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All Elite Wrestling’s annual November PPV Full Gear is this weekend with the company looking to finish what has been a wild year for pro wrestling on a high. This time last year the company was cresting its initial wave of momentum after launching AEW Dynamite. In 2020 they have done well to just survive the year and while they are wrestling in front of a much smaller crowd, they will be looking to capitalise on a very strong build and the promise of a true dream match.
But what will happen and who will win on Saturday night?
Jon Moxley (c) v Eddie Kingston
AEW World Championship – I Quit Match
What a build this one has been!
Despite AEW already doing this match just a month ago, with a clean finish too, Moxley and Kingston have created one of the most firey and personal rivalries that we have seen in recent times. The promos for this match have quite simply been electric and you could make a credible case that either of these men is the best wrestler in the world on the mic at the moment. Their fire, grit and raw authenticity have been on full display as they first went back and forth on split screens and then this week face to face, nose to nose, in a jaw-droppingly incredible segment of tv.
I need to give props to James Boyd of One Nation Radio who said that Moxley and Kingston are two sides of the same coin. Both are from rough upbringings but one had a stroke of fortune when the other didn’t. Now they are locked in a conflict that neither man can back down from. Making this match an I Quit match was an absolute masterstroke. It fits both characters, will allow for liberal usage of the microphone throughout the match and only enhances what is already an intensely personal matchup.
It is extremely unlikely Moxley loses this one but the triumph of this match will be if there is a moment where it seems like the Champ has no option but to quit.
Prediction: Jon Moxley
FTR (c) v The Young Bucks
AEW Tag Team Championships
A match four years in the making. Strangely though despite this being a bonafide dream match for years, AEW has nearly tripped, stumbled and fallen as it approached the finish line of this match. My take on the lukewarm build to such a highly anticipated match has been that the timing of the match has caught The Young Bucks on a long term trajectory towards their more heelish tendencies, which will be a big part of the larger story in 2021. However, this feud truly needed a more clean face v heel dynamic to really pop. To AEW’s credit, they have righted the ship in the last three weeks with FTR injuring Matt Jackson so The Bucks can fight from underneath against the company’s top heel tag team.
Despite the weird build-up, I have zero doubt these two teams will put on something special in the ring. By their incredibly high standards, The Bucks have been relatively quiet since Double or Nothing and FTR have had ups and downs since debuting in May so both will have something to prove when they get in the ring.
The result could go either way but I’m going to tip The Bucks to finally take the titles they were destined to win.
Prediction: The Young Bucks
Cody Rhodes (c) v Darby Allin
TNT Championship Match
Another match that has leveraged its long term story more than anything happening between the two characters right now. Allin hadn’t really done anything since duelling with Team Tazz when he suddenly appeared in the rafters overseeing Cody’s TNT Championship match. That said every match between these two has been fantastic and their long term story of Darby coming oh so close to being Cody twice now gives it enough intrigue them to play on when it comes to the match.
One little wrinkle from this week’s Dynamite was Tazz calling out Cody directly. Brian Cage has a very legitimate claim to being next in line for the TNT Championship and Ricky Starks has a history with both Allin and Cody. I wouldn’t be surprised if these guys get involved to set up the next program for both Allin and Cody.
I don’t think Cody will lose the TNT Championship strap so soon after regaining it but this one will most certainly continue their streak of insanely close finishes.
Prediction: Cody Rhodes
Hikaru Shida (c) v Nyla Rose
AEW Women’s Championship Match
I feel bad beating up on the build to this match because both of these wrestlers deserve far better than they have been given by AEW, however, AEW is a company that said its wants to hear what fans have to say, so here goes.
This has been the worst championship match build in the company’s history.
Not only has it not received enough TV time, it feels like it was thrown together two weeks ago when they suddenly realised they hadn’t given Shida a challenger. Before the last PPV I wrote that AEW was failing their women’s division and they got a last-minute hail mary with Thunda Rosa facing Shida. Since then AEW has done exactly nothing with Shida to capitalise on that and until this week Nyla Rose hadn’t had a match on TV for months. To me it is clear that this division is not treated with anywhere near the care the others get when it comes to booking.
The sad thing is that if they had planned it out properly this match could have had a great build pitting the two dominant forces in the women’s division in 2020 against each other in the final PPV of the year.
They will have a great match because these two always do. Nyla will most likely win it but I think the next big play will be the rise of Britt Baker, hopefully, that can save the division.
Prediction: Nyla Rose
Kenny Omega v ‘Hangman’ Adam Page
Number 1 Contenders Tournament Final
Big match Kenny Omega is back baby! A year after his last singles PPV appearance against Jon Moxley, the Best Bout Machine will grace us with a blessing of singles action on PPV!
More seriously this is rightly one of the most anticipated matches this year. One of the biggest goals AEW has had in its first year has been to make Adam Page into a top star in the company and this match is testament to how they have achieved that goal. While all the momentum should be behind a now unshackled Kenny Omega, The Hangman has enough fans behind him that even a loss here will not dent his burgeoning popularity.
The match has been a long time coming and we know from their tag team combination Kenny and Hangman have really great chemistry together. I still think Kenny Omega is being set up to be the next AEW Champion so he will see this outing as a chance to make a statement and remind us all why we flocked behind him in the first place. This is my tip for the match of the night.
Prediction: Kenny Omega
MJF v Chris Jericho
The build-up for this match has just felt like AEW flexing it’s character muscles and booking prowess week after week. First, we had the frenemy promos that highlighted how alike and antagonistic these two wrestlers are, then the triumphant Dinner Debonaire and finally the stipulation that if MJF wins he can join The Inner Circle which has only added intrigue as to where they are headed with this long term story.
While I think it is relatively clear that MJF will win this match to advance the storyline of him joining Jericho, I am very interested in seeing where the angle ends up going as, given the different characters in The Inner Circle and their thoughts on MJF and Wardlow, there are just so many possibilities.
Personally, I hope that in a relatively short match MJF wins by hitting The Judas Effect.
Sammy Guevara v Matt Hardy
The Elite Deletion Match
Honestly, I’m not the biggest fan of this match taking place at all, every time these two have clashed bad things have happened and I’m not a fan of their dangerous charisma. That said, if they are going to do it I’m glad it is as a cinematic match.
While pre-taped matches like the Backlot Brawl at Wrestlemania 7 or Boiler Room Match have been around for years, Matt Hardy really innovated with that match type in his original run as ‘Broken’ Matt Hardy in 2016 so I expect that they will be pulling out all the stops to make this match special.
I think Sammy will win it to get the final win in their feud.
Prediction: Sammy Guevara
John Silver v Orange Cassidy
What’s not to love about this match?
Truthfully this one is a little bit of a step down for Orange Cassidy after facing Chris Jericho at All Out, however, John Silver has earnt this feature match on strength of performance on BTE and Dynamite. Like Cassidy, he is brimming with character and charisma despite initially not looking much like a ‘star’.
I think this will also be a good opportunity for Orange to flex his comedic muscles, something that has been put to the side a little as he has engaged in more serious feuds with Jericho and Cody. Should be a fun opener.
Prediction: Orange Cassidy
That wraps it up for me this week. Who do you think will win at Full Gear and why? Also what matches are you most excited about? Let me know in the comments below or you can find me on Twitter @Sir_Samuel.
You can even write your own preview on the Columns Forum by following the link below.
In case you missed last week’s AEW column you can find it here
How AEW Created The Best Wrestling TV Show In Years