Great gobs of goose shit, what a lineup we have on tap for this Saturday. I think I said this before All Out as well, but Full Gear 2021 is as stacked a show as AEW has ever put together. Of the nine main show matches I could legitimately see eight of them creeping into **** territory or better, provided they all get enough time (a tall order on a four-hour show, I grant you).
I think we're gonna see another PPV of the Year candidate from a company that's firing on nearly every cylinder. Huge, highly anticipated main event for the title? Check. Bryan Danielson in a semi-main slot putting together his own personal G1 Climax run? Check. Heated-as-fuck grudge match between two all-time great talkers? Check. Heated grudge match between two of the company's biggest young stars? Check. Title match involving two of the best tag teams in the world? Check. A pair of wild multi-man tags that will spill all over the arena? Check.
Literally the only potential weak spot on this show is the women's title match, and that should still be decent. Like if that's the worst thing on the show, that's one goddamn helluva show.
Let's get into it....
Pre-Show: Hikaru Shida & Thunder Rosa vs. Nyla Rose & Jamie Hayter
Shida's had a pair of damn fine matches against Serena Deeb in recent weeks and has to be considered a TBS Title favorite. Then again, Thunder Rosa is another. If not for Jade Cargill's involvement in the tournament I could see Shida vs. Rosa as the final. But Jade's first loss needs to be treated as a big deal, so she's likely to make it to the final at least. I'll go with the heels to win here since I think each of them will lose in their next tournament match.
Pick: Rose & Hayter
Falls Count Anywhere: Superkliq vs. Christian Cage & Jurassic Express
This would be a fine PPV opener, as it will be nonstop action. The Bucks always deliver on PPV and this should be no different. It's Falls Count Anywhere so it'll be all over the arena and full of wild and creative spots. I guess the Superkliq probably wins here given what's likely to happen in the main event. They've also recruited Adam Cole's old buddy Bobby Fish, who may show up to help out. Man do I hope Kyle O'Reilly shows up too. Reunite reDRagon! Anyway, heels win.
Cody Rhodes & Pac vs. Malakai Black & Andrade El Idolo
This could be the sleeper hit of the night. It's being very much overlooked on such a loaded show but don't sleep on it; there's tons of potential for a great little tag bout. One pairing I'm looking forward to is Pac vs. Malakai, which should tear the roof off the place. Andrade just beat Cody, and Pac could use a win, so I think Cody and Pac take this one.
Pick: Cody & Pac
AEW Women's Championship: Britt Baker vs. Tay Conti
So yeah, this is the weak spot on the show, but it'll still be alright. Tay isn't the most credible challenger at this point, so there likely won't be a ton of heat here, but she's a solid up-and-comer with something to prove. Baker's not losing the title anytime soon, thus she retains here.
Pick: Britt retains
Minneapolis Street Fight: Inner Circle vs. Men of the Year & American Top Team
Another crazy multi-man tag, this one should probably be confined to the ringside area so as not to repeat anything from the FCA match. But it'll be the same kind of car wreck fun. Dan Lambert is making his in-ring debut which should be quite entertaining - he's been like a modern-day Bobby Heenan. It will also be interesting to see Junior Dos Santos and Andrei Arlovski wrestle. I have to think the Inner Circle gets the win here.
Pick: Inner Circle
MJF vs. Darby Allin
It's two of the company's future headliners facing off. MJF will be AEW Champion one day. Darby could be as well. This should be fantastic. The question is, do we finally see Wardlow start to break away from MJF? It's been teased numerous times, and Wardlow also has to be considered a future champion - my hope is that they eventually feud for the title. Both guys are coming off a PPV loss at All Out, so this is a pick 'em. I think Darby can probably withstand a loss here more than MJF, so I'll pick Max to pick up the high-profile win.
CM Punk vs. Eddie Kingston
Eddie Kingston is one of the most remarkable promos I've seen in a long time, in that old-school way Dusty Rhodes use to talk about - "Sell me the match, baby." Doesn't matter how good a talker you are, you need to get the audience emotionally invested in your match, and Eddie has that ability in spades. This is the second time he's 100% sold me on a PPV match in one single segment. His pull-apart brawl with Punk last week is one of the best one-segment builds I've ever seen. These two will get violent and believable, and could very well steal the show. Punk has been looking for a defining AEW match since his debut, and this could be his first. I don't see Punk losing yet - hell, Eddie already said he doesn't care about winning, he just wants to hurt him - so Punk will take a beating but come out victorious.
AEW Tag Team Championship: Lucha Brothers vs. FTR
Two of the best tag teams on Earth right now, out to have a five-star match without Matt and Nick Jackson being involved. Whether they succeed or not, it's gonna be a lot of fun watching them try. I don't see the Luchas losing the straps yet, so this is a pretty easy prediction. But this should be great.
Pick: Lucha Bros retain
Eliminator Tournament Final: Bryan Danielson vs. Miro
Dammit, I was all set to watch Bryan Danielson and Jon Moxley have the Match of the Year. Two ex-WWE Champions free of Vince's creative shackles, proving they're among the best in the entire world. Alas, we'll have to wait for that one. Get well soon, Mox! Meantime, Miro is also out to prove he's better than WWE ever gave him credit for. And he's in there with a guy who shits out four-star matches. Seriously, Bryan Danielson is on a tear like we haven't seen since Ring of Honor. This may not be quite as good as Danielson-Moxley would've been, but I'll be shocked if it's not one of the top three matches of the night. Danielson obviously has to win here, and if Kenny loses I could see Kenny saying "You won the tournament but I'm the ex-Champion, let's have a #1 Contender's match."
AEW World Championship: Kenny Omega vs. Hangman Page
This one is the payoff to a long build. Omega and Page won the tag titles almost two years ago, never quite got along, faced each other in the Eliminator final last year, and have been on a collision course ever since Kenny won the title. The company has exercised great patience in putting this match together and the fans are salivating for Page to finally win the big one. Page is primed to have the biggest match of his life, while Kenny is another guy who can't have a bad match. This should be epic. I can't see a logical scenario in which Page comes up short without pissing off the fans, so Page really HAS to win this.
Pick: Hangman wins the Title
This show is going to be insane. Only a company getting as many things right as AEW could follow up All Out three months later with an even better PPV, but I could see them doing just that. Full Gear may become the new yardstick.
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