AEW Full Gear 2020
November 7, 2020
Meet our previewers
Andrew Rich: Host of Music of the Mat on the VOW Podcast Network. Has his fingers crossed about a lot of things going on in the world right now, including that this show will be better than All Out. The go-home Dynamite has given him confidence that it will. Follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewTRich and follow MOTM on Twitter @musicofthemat.
Lee Malone: Host of Days of Thunder podcast. Just like Cody, Lee is an unashamed WCW stan. He is hopeful Full Gear is more Spring Stampede 94 than Great American Bash 2000. Follow him on Twitter @Malone_713 and follow Days of Thunder @WCWThunderPod
Sean Sedor: Jack-Of-All-Trades writer for Voices of Wrestling, and an occasional guest on various podcasts across the VOW Podcast Network. He is much more excited for this Full Gear PPV than he was for All Out. You can follow Sean on Twitter @SASedor2994, and you can check out his YouTube channel (just search his name) for some F1 video game content.
NWA World Women’s Championship
Serena Deeb © vs. Allysin Kay
Andrew: Just days after announcing that she was leaving the NWA and becoming a free agent, Allysin Kay is challenging for the NWA World Women’s Championship on another company’s show. Wrestling is a funny business. Of course, the NWA is not doing too hot right now, so I’m sure Billy Corgan is more than happy to let AEW continue to feature their name and championship on their programming, even if champion Serena Deeb is an AEW-contracted wrestler. Since Kay is a free agent, I expect Deeb to retain the title here. Prediction: Serena Deeb
Lee: In a short space of time Serena Deeb has become one of the most interesting women in the wrestling business. 7 weeks ago she was a free agent, now she is an AEW contracted talent defending the NWA World Women’s title for the second time in AEW. Kay having just left the NWA would be a solid pickup for the AEW roster so there is a slight feel of this match being a tryout. I expect Deeb to score a strong win and retain her title and I remain intrigued as to just where the AEW and NWA relationship goes. Prediction : Serena Deeb
Sean: It’s kind of funny to look at the events that preceded this match coming together. Allysin Kay made a comment on Twitter about how the NWA World Women’s Title was being defended in a match with two wrestlers who weren’t part of the NWA roster. She then officially becomes a free agent a few days later, and then this match (featuring two competitors not on the NWA roster) gets announced for the Full Gear Buy-In. What’s also funny is that, since the All Out PPV, this NWA Women’s Title has been more featured on AEW Dynamite than AEW’s Women’s Title. Weirdness aside, I expect this to be a very solid match between two seasoned veterans. If Kay hadn’t just become a free agent, I would’ve pegged her chances of winning the title for the second time (taking it back to the NWA in the process) as being very high. Instead, I think Deeb will likely retain in what is (more than likely) a tryout match for Allysin Kay in AEW. I hope she impresses and gets a roster spot. The AEW Women’s Division can certainly use the depth right now. Prediction: Serena Deeb
Orange Cassidy vs. John Silver
Andrew: Of all the surprises that 2020 has given us, John Silver being such a breakout star on Being the Elite that it increased his on-screen role on Dynamite is one of my favorites. It started with him being the one to carry Mr. Brodie Lee’s TNT Championship, but over time he’s been given more and more focus to the point where he has a singles match on a pay-per-view. Silver is a really good wrestler and an entertaining fellow, so good for him. I expect this match to lean a little more into the comedic shenanigans side of things than OC’s two recent matches against Cody, but both guys are capable of ramping up the action down the stretch to make for a fun little undercard affair. Prediction: Orange Cassidy
Lee: This is why I enjoy AEW so much, John Silver has interfered in a couple of Cassidy’s matches recently so now they are going to have a match. Simple undercard booking. Silver has been the undoubted star of Being The Elite for months and his BTE character has slowly bled onto Dynamite. This should be a couple of minutes of OC comedy that the fans in attendance will eat up but don’t sleep on it as both OC and Silver can go when they want. Prediction: Orange Cassidy
Sean: This was originally slated for the Buy-In, but got bumped up to the PPV itself a few days ago, which is a big vote of confidence for John Silver. It really does feel like the first step in an elevation for him, and it’s amazing to see both how far he’s come, and how far he could go. This is something I’ve said before on Twitter (and in the VOW Slack), but when Silver breaks away from the Dark Order and has his big feud with Brodie Lee, we’re going to look back to those first few months of Dynamite when The Beaver Boys were getting squashed left and right. Until then, he’s facing Orange Cassidy on this show, and I’m confident that they’ll have a very entertaining contest, especially given that they’ve faced off plenty of times before (in places like Beyond and CHIKARA). As for the result, while it’s a big spot for Silver, he can totally afford to eat a loss here, especially since Cassidy is coming off some big losses himself in the past several weeks on TV. Prediction: Orange Cassidy
AEW Women’s World Championship
Hikaru Shida © vs. Nyla Rose
Andrew: I really don’t have any strong feelings about this match because they haven’t given us a lot to sink our teeth into. Nyla has barely wrestled or even appeared on Dynamite these past few months, while Shida only acknowledged Nyla as a challenger a week ago. They had one little scuffle on the go-home show, and that’s really all we’ve gotten. In a media briefing, Cody said that not every match has to have a big storyline; sometimes it’s just champion vs. #1 contender. I see where he’s coming from, and there is a little story here with Nyla finally getting her rematch for the title, but I do think it could’ve been built up a lot more. Have them interact in segments on Dynamite for a month straight, escalate the tension, have a little tag team preview match, something like that. It doesn’t have to be “War and Peace,” as Cody put it, but it should at least feel as important as a pay-per-view championship match should. Prediction: Hikaru Shida
Lee: This is probably the coldest any title match has ever been on an AEW PPV. There has been zero build beyond Nyla Rose is #1 in the rankings. I wonder if the original plan was a Shida vs Thunder Rosa rematch for the PPV but for whatever reason that match fell apart. I think AEW could be doing a slightly better job of presenting Shida as a big deal, one problem being that every week she is ringside with the Dark jobbers. Problems aside, Shida and Rose had a very good match at Double or Nothing so I have hope they can do so again. AEW really needs to get the Women’s Championship to Britt Baker ASAP. Prediction: Hikaru Shida
Sean: When it comes to the AEW Women’s Division, I’ve generally been on the side that’s argued that the big issue this year has been the lack of quality talent (can’t stress that italicized word enough) that’s been available to them, whether it’s because of COVID travel restrictions, or injuries. That being said, the build for this title bout has left a lot to be desired. While the story pretty much writes itself (Nyla Rose finally getting her rematch with Hikaru Shida), it just feels so thrown together. I’m not asking for a long, elaborate story, or anything like that. They could’ve easily done what they did in the build to the Double Or Nothing title match, but only this time, you have Rose go on a win streak instead of Shida (it would’ve helped to put some of those squashes on Dynamite instead of Dark). As far as predictions go, this is a really tough one for me. At first glance, it would seem like the best move here is to put the title back on Nyla Rose, especially now that she has her new manager, Vickie Guerrero, in her corner. However, I have a feeling that Britt Baker is poised to win this title very soon, and it would make more sense if she wins it off of Shida instead of Rose (unless they do some three-way or four-way). I’m fully prepared to be wrong, but I’m picking Shida to retain. Prediction: Hikaru Shida
The Elite Deletion
Matt Hardy vs. Sammy Guevara
Andrew: This is the make-good from what was supposed to be the climax to this feud at All Out, which ended quite disastrously with Matt getting injured right out of the gate and then skipping ahead to the finish, leading to scrutiny over the decision to continue the match. Now Matt and Sammy meet one more time in The Elite Deletion, which like past Deletion matches will take place at the infamous Hardy Compound and likely be cinematic. I’m not so much dreading this match as I am the discourse surrounding it. The people who like this stuff will like it. The people who hate this stuff will hate it. We’ll all get on our soapboxes and yell at each other, then move on until the next cinematic match pops up. Lather, rinse, repeat. Based on the past few weeks of Dynamite, I would’ve liked this match just being a straight-up hate-filled brawl. I think Matt and Sammy have done a good job scrapping in Daily’s Place to make it look like it should be one. But that decision falls to Tony Khan and not me, so if you don’t like The Elite Deletion, you know who to yell at. Prediction: Matt Hardy
Lee: Cursed. That’s exactly what Matt Hardy’s entire AEW run has been. Debuting in the Covid era, a feud with Chris Jericho that was dropped, Sammy Guevara was suspended for weeks in the middle of their feud and the numerous injuries Sammy and Matt have suffered in their brawls. No wonder this match is being recorded in advance! Your mileage may vary on the Broken Matt cinematic matches but I will enjoy it for what it is for the most part on Saturday night and then forget about it. For his own health I hope Matt sticks to the Michael Hayes role he has with Private Party. Prediction: Sammy Guevara
Sean: I feel so bad for Matt Hardy. After finally getting away from the creative hellhole that is WWE, his debut is spoiled by the shutdowns in the US due to COVID, and then a litany of other things don’t go his way. He gets the freedom to do his “Broken” Matt Hardy character, but he ultimately drops it after (presumably) a backlash from a sizable section of the AEW fanbase who didn’t like seeing that kind of stuff in AEW. Then his feud with Sammy Guevara gets put on ice for a month after Guevara got suspended during the height of the Speaking Out Movement this past summer. Then there was the brawl on Dynamite that saw Matt take a brutal shot to the head (which bloodied him up big time) after a reckless chair throw by Guevara, and the subsequent Tables Match (which was a Dynamite main event) got cut for time after other stuff on that show ran long. All of that then culminated in the controversial Last Man Standing Match at All Out where Matt took a nasty fall mere minutes into the bout.
We thought they wouldn’t revisit this feud after the All Out incident brought a decent amount of negative publicity towards the company (for how they handled the whole situation), but they’re going back to it one more time. It seems pretty obvious that this is going to be a cinematic match which is probably for the best, given what happened last time they were on PPV. I know a lot of people are tired of these cinematic matches by now, but I’m going into this one with cautious optimism. If there’s anyone who can make cinematic matches work, it’s Matt Hardy. If this is truly the blowoff, then I would think Matt will win this. Losing this cinematic match won’t hurt Guevara one iota. Prediction: Matt Hardy
AEW World Tag Team Championship
FTR © vs. The Young Bucks
Andrew: This is gonna be a long one, so strap in.
The term “icing on the cake” is used to describe something that makes a good situation even better. But the key thing to remember is that in order to enjoy the icing on the cake, there has to be a cake. Otherwise, you’re just eating a plate of icing, and without the contrast of the moist, spongey goodness of the cake, then the icing doesn’t really feel as special, does it?
That’s the problem with this match: There’s a whole lot of icing, and very little cake. It may look nice and sweet, but when you stick your fork into it, it sinks right to the bottom of the plate. Of course, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where a Young Bucks vs. FTR match doesn’t have everybody frothing at the mouth with anticipation, but somehow we got it. Part of it has to do with the very lackluster build, with the Young Bucks spending weeks superkicking random personnel backstage in an apparent slow burn heel turn, only to kinda sorta maybe turn face again (but they’re still trying to be edgy, so who knows?) when FTR attacked them after a #1 contendership match. Part of it has to do with FTR disappointing a lot of people (including me) with their performances in the ring and with their attitudes towards being criticized by “the internet.” And I think some part of it has to do with the fact that it’s taking place during a pandemic with limited fans in attendance. I understand that you can’t hold off on all your plans, and lord knows how long this pandemic will last, but it would feel foolish not to acknowledge that this match not taking place in front of a red hot crowd is disappointing.
So in an attempt to cover for the lack of cake, AEW has simply drenched the plate in icing. You have the stipulation that if the Bucks lose, they can never challenge for the tag team titles again, and you also have Matt going into the match with a leg injury after the FTR attack (which according to WOR plays into a legitimate injury that Matt has been dealing with). Does it give the match a little bit more drama, a little more sweetness? Sure, that’s the point of icing. But imagine how much better the icing would taste if it had a great cake underneath, if it added to the finished product instead of having to be the finished product. I should be wanting the Bucks to win this match because they’ve been directly feuding with FTR for months, it’s been an absolute war between them, and this is the last chance for the good guys to dethrone the bad guys; not because I just want the belts to be on a tag team that I actually like to see wrestle.
Cake and icing metaphors aside, we’re left with two questions. Number one, who will win? AEW has been very good with adhering to stipulations (see: Cody never challenging for the AEW World Title after losing at Full Gear 2019), so the thought of the Young Bucks never becoming AEW World Tag Team Champions seems a bit ludicrous since there are no other tag titles in the company they can challenge for, unlike Cody and the TNT Title. On the other hand, you have to consider the severity of Matt’s injury. If he really is as injured as it seems, then it really wouldn’t make sense to put the belts on the Bucks. Then again he just wrestled on the go-home show and is cleared to wrestle again on Saturday, so maybe they win the titles and then immediately vacate them afterward or lose them in their first defense to get around the stipulation. I don’t know, it’s pretty messy all things considered. I have to pick a winner, so I am going to play to my hopeful side and pick the Young Bucks.
The second question is, will the match live up to the hype that’s been in so many of our heads for years now? Will it be a true classic that we’ll remember for the rest of our lives? If this was 2016 and everyone in the match was completely healthy, I would’ve said yes in a heartbeat. But that’s not what we have. We’re dealing with a legitimately injured Matt Jackson, 2020 FTR, and a limited capacity crowd. These are not ideal circumstances to pull off a first-time-ever dream match. But we’ll see what happens on the day. In a December 2018 tweet, Matt Jackson wrote, “One day, we’ll wrestle The Revival and everyone will rejoice.” For everybody’s sake, I really hope he’s right. Prediction: The Young Bucks
Lee: Let it play out. No seriously hear me out. AEW has earned the right to be given the benefit of the doubt with regards where this whole story is going. Has the stand alone build to the Bucks vs FTR sucked? Absolutely. Has a match that could have potentially main evented this show been built so poorly that now most people don’t care about the outcome? Yes. However this match alongside the Omega vs Page match later in the show feels like it’s all part of a broader longer-term story. That’s not me making an excuse for the shoddy build, just taking a step back and looking at the wider picture.
Storyline wise this match could go one of a number of ways. The first choice is the valiant babyface (I’m sure they are faces again) Bucks overcome the injury to Matt’s ankle and emerge for the first time as AEW Tag Team Champions. The second choice is FTR cheat to win and The Bucks are now in the same boat as Cody and adhere to the stipulation that they will never again challenge for the AEW Tag Team Titles. The third choice is The Bucks continue down the route were on to a heel turn where they can win the titles as heels or possibly lose the match and unlike Cody they disregard the stipulation.
No matter what direction they choose to go this match has to deliver in the ring. FTR has been disappointing so far and we all know how good the Bucks can be. After years of build, fantasy booking and anticipation this is not the circumstances anyone would have dreamt we get this match in but it’s here now and while I have patience to let them tell a story around the match it still has to be great. Prediction: The Young Bucks
Sean: Since both Andrew and Lee went into great detail about this match (great work by them), I’ll keep my preview a little more concise. This is the match that we’ve been anticipating for a number of years, and unfortunately, the build has been lackluster. We all know about that, by this point. There’s no need to beat a dead horse. At this stage, the only thing that can salvage this whole thing is the match itself. It needs to deliver bigtime, and to me, that’s what I really want to see. While I don’t think FTR has been as disappointing in the ring as some might think (if you look over all of their work since they came in), they’ve definitely underperformed in general, and their bout with Adam Page and Kenny Omega at All Out was a massive letdown in a number of ways. The Young Bucks are arguably the greatest tag team of our generation (perhaps the best tag team of all time), so if this match doesn’t work, it won’t be because of them. The retread of the Cody stipulation from last year is an interesting wrinkle, but for me, it just confirmed to me that The Young Bucks are totally winning the titles here. The only way I can see FTR retaining their titles here is if the Matt Jackson “injury” (I think it’s been described as a MCL injury and a partial ACL injury) is legitimate, and he’s going to have to take a couple months off. Prediction: The Young Bucks
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AEW TNT Championship
Cody © vs. Darby Allin
Andrew: Remember when I referenced Cody earlier saying that some matches not needing a big storyline? Well at first glance, this might be another example of that. Darby beat Ricky Starks a few weeks back and was named the #1 Contender for the TNT Title at Full Gear, Cody is the champion, so they’ll face off for the belt. And outside of Darby sitting in the nosebleeds at Daily’s Place watching Cody wrestle, and one Cody promo directed at Darby on the go-home show, they haven’t interacted with each other at all in the buildup.
Here’s the thing, though: There IS a storyline here, one that dates back to Darby’s very first match in AEW at Fyter Fest 2019 against Cody. It ended in a time limit draw, and ever since then Darby has never been able to beat Cody in a singles match. He’s come very close, but Cody has always managed to eek out the win via a rollup. Now he gets another chance to do it and become the TNT Champion. At the same time, you have Cody back on top and cockier than ever. He’s calling himself the Ace of AEW. He’s being condescending towards Darby. Arn Anderson sneakily decked Orange Cassidy during the lumberjack match to help Cody retain his belt a few weeks ago, so he’s become a greater influence on the outcome of matches. And don’t forget that Taz, Brian Cage, and Ricky Starks have promised Cody that they will have a presence at Full Gear. So there’s a lot more going on here than just “champion vs. #1 contender.”
As for who wins, again I’m gonna play to my hopeful side and pick Darby Allin. I think it’s time to pull the trigger, give him the title, and elevate him to the next level. There’s that little voice in the back of my head that says Cody is retaining, and while I wouldn’t call it the worst decision in the world, I think Darby gains so much more from winning than Cody loses from, well, losing. Either way I’m really looking forward to this match because, surprise surprise, I’m invested in the wrestlers and the story. Prediction: Darby Allin
Lee: This match almost feels similar to Shida and Nyla Rose in that there had been zero buildup other than Darby is #1 contender and Cody is champion. However, if you dig a little deeper Cody and Darby have history in AEW. Darby has yet to beat Cody 1 on 1. AEW is not WWE, they don’t feel the need to beat their audience over the head with stories. They know their fans are smart enough to know the history of Cody and Darby.
Cody overcame Brodie Lee, Cody bested Orange Cassidy with help from Arn. Cody has snuck past Darby previously but this isn’t the same Cody as before. Will the result differ? Darby beat Ricky Starks a couple of weeks ago and looked to be moving past Team Taz but as we saw on the go-home Dynamite, Team Taz has promised they will make their presence known at Full Gear. Darby getting this match has now brought Cody into Team Taz’s sights. A win for either man here wouldn’t shock me. My head says Cody retains and moves into a feud with Brain Cage and Rocky Starks. My heart however says this could be the big moment for Darby and Darby is the ideal TNT Champion to defend every week on Dynamite. Also, Darby is my son’s favorite AEW wrestler so I want to see his reaction when Darby finally wins a title. Prediction: Darby Allin
Sean: If there’s one general complaint I have about the AEW product (at least, as of late) is that they seem to switch directions on some programs very abruptly, without a really smooth or clear transition. This is something that could best be seen with Cody. So for a several week period, he had his program with Brodie Lee, where he lost the TNT Title, disappeared for a couple weeks, came back, and won the TNT Title back. I was fully expecting to get a rubber match on this Full Gear show. Then on the other side, you had the very good Darby Allin/Ricky Starks feud that culminated in a singles match on Dynamite several weeks back that Darby won. In that case, I felt like Darby would keep feuding with Team Taz and (potentially) win the FTW Title from Brian Cage. Instead, they pivoted right to another Cody vs. Darby Allin match.
Now, to be clear, I’m pretty excited for this match. I’ve enjoyed the story they’ve told over the course of their three previous bouts, and I’m sure this fourth bout will be very good as well. I just wish things were a little cleaner in terms of getting to this point. Maybe they could’ve listed Allin/Starks as a contender’s match, or say the winner gets a future TNT Title shot. Something like that, just to give it a connecting thread. While I did write a lot of words about this point, it’s only a minor gripe. Again, I fully expect this match to deliver, and I think Darby Allin will finally get his win over Cody. In terms of prominence, it’s by far the biggest of their four matches, and with Cody being a little arrogant towards Darby on the go-home show, they seem to be hinting that Cody will be the default heel in that match. Plus, it just feels like Darby’s time. I can’t see the point of Darby losing yet again. Prediction: Darby Allin
Chris Jericho vs. MJF
Andrew: Well this is it, folks. After weeks of “Will they, won’t they” sexual tension, a “Me and My Shadow” dance number that would’ve put Hope and Crosby to shame, and a town hall meeting that had everyone saying “Yes, thank god, more political parodies in wrestling,” it’s time for Chris Jericho vs. MJF. These two men are extremely divisive amongst certain circles of fans for one reason or another, proverbial lightning rods for the Hot Takes, so if you think about it this is AEW’s equivalent to Jay White vs. SANADA. I’ll let you decide who is who.
Regardless of all that, I’m very interested to see what happens here. It’s heel vs. heel, which usually means someone becomes the defacto babyface. I could see that being either guy, with MJF channeling that killer instinct Jericho claimed he didn’t have to punish the old man, or Jericho taking the youngster to school. In the end, what’s most important is that MJF wins. Most of the Inner Circle hate him, so if he loses and can’t join the group anyway, then where are we supposed to go from there? MJF winning is the logical next step and leaves us with a lot more story options. Maybe he slowly gains more favor with the rest of the group and kicks Jericho out. Maybe the Inner Circle fractures. And of course there’s the X factor: Wardlow. Him and Hager have been side-eyeing each other since this whole shindig started. Where does Mr. Mayhem fit into all this? That’s what I want to know. Prediction: MJF
Lee: MJF must win this match. How he wins it is the interesting part. This is a true heel vs heel match and Jericho doubting MJFs ability to do anything win and calling him “soft” could ultimately be what costs him in the end. I feel the best way to go here is both men try to outdo each other in the cheating stakes with MJF proving to be that bit more dastardly and winning his spot in the Inner Circle. The fallout from this match is going to prove even more fascinating as we seem to be on a slow burn to a Chris Jericho face turn. Does MJF slowly usurp Le Champion in the Inner Circle, does he turn the rest of the group against Jericho or does he go for an instant power play and kick Jericho from the group? This won’t be the last time we see these two face off on PPV and it’s probably the most predictable result but god am I into it. Prediction: MJF
Sean: So this match is happening a little sooner than most of us expected, and there’s no question that they took a…..rather unique path to get there. However, there’s no question that this is one of the top matches on this PPV. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what kind of match we were going to see here, but I think they did a good job on this week’s Dynamite by having MJF go after Jericho very aggressively. They’ve also done a couple of teases where both have said they’ll do whatever it takes to win, so it wouldn’t shock me if both tried to get away with some shenanigans. When it comes to the result, the story (at least in my view) seems to dictate that MJF wins here, and thus, earns his way into the Inner Circle. While this would mean Jericho would’ve lost on every single AEW PPV this year, I just don’t see where this goes if MJF doesn’t win. It just seems like the natural story is that MJF joins, wins the rest of the Inner Circle over and eventually kicks Jericho, and maybe even Sammy Guevara, out of their own group (thus turning one or both guys face). Additionally, have they ever said what Wardlow’s status is if MJF wins? Does he just join the Inner Circle by default since he works for MJF? I guess we’ll see once the match happens, but again, if the idea is that the story keeps going, I don’t see any way Jericho can win this. Prediction: MJF
AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament Final
Hangman Page vs. Kenny Omega
Andrew: When the Omega and Page tag team broke up at All Out, we knew we were getting the singles match between these two eventually; we just didn’t know how we would get there. This isn’t a “blood feud.” Kenny hasn’t attacked Hangman from behind, there have been no brawls or back-and-forth promos. It’s just two guys going their separate ways into singles competition. So we wondered how would we get to Kenny Omega vs. Adam Page… and then along came this #1 contendership tournament with Omega on the left side of the bracket and Page on the right. And all of a sudden, the light bulb turned on.
Omega blitzed Sonny Kiss in less than a minute in the quarterfinals, looking dominant as hell. Page had to struggle to put Colt Cabana away. Omega main evented Dynamite against Penta El Zero M. Page worked the opener against Wardlow and needed two Buckshot Lariats just to beat him. Kenny has all the confidence (or perhaps arrogance) in the world going into the finals, and the over-the-top entrance to match. Page has a glass full of bourbon and a pile of nerves knotting up in his stomach.
And really that’s what this story is all about. Confidence vs. self-doubt. The Best Bout Machine vs. the Anxious Millennial Cowboy. The man who says that he is destined to win this tournament and become the next AEW World Champion vs. the man who promised on day one to be the first AEW World Champion and failed to do so. I think that’s why this feud speaks to people. Kenny Omega is who we want to be, but Adam Page is who we really are. We’re nervous. We doubt ourselves. We don’t have that undeniable confidence that we should. We see ourselves in the ol’ Hangman. We want him to win so we can win too. And that’s why this Saturday, a lot of people are going to be rooting for Page to beat Kenny. And he will do just that… except not at Full Gear. That will be Kenny Omega’s night. He will win this tournament and be the next AEW World Champion. And somewhere down the line, I think Hangman Page will be the one to dethrone him. But that will come much later. Until then, sit back and enjoy this one because it has the potential to be the best match on the show and one of the best matches of the year. Prediction: Kenny Omega
Lee: This is probably the most anticipated match in AEW history. It has been building and building and building since the beginning of the year. We all knew the tag team was only ever a tool to get to this point, what we didn’t expect was for Page & Omega to become arguably the tag team of the year and Hangman to be the one everyone was firmly behind.
The eliminator tournament in spite of predictably leading us to this final has been booked superbly. The new uber-confident Kenny has beaten two replacement wrestlers while Hangman has had to fight tooth and nail against not only his opponents but also himself to get to this point. I have no doubt that Kenny will win and go on to face Moxley down the line, however, this story is far from finished. AEW is going to built around both Omega and Page in 2021 and isn’t that what everyone wants, AEW creating its own stars. Prediction: Kenny Omega
Sean: Sometimes the most predictable story is the right story, and that’s certainly the case with this #1 Contender’s Tournament Final between Adam Page and Kenny Omega. Of course, we all know the story with these two. They started off as singles wrestlers, formed an unlikely tag team towards the end of last year, and went on to become (arguably) the tag team of the year in 2020. Then, the tag team fell apart after they lost the AEW World Tag Team Titles to FTR, and both decided to return to the singles ranks by entering this tournament. This match has the potential to absolutely steal the show. Kenny Omega in a big singles bout on a PPV is almost a lock to be excellent, and I’m sure that Adam Page will work his ass off. My thoughts on the end result here mirror my thoughts on the story. The predictable outcome (Kenny Omega winning) is the right outcome. The obvious story to tell here is that Omega beats Page, eventually beats Moxley for the AEW World Title, and then (sometime in 2021) defends the title against Page. It’s a story you can see coming from a mile away, but it absolutely works. Personally, I can’t wait to see this match. Prediction: Kenny Omega
AEW World Championship – I Quit Match
Jon Moxley © vs. Eddie Kingston
Andrew: If the essence of pro wrestling is to trick people into thinking that what they are seeing is real, then this is the greatest wrestling feud of all time because everything about this feels 100% real. These are real men with real emotions and a real backstory who I wholeheartedly believe are willing to commit heinous acts of violence towards each other. Eddie Kingston spent his entire career on the indie scene while his friend Jon Moxley “sold out” to become a superstar in WWE and AEW. Now Kingston is looking to make all those hard years of sacrifice worth it by becoming AEW Champion, by finally getting what’s owned to him, even at the cost of his friendship with Mox. And Moxley? He’s defended his title all year long. He’s taken down challenger after challenger after challenger after challenger. He’s been an excellent world champion. And now once again he has to channel that darkness inside him to hold onto his belt and remain the top dog in AEW, even though he made a promise to Eddie’s mother years ago that he would always look out for him.
This is as good as it gets in pro wrestling. Two guys at the absolute top of their class when it comes to talking you into the building. A story that feels real and makes you care about the fate of both wrestlers. Emotion that you can feel through the screen. When Kingston screams at Moxley “You better get ready to kill me” on the go-home show, I defy anybody to say they don’t believe those words. This match will be violent, it will be brutal, and it will be worthy of a world championship pay-per-view main event. There is a bit of hesitation when it comes to I Quit matches, as they typically devolve into the referee constantly butting in to ask “Do you quit?” But I have faith that AEW can let Mox and Kingston tell their story of broken friendship in their own way. No monologues about acknowledging the tribal chief necessary. Just let the violence speak for itself. Prediction: Jon Moxley
Lee: Eddie Kingston is main eventing a major PPV in 2020. Just allow that to sink in for a second. Now consider that this match happened on Dynamite just six weeks ago and Kingston lost. However, this story, this real story of the shared past, the broken friendship, the hardships for Eddie, the success of Moxley has been so damn compelling that people are willing to pay to see these two hurt each other. Make no mistake Moxley and Kingston are going to hurt each other. We know their past, these men are capable and willing to do disgusting things. For the past five weeks, they have both been incredible on the mic but on Saturday the words stop. I cannot wait to see what they produce in a major spot on a major show. Moxley made a promise to Eddie’s mom to protect Eddie, well on Saturday Moxley might well destroy Eddie but make him a legend while doing it. Prediction: Jon Moxley
Sean: I could go on and on about how AWESOME Eddie Kingston and Jon Moxley have been in the build to this I Quit Match, but I would just be preaching to the choir. If this does end up main eventing the show (as it should), then it will be on the backs of the great promo work these two have done over the past several weeks. It’s just incredible to think that Eddie Kingston was on the verge of retirement during the first height of the COVID pandemic back in the spring. Just a few months later, he’s headlining a PPV for AEW. It’s been amazing to see his rise, and he’s absolutely earned it. 1000%. As far as the match goes, I’m expecting this I Quit Match to turn into a wild, hardcore brawl, which is the style of match that these two excel at. Honestly, that’s what I was expecting their first match on TV to be (very similar to Kingston’s match against Cody), but it ended up being a more traditional wrestling match. Even though the result really isn’t in question here, I’m fully expecting these two to deliver a very strong conclusion to this feud. The expectations are so high after the build that it would be disappointing if they didn’t deliver in such a big spot, but these two are pros, and I have complete confidence in their abilities as wrestlers. Prediction: Jon Moxley