Posted on 11/18/122 by Colin Vassallo
AEW Full Gear 2022 Preview
‘Here’s how we gon’ do this’ – there are
three categories: star quality, match
quality, build. For each we’ll assign a
score out of ten. To get a total score with
which to rank the matches.
Star quality is within the company/to the
company’s fans. A ten does not mean they’d
be known on the street like Hulk Hogan or
Steve Austin. If scores are even,
matches’ll be ranked according to
We’ll then predict the winners of each
Without further ado.
Jade Cargill vs Nyla Rose, TBS Title
Star quality: 3 – Jade’s aura slips with
every defense – a lack of believable
opponents doesn’t help; Nyla disappears for
months at a time and has lost a lot.
Match quality: 1 – Cargill’s still bad &
Nyla’s unlikely to be able to carry her.
Build: 0 – This has been some of the worst
tv in the company. Including threatened
show-long hi-jackings which don’t
materialize, and the less said about the
segment where Nyla & Vickie did
‘commentary’, the better.
And with each week that passes, it’s
increasingly difficult to figure out who the
heel is in this feud. Which is bad in any
rivalry but particularly in one guaranteed
to be a letdown between the ropes.
Overall Score: 4
If there are any fans out there looking
forward to this, genuinely hope you enjoy
it. For everyone else, you can look forward
to when it’s over. Let’s hope it’s a short
WINNER: Jade Cargill
Jay Lethal & Jeff Jarrett vs Sting & Darby
Star quality: 7 – Let’s be honest, that
number is all the babyface side.
Match quality: 6 – Lethal’s very good in the
ring, Darby will kill himself to make the
match good, neither vet should get in the
Build: 2 – That 2 is based purely on Lethal
attacking Darby, which at least provides
some reason for the match happening in the
first place. Because the ‘someone from your
past who knows your weakness’ story was a
A backstory like that should be clear – e.g.
‘This guy and Darby were struggling together
on the indies and he feels like Darby left
And it damn sure shouldn’t feel like a TNA
invasion. Certainly not in a company which
feels like WWE & ROH are already doing so.
Overall Score: 15
Any outcome other than a babyface win is
inconceivable, largely because it would mean
Jarrett’s return to our screens isn’t
WINNER: Darby Allin & Sting
Wardlow vs Powerhouse Hobbs vs Samoa Joe,
Star quality: 6 – It should be higher –
Joe’s very over, Hobbs would be if he didn’t
disappear for weeks at a time & Wardlow
should be but he’s been booked abysmally.
Match quality: 6 – Three-ways can be tricky
& Wardlow’s still not wrestled a ton of
longer, competitive matches. Willing to be
Build: 3 – If WarJoe had been together nine
months, this’d be higher: teaming people
just to have one turn on the other is among
booking’s lowest-hanging fruit. Likewise if
the title had been better protected and
Wardlow’s stellar run was threatened by two
Overall Score: 15
There are only two winners here. Either
they decide that Wardlow’s been used so
badly that he needs a boosting win or they
decide Wardlow’s been used so badly that
they need to get the belt onto Will Hobbs.
Either way, the most popular guy in the
match will likely be losing.
WINNER: Powerhouse Hobbs
Toni Storm vs Jamie Hayter, AEW Interim
Star quality: 5 – Jamie’s as over as any
woman on the roster; Toni’s cold as
Match quality: 7 – both can be very good and
know each other well. Hayter has a ton of
cool power moves and works well with smaller
Build: 4 – The real-life backstory is a very
compelling one – if it hadn’t been dropped
on us two weeks ago, it could’ve been
Overall Score: 16
This is a really tough one to predict.
Storm’s never actually been the true
champion. And Thunder Rosa’s rumored to be
fairly close to returning. Meaning a
unification match makes sense.
On the other hand, Hayter & Britt vowed that
one would end the year as champion. The
assumption being that the one would be
Jamie, sparking Britt’s jealously & finally
leading to a split between the pair.
Not to mention, Hayter’s clearly more
popular with the crowd than Storm.
Personally, I think she should be the one to
end Jade Cargill’s streak. Obviously, that
would involve a face turn, but she’s got the
size to believably pose a threat to Jade &
the crowd want to cheer her – and basically
do already. Not to mention, she and Saraya
are about the only viable candidates left to
Perhaps the clincher though, is that Toni
can’t seem to keep Rosa’s name out her
mouth. An angle? Or another to add to those
who don’t seem to like the women’s champ?
Either way, it suggests a match is coming.
WINNER: Jamie Hayter
The Acclaimed vs Swerve in our Glory, AEW
Star quality: 8 – The champs are as over as
anyone on the roster, Lee’s very popular,
Swerve slightly less-so.
Match quality: 6 – They’ve had two matches.
One excellent; one clunky. Lee’s still too
big, Caster’s fine; Bowens and Strickland
can be really good, though on Wednesday,
when the best worker on either team went at
it, it was a little underwhelming.
Though Strickland’s clear win and attacking
of Bowens’ shoulder did at least add a
little more intrigue to the outcome tonight.
Build: 3 – Billy Gunn blatantly cheated to
help the Acclaimed win the belts.
Fortunately, such is the champs’ popularity
that they’re able to overcome the booking
and remain good guys.
Then, there’s the weird pliers angle with
Daddy Ass. Which portends his gaining
revenge by costing Strickland the titles
once again. Though it shouldn’t. The
Acclaimed should win clean.
Overall Score: 17
On the subject, this one’s an easy choice.
They’ve clearly already begun building to
the Acclaimed vs FTR, nor is there any
chance of them taking the belts off one of
their most popular acts so soon after
WINNER: The Acclaimed
Saraya vs Britt Baker
Star quality: 7 – Saraya hasn’t quite hit
her stride yet but should be the biggest
female in the company; Baker’s very popular.
Match quality: 5 – This match is a risk.
Britt’s a great personality but she’s not
yet at the point where she can cover for an
opponent. And the former Paige certainly
didn’t used to be in need of such help. But
there are five years of ring-rust to shake
Build: 6 – While acknowledging that they
began to suggest this match Saraya’s first
night in. And that some people really liked
last week’s promo segment. This still
doesn’t feel as big as it should.
However, Wednesday’s promos really helped
make this match more intriguing. Just for
all the wrong reasons. Britt Baker’s promo
was excellent. It felt very personal.
Almost as if Saraya legitimately touched a
nerve the previous week by basically saying
– ‘I was with WWE, so I’m a bigger star.’
It was also a total babyface promo – re-
asserting her commitment to AEW in an era
when many fans have become increasingly fed-
up with the constant influx of ex-WWE. And
totally undercut Saraya, who already had to
undo the damage of the previous week when
she’d almost turned herself heel. Hence her
own very humble interview. It was
noteworthy that her speaking was kept to a
Who the crowd choose to cheer, and how the
two interact with each other out there, will
be more interesting than the match itself.
Overall Score: 18
Obviously, the new girl’s not losing her
first outing in the company.
Luchasaurus vs Jungle Boy Jack Perry, Steel
Star quality: 6 – Jack’s pretty popular; not
so sure about Luchasaurus, particularly as a
Match quality: 7 – JB’s good, they know each
other well & should work a classic big
man/little man cage match.
Build: 6 – None of these guys are exactly
favorites of mine and there’s been too great
a reliance on ‘cheap heat’. But we were
shown their relationship over a number of
years and thus this does feel like a match
with a story behind it – of broken trust and
betrayal between friends.
Overall Score: 19
Jungle Boy lost to Christian in ten seconds
at All Out, then lost to Luchasaurus. He’s
not losing here.
WINNER: Jungle Boy
Death Triangle vs the Elite
Star quality: 9 – Two sets of former tag
champs, the first double champion in the
company & a former world champion who’s
among the biggest stars in the company.
Match quality: 10 – If this isn’t the match
of the night, something’s gone badly wrong
here or very, very right in another. The
Bros & the Bucks had one of the best outings
of the year last September; it’s almost
impossible to see Omega or Pac doing
anything other than improving on that.
Build: 3 – The videos hinting at the Elite’s
return were cute and all, but unless there’s
a deeper story yet to be unveiled, pretty
one-dimensional. And much as I love a
return, one promo isn’t enough to bump up
the score. This one’s being sold on match
quality, rather than story.
Overall Score: 22
This might be one of those matches where the
winner’s so obvious that they’re not
actually going to win. Death Triangle were
very clearly positioned as consolation
champions – the best of what was left. And
AEW even delayed debuting these titles until
Kenny Omega was back because the division
was to be built around the EVP’s.
Not to mention the obvious dissention among
Pac and the Bros – providing an easy ‘out’
if a change is going to occur.
And in the end, that’s probably what’ll
occur. Pac will give one of them the
hammer, they’ll refuse to use it, it’ll cost
them. (Unless of course, they’re all going
to turn heel? Aaargh).
WINNER: the Elite
MJF vs Jon Moxley, AEW World Title
Name value: 10 – There isn’t a bigger match
the company could put on atm.
Match quality: 8 – Mox rarely has bad
matches, MJF’s really underrated in the
ring: he had the best match at the same
event last year.
Build: 6 – This should have been so much
higher. And actually was, a little, until
Wednesday’s show-ending promo. Which only
served to highlight how muddy they’ve made
things. As noted below, there’s an
exceptionally simple storyline here about
two guys who are total opposites and the
promo work from both has largely been
But everything involving the Firm has been a
detriment to the story. Their backstory and
connection to Max still hasn’t been properly
explained. And even the parts that have
don’t make sense. On top of which, no-one
among the group is anywhere near main-event
So please, please, please don’t let the
beatdown Max endured from them be a swerve.
Please. Because it seems highly likely that
MJF will reveal that he was never a good
Which is fine. The whole premise behind his
title bid is optimizing his value ahead of
the ‘bidding war of 2024’. But not like
that. The idea that a competitor would
allow himself to be destroyed two weeks
before a world championship match is just
ludicrous. Even more so if it was all just
to ‘fool’ us. Something akin to breaking
your leg to convince us it’s broken.
Overall Score: 24
Back to the bidding war stuff. February
would probably be a better time for him to
win the belt. Because the alternative is
him holding it from now until the very end
of next year as he threatens to take it with
him if he decides to leave. But it does
seem that the plan all along was to have him
take it here from Punk.
And actually, beating Moxley makes the story
even better. The guy who is so fiercely
loyal to the company, who bleeds and sweats
for it, the guy who would least like Max to
take the belt he cherishes so much to the
place he most despises. If done right,
that’s something they could come back to
All of which opens the window slightly for
another possibility. That MJF will indeed
be a ‘good guy’ for a bit, maybe a few
months. Before revealing who he truly is as
we draw closer to the time when he can
leave. Or at least threaten to.
Chris Jericho vs Sammy Guevara vs Bryan
Danielson vs Claudio Castagnoli, ROH Title
Star quality: 9 – Two top guys, two
Match quality: 9 – All four are excellent.
Jericho has his critics but he’s had good
matches lately with a variety of opponents.
Slight knock for it being a four-way, which
tend to be busy.
Build: 7 – While ROH does feel like it’s
been shoved down fans’ throats, and the
BCC/JAS feud is on its last legs, the very
simple story of Jericho feeling a company
that’s been around for twenty years is
beneath him, and doing everything he can to
dis-honor it, has been very enjoyable.
In an ideal world, this would’ve been one-
on-one vs a Danielson who’d mowed down each
member of the JAS having finally snapped at
Jericho’s disrespect for the company that
made him who he is.
Overall Score: 25
While history would tell us a match like
this is a way to change the title without
beating the champ, and that Sammy is the
perfect pawn, it’s just as likely this was
made a 4-way to fit guys on the show. As
we’re all aware, AEW have rather too many.
And until any ROH tv deal is sealed, it’s
hard to see Jericho dropping his title.
WINNER: Chris Jericho
An interesting way to look at the show, in
the sense that while it’s obviously somewhat
tainted since I wrote it, the scores don’t
necessarily reflect my own interest level
(the six-man & AEW title matches are what
I’m most looking forward to, the tag title
What really stands out is the lack of
stipulation matches – definitely a good
thing. But also a lack of men’s singles due
to the bloated roster.
Even more than that, the quality of build.
Or lack thereof. In several cases, there’s
a good possibility the crowd will react
contrary to the company’s wishes – something
that’s almost never happened in the past
because they booked smartly and listened to
Whatever else, AEW tends to deliver on PPV.
So enjoy the show, have a great weekend and
of course, if it does happen to suck,
there’s always the post-show presser 😉.
PS (Erm… where are FTR?)