to claim gold. Saraya, formerly Paige in WWE, will be making her in-ring return after five years and we get the return of Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks from suspension, too. AEW desperately needs this night to go off without a hitch and the focus to remain on what happens between the ropes.
With all that at stake, The Post’s Joseph Staszewski takes his swing at predicting how Full Gear plays out.
Jeff Jarrett and Jay Lethal over Sting and Darby Allin
Jarrett recently made a dramatic debut in the company, delivering a guitar shot to Allin. He and Sting have ton of history dating back to their days in WCW and TNA and feel on collision course for a singles match. This feud is just getting started. It’s too early to stop the heel’s momentum, but expect a win by nefarious means for Jarrett and Lethal.
“Jungle Boy” Jack Perry over Luchasaurus (Steel Cage Match)
Jungle Boy is in desperate need of a win in this feud having already lost to Christian Cage at All Out and Luchasaurus on Dynamite on Oct. 12. It’s time to start building him back up for his eventual rematch with Christian and the cage should allow AEW to get him a win without flat out beating the monstrous Luchasaurus in the middle of the ring if they want. Maybe Christian’s attempt to help his protégé fail or maybe Jungle Boy just outsmarts the big dinosaur.
Saraya over Dr. Britt Baker
It’s plausible that AEW has Saraya lose here in her return, to prove Baker is a star and just blame rust before Saraya wins the rematch. But that would just spoil the layup feel-good moment you can create for the former WWE star and give her some momentum and grab some headlines. It’s hard to predict what the quality of this match will be, but AEW can certainly turn this into a trilogy to buy Saraya some ring time before any kind of potential title push.
Jade Cargill (c.) over Nyla Rose (TBS championship)
AEW has kind of flipped the script in this feud with Nyla Rose basically stealing, defending and parading around with Cargill’s championship. It’s made Cargill, a heel at heart, the babyface in their feud that will pretty clearly end with her getting her belt back. This could turn out to be one of Cargill’s best matches.
Chris Jericho (c.) over Bryan Danielson vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Sammy Guevara (Ring of Honor world championship)
With AEW president Tony Khan trying to get Ring of Honor a weekly television deal, it might behoove him to keep the belt on Chris Jericho going into the Final Battle pay-per-view on Dec. 10. It’s how to get there that could be an issue as Danielson and Castagnoli don’t really need to take another loss in a high-profile match. So does Guevara take the fall to keep the title on the Jericho Appreciation Society leader? Probably? Then you can play with a possible rift between the two before you crown a new champ December.
Jamie Hayter over Toni Storm (c.) (Interim AEW women’s championship)
Though Storm has had a very solid run, the audience has made it clear on multiple occasions it wants Hayter to be champion. It will be hard to give her another chance if it doesn’t happen here. Thunder Rosa doesn’t sound close to coming back, so there is no reason to wait for her to return. Putting the belt on Hayter also will allow AEW to tell a more compelling story around her, best friend Britt Baker, Saraya and Storm.
The Acclaimed (c) over Swerve in Our Glory (AEW World Tag Team championships)
This one seems pretty cut and dry. The Acclaimed are one of the hottest acts in pro wrestling right now and Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee’s characters appear to be moving in opposite directions. This is the trilogy fight of this feud and its hard to see AEW not sticking with The Acclaimed and maybe launching a Swerve vs. Lee angle next.
Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks over PAC, Pentagon, Rey Fenix (c.) (AEW world trios championships)
The Elite, the inaugural trios champions, return from their suspension stemming from the backstage brawl after All Out. Khan waited to unveil the titles until Omega returned from injury, so you would think he would put them back on the The Elite as soon as possibe, give them a happy moment and proceed with the division as he originally planned. This is also a great spot for House of Black to show up.
Wardlow (c.) over Samoa Joe and Powerhouse Hobbs (TNT Championship)
This battle between three of the biggest and toughest guys in the company has come together nicely after Joe, the ROH television, champion turned his back on Wardlow last week. The potential explosiveness of this match could steal the how, but AEW has too much invested in Wardlow to have him drop the belt in a multi-man match. A win will only raise if profile.
MJF over Jon Moxley (c.) (AEW World Championship)
If AEW really wants to feel like it’s turned the page from All Out and inject freshness into the product, it’s time to strap up MJF and see what the kid truly has. The 26-year-old Long Island native is over as hell right now and Moxley is a bit of an accidental champion after CM Punk has to relinquish the belt twice. The question will be how will MJF win. While I hope they let him masquerade as a babyface for bit, my gut says The Firm, as part of a swerve helps him claim the title or does William Regal surprisingly turn on Moxley?
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