Tonight is the night. AEW Full Gear is the first All Elite Wrestling PPV to take place since the inception of Dynamite, and we are but hours away from it now. It’s a landmark occasion, and I’m taking a look at every match announced for the show, one by one. I’m Jordan Huie of the Overtimer and here’s what we’re looking forward to later tonight!
If this one wasn’t big enough already, this past week really poured fuel on the fire…
AEW World Championship: Chris Jericho (c) vs. Cody Rhodes (If Cody loses, he will never again challenge for the AEW World Title)
Man, what a combination of characters this is. Without a doubt the top heel vs. the top babyface. Chris Jericho’s video spoofing Cody’s vignette from weeks earlier is still earning laughs as we speak. And from that same night, Cody’s promo still bringing tears to people’s eyes. But the talking’s over now, it’s time we get this into the ring. These two men each earned their first five-star match rating over the past two years and have each been lauded for their in-ring storytelling. It’s going to be a hot clash and an epic one to be certain.
There are two unique caveats to this one. The first is that we will have a panel of judges deciding the match in the event that it reaches the 60 minute time limit. Not to spoil but… this match won’t go an hour. Funnily AEW Full Gear is set to be an hour shorter than All Out in response to criticisms that the shows were too long, hence eight bouts this time rather than ten. So in theory they could explain that the show has less matches than usual just to allow this match to potentially go that long, but that’d purely be for the sake of believability. Still, it’s a means of ensuring a winner one way or the other, and will likely see some fun cameos.
More importantly, if Cody doesn’t win here, he’s said that he will never again challenge for the AEW World Championship.
This is kind of stunning to me. Before that, I figured for sure that Jericho would retain. Granted the thunderous ovations that the EVP receives week after week wore me down little by little on that. Still, it just seemed like Chris Jericho as the Le Champion, with the Inner Circle backing him up, was someone that would take months and months to vanquish. Not to mention his being the first-ever champion in general. It seemed crazy to think the reign would end at 69 days, no matter how nice that’d be. And I mean c’mon, November 9th is Jericho’s birthday, he can’t drop the title on his birthday!
Still… the very notion that Cody, ridiculously popular as he is, could lose here and never end up going after the world title again, just straight-up never holding AEW’s top prize? It seems ludicrous to me. Sure, he’s the EVP and people might cry foul about him booking himself to be champ, but the truth is if he wasn’t part of management, they would definitely be building to his title win, no questions asked! Tune into any episode of Dynamite, it’ll just seem like the obvious move.
So where do you go in a situation like this? The key may not be where you expect…
This took a lot of courage.
I’m incredibly proud to say this man is my mentor and I look forward to watching him wrestle at Full gear in the most important match of his career.
This means everything to him. https://t.co/caaiVbctCY
— Maxwell Jacob Friedman™️ (@The_MJF) November 7, 2019
The moment I saw the above tweet, responding to Cody’s announcement of the stipulation, a sudden unsettling vibe hit me…
MJF is the most obvious heel in the world to everyone except poor Cody Rhodes, who just can’t help but love him. It’s therefore been a matter of not if, but when does he turn on his mentor since the very beginning. Those who followed on BTE saw him reveal his true feelings on Cody as far back as March where, get this, he chided him for plotting to put the title on himself. The teases have gone back that far.
On AEW TV, the first real moment of foreshadowing came after Cody’s match with Shawn Spears, where MJF found himself standing behind Cody, holding a chair. It was all in the expressions, meaningful glances, you could see the wheels turning… he was thinking of it right there, back in August.
Fast-forward to a few weeks ago, an interesting moment saw the members of the Inner Circle hold Cody in place as MJF arrived with a chair yet again, as though they expected him to betray him right there. An odd move on their part when you think about it, though one easy enough to chalk up to commentary on just how obvious it is to everybody that a turn is coming. But of course, they could also simply have known something we didn’t.
I think tonight, the Salt of the Earth finally turns on the Rollercodster.
There couldn’t possibly be a time where it’d be more devastating, more heart-wrenchingly evil. He could not only screw him out of this match but screw him out of that title for life. In the past MJF has stated that Cody is the face of the company and destined to be world champion, and that his own time will come only after Cody’s has past. Obviously that’s impossible to buy in to, but in this way he’d be technically telling the truth – he just has to ensure that Cody’s time can never actually come.
And let’s be real here… the name Inner Circle just screams MJF, doesn’t it?
Honestly, I want Cody to win personally, I think it’d be the right call. And critiques be damned, banning himself from title contention would be ridiculous. But the story I see unfolding here is an MJF betrayal, and a Chris Jericho victory.
AEW Full Gear takes place November 9th in Baltimore, Maryland out of the Royal Farms Arena. It airs live on traditional PPV in America and on FITETV internationally.