For the first time in the promotion’s young existence, AEW Full Gear will not be the year’s final pay-per-view event. Instead, a brand new pay-per-view called World’s End will do those honors in 2023. But that won’t stop this show from being one of the year’s most talked about wrestling shows.
2023 has been an up-and-down year for AEW. They have had great peaks, such as their monumental European debut with the highly successful All In show. They have added numerous talented individuals to their roster of in-ring talent as well as their broadcast team. They have also added some new pay-per-view shows, including WrestleDream, which was an absolute blast of a show. But the promotion has experienced some valleys as well, such as the CM Punk drama and all the fallout from finally letting Punk go in addition to trying to figure out how to reverse the trend of declining attendance at TV tapings as well.
But one thing that AEW has consistently done since their very first show is put on great pay-per-view events. And this year’s version of Full Gear seems to be shaping up as a show that could challenge for best wrestling show of the year by the time it is all said and done. From its intriguing in-ring matchups to Tony Khan’s announcement of the signing of “one of the world’s best wrestlers” at the show, there is plenty to have wrestling fans excited about heading into Saturday’s show.
Let’s take a look at the match card for AEW Full Gear and what to expect from each match.
MJF & ??? vs The Gunns for the ROH Tag Team Titles
So MJF will again defend the ROH Tag Team Titles without a specified partner. After going it alone against The Righteous last time out, the odds are he will have a partner this time. Samoa Joe seems like the obvious choice. Joe has a standing offer to watch Max’s back and be his friend, in exchange for another AEW Title shot.
Joe being MJF’s partner makes perfect sense because if he helps Friedman hang on to the ROH Tag Titles but also puts MJF in a position to owe Joe a favor that Joe can leverage into a future title shot. That is almost certainly where this is heading.
However, it is no fun to predict the obvious choice, so let’s go out on the proverbial limb here and say that MJF’s partner is going to end up being Danhausen.
Danhausen has been advertised as coming back soon for weeks and he has quite a history with the Gunns. Danhausen is single-handedly responsible for The Gunns’ colorful nickname, and his lengthy time away was due to an injury sustained the last time he shared the ring with The Gunns.
MJF won’t like it, but the very evil persona of Danhausen ends up being the mystery tag team partner and helps MJF retain while getting his revenge on The Gunns. Winners: MJF and Danhausen
Kris Statlander vs Julia Hart vs Skye Blue for the TBS Title
After coming up short in her quest to take the TBS Title from Kris Statlander at WrestleDream, Julia Hart will get another opportunity in a three-way match that will also include Skye Blue.
Skye Blue and Julia Hart have had some tense moments recently and Skye Blue has undergone a personality change ever since being sprayed in the face by Hart’s black mist. This change in personality and Blue’s unknown relationship with Hart and somewhat tedious friendship with Statlander add a lot of intrigue to this match.
Skye’s involvement in this match will end up being vital to its outcome. One of two scenarios will most likely take place. Skye Blue could end up being the one taking the pinfall, allowing Hart to capture the TBS Title. But most likely, Blue will cast her allegiance to Hart at some point during this match and Blue will assist Hart in taking down Statlander, allowing Hart to win the title. Winner: Julia Hart
Ricky Starks & Big Bill vs LFI vs House of Black vs FTR for the AEW Tag Team Titles
This match is a tough one to call as it could really go any of four ways. FTR is always a threat to win the tag titles any time they are given a shot to wrestle for them. The House of Black is a legit team deserving of a tag team title run. LFI has been repackaged recently and Rush is a legit stud in the ring that is capable of pulling out a win for his team.
But Big Bill and Ricky Starks’ title run is in its early stages and it is a good idea to keep some sort of gold around Ricky Starks’ waist until he can get back involved in a meaningful singles program of some sort. Winners: Ricky Starks & Big Bill
Adam Copeland, Darby Allin & Sting vs Christian Cage, Luchasaurus & Nick Wayne
Adam Copeland will make his AEW pay-per-view in-ring debut when he teams with Sting and Darby Allin to take on the team known as The Patriarchy, consisting of Christian Cage, Luchasaurus, and Nick Wayne.
Sting is currently undefeated in AEW as of now and there really isn’t a reason for that to change. Add to that Copeland’s presence in this match and there just doesn’t seem to be a path for a heels win in this one. Sting will submit Nick Wayne with the scorpion deathlock, but this win will still leave little settled between Copeland and Cage. Winners: Adam Copeland, Darby Allin & Sting
Orange Cassidy vs Jon Moxley for the International Title
In a rematch of the All Out main event, Orange Cassidy will once again put his International Title on the line against Jon Moxley.
This may be the toughest match to call on the entire card, There is reason for Moxley to win, as he only relinquished the International Title during his last run due to an injury. So giving the International Title back to Moxley would give the promotion a second chance to tell whatever story they wanted to tell last time that Mox won the title.
However, this feels like the place where Orange Cassidy solidifies his place atop the card in AEW by earning a clean win over a top star. Cassidy will earn a hard-fought win in this one, setting up a possible rubber match towards the end of the year. Winner: Orange Cassidy
Young Bucks vs The Golden Jets
The Young Bucks return home on Saturday to take on the team of Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega, which has dubbed themselves the Golden Jets.
This match was formed when the Young Bucks made it known that they were not happy that Omega was teaming with Jericho and after some back and forth the two teams came up with a stipulation for this contest. If the Bucks win, the Golden Jets tag team disbands for good. If the Golden Jets win, then they get the AEW Tag Team Title shot that the Young Bucks are currently in possession of.
Even though most wrestling fans prefer Kenny Omega as a singles competitor, it seems a bit early to break the Golden Jets up. Couple that with the tease of a heel turn the Young Bucks have shown lately and that should add up to a Golden Jets win, and serve as the thing that pushes the Buck to complete the heelturn. Winners: The Golden Jets
AEW’s big free agent signing
There have been a lot of names tossed around as to who this might be ever since Tony Khan announced this signing on social media.
Names like Will Ospreay, Mercedes Mone’, Chris Hero, Sami Callihan, Bill Goldberg, Mustafa Ali, Dolph Ziggler, and Ronda Rousey among others have all been mentioned.
There are really only two names on this list whose signings would satisfy most AEW fans and that is Will Ospreay and Mercedes Mone’. After Tony Khan’s last big announcement that seemed very unimportant to most wrestling fans, he should be looking to knock it out of the park on this one by signing Mercedes Mone’. Mercedes Mone’ signs with AEW
Hikaru Shida vs Toni Storm for the AEW Women’s World Title
Hikaru Shida deserves better than another short run as the AEW Women’s Champion. Shida has truly been the backbone of this division since day one, as one of the most consistently good in-ring performers.
Shida’s last title reign ended to give Saraya her big moment at Wembley Stadium, and sadly it looks like Shida’s current reign will most likely come to an end because Toni Storm’s new “Timeless” character is just so very over with the fans.
The outcome of this match will most likely be decided by Mariah May. It is possible she makes a mistake and costs Storm the match, but it is much more likely that she helps Storm win the AEW Women’s Title and cements her place as Storm’s understudy of sorts. Winner: Toni Storm
Adam Page vs Swerve Strickland in a Texas Deathmatch
The rivalry that started out at WrestleDream as a match for a spot on the card has now turned into a very personal affair as Swerve Strickland and Adam Page face off in a Texas Deathmatch.
Swerve Strickland was able to pick up the biggest win of his AEW career at WrestleDream by knocking off Page, but that’s when things got personal, escalating all the way to a home break-in at Page’s residence by Swerve and Prince Nana.
Since then we have seen a different version of “Hangman” Adam Page, one that has found the fire and passion that is sometimes missing from his demeanor.
It would be amazing if Tony Khan just booked Swerve to go over in this match as well and allowed him to continue his ascent up the card. But this match is going to go in Page’s favor, setting up a third match between the two at World’s End. Winner: Adam Page
MJF vs Jay White for the AEW World Title
After having watched Jay White carry around the AEW Title for the better part of the past two months, it almost feels like it is MJF that is coming into this match as the challenger and White as the champion.
However, it does not matter who brings the belt to the ring, it just matters who leaves with it.
This match will most likely be overbooked with Bullet Club Gold, Samoa Joe, and possibly even The Acclaimed or “The Devil” and his/her henchmen getting involved at some point. My hope is that all the shenanigans happen post-match so as to not detract from the excellent match that MJF and Jay White will undoubtedly give us at Full Gear.
But, no matter how it plays out, MJF will retain (and regain possession of) the AEW World Title and remain at the top of the mountain as he looks to close out 2023 as the AEW World Champion. Winner: MJF