AEW Full Gear (2021) Preview
Updated: Jan 14, 2022
Full Gear emanates from The Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Saturday, November 13, 2021. Call your local cable and satellite providers to order! AEW and Booker of the Year, Tony Khan, has put together a grand ol' card for the pay per view. Let’s jump into my thoughts on the matches and give some predictions!
The Buy-In: Nyla Rose and Jamie Hayter vs. Hikaru Shida and Thunder Rosa
Thunder Rosa is a main event talent. Shida has one of the longest reigns in AEW. Those two together are a force. I do see Hayter as a big player in the women’s division soon, but her time isn’t now. It would take an awful lot to convince me that Shida and Rosa are losing this one.
Winner: Hikaru Shida and Thunder Rosa
Darby Allin (with Sting) vs. MJF (with Wardlow)
Both of these guys desperately need a big win. Darby dropped his most recent pay-per-view match to CM Punk, while MJF lost to Chris Jericho at the same show. Don’t get me wrong, Punk and Jericho are huge names in AEW, but I don’t remember anyone getting over from losing major matches all the time. In fact, the last time either man won a singles match on PPV was Full Gear 2020. Darby Allin defeated Cody Rhodes to win the TNT Championship and MJF defeated Chris Jericho to win a spot in the Inner Circle. 2 of the 4 young pillars have not won a pay-per-view singles match in a year. That is a problem. Good news, one of them will win here. Bad news, it is difficult for me to predict.
Logically speaking, AEW has leaned on MJF’s promo skills to bail him out of losses in the past, so that could be the same outcome here. Darby on the other hand has relied heavily on the presence of Sting at times to maintain his momentum. Personally, I see the winner of this coming out as a major challenger for the World Heavyweight Championship soon. In a company with a shortage of main event heels, I think MJF has to win this one.
Britt Baker (c) vs. Tay Conti - AEW Women's World Championship
I don’t think there is any single wrestler more improved over a 12 month period than Britt Baker. She has risen from painfully average to a major player in AEW. While I’m not going to pretend that she is breaking the Metlzer scale in this match, she is certainly carrying the majority of the AEW Women’s division. To that point, I think Britt Baker is keeping the title here mainly because I see Jamie Hayter beating her down the road, not Tay Conti at Full Gear.
Winner: Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D.
Bryan Danielson vs. Miro - AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament Final
This is the hardest match for me to predict. I know most people are leaning toward Miro to set up a good heel challenger for the championship. Plus, they have the built-in storyline of Bryan’s neck being an issue. The finish there practically writes itself. All of that being said though, I think it is too early for Danielson to lose here. So despite what logic tells me, I’m going to pick with my heart and go with the American Dragon!
Winner: Bryan Danielson
The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, Sammy Guevara, Santana, and Ortiz) vs. Men of the Year (Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky) and American Top Team (Junior dos Santos, Andrei Arlovski, and Dan Lambert) - Minneapolis Street Fight
I recognize the value of having a guy like Dan Lambert be used as the mouthpiece for American Top Team. More specifically, I see the value in bringing in a name like Jorge Masvidal to get the angle over. A lot of people seem to think this angle ran its course weeks ago and frankly, they’re wrong. If you watched Dynamite this past Wednesday, you can see Lambert and ATT are a heat-seeking missile. They are true wrestling heels and wrestling in general needs more of that.
I don’t love the idea of doing a street fight here as it opens the door to interference from the rest of American Top Team, I would prefer a straight match to avoid interference. If American Top Team are going to make good on their promise of having Dan Lambert defeat Chris Jericho, they’re going to need more than the 5 of them.
Winner: The Inner Circle
Lucha Brothers (Penta El Zero Miedo and Rey Fénix) (c) (with Alex Abrahantes) vs. FTR (Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler) (with Tully Blanchard) - AEW World Tag Team Championship Match
Clash of styles makes matches. I will say that until I’m blue in the face. These two styles absolutely clash and with 4 of the best tag team wrestlers in the world, I’m confident this match will deliver and exceed most expectations.
At the risk of playing fantasy booker, I think we end up seeing Dante Martin and Lio Rush face the Lucha Brothers in the near future for the titles. On top of that, FTR cannot secure the AEW Tag Team Championship to go along with the AAA Tag Team Championship, in my opinion.
Winners: Lucha Brothers
CM Punk vs. Eddie Kingston
When this angle started, I was concerned it would not have enough time to garner the interest for a pay-per-view matchup. My concern was obviously unfounded. This feud has turned into easily the second most intriguing match on the pay-per-view. Clearly, we’re not expecting a mat classic from these guys, but the interview segments alone have drawn attention.
As a long-time wrestling fan, seeing CM Punk vs. Eddie Kingston in a major spot on a pay-per-view is mind-blowing. Truthfully, the idea that Kingston is signed to a major wrestling promotion and wrestling main eventers is in itself amazing. Eddie is one of those guys that you just assumed would never make it, but here he is proving everyone wrong. The CM Punk shine has not worn off either.
One complaint is that CM Punk unintentionally cast shade on AEW Dark and Elevation with his promo. He essentially said that Kingston is not ready for a big spot in AEW. When you say something that like that the comeuppance is almost a certainty. The only other way out is to give a finish that makes Kingston look tough. The issue is, we just had that finish when Kingston passed out instead of tapping to Danielson a few weeks ago. We can’t repeat the same finish, with the same person a few weeks later. For that reason, I have to go with Eddie. Winner: Eddie Kingston
Christian Cage and Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus) vs. Superkliq (Adam Cole and The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson)) - Falls Count Anywhere Match
First, having basically the same stipulation as the ATT vs Inner Circle match is disappointing. That being said, I get that you want to have everyone on the card that you can. You can’t not have Adam Cole on his first pay per view. You also can’t have Adam Cole lose on his first pay per view. Sometimes, it’s as easy as that. I expect that soon we will see Christian turn and set up a proper feud with Jungle Boy. Winner: Superkliq
Pac and Cody Rhodes vs. Malakai Black and Andrade El Idolo
A late addition to the card, but a welcomed one. I feel as though Malakai has a lot of momentum here and Andrade is benefiting from just being around him. Don’t get me wrong of course, all 4 of these guys are tremendous.
There is a certain subsection of fans that are sick of Cody Rhodes being the red, white, and blue babyface. We’ve seen that character unravel a bit over the last several months, but everyone is still waiting for that last little push. I’m not sure we get that here, but I am sure that Malakai and Andrade get the win. It’s possible, perhaps even likely, that we see a debut here too. Winner: Malakai Black and Andrade El Idolo
Kenny Omega vs. Hangman Adam Page - AEW World Championship Match
The longest-running story in AEW culminates at Full Gear this Saturday. Hangman’s character arc will be complete when he defeats his former best friend and former AEW World Tag Team Champion partner for the AEW World Heavyweight Championship.
I’ve come across a few fans and “experts” that want either:
1. Hangman to lose at Full Gear
2. Hangman to lose the championship shortly after winning it.
Both ideas are frankly awful. Please do not give those ideas more energy than what I have already.
The easiest thing to do is to give the fans what they want and expect. The fans need to be rewarded for sticking with this story and the only fitting end is Hangman hoisting the championship above his head to end the pay-per-view.
Winner: Hangman Adam Page
AEW always seems to produce great cards on paper and in actuality, when it comes to pay per views, Full Gear seems to be no exception. There are a few matches that I feel could go either way, but that is the entire point. I don’t want a full card of predictable matches.
If you’re going to the show, I’ll be there! Look for me, say hello. I’ll be the guy in the black t-shirt.