AEW Full Gear 2022 is coming up on Saturday, November 19. All eyes are on the main event, where MJF will challenge Jon Moxley for the AEW World Championship. That’s a massive match that will set the tone for the future of AEW. Down the card, the finals in the AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament will solidify one of the first challengers for whoever walks out of the main event with the championship. Regardless of who secures that title shot, it’s long overdue for AEW to refresh its title picture.
For both reasons in and out of its control, tournaments are beginning to feel redundant in the AEW universe. The format has been used quite frequently, some of those times due to sudden injuries and other issues outside the ring. But this is an opportunity for AEW Creative to build to an important moment that helps elevate multiple individuals on the roster.
Ethan Page picked up a win over Eddie Kingston on the November 9 edition of AEW Dynamite to move forward in the tournament. Expectations are that he and Ricky Starks will meet in the finals at the PPV. Starks, along with Page, are two individuals that fans want to see elevated into the title picture. Along with others like Kingston, Swerve Strickland, Keith Lee, and a few others – AEW has a roster full of names that can bring a refreshed feel to the main card. Adam Page, Chris Jericho, Bryan Danielson, and others will forever be fan favorites, but they’ve dominated the title picture for too long.
The challenge comes in using this tournament to shape what the future of the main event picture looks like. AEW features several of these gimmick matches where the winner gets a shot at the title, yet none of those challengers have won in the championship match – negating the special intrigue of these events. It is expected that MJF comes out of the PPV with the championship in tow, and it doesn’t matter who wins the tournament because they aren’t beating MJF for that championship.
Past trends have shown that the post-title challenge booking for those that win the contenders usually is not the strongest. That can’t be the case again in a post-Full Gear world. The goal should be to keep everyone involved strong and that doesn’t mean multiple weeks on Dark and Dark Elevation. Using this tournament to build a funnel of challengers for more than the world championship helps the entire roster.
The AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament looks predictable on paper heading into AEW Full Gear. When the show ends, a new challenger will be named. AEW must take this opportunity to build someone who is booked strongly both before and after their title challenge at AEW Winter is Coming. The top of the division needs a refresh and this is the starting place.