AEW’s final PPV of the year is finally upon us – Full Gear 2021, live from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Coming from the Twin Cities on Saturday the 13th of November, the show is headlined by “Hangman” Adam Page finally challenging his former tag partner Kenny Omega for the AEW Men’s World Title. This match is the culmination of a slow-burning story since All Elite Wrestling launched in 2019.
While the main event certainly draws the fan focus, almost every match across the remainder of the card could potentially steal the show. Resident AEW fans Tahnee and Sam are here with a lot of predictions, and some previews.
Street Fight: The Inner Circle vs The Men of the Year & American Top Team
Sam: The story of IC vs The Men of the Year and ATT has been messy, drawn-out and in parts offensive. Yet there was been one shining light: Paige Van Zant. She has the amateur dramatics, timing and confidence to fit in the world of professional wrestling. However she’s not involved in this match officially. I sense a series of spots that include members of American Top Team getting involved in this no DQ contest. That may be the matches saving grace. I anticipate a win for Jericho’s group, but the fact I’m not saying Sammy’s group is damning. As is the fact it feels as though this match is unnecessary padding most people don’t want to see.
Prediction: The Inner Circle
Tahnee: This feud has sucked the whole way through. It’s been painfully uninteresting and annoying. It’s a waste of Proud N Powerful’s, and current TNT champion Sammy Guevara’s, talent. I’m not particularly interested in seeing MMA fighters involved in this either. I’m definitely not interested in Dan Lambert. Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky are too good for this. However, I think Inner Circle will win this.
Prediction: Inner Circle
Falls Count Anywhere: The SuperKliq vs The Jurassic Express & Christian Cage
Sam: Tahnee and I have one problem here: it’s Tahnee’s Boys vs Sam’s Boys. I instinctively want to route for the Jungle Crui(se), looking for further growth from both Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy through their association with Christian Cage. But Adam Cole and The Bucks still have a lot to do in this company, and it would be non-sensical for Adam Cole to lose his first PPV match, even to put over someone younger like Jungle Boy. I do however expect some insane dives in this Falls Count Anywhere matchup.
Prediction: The SuperKliq
Tahnee: Superkliq are arguably the best team in AEW at the moment. The three of them are unparalleled with each other- Adam Cole has slotted back into his role with the Young Bucks perfectly. Whilst Jurassic Express and Christian Cage are fantastic, they do not have the same history and unity that Superkliq do. I hope Jungleboy is ready for Adam Cole to get kissed above his prone body once again. I think Christian might be the surprise MVP of this one, but Cole will be hot on his heels.
Prediction: Superkliq Partayyyyy take the win
Cody Rhodes & PAC vs Andrade El Idolo & Malakai Black
Sam: I’m truly lost with this match. It’s an intertwining of various personalities and stories told over months – but I don’t feel any particular affinity nor distaste for the contest. It will be great: Andrade has overcome whatever blip his beginning with AEW may have had, PAC will one day be referred to as an Uncrowned King of AEW, and Malakai Black has been nothing but solid. I’m one of those much-maligned AEW fans however that doesn’t enjoy Cody quite as much anymore. He can still perform exceptionally well when he needs to – but often his big matches can be full of misdirects and outside presence. This not only impacts my personal enjoyment but also makes calling this outcome incredibly hard. Officially I’ll say Cody and PAC, while being a little twerp that says “Cody hates to lose on PPV”.
Prediction: Cody Rhodes & PAC
I have actually liked this feud so far. Cody and Malakai’s matches have been phenomenal. Everyone involved in this match are incredible wrestlers- it’s truly saying something that Cody Rhodes, who is a very very good wrestler, is the weakest link here. I’m excited to see how these two teams exist with each other. I hope Cody finally goes over the line with a heel turn, but I’m not holding my breath for it to happen at this exact moment. Soon, though. Soon. Anyway, I think the old NXT boys need to win this one.
Prediction: Andrade and Malakai win.
Darby Allin vs MJF
Sam: Many people seem to believe that the next person to win the AEW Men’s World Title after “Hangman” should be MJF. A win over Darby, almost signifying MJF is the strongest of “The Four Pillars” would be a good push towards that eventual match. Neither man will lose anything by losing this matchup – Darby Allin is one of the most popular homegrown performers that the company has, and MJF is the most despised. Both can return to that position easily, with a new promotional video or a new dressing down of local looks. I look forward to MJF challenging Adam Page sometime in 2022.
Tahnee: The best and brightest of the Young Pillars of AEW are battling it out. MJF and Darby are so quintessentially different- MJF is basically the antithesis of everything Darby is. Darby is the scrappy underdog and MJF is the ostentatious villain. Wardlow and Sting outside the ring will make or break the result of the match, and I think MJF is far too protected to lose cleanly. If MJF loses, it’s because either Wardlow or Shawn Spears cost it for him. My guess is on Wardlow, and it will finally be the turning point in the long awaited MJF vs Wardlow feud.
Prediction: Darby Allin defeats MJF
CM Punk vs Eddie Kingston
Sam: Well, Eddie has to win now right? Following an inspiring self-penned piece in The Players Tribune this week, almost any support for The Straight Edge Saviour has fizzled out in the face of Eddie’s heart-felt words. This is the first opportunity for CM Punk to play a pseudo-heel within AEW, and possibly his first opportunity to lose. It can be part of a wider push towards the dark side for the man that realises some of those he previously looked down on have moved past him in his absence. While Punk doesn’t need to turn (arguably shouldn’t for his first year back in the ring), by all accounts Moxley and possibly Kingston were supposed to be moving away from fan favour this weekend. Moxley for obvious reasons is unable to continue with any planned stories, and Eddie as his best friend will receive a lot of his well wishes, alongside the goodwill generated by his recent writing. A triumphant victory for Eddie sets him in good stead for a potential future title challenge, this time as a hero rather than a villain. It already seems at this point as though Full Gear will be full of feel-good moments.
Prediction: Eddie Kingston
Tahnee: This might be my most anticipated match of the card outside of the world championship main event. Punk and Kingston have sold this match in a short amount of time, and the heat and history between the two of them is so believe. They both go toe to toe in the battle of the promos, and now it’s time to see them fight it out in the ring. Overall I think Punk is the better wrestler, but Eddie is so beloved and so easy to root for- this man got a recently returned CM Punk booed for Christ’s sake. I think in this match, Punk has the edge because he’s more level headed and more secure in himself, while Eddie is a burning wildfire and his own anger will get the better of him. This will be Punk’s toughest battle yet.
Prediction: CM Punk defeats Eddie Kingston
Men’s Title Eliminator Tournament Finals: Miro vs Brian Danielson
Sam: “When I look up in anger, do you look down in fear?” ~ Miro
To quote Miro a second time already, both of these men have a neck of sand. Expect some bombs and burst blood vessels. Danielson has already built up an impressive win streak through his short AEW career. Him winning a tournament to challenge for the title proper would be feasible, but not really necessary. Additionally, Miro is a walking-talking plague at this point and either man would pose a dangerous challenge for a newly minted “Hangman”.
Tahnee: The circumstances surrounding this match are fairly sombering, with Moxley originally meaning to be in Miro’s place, but I’m glad Miro is getting this chance. He’s top of his game right now, and hands down one of the most compelling characters in AEW at the moment. Bryan Danielson is red hot at the moment too, and has been wrestling every single week without rest. This is the story: Danielson is pushing himself too much and Miro has too much to prove and is very well rested. Miro will be a perfect monster heel for (potientially) Hangman’s first feud as champion.
Prediction: Miro wins, RIP Mr Danielson
Tag Team Title Match: The Lucha Bros vs FTR
Sam: This match may be excellent. It could be incredibly thrilling, and a beautiful blend of styles, leading to an exciting fire-up spot by a couple of the world’s best luchadors. That being said, I hate most of how this match has been structured. Whether it’s the confusing start through an association with Andrade, strange booking surrounding the AAA Tag Belts, or the projection of “World Best Luchadors” which have rubbed some Lucha Libre stars the wrong way, the run to the matchup has been messy. It would also be a damn, DAMN shame to take these belts off of The Lucha Bros in their first PPV defence. I truly hoped they retain, and we have many more matchups featuring them and gold to come.
Prediction: The Lucha Brothers
Tahnee: Both of these tag teams are amazing. They are both capable of putting out utterly outstanding and captivating matches. However, so far, I have found that these teams do not have chemistry together. It’s not because they’re so different- with FTR being more old school and grounded, and the Lucha Bros being more unorthodox and high risk- but there’s something missing from this feud. Regardless, it’s far too soon for the Lucha Bros to lose their long awaited gold.
Prediction: Lucha Bros retain
Women’s World Title Match: Britt Baker vs Tay Conti
Sam: Britt Baker is arguable still the only significant part of the women’s division in AEW. It’s a stick we’ve beaten them with as fans time and again, but that doesn’t mean I’m not still going to. Prior to the build for this match starting, Tay Conti hadn’t had a match on AEW TV since [INSERT DATE]. That is not appropriate for a challenger for a major title, on one of only four PPVs annually. Contextually, she’s very unlikely to win. Kayfabe wise, while she is an incredibly accomplished fighter, Britt has far more experience and should be able to outwit her younger challenger (with or without the help of her two compadres on the outside.) Hopefully there is a change to the trajectory of this side of the company soon, but we’ve been saying this since last year. Maybe the TBS title is a sign of things to come, as is the Shida/Deeb storyline (although even that was botched before it started). Regardless, the companies faith is behind Britt, and while I feel the division relying solely on that for TV is a negative, I understand why she remains on top – and I expect it to continue for a while longer.
Prediction: Britt Baker
Tahnee: I love Tay immensely. I’m glad she’s getting this opportunity. Her moveset is so unlike any of her peers, and she’s one of the best in the division by far. She’s got the making’s of an amazing champion. However, Dr Britt Baker is incredibly over, red hot at the moment, and it’s still too soon in her reign for her to lose the championship. Sorry Tay.
Prediction: Britt Baker retains
Men’s World Title Match: Kenny Omega vs “Hangman” Adam Page
Sam: Have I buried the lead? “Hangman” Adam Page wins this. Whether you’ve been with the story from the start, or have missed one or two of the intricate and far-spreading notes in this siren song, AEW fans almost universally know this matches outcome. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be nerve-racking. The story has been running since AEW began, with Adam Page’s face being the first seen alongside the company logo – he is destined to be its biggest young success story, and the face of the company for hardcore fans for as long as he’s there. He will win on Saturday, as the biggest homemade star of the promotions young history – and surpass any label like being a pillar.
Prediction: Adam Page
Tahnee: Oh man. What’s there to say about this that hasn’t been said a million times before. This is AEW’s magnum opus, their crowning glory, their critical moment to prove that long term and well written storylines can pay off. This match has been over two years in the making. It’s seeped in emotion and drama and history. It’s compelling and highly anticipated. Omega is a dastardly supervillain hiding his insecurities, and Hangman is a relatable babyface who’s finally coming to grip with his. Omega is arguably the best wrestler in the world, and Hangman is one of the best and hasn’t even reached his prime yet. This match will be fantastic. The beats will be hit, the tears will be shed. I think we all know the outcome of this match, and it would truly be shocking if that expectation is swerved. The era of the cowboy is upon us.
Prediction: Hangman Adam Page wins the championship.
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