Arguably the most anticipated match in AEW history took place Saturday night at AEW Full Gear, but the finish of the match and subsequent post-match shenanigans have stolen the headlines.
AEW Full Gear was a loaded card that featured many anticipated matches, but one that everyone was looking forward to was the AEW World Championship match between Chris Jericho and Cody in what many felt would end up being Cody’s long-awaited coronation as world champion.
For a while, it felt like that was imminent with Cody battling like he’s maybe never battled before. Jericho controlled the match at times, and greatly benefited from Cody’s nasty face-first fall to the ramp that ended up requiring several stitches.
However, that wouldn’t keep The American Nightmare down, and he took everything Le Champion had to offer, and then some.
It looked like Cody had the match won a couple of times, but Jericho wouldn’t go down either. The punishment Cody took started to take its toll and after Jericho locked in a vicious Lion Tamer, it looked like Cody was doomed.
But as it turned out, he wasn’t doomed by his own doing, he was doomed by his friend’s actions. MJF accompanied Cody to the ring while Jake Hager accompanied Jericho, and this would play a big role in the match.
After Hager was thrown out of the ringside area after being caught cheating on Jericho’s behalf, MJF was the only ringside companion left. But after he saw how much pain Cody was in after a grueling match followed by that aforementioned Lion Tamer, MJF made a judgment call that wound up costing Cody the match. He threw in the towel on Cody’s behalf while he was trapped in the Lion Tamer, giving Le Champion the win by default.
Cody never submitted and was never pinned, but he had lost the match all the same As expected, Cody was upset after the match and the same could be said for MJF, who was questioning his decision to throw in the towel.
But just when it looked like everything was good with these two best friends, MJF hit Cody with a low blow.
He then walked out with a disgusted, arrogant look on his face while Cody laid in shock in the ring.
Many fans are questioning this finish, and the fact that they thought Cody should have won the match, but there is plenty of storytelling left with the fallout of this match.
It felt inevitable that MJF would eventually turn on Cody, but AEW did it in a swerve kind of way. At the point in which they were both standing in the ring after the match, it felt like Cody was going to be the one who snapped and attacked MJF.
So, seeing MJF do the deed at that point was surprising. Cody said on last week’s Dynamite that if he didn’t win the title at Full Gear, he would never get another shot at the AEW World Championship.
However, given that he didn’t actually tap out or get pinned and that someone stopped the match, that likely opens the door for Cody to eventually get another shot at the world title.
But in the meantime, much can be done with him and MJF.
A feud with his former best friend should be a memorable one, to say the least. MJF should absolutely thrive as a heel that butts heads with one of the top stars in the entire company. It just adds another big roadblock on the road to Cody finally reaching the mountaintop and capturing the world title. It writes itself, but it’s safe to assume the best out of what’s to come with Cody and MJF’s pending feud.
His actions at Full Gear could even lead to MJF eventually joining Jericho’s Inner Circle, and it could even come out that Jericho had MJF purposely cost Cody the match.
There are countless ways to develop this storyline moving forward, so the upcoming Dynamite will be must see. A great babyface needs multiple obstacles to get past in order to reach his ultimate goal, so this all should work out perfectly for Cody in the end.
Another underrated element of this decision is the fact that it continues Jericho’s excellent title reign.
He has been champion for a few months, but since the introduction of AEW’s weekly television show Dynamite, that title reign becomes much shorter for a portion of AEW’s fanbase that didn’t start watching the promotion until Dynamite started.
Jericho can do so much more as champion, and the Inner Circle can continue feuding with The Elite.
Maybe he should have won the title from Le Champion at Full Gear, but the way AEW went with it should greatly benefit The American Nightmare at the end of the day.