AEW Full Gear 2022 HOT TAKE
Newark, New Jersey is a hard-nosed city, the largest in The Garden State. Located in the shadow of NYC, Newark has always had to fight from underneath, seeking absolution from corruption, from hardship, from itself. Over the last several decades, it has pushed towards the light, attempting to rebuild itself, to rebrand, to prove itself as its own destination point for those seeking the hard truth of redemption.
It is with those spirits that All Elite Wrestling descends upon The Brick City for the 2022 edition of Full Gear this Saturday November 19th. For the first time since the explosive All Out event, AEW returns to Pay-Per-View and once again, FITE will be the exclusive home internationally for all of the elite excellence that comes with AEW as the top championships will be decided and colossal grudge matches will clash until there victors are decided. When the dust settles, career trajectories will change forever and the AEW galaxy will enter into a new, unknown chapter.
The future of AEW begins anew this Saturday night with the following main event attractions:
AEW World Champion Jon Moxley vs. MJFSince the advent of All Elite Wrestling in 2019, NJF has proclaimed that he's better than all of us and we know it. This Saturday, he will have the chance to prove himself once and for all and if he is victorious, he'll be able to rub it in everyone's faces with the AEW World Heavyweight Championship belt. After disappearing from AEW in the most controversial manner possible, MJF returned to capture a guaranteed championship match at All Out. While he engaged Stokely Hathaway's The Firm in order to do so, MJF has since had a massive falling out with that gang of thugs, instead wishing to prove himself and win the championship on his own, the right way.
Whether he is being forthcoming or simply attempting his latest ploy, MJF is in for the fight of his life. Jon Moxley, now a three-time AEW World Champion, isn't going to go down without a bloody fight transpiring. He refuses to let the championship go and indeed, anyone who hopes to win the title will have to pry it from his cold, dark hands. Moxley has emerged as the fighting avatar for all AEW fans in recent months, looking to battle his way through every harsh environment, against all odds, spitting in the face of danger in the process. Empowered and enraged, Moxley is a walking one man riot seeking to bring anarchy to every arena he steps into in pursuit of retaining his title.
This Saturday, we have two of the most embittered, driven forces in AEW history charging at each other at MACH-5, with neither planning to flinch and each seeking to emerge with the ultimate prize in AEW when the battle is over, the All Elite Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship, something FITE international fans can witness live as it happens!
Saraya vs. Dr. Britt BakerSeveral years ago, the world of Saraya, then wrestling as Paige, came crashing down around her with the unthinkable word echoing in her ear: retirement. Neck issues prevented one of professional wrestling's most popular, innovative and inspiring souls to continue their exploits inside the squared circle, depriving Saraya's fans of her exploits but most importantly, carving out a piece of Saraya's heart, leaving her forever empty as she was prevented from doing the very thing she was born to do - compete inside the squared circle.
Fast forward to September 2022 and AEW Grand Slam in NYC. Saraya emerges from the shadows and into the world of All Elite Wrestling, eliciting shocked screams from all four corners of the globe. She was back, but was she back in the ring? Last week on AEW Dynamite, as seen by AEW+ subscribers, Saraya revealed she is cleared to return to the ring and will do so this Saturday on FITE during Full Gear.
Most would pick an easy first outing for their return, but since she has debuted in AEW, Saraya has locked horns with former AEW Women's World Champion Dr. Britt Baker, the definitive women's competitor over the last three years of All Elite Wrestling. Baker is cunning, dangerous
and manipulative, having stopped at nothing to run roughshod over every AEW foe she has faced in pursuit of maintaining all the power and prestige as the most talked about woman in AEW history.
In Saraya, however, Britt finds herself a shark dealing with another shark, one who has fought and defeated Great Whites in the past. While Britt has been the one to fear in the locker room, Saraya has an entirely different and unique history that she can tap into, emotionally empowered by the opportunity to finally return to the ring.
If there is ever someone who may be emotionally over-prepared to step into battle in AEW, it very well could be Saraya. That said, Baker should never, ever be overlooked as an opponent. She is well known as an opportunist and a strategist, and Saraya's Achilles Heel is well known to all - her neck will be the obvious target of attack. If Baker can find a weakness early - and she WILL be looking for it - all of Saraya's hopes and dreams will end as a Nightmare on Elm Street. If she can persevere through Baker's best attacks, this may be a sweet ending to what has been a bleak period for Saraya and her fans. We will all see what awaits this Saturday at Full Gear with baited breath and heightened anticipation!
Ring of Honor World Champion Chris Jericho vs. Bryan Danielson vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Sammy GuevaraChris Jericho has been an absolute tyrant since winning the Ring of Honor World Championship at AEW Grand Slam, seeking to unravel and destroy everything that anyone associated with the ROH letters has attempted to build since February 2002 when that promotion was first incorporated in Philadelphia. Jericho has spit on the conventions of Honor, has attacked those associated with the letters and has attempted to twist and pervert the ROH Championship, revered by those who have previously held it, turning the title into a weapon as Jericho is content to urinate all over the legacy of everything the Ring of Honor brand has carved into the time capsule of professional wrestling.
It is quite possible that Jericho may have ensnared himself in a trap of his own making this Saturday on FITE as international viewers will watch him defend the ROH World Championship in a Four-Way encounter that features two former ROH Champions out for blood as they seek to wrest the World Championship from Jericho and attempt to restore order and balance to the honor that defines ROH. Jericho defeated Claudio Castagnoli at Grand Slam this past September, leaving the Swiss star silent and angry and he obsessed over getting his return match. Meanwhile, Bryan Danielson, whose entire career was initially defined in Ring of Honor, has been in heated pursuit of Jericho in recent months, seeking to take down Jericho once and for all. If Bryan can do so and recapture the championship he proudly carried for 464 days, it will be among the crowning achievements of his decorated career.
Traditionally, four way bouts feature all the competitors out for themselves, but Castagnoli and Danielson are each united in their brotherhood as members of the Blackpool Combat Club, meaning they will put forth a combined effort to detrone Chris Jericho. Jericho, in making this bout, booked his longtime associate Sammy Guevara into the match as the fourth competitor. On the surface, one would think that Guevara would run interference and balance the odds against the defending ROH Champion, but Guevara, himself not a stranger to the ego, is also always one seeking to ascend to the next level. Could Jericho have set himself up for a war on three fronts without realizing it? All will be revealed live on FITE International this Saturday evening, live from The Prudential Center in Newark!
AEW World Tag Team Champions The Acclaimed vs. Swerve Strickland & Keith LeeThe Acclaimed have become the most beloved tandem in AEW today and with good reason - they are fun, they are charismatic, and they fight their hearts out. Their AEW Tag Team Championship victory at Grand Slam has energized the AEW audience, who seek to follow Max Caster and Anthony Bowens all the way to the promised land of professional wrestling greatness.
The Acclaimed's flight to the upper echelon of AEW's tag team division was not easy, not with Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee in the way. The tag team rivalry that has exploded over the AEW World Tag Team Championship is centered over a very old school, simple issue: who is the best tag team in the world. At All Out, it was Strickland and Lee. But on their home turf of NYC, new champions were crowned in the Acclaimed, setting Strickland on a darker, evil path that has even shocked his own partner.
This Saturday, in Bowens' home state of New Jersey, the rubber match is upon us all, as we discover once and for all, who is truly the best tag team in AEW and who will represent the AEW faithful heading into 2023 with gold raised in their hands.
Sting & Darby Allin vs. Jeff Jarrett & Jay LethalIf there is one rule in professional wrestling, it is that no matter how long it may take or how hard the fight may be, in the end, Jeff Jarrett always lands on his feet like the cagiest of cats, cackles and does the Fargo Strut right back into the thick of things. There was no exception to this rule several weeks ago on AEW+ when Jarrett shattered his trademark guitar over Darby Allin, bloodying the beloved AEW stalwart.
Having been pulled into the AEW orbit by Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt, Jarrett has promised to leave scads of body bags in his wake, seeking to decimate the landscape of the promotion and reshape it into his own image. Backed by Lethal inside the ring and Dutt and Satnum Singh outside of it, Jarrett will once again clash with one of his greatest foes this Saturday at Full Gear when he and Sting are nose to nose inside the squared circle in this tag team encounter. From America to Australia and back, they have battled on PPV and once again, everything old is new again as old rivalries rise from the grave to provide a most unique Full Gear attraction.
With Darby Allin seeking revenge and Jay Lethal seeking his moment of glory, plus Sting and Jarrett battling it out, this tag team encounter may be one of the most unique, emotional attractions in AEW Full Gear history.
AEW Interim Women's World Champion Toni Storm vs. Jamie HayterSince coming to All Elite Wrestling, Toni Storm has wrestled and fought her heart out, rising to the top of the pyramid as the Interim World Women's Champion, and quite frankly, might already be the Women's Champion had it not been for an untimely injury to Thunder Rosa. Since winning the Interim title, Storm has captured the hearts of AEW fans worldwide, from her native New Zealand and Australia all the way to the UK and the United States, in a pure, true manner. Her worldwide exploits have led her to championship gold and true happiness.
Over the course of those global travels, Storm has crossed paths numerous times with her former roommate and friend Jamie Hayter, now deeply entrenched in the world and career of Dr. Britt Baker. Having leaned towards a more aggressive, villainous role inside the ring, the Hayter of 2022 does not resemble the young woman who once toured the world with Storm. With the Interim Title at stake, Storm is going to have to reconcile those facts or find herself very much on the defensive. For Storm to attain ultimate victory at Full Gear, she's going to have to let the ghosts of the past go and concentrate on the present. If not, we are all looking at a future of Jamie Hayter as the new Interim World Women's Champion.
Steel Cage Match: Jungle Boy vs. LuchasaurusFor a long period of time, Jungle Boy Jack Perry had it all. He had his fans. He had a Tag Team Championship partner and friend in Luchasaurus. Most importantly, he had a mentor in the legendary Christian Cage. Then, the rains came.
Cage, holding in a smoldering, angry jealousy of Jungle Boy, turned on him before his family. He mocked and insulted his family's legacy. He injured Jack Perry and even made the unthinkable possible, he wedged himself between Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus, fracturing one of the first true AEW tag teams and turning them into enemies.
Cage will lead Luchasaurus into the confines of a steel cage match this Saturday in Newark, NJ, seeking to destroy Jungle Boy once and for all. For Jack Perry, while he may still have his fans, he stands alone once that steel cage descends, entrapping himself and Luchasaurus inside. Then, it is kill or be killed. Survive or die. Two men enter. One man survives.
This cage match represents the moment where Jack Perry, Jungle Boy, can avenge the transgressions committed upon his family. The embarrassment of the beatings and injuries. The insults to his father's memory. The disrespect towards his mother and sister. Every man has that moment where they must ball up their fist and reign down fire against their tormentors - and live FITE this Saturday, Jungle Boy must be that man.
AEW TBS Champion Jade Cargill vs. Nyla RosaNyla Rose may already be the most successful competitor against Jade Cargill, but they haven't even stepped in the ring yet and won't until this Saturday on FITE at Full Gear. Cargill has been completely, absolutely undefeated inside the ring, so Rose has taken on a different dimension of mental warfare as she prepares for their Full Gear encounter.
Having stolen the TBS Championship belt, Rosa has carried the belt everywhere privately and publicly, proclaiming to be the true, actual champion. The move has obviously gotten under Cargill's skin as she has dispatched the Baddies in failed attempts to reclaim the property and has even herself, been unable to get to Nyla to end the disrespect.
Whether Rose and Vickie Guerrero's schemes will be successful will be revealed this Saturday at Full Gear when they enter the ring for an official championship bout to determine the TBS Champion going forward. Will Rose be jaded when her alleged reign comes to an end? Will Cargill find that she's been beaten before the bell rings thanks to all the shenanigans and distractions? The world will learn which powerhouse will reign supreme Saturday and moving forward alike, live at Full Gear!
AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament FinalsJust as AEW will learn whether Jon Moxley or MJF will claim the ultimate prize in professional wrestling this Saturday, fans will learn who the next major challenger for that title is during Full Gear as the finals of the World Title Eliminator take place. While the tournament is still ongoing as of this writing, Ethan Page, Bandido, Lance Archer, Ricky Starks and Prince Nana's charge Brian Cage are all in contention. International fans can tune into Dynamite and Rampage this week on AEW+ to watch the remainder of the tournament unfold in advance of Full Gear this Saturday!
The gears of competition never stop turning. The machine must move forward, must grind on, as the insatiable appetite of the warriors who battle inside the ring and the fans who relish the highs and lows of the action must always be fed.
AEW will once again provide a unique, patented stamp on combat sports this Saturday, live from Newark, New Jersey's Prudential Center at Full Gear 2022, live on FITE for international audiences across the globe, on an infinite number of streaming devices, from your televisions to your tablets to your phones!
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.