Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Gearing up for Saturday: “Full Gear” Preview

Hello AW Universe,

All Elite Wrestling is hosting their latest PPV, Full Gear, this Saturday from Baltimore, MD. It’s the promotion’s fifth PPV event– following Double or Nothing, Fyter Fest, Fight For the Fallen, and All Out; sixth event the independent PPV All In is included– and is their first PPV since debuting Dynamite on TNT in early October.

The Buy-In: Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D (2-1) Vs. Bea Priestley (0-0)

“The Buy-In” is essentially AEW’s version of Sunday Night Heat, and is seemingly the last remnant of the gambling-related theme they had going on during the early days. Britt Baker is certainly someone that is having the rocket strapped to her back– she had an entire episode of Dynamite centred around her homecoming (“Brittsburgh”)– and has had multiple video packages made for her character, highlighting her real-life background as a dentist and passion for the wrestling business. One of those video packages was shown during the latest episode of Dark this past Tuesday.

Cody Rhodes is getting heaps of praise for the promo he cut in the ring on Dynamite— and rightfully so– and though it isn’t in-ring mic work, Baker in that video package is incredible. She shoots on Priestley, talking about how she recklessly concussed her in a match and never reached out to see if she was alright, then channelling her professional medical background, explaining how much pain she can put her in, with her submission move before speaking plainly for all us plebs: “that means I can rip your fucking jaw off your face, Bea.” They’ve done an incredible job of building this wrestler’s character, and she’ll be submitting Riho and winning the Women’s title sooner, rather than later. But first, she has to get through Bea Priestley. That won’t be a problem.

Winner: Dr. Britt Baker

“The Chairman” Shawn Spears (2-2) (w/Tully Blanchard) Vs.”The Bad Boy” Joey Janela (2-3)

Janela is fun enough as one of the few, truly hardcore wrestlers on the AEW roster. But Spears isn’t getting the Four Horsemen rub for no reason, and he also hasn’t done a whole lot since his debut, where he earned the moniker “the chairman,” after (in my opinion, ill-advisedly) hitting Cody with an unprotected chair shot. He needs to get back on track and Janela will take the bumps to make him look strong again.

Winner: Shawn Spears

AEW World Tag Team Championship

The Lucha Bros (4-2) Vs. SCU (3-2) Vs. Private Party (3-2)

AEW simply calls this type of match a “three-way” because I suppose WWE either owns the name “triple threat” or they want to distance themselves from it. Either way, this is a three team match for the titles. It seems early to switch any of the titles, but it also seems unlikely that none will be dropped on what could be considered the biggest (or at least the one with the most exposure to date) event so far. The entire tag division has been built pretty solidly so far through the championship tournament, so swapping the belts won’t make SCU or the championship appear weak. Private Party will get their due, but not quite yet, while the Lucha Bros are over and closely lost that inaugural title match. They get the title here.

Winners: The Lucha Bros

“Hangman” Adam Page (3-2) Vs. “The Bastard” PAC (3-0-1)

This one’s close. Since his world title match loss to Jericho at All Out, Page (self-admittedly) has been on a cold streak. PAC is undefeated has the only draw so far in AEW, reaching the TV time limit with Jon Moxley in the main event on Dynamite weeks ago. PAC’s “Bastard” gimmick seems to just be him being a pretty creepy, intense dude who does ALL-OUT (pun intended) to win. Personally, Hangman Page is one of my favourite wrestlers in AEW, so selfishly I want him to win and PAC can afford an actual loss on his record. This has potential to be “Match of the Night.”

Winner: Adam Page

Proud-N-Powerful (1-0) Vs. The Young Bucks (3-2)

I don’t know if missed something, but have Santana and Ortiz always been called “Pround-N-Powerful”? Can’t they just be “Santana and Ortiz of The Inner Circle’? Anyway, there’s a case to be made that The Inner Circle needs to sweep their matches to look like strong heel stable, but with Cody undoubtedly not walking out with the AEW World Championship after the main event, it seems like The Bucks need to go over to give The Elite a little love. Personally,  I am not a fan of the Young Bucks. I get their schtick, that they’re subversive and way too cool for WWE, but they prioritize high-spots that come across as far too choreographed and don’t do much in terms of in-ring storytelling. That being said, They’ve been good with doing the J.O.B. to put some of the lesser-known talent over, but they need to pad their own record too.

Winners: The Young Bucks

AEW Women’s World Championship

Riho (4-0) Vs. Emi Sakura (1-0)

Frankly, I don’t get the Riho thing. She just is not believable as waif of a human as a champion in a promotion that prides itself as being realistic (at least compared to their competitor) and unfiltered, so I have little interest in this match. There’s no way she drops her title already, and she’s really just a place-holder champion until they feel ready to put the strap on Britt Baker.

Winner: Riho

Jon Moxley Vs. Kenny Omega

“Lights Out” Match

So a “Lights Out” match is an unsanctioned match; the result of this match will not be reflected in the “official” records of either wrestler. Why is this an unsanctioned match you ask? Well, because owner Tony Khan deemed– behind a closed office door– that Dean Am- sorry, Jon Moxley is UNSANCTIONABLE!

If you missed that, or it wasn’t clear, Moxley made it very clear when he repeated the word “unsanctionable” about 100 times in his promo afterwards.

There was a lot of talk about how this was Moxley’s best promo maybe since CZW, and is evidence that WWE was surely holding him back; there have ever been some comparisons to Roddy Piper. Am I the only way that thinks that the promo was actually pretty shitty? And that Jon Moxley is actually pretty annoying? He stalked around the ring, said “unsanctionable” a bunch– which, by the way, isn’t a word– because he’s SOOO CRAZY!! The problem here is, and frankly had always been Dean Ambrose’s problem, is that the talks about how insane he is and how violent he can be and how UNHINGED he can be but… is he? He put Kenny Omega through a glass table. By regular person standards, yes, that is psychotic behaviour. By wrestling standards, it could be considered borderline. But if you’re billed as this extreme, unpredictable, hardcore wrestler, it’s nothing. All this is to say, Kenny Omega deserves better. He’s the star of the promotion. Maybe this will be Moxley’s breakout as a Crazy Guy, but Omega needs to get over and done with this feud and go after the AEW Championship.

Winner: Kenny Omega

AEW World Championship

Chris Jericho Vs. Cody

There’s nothing I could type that could get anyone more hyped for this match than what Cody had to say on Wednesday.

Did Cody have to add the stipulation about never wrestling for the World Championship again to get this main event over? I don’t think so. I think he could’ve cut that promo without that and people would be fired up for this match. If anything, it just seals the fact that Cody will probably win this match. Or will he? NWA ran this exact same angle on Powerrr during the Nick Aldis/Tim Storm program only a few weeks ago, with Storm losing and thus, never challenging for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship again. The difference there is that Storm is a truly seasoned vet, who’s had runs with the title, and nearing the end of his career. Cody’s never even had a title match yet, let alone a championship run. It’d be nice to see Cody win, but unless there’s a longer program planned with Jericho, there isn’t really another top heel waiting in the wings to challenge Cody. But there are plenty of other babyfaces like Adam Page and Kenny Omega who could have a great feud with Jericho. There’s no doubt going to be some shenanigans involving The Inner Circle and The Elite to determine the finish to this match, and wouldn’t the most poetic way to do would be to have a Dusty finish? Yes, I think it would.

“Winner”: Cody (Jericho leaves as champion)

Full Gear is this Saturday, with The Buy-In starting at 5pm EST (10pm GMT). For how to access the event, see the steps below!