AEW Full Gear 2021 HOT TAKE
The machine of professional wrestling never stops, running white hot thanks to the inertia created by the ever-present level of competition inside the squared circle. Anger and pride primes the engine, an obsession with victory setting a laser-like focus on the future for those entering the AEW Arena.
All Elite Wrestling is not just another professional wrestling promotion that will come and go. It's initials represents a distinct moment in time when a rallying cry changes the face of professional wrestling for all who stand witness to this unique machine being built piece by piece, gear by gear.
What is being constructed right before all our eyes is the future, a looming skyscraper being built floor by floor, moment by moment, battle by battle. With each piece of interlocking history, the DNA of not just All Elite Wrestling but the blueprint for a grander landscape for professional wrestlers seeking to showcase they are the best in the world and the audience seeking to live vicariously through their victories and defeats, the world becoming ever more vibrant.
Over the last several years, AEW has changed history forever and now, on Saturday November 13th, All Elite Wrestling goes FULL GEAR, shattering all traditions and expectations to set the bar for not just the future, not just an amazing evening of professional wrestling but for the lives and dreams of a stellar cast of combat sports competitors.
Emanating from the North Star State of Minnesota and shining brightly like a blazing comet streaking across the dark sky, AEW Full Gear 2021 will stream live internationally across the globe for FITE subscribers, as they watch the machine that has built a better professional wrestling mousetrap evolve once more.
AEW's Full Gear will feature:
AEW WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: Kenny Omega vs. Hangman Adam Page
Kenny Omega has been living the dream, high on his own success and sneering down on all who dare challenge his position as the AEW World Heavyweight Champion. While Omega has defeated the top stars from across the globe, if there is one persistent thorn in his side, it's Hangman Adam Page, Omega's former partner and ally, who once again, is coming to claim his destiny.
Page has fought through adversity and obstacles before and now, empowered by the birth of his first child, he has one more reason to fight through the hellfire and brimstone, looking to level up and achieve, one and for all, his place in professional wrestling history as the new World Heavyweight Champion. With the Dark Order backing Page as he attempts to overcome the insurmountable odds that The Elite represent for anyone seeking to dethrone Omega.
For FITE viewers across the globe who have followed the roller coaster career of Adam Page, Full Gear represents the apex moment in his life. Page has come so close to putting down Omega before but now, the constellations appear to be aligned in his favor. While Omega will never admit it, his loss to Christian Cage several months ago proves there are indeed dents in his golden armor. If there's one competitor who knows how Omega ticks more than anyone else on the face of the Earth, it's Hangman Page and a well placed Buckshot Lariat may set the stage for the entire trajectory of AEW changing yet again….
AWA WOMEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: Dr. Britt Baker DMD vs. Tay Conti
Dr. Britt Baker has been on the tear of all tears, rising over the last several years from one of The Steel City's most celebrated combatants to the definitive female personality in All Elite Wrestling. With Jamie Hayter and Rebel (not Reba) by her side, Baker has taken down all challengers who have dared question her authority as the reigning, defending AEW World Women's Champion.
Baker has never faced a challenger like Tay Conti, however. The Brazilian star has conquered the world of judo before shifting over to the professional wrestling realm, putting together an incredible series of victories that put her into contention for both the AEW and NWA Women's Championship.
Empowered by her association with The Dark Order and her close friendship with Anna Jay, Conti marches into Full Gear for the biggest battle of her life, a no-lose situation where she'll either emerge victorious as the new champion or walk out having fought to the better end with one of the best wrestlers in the world.
AEW WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATOR TOURNAMENT FINALS: Bryan Danielson vs. Miro
Tournaments in professional wrestling never truly tell the tale that one expects. One week ago, Jon Moxley was considered one of the two favorites to make his way through the AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament and Miro was a monster waiting in the shadows for his moment to burst out and burn the world down in his latest attempt to conquer all. The Vegas oddsmakers looked for Moxley vs. Bryan Danielson in the finals, but as they say, what a difference seven days make.
With Moxley taking time to address health issues, Miro was instead given the chance to enter the Eliminator, shocking the world with his return to the ring as he defeated the ever-popular Orange Cassidy.
This victory sets the stage for Full Gear this Saturday, as Miro faces off with The American Dragon Bryan Danielson to determine the next top contender for the AEW World Champion. It's the classic professional wrestling war - the technical prowess and heart of Danielson, who has raised the bar of bell to bell physicality since in All Elite Wrestling against the fearsome ferocity of Miro, once again seeking to crush and crumble the opposition en route to championship gold.
AEW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP: The Lucha Brothers vs. AAA Tag Team Champions FTR
There is no argument that FTR, Dax Hartwood and Cash Wheeler, are among the most stellar tag team combinations in the modern era of professional wrestling. However, there's also zero argument that they have learned well from Tully Blanchard, becoming two of the most antagonistic, abrasive personalities in All Elite Wrestling.
Since targeting Rex Fenix and Pénta El Zero M, FTR has attempted to demoralize the brotherly duo, covertly stealing the AAA Tag Team Championships while masked as The Frogs. The title win has given FTR the ability to declare themselves the best luchadors in the world, playing mind games in an attempt to wear down The Lucha Brothers mentally and spiritually before the bell ever rings at Full Gear.
The Lucha Brothers have always broken the laws of gravity over the course of competition, seeking flight to the heavens in order to drive their challengers down to hell - and that's just when they are seeking victory. Now, seeking vengeance, there is no telling where in the stratosphere they are seeking to dive down from, bringing their own unique style of violence against FTR.
One should not assume this will be a one-sided battle, however. Since coming to AEW, FTR have proven themselves to be master strategists in terms of breaking down opponents physically and emotionally. The battle for them begins well before they begin targeting extremities and grid away on bone and ligaments. It begins well before the bell rings, as fans who have watched Dynamite and Rampage in recent weeks on FITE's AEW+ subscription service are well aware.
Now, the countdown clock hits zero and a nuclear war with international implications will rage, with pride, the AEW World Tag Team Championships and more all at stake, live on FITE.
MINNEAPOLIS STREET FIGHT: The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, Sammy Guevara, Santana, and Ortiz) vs. The Men of the Year (Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page) and American Top Team (Junior Dos Santos & Andrei Arlovski & Dan Lambert)
Some might argue that Chris Jericho brought his current war against Dan Lambert's American Top Team and Men of the Year upon himself. After all, if there's been one person who has stirred the pot to create chaos since AEW was formed, it's been the first-ever AEW World Champion. So, whether Jericho intended to or not, he opened the Pandora's Box he and the other members of The Inner Circle are currently dealing with.
Since migrating to AEW, Dan Lambert had gone from heading one of the top MMA Academies in the world to shouting the most harshful critiques of all things All Elite Wrestling. After guiding so many world class combat sports fighters, Lambert upped the ante by signing Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky, The Men of the Year.
When Jericho and the Inner Circle confronted Lambert, the last thing they or anyone ever suspected was that it would lead to an Infinity War level crossover, opening the Forbidden Door of some of MMA's most lethal fighters to attack Jericho, Sammy Guevara and the other members of The Inner Circle.
History will be made with this Minneapolis Street Fight. Whether it be UFC Heavyweight fighter Andre Arlovski making his pro wrestling debut or Jericho going for revenge after Junior Dos Santos' previous beatdowns, there are so many variables that keep fans from being able to adequately predict which way this war may go.
Even Dan Lambert himself couldn't have predicted that he'd find himself ensnared in his own trap, becoming an active competitor in this war to end all wars as the greatest professional wrestlers and Mixed Martial Arts pugilists take to the streets, live on FITE.
EMOTIONS BOILING OVER: CM Punk vs. Eddie Kingston
CM Punk's return to professional wrestling under the AEW banner has been quite the honeymoon, but now, that honeymoon is over. While Punk has been competing against some of AEW's best, when he steps into the ring at Full Gear, he's walking into a legitimate fight forged in bad blood. It's been years since the wrestling world has truly seen angry CM Punk, but we're going to see him this Saturday.
After demanding an apology from Eddie Kingston for interrupting a post-match interview, Punk instead found himself in a confrontation with an angry Kingston, still boiling over perceived slights from many years ago behind the scenes, revealing that while fans are thrilled Punk has returned, old grudges tell a different story for other members of the AEW locker room.
When Punk responded that Kingston had been too lazy to achieve his own greatness, a fiery Kingston then challenged Punk to fight him at Full Gear. Never one to back down from a challenge, Punk accepted, setting the stage for two of AEW's most beloved and outspoken fighters to get their aggressions out in full view of the public eye. For Punk, it's a chance to beat some respect into the maverik Kingston.
For Kingston, it's his moment of redemption, to show Punk that he's always and still deserves respect. We'll see angry Punk this weekend, but Punk is going to meet angry Kingston, who has carried that anger under the surface for untold years. How that anger explodes remains to be seen.
There are no titles on the line. Instead, something far more valuable is at stake, pride.
MJF is great at many things. Keeping his opinions to himself is not one of them. One of the most hated men who exist in All Elite Wrestling today, MJF added yet another notorious chapter to his rap sheet when he called out the inspiration for Darby Allin's career, citing the car accident that killed Darby's uncle, claiming that instead Darby should have died.
For Allin, who paints his face in tribute to his Uncle and brings forth a style that places himself in the most egregious of dangers in order to take down his opposition, this was the deepest cut, an infinite sign of disrespect.
In MJF's eyes, Allin is a coward who hides behind the fans, behind the legendary Sting and behind his face paint and he's exposing the truth while once again proving to the world that he's the brashest bastard ever seen in All Elite Wrestling.
What MJF didn't realize is that by disrespecting Allin's family, he gave someone who fought his way out of being homeless and having nothing yet another new reason to fight. MJF ignited yet another fire under Allin, so one has to wonder what someone who has been willing to jump off bridges just for the adrenaline rush will do in the pursuit of vengeance.
With Sting by his side to prevent Wardlow from imposing his will, Allin may have the best chance of everyone to finally shut MJF up and gain vengeance, not for himself and his family, but for everyone who have been wronged by Maxwell Jacob Friedman in recent years in AEW and beyond.
If Allin is successful, it will be a glorious moment. If he isn't, what will MJF feel emboldened enough to attempt next?
The debut of Adam Cole at the end of AEW Double or Nothing earlier this year supercharged the ego of The Elite, crystalizing into the formation of the Super Kliq with The Young Bucks, Nick and Matt Jackson. They have since run rampant across the AEW landscape dishing out the most grievous of superkick parties and triple-team beatdowns.
As AEW's combatants have risen to the challenge of turning back the Super Kliq, three competitors have led the charge - Christian Cage, Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus. The Jurassic Express have tangled with The Bucks since the advent of AEW while Cage has continued to fight the good fight since making his Elite debut. With Cage being one of the few men to score a legitimate pinfall over Kenny Omega in AEW, he's proven to be one of the most dangerous adversaries for The Elite. With Jungle Boy's technical prowess and Luchasaurus' unbridled fury and strength alongside Cage, this trio could prove to be the Super Kliq's undoing, except for one thing, the environment of the match.
With Falls Counting Anywhere in Minneapolis and beyond, the paradigm of the battle once again shifts in the favor of The Jacksons and Cole. The Young Bucks shine best when they are forced to compete outside the box of traditional professional wrestling and with the entire Target Center now their springboard towards unique offensive maneuvers and weaponry, what would have been a classic six man tag team wrestling encounter now morphs into a war of attrition unlike any other in professional wrestling. No matter where the battle rages, FITE will be your ringside seat for everyone across the globe!
AEW Full Gear will emanate from Minneapolis this Saturday evening and will be seen in all its glory live on FITE for international viewers!
Mike Johnson is the lead reporter for PWInsider.com and has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He can be found on Twitter @MikePWInsider and MikeJohnsonWrites.com.