AEW’s Full Gear 2020 is Kenny Omega’s time for revenge.
On November 9th, 2019, AEW hosted Full Gear.
It was a solid Pay-Per-View that ended in an unsanctioned ‘Lights Out’ match between Jon Moxley and Kenny Omega that was extreme to the point of the company literally receiving a fine from the Maryland Athletic Commission. The match was brutal and unforgettable, but even at the time, it was hard to fathom just how impactful it would be on the career trajectories of both stars, let alone All Elite Wrestling as a whole.
Jon Moxley proved himself as a truly ruthless contender with an insatiable appetite, and parlayed the momentum from the unsanctioned win to a much bigger prize, eventually winning the AEW World Title against Chris Jericho and getting extremely over with the young promotion’s fanbase in the process (and making Dean Ambrose a distant memory).
Since then, he has overcome a litany of imposing foes en route to a forthcoming face off against Lance Archer on October 14th for Dynamite’s one-year anniversary show, in what projects to be a great rematch of their showdown in New Japan’s Wrestle Kingdom 14.
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Kenny Omega, conversely, was bruised and beaten, his black eye on Being the Elite episode 180 a perfect visual representation for his physical and mental state. He was again reminded that he wasn’t the same Kenny Omega who made waves in New Japan, and couldn’t even be medically cleared to return to the ring for the next Dynamite episode.
Despite still having some amazing singles matches – most notably a PPV-caliber Iron Man match with Pac on Revolution’s go home show – Omega became a tag team wrestler alongside fellow Elite member Hangman Adam Page as he tried to keep his close group of friends together.
But in spite of his best efforts and even winning the tag title, tensions continued to grow, the belts were dropped to FTR at All Out, and The Elite, as of now, are broken up.
But now that his tag title run is over, and Full Gear 2020 just over the horizon, Omega has a perfect opportunity to finally tend to some unfinished business with a certain world champion.
That’s right: Full Gear 2020 should culminate in a rematch between Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley, with Omega winning the match and the title.
As things presently stand, Kenny Omega has declared his intentions for a singles run (despite Hangman Page’s desire to stay a team), and has repeatedly teased a heel turn, even referencing his past heel persona, ‘The Cleaner’. Once this heel turn is complete, it could mark the start of long awaited title run and return to being a controlling singles competitor.
With all the buzz surrounding Omega, it did come across as a surprise that his storyline at the start of the company involved losing his way as a singles competitor. While an immediately dominant Kenny would have fufilled many a wish for fans the world over, the resulting storyline with Hangman has been the most compelling storyline in all of AEW, with perhaps the greatest match in the company’s history in their tag team face-off versus The Young Bucks at Revolution.
AEW has been smart to take their time with the Elite storyline, slowly developing Omega, Hangman, and the Bucks, even if that storyline was probably drawn out even more due to the pandemic. However, now that a turning point has finally been reached at All Out, it is finally Omega’s time to shine, and his title run will now be all the more fulfilling.
But what about Hangman and the rest of The Elite? It would be a no-brainer for the Omega-Hangman breakup to culminate in a feud and potential match at Full Gear, right? Well, a Omega-Hangman match would no doubt be extraordinary, but perhaps now is the time for AEW to take their time with their storytelling again.
Omega vs. Hangman at Full Gear would certainly be great, but why not develop Omega as a heel, build Hangman up as a proper babyface, and make the feud happen later? Both competitors can be reestablished as singles stars, making for a stronger feud down the line – maybe even have a match at Revolution 2021.
Jon Moxley needs an elite challenger at AEW Full Gear 2020.
There’s no doubt about it, Moxley needs a strong challenger for the next Pay-Per-View.
While it would be unfortunate for Lance Archer’s two biggest matches with the company to both be title match losses, Moxley losing the belt on an episode of Dynamite (anniversary show or not) just doesn’t have the gravitas worthy of PWI’s Top Wrestler of 2020.
Moxley’s run to the belt was nothing short of extraordinary. Since then, he’s defended the title against similarly big and imposing foes like Brodie Lee and Jake Hager, and has had the unfortunate fate of spending much of his title run without his die-hard fans in the audience. When Moxley loses the belt, he and the AEW fanbase deserve to have it happen it in the most memorable way possible to a truly formidable and established foe.
That being said, if Archer is defeated and Omega does not face Moxley at Full Gear, who will? Again, Moxley has beaten most of the heel roster at this point and is kind of running out of viable foes.
While Eddie Kingston is somewhat of a wildcard due to his whole ‘not-technically-getting-eliminated-at-the-Battle-Royale’- shtick, making the ‘Mad King’ Mox’s challenger at Full Gear still lacks the weight needed to main event the pay-per-view based on his current positioning on the roster. While Kingston has been a great addition to the roster, and his TNT title match against Cody was incredible, his current role as leader of this new faction with The Lucha Bros and Butcher and Blade should be more of the focus for him right now.
Surprise ‘Best Man’ Miro would certainly make headlines as the challenger, but he seems to have other storyline purposes at the moment, and any sudden new additions to the roster challenging Moxley would feel way too similar to how Brian Cage was introduced as an opponent (minus Taz providing the promos), and the last thing Moxley’s title run needs is to feel stale.
Furthermore, while I personally feel that the complaint regarding AEW being solely populated with WWE runaways is a little overblown, having a third consecutive ex-WWE champion probably isn’t the best move from an optics standpoint.
Kenny Omega has the deep-seeded vitriol towards the champion that would give the title match a proper sense of importance, and the skill to make the match a must-see. Even though the two have seldom interacted since 2019, everything keeping Omega from getting his revenge has been taken away, and Moxley is still on his list of enemies to face again (need proof? Check out his pinned tweet from two days after Full Gear). Omega needs this win not just for the championship, but to finally move past the thing that has been haunting him all this time.
Having a heel Kenny Omega as champion would open numerous exciting possibilities for All Elite Wrestling as well. A lot of time has passed since Chris Jericho dropped the belt to a babyface, and Omega’s in-ring ability would all-but guarantee strong title matches for the entirety of his reign. Matt Hardy has expressed his desire to go for the belt once he is healed up, any member of SCU would provide a strong match, and perhaps even Orange Cassidy could challenge for the title – which would honestly be pretty amazing when you consider Kenny’s propensity in the past for hi jinks.
On a recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer stated that the promotion has planned for Hangman Adam Page to be a babyface champion for quite some time now. What better way to build to that eventual conclusion than with his soon-to-be arch rival Omega dominating as the promotion’s top heel?
After a relatively mixed reception at All Out, All Elite Wrestling has all the more reason to build a strong card for Full Gear. Between the guaranteed star power of an Omega-Moxley match, the potential of establishing Omega as a fierce heel champion, and the poetic timing of it all, Omega winning the AEW World Championship would be the optimal booking for the promotion.