Final AEW Full Gear 2022 Picks for Jon Moxley vs. MJF and Full Match Card
The final All Elite Wrestling pay-per-view of the year is almost here as Full Gear 2022 hits Bleacher Report with the Zero Hour pre-show starting at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday.
The culmination of the show may be the crowning of MJF as world champion when he goes up against titleholder Jon Moxley.
Nearly every other championship is also on the line, but there is also a steel cage match, the in-ring return of Saraya and more coming our way.
Before the event hits the airwaves on Saturday night, let's run down the card one final time and make some predictions for who is going to win.
Zero Hour Matches
An injury to Ricky Starks pushed the World Championship Eliminator Tournament back a bit, resulting in the finals no longer taking place at this show, but next week on Dynamite.
Rounding out the last semifinal match, though, will be Ricky Starks going up against Brian Cage to settle on who faces Ethan Page for the title shot.
Starks had a rough go with Lance Archer less than 24 hours away from this match with Cage, who is also a bigger physical threat. Luckily, Starks is the sentimental underdog babyface in this tournament and the perfect person to lock horns with Page, so the story works best if he overcomes the odds.
Also on the Zero Hour pre-show are Eddie Kingston vs. Jun Akiyama and Best Friends teaming with Rocky Romero and Danhausen against The Factory.
Kingston could lose to Akiyama out of respect, but if Tony Khan wants to keep his roster looking strong, the win should go to the AEW star in these scenarios.
Best Friends against The Factory should be just to have some goofy fun. It isn't a serious match. That, coupled with how Best Friends is the much more notable team that nearly won the trios titles, means they should pick up a win over The Factory to keep spirits high leading into the main card.
Prediction: Starks, Kingston and Best Friends win.
AEW World Tag Team Championship: The Acclaimed vs. Swerve in Our Glory
Arguably, The Acclaimed should have won the AEW World Tag Team Championship in the first match against Swerve in Our Glory. There didn't need to be a rematch just to undo that mistake.
Outside of stretching things out under the pretense that this is the rubber match to finally settle which team is better, it isn't wholly necessary for this to be happening at all.
Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland have had issues almost from day one of their partnership. If they won the titles back, it would undo any progression in that story.
Anthony Bowens and Max Caster must retain and move on to a new feud, while Lee and Strickland split and begin a program against each other.
Prediction: The Acclaimed win.
AEW Interim Women's World Championship: Toni Storm vs. Jamie Hayter
This feud should have ended long ago, but AEW has kept it dragging on far beyond its expiration date. The only way to inject any enthusiasm into it is to do something surprising.
To date, every interim titleholder in AEW has gone on to defeat the lineal champion. But it would be more interesting for Jamie Hayter to beat Toni Storm than for the holder to retain and wait for the inevitable match against Thunder Rosa.
Hayter has enough of a backing from the AEW fans that it wouldn't be a step backward, and Storm has a bright enough future to find her way back into the title scene in no time at all.
Plus, Hayter has two built-in feuds for the future in Saraya while she's still aligned with Britt Baker and then with The Good Doctor herself once they split.
Prediction: Hayter wins.
Britt Baker vs. Saraya
After being forced to retire from in-ring competition in April 2018, Saraya's return necessitates a victory. It would be too much of a disappointment to see her lose after almost five years on the shelf.
Granted, Baker would get some serious heat if she spoiled the party, but the temptation for boos has to be weighed against the fans' unhappiness.
Fans will likely already be nervous watching this match, hoping Saraya is able to perform safely. The last thing this segment needs is for it to end on a depressing note after going through that anxiety.
This may not be it for the feud, but since it has had a bumpy ride with some less-than-stellar promos along the way, it might be best to end this with a one-and-done clash and move on.
Prediction: Saraya wins.
Tag Team Match: Darby Allin and Sting vs. Jay Lethal and Jeff Jarrett
The closest thing to any stakes this match has is that if Sting and Darby Allin lose, it further proves the point that the latter should be making his way in the business by himself rather than relying on The Icon being by his side.
Since AEW has opted not to split them yet, it might just be to allow them a few more victories before parting company.
However, Jay Lethal and Jeff Jarrett winning makes just as much sense, so it's a coin toss to predict this.
When in doubt, go with the bigger names. Allin and Sting have more overall higher stock in AEW than Lethal and Jarrett here.
Prediction: Allin and Sting win.
Steel Cage Match: Jungle Boy Jack Perry vs. Luchasaurus
The long-term story of Jungle Boy Jack Perry is to get revenge on Christian Cage ultimately, and not Luchasaurus.
Still, retribution is in store for the split between Jurassic Express, meaning Jungle Boy needs to get a win to put his former teammate behind him on the path to Captain Charisma.
Funnily enough, he'll have to go through a steel cage to get the job done on Saturday, but it should keep Cage from interfering.
Perry's the underdog, but he's also the driving force of the feud and the babyface, so he'll come out on top.
Prediction: Jungle Boy wins.
AEW World Trios Championship: Death Triangle vs. The Elite
How Tony Khan books this match will indicate the current climate following the All Out issues with CM Punk.
If The Elite win the titles back and effectively hit the reset button on the past two months, that shows the AEW president has moved on and is willing to take any backlash for siding with Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks over Punk.
On the other hand, Death Triangle retaining could be an indication of a lingering punishment—and/or Khan's creative plans have simply moved on.
Many fans are expecting The Elite to win, as they were the original champions earmarked for these titles. But Death Triangle retaining could happen, if only to keep viewers on their toes.
Prediction: Death Triangle win.
AEW TNT Championship 3-Way: Wardlow vs. Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Samoa Joe
Wardlow said he wants to go after all the titles in AEW, which includes Ring of Honor by proxy. That may be where this is heading, with Final Battle coming up on December 10.
Assuming Wardlow and Samoa Joe will clash there in a title unification match, the way for AEW to stretch this out would be for Powerhouse Hobbs to take the loss, allowing Joe to say Wardlow didn't actually beat him.
Granted, Hobbs could win the match and the title, opening up Mr. Mayhem to take the ROH World Television Championship from Joe, but trading one midcard title for the other would be a step back for Wardlow compared to merely retaining.
His overall character is about dominance. For that to remain, MJF's former enforcer needs to win nearly every match he's in, including this one.
Prediction: Wardlow wins.
AEW TBS Championship: Jade Cargill vs. Nyla Rose
Nyla Rose stealing the TBS Championship is about as close as anyone can get to that title. Jade Cargill has had it under lock and key from the outset.
As a former women's champion, Rose is no slouch but she isn't undefeated. Cargill has managed to avoid losses no matter her opposition. This will be her toughest challenge yet, but she'll pull it off.
Unless AEW plans to move her up to the women's world title immediately, it is doubtful Cargill will drop the TBS Championship to Rose.
Prediction: Cargill wins.
ROH World Championship 4-Way Match
Speaking of titleholders who have momentum on their side to retain, Chris Jericho is bringing so much prominence to the ROH World Championship that it wouldn't make much sense for him to lose it now.
The veteran should drop it at a Ring of Honor pay-per-view, rather than at AEW's Full Gear.
One of his challengers in this four-way match is also an ally. Sammy Guevara won't go into business for himself and try to win the title, so he'll help The Ocho hold onto his belt.
Claudio Castagnoli was the champion Jericho beat in the first place. Giving the title back to him would be a step backward.
Bryan Danielson makes perfect sense as ROH world champion, but why have him win it in a four-way instead of a one-on-one contest where it would mean more?
By hook or by crook, Jericho will manage to head into Final Battle with the belt firmly in his grasp.
Prediction: Jericho wins.
AEW World Championship: Jon Moxley vs. MJF
MJF has repeatedly referred to himself as "The Devil" of late, even quoting a classic line from The Usual Suspects: "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn't exist."
So much attention has been put on his new babyface-heavy character that there needs to be serious doubt he won't go back on his word to avoid cheating to beat Jon Moxley.
Whether he uses his Dynamite diamond ring, William Regal's brass knuckles in a swerve turn for the leader of the Blackpool Combat Club, or The Firm are in his back pocket, the most interesting way to hype up AEW coming out of this is if MJF is champion.
That's no criticism of the current titleholder. Moxley has held the company on his shoulders in these turbulent recent months and deserves considerable praise. But he's already had his fair share of time as champion, while MJF on top would freshen things up.
It isn't a guarantee, though. Khan's idea could be that MJF legitimately doesn't cheat to win, which is why he fails to get the job done and has to resort to being a dastardly heel. Or Moxley could cheat to win, teaching his opponent a valuable lesson in the process.
Ultimately, MJF needs to capture the gold, so it might as well happen here rather than waiting to get closer to "the great bidding war of 2024."
Prediction: MJF wins.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, Spotify and everywhere you find podcasts. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.