AEW Full Gear 2022 preview: The Elite's return is finally here

AEW Full Gear 2022 preview: The Elite’s return is finally here

All Elite Wrestling returns to pay-per-view tonight (Sat., Nov. 19) with Full Gear 2022. The show comes our way from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey at 8 p.m. ET.

Tea zero hours pre-show will stream live and free starting at 7 pm ET on All Elite’s YouTube channel, Bleacher Report, and right here at Cageside Seats.

In the US & Canada, the main card is available at Bleacher Report, and via cable & satellite providers for $49.99. Internationally, it’s $19.99 on Fite.tv.

The Elite’s return to AEW is finally here

At All Out 2022, Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks became the first ever AEW world trio champions. Their title reign ended almost as soon as it began after a backstage fight with CM Punk led to the titles being vacated and the The Elite suspended by AEW.

AEW launched an investigation into The Elite’s backstage brawl with Punk, and the key people involved in the incident remained away from TV during that process. It took roughly two months, but the investigation finally wrapped up by early November. The end result is that The Elite are back in an AEW ring tonight, while Tony Khan is reportedly negotiating a buyout of Punk’s contract.

While all of that drama was going on, Death Triangle quickly won the vacated trios titles. PAC has since encouraged the Lucha Brothers to cheat more in their matches by using a hammer, but they don’t seem to be embracing his strategy.

The stage is set for Omega and the Bucks to return to AEW and immediately win back the titles they never lost in the first place. It could easily be the match of the night considering that all six men are excellent workers and have a history of great matches with each other.

If that’s how this plays out, with The Elite walking right back in and winning championship gold, it will be a signal that it’s business as usual in AEW and everyone is ready to finally move on (without CM Punk) from all of the backstage drama and nonsense over the last few months.

The rest of the main card

These nine matches are also currently advertised for the main card of Full Gear:

Jon Moxley (c) vs. MJF for the AEW world championship

Jon Moxley has been carrying AEW on his back while all of the aforementioned backstage chaos threw the main event scene into disarray. Mox dropped the AEW world championship to Punk at All Outbut Khan quickly put the belt back on him after he was vacated.

MJF’s return to AEW at All Out was overshadowed by the drama with Punk and The Elite. After winning an oversized poker chip that allows him to challenge for the world title whenever he wants, MJF decided to confront William Regal about their history together. Regal explained why Max has had it easy up to this point in his career. This chat convinced MJF to do things the right way and earn the biggest win of his career rather than cashing in his chip when Moxley is most vulnerable. MJF announced he’s cashing in for a world title shot at Full Gear because he wants Mox at 100 percent healthy.

That didn’t sit well with Stokely Hathaway and The Firm, who helped MJF win that poker chip to begin with. MJF told them to leave Moxley alone, but they didn’t hear his words. This resulted in MJF firing Stokely, only to get his ass beat down by The Firm in response.

Meanwhile, Moxley has been extremely dismissive of MJF’s claim that he is the devil. Moxley has seen the devil, and MJF isn’t it. He doesn’t believe Max has the guts to put him down and win the title at Full Gear. MJF, on the other hand, sees a win at Full Gear as the fulfillment of his destiny as a once-in-a-generation talent. It’s his time to become the biggest star in the business, and he has to take out Jon Moxley to make it happen.

AEW has positioned The Firm as the heels of this story, with Moxley as the babyface, and MJF somewhere in between. There are a lot of ways the finish can play out. Will MJF cheat to win using the Dynamite diamond ring? Will he prove to be a snake who was in cahoots with The Firm this entire time? Will Regal turn on Moxley and embrace MJF? Will Moxley prove to be the better wrestler than an honest MJF?

The bottom line is that MJF says he is the devil, but Moxley remains unconvinced. It’s up to MJF to show the world how far he is willing to go to become the AEW world heavyweight champion.

Chris Jericho (c) vs. Bryan Danielson vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Sammy Guevara for the ROH world championship

Jericho cheated to win the ROH world title from Castagnoli and is trying his best to bring dishonor to the ROH brand. He has since defeated multiple former ROH champions, including Danielson, Bandido, and Dalton Castle.

It looked like we were heading to Castagnoli’s championship rematch with Jericho at Full Gear, but Chris decided to complicate things by asking for a four way title match that also includes his ally Guevara. Chris believes that Castagnoli and Danielson will implode as they fight each other over his belt.

If anything, Guevara is the one who is showing small signs of disloyalty. He doesn’t seem on board with Jericho’s plan of “doing the right thing” and laying down for Chris when the opportunity arises.

The Acclaimed (c) vs. Swerve in Our Glory for the AEW world tag team titles

Daddy Ass played an integral part in The Acclaimed’s AEW world tag team championship win over Swerve in Our Glory in late September.

Swerve Strickland tried to take Ass out of the picture by abducting him and mutilating his scissoring fingers. Keith Lee wasn’t thrilled with Strickland’s psychotic antics, but I guess it wasn’t off-putting enough to abandon the team. This is the third match in this feud and feels like it should be the final one. If Swerve and Lee fail to win, they might finally break up in the aftermath.

Anthony Bowens has an injured shoulder and said his doctors have advised him against wrestling at Full Gearso the fields come into this match at a disadvantage.

Jade Cargill (c) vs. Nyla Rose for the TBS championship

The undefeated Cargill was bored of the lack of competition in AEW, so Nyla Rose decided to spice up her life by becoming a thief and stealing the TBS title away from her. Cargill and The Baddies have tried to steal it back on multiple occasions, but to no avail.

Jade has mostly taken out her frustrations on skidmark security up to this point, but now she finally gets Nyla in a singles match for the gold.

Wardlow (c) vs. Samoa Joe vs. Powerhouse Hobbs for the TNT championship

WarJoe was cruising along just fine as a tag team until Powerhouse Hobbs and The Kingdom meddled in their business. Wardlow lost his cool and pushed Joe out his way while trying to get his hands on Hobbs. Wardlow also said he’s going to win every title in the company. Neither of these things sat well with Samoa, who is the current ROH TV champion.

Joe took matters into his own hands and turned on his partner, choking him out from behind. Now a three way match for Wardlow’s belt is set for tonight. If you like big beefy dudes going at it, this is the match for you.

Toni Storm (c) vs. Jamie Hayter for the AEW interim women’s world title

Storm has been holding down the fort for over two months as interim champ with Thunder Rosa on the shelf due to injury. Toni’s latest challenger is her former roommate, Jamie Hayter, who has since abandoned her friendship with Storm to join up with Britt Baker.

Baker and Hayter have promised that Storm is losing this title before the end of 2022. Hayter is the first one up to try delivering on those words.

Jamie was on the cusp of winning this title at All Out, but Baker’s selfishness prevented it from happening. Are they really on the same page now?

Saraya vs. Dr Britt Baker

This is Saraya’s first pro wrestling match since she suffered an injury in 2017 that ended her in-ring career in WWE.

She shocked the wrestling world in late September when she debuted for AEW in New York City. Saraya immediately set her sights on the biggest star in the women’s division, Britt Baker.

Baker has been winning their war of words on the mic. That’s largely because Saraya decided to belittle Baker’s accomplishments in AEW in relation to Saraya’s prior success in WWE. That’s not exactly the kind of talking point that will get AEW fans behind Saraya as a babyface.

It will be interesting to see who the crowd is rooting for in this match. It’s going to be a very emotional night for Saraya either way.

Sting & Darby Allin vs. Jeff Jarrett & Jay Lethal

In a move that practically nobody wanted to see, Jeff Jarrett recently debuted in AEW and declared war against the promotion. He said the phrase “slap nuts” and broke his guitar over Darby Allin’s head, causing a bloody mess.

Jarrett debuted as Jay Lethal’s ally. Lethal was frustrated by his lack of success against Allin, so he called in Jarrett to turn the tide in his favor. Darby was trying to get through this stretch without needing to rely on Sting to watch his back, but Jarrett’s attack changed all of that.

Now it’s showtime, folks. Sting has yet to lose a match in his almost two year run in AEW. Will Jeff freakin’ Jarrett be the first man to give Sting an L?

Jungle Boy vs. Luchasaurus in a Steel Cage match

Boy has come up short in separate matches against both Christian and Luchasaurus. Jungle can’t get a fair shake with the numbers disadvantage working against him, so he specifically asked for a steel cage match to keep Christian out of his hair this time.

Christian and Lucha were ready to move on from this feud after Lucha beat Boy in Toronto, but Jungle returned the favor by screwing over the dinosaur in a match for the AEW All-Atlantic championship. Christian and Lucha realize that the only way to get Boy out of the way is to insult him (or worse), and so that’s what they plan to do here.

The Zero Hour pre-show

These three matches are advertised for the pre-show:

Ricky Starks vs. Brian Cage in AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament

Less than 24 hours ago, Ricky Starks won his first round tournament match against Lance Archer. Now he’ll have to do it against another big man, Brian Cage. Cage got here by defeating Dante Martin in the opening round. The winner of this match moves on to the final tournament match next week on Dynamite against Ethan Page.

For what it’s worth, Starks was chokeslammed on steel steps by Archer last night after their match ended, so he may be damaged goods during this fight.

Eddie Kingston vs. Jun Akiyama

This is Eddie Kingston’s dream match. He traded some blows with Akiyama in a tag team match on rampage, but the two men mostly steered clear of each other during the bout. Now it’s time to beat the shit out of one another with no partners in sight.

Orange Cassidy, Best Friends, Rocky Romero, Danhausen vs. The Factory

The Factory tried to insult Danhausen, but now he’s back and ready to do something very evil to QT Marshall’s group of jobbers.

Summary

We’re looking at another very long night of AEW wrestling on PPV, with 13 total matches if you include the pre-show. Saraya’s performance in the ring will be under a microscope, as will AEW’s booking of the finish of Moxley vs. MJF. Some fans are also wondering if The Elite will somehow work a reference to the backstage fight from All Out into their return match. Overall, it looks like a card that will deliver plenty of great action in the ring, but some of the matches aren’t as hot coming into tonight as they were expected to be on paper.

What will you be looking for at Full Gear?

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