MJF, Jamie Hayter and the Real Winners and Losers from AEW Full Gear 2022 Match Card
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AEW Full Gear 2022 may not have been the most exciting show on paper, but the talent rose to meet the challenge with possibly the best show of the year for All Elite Wrestling.
The final match was the most important as Maxwell Jacob Friedman captured the AEW World Championship. He did so only because William Regal betrayed Jon Moxley and The Blackpool Combat Club.
Jamie Hayter also picked up a welcome title win, taking the interim AEW Women’s Championship from Toni Storm. Dr. Britt Baker, DMD helped her, even after losing to Saraya.
Elsewhere on the card, Eddie Kingston got his ultimate dream match. “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry accomplished his revenge against Luchasaurus. Chris Jericho defended his ROH World Championship but only after fending off a game Sammy Guevara.
Wardlow did not leave as a champion, falling to Samoa Joe with Powerhouse Hobbs involved. Jade Cargill survived the challenge of Nyla Rose, but she did not look like her usual dominant self.
It was a night of many welcome winners but a few unfortunate losers.
Winner: Eddie Kingston
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While Eddie Kingston only wrestled on the AEW Full Gear Zero Hour, no one wanted their match more. In front of a packed crowd, he fought one of his true idols, Jun Akiyama.
For those who don’t know Akiyama, he has been unofficially labelled The Fifth Pillar of All Japan Pro-Wrestling. Alongside Mitsuharu Misawa, Kenta Kobashi, Toshiaki Kawada, and Akira Taue, he helped to popularize the King’s Road style.
The King’s Road style has evolved since those men, but it still plays a crucial role in how wrestling has evolved, especially outside WWE. Akiyama’s mentorship has also been crucial to the future of Japan including the newly signed Konosuke Takeshita.
More than that for Kingston, he inspired The Mad King to become a wrestler and evolve into the performer he is today. Fighting him meant more than any championship. It showed in this memorable brutal battle the two had together, fully embracing King’s Road style.
The contest ended with Kingston’s hand raised, and hopefully we will see this as a turning point toward The Mad King finally winning AEW gold. On this night, it did not matter as much as the moment.
Winner: Jungle Boy
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Few men have been earmarked for success quite like “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry since his initial signing with All Elite Wrestling. However, he has been mostly working as a tag team wrestler, primarily due to his limited mic skills.
This feud with Christian Cage and Luchasaurus has pushed him to the next level, and it finally feels like everything is coming together. While he has still not mastered promos, he has been coming off more as a star with each match.
This was the biggest match he has had to date, and he passed with flying colors. He and Luchasaurus told a great story together as Perry looked like an absolute top star.
By the time Jungle Boy was climbing up the cage for his elbow drop to end it, he came off as a future champion.
Whether it be the TNT Championship, All Atlantic Championship or even AEW World Championship, the future is bright for Perry.
Losers: Jade Cargill and Nyla Rose
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It was great to see three women’s matches on the main AEW pay-per-view, but it was clear even before this was announced that Jade Cargill vs. Nyla Rose was going to stick out poorly on this hot card.
Cargill and Rose took a while to get going as the TBS champion looked like she may have gotten stunned early on a bad landing outside. The two did fight hard though and put on a solid final two minutes.
However, at just eight minutes, this was more of a solid AEW Dynamite match than a PPV experience. It could not keep with the rest of this high-energy show.
This has been the story of Cargill’s run to date. She is immensely talented and can work well with the right opponent, but she has not yet shown a propensity to rise to the occasion.
In AEW, there is a high bar for match quality. The TBS champion might find more leeway in WWE as a growing talent, but she is struggling to prove herself in the AEW style.
Rose, meanwhile, is an important talent for AEW, especially proved by her recent work selling the story of this match. However, she has not shown yet that she is a veteran that can push her opponents to better performances. It was an awkward pairing.
Winner: Sammy Guevara
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This may be controversial to say given Sammy Guevara’s status with fans, but he has looked like a top star lately, at least as much as he did before he first won the TNT Championship.
He has played up to his competition and was as important to the Fatal 4-Way match as Bryan Danielson and Claudio Castagnoli. His interactions with Chris Jericho including a very close near-fall briefly sold him to a crowd that hated him.
While it is possible The Spanish God will never win back the fans, he has shown recently that he has serious talent that AEW will rely upon going forward.
Assumedly, Guevara and Jericho will patch things up, but there is a great match there down the line, especially once The Wizard once again turns face.
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Saraya was never supposed to wrestle again, yet five years after retiring, she returned to work 12 minutes with Dr. Britt Baker, DMD and ultimately pick up a win.
It was not a perfect match. The former Paige made a few mistakes where The Doctor barely avoided injury, but the two recovered and made the most of the spot.
In the end, Saraya even being able to wrestle at all is shocking. It will take time for her to get rid of the ring rust and work at her best, but she proved that she is fully back in terms of her ability to take hits and get back up.
There were some scary spots she took with intention, and she got back up. Her passion to compete is clear, and hopefully she can back up that passion with her best performances of her career down the line.
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At AEW Double or Nothing, Wardlow picked up the definitive win of his career, winning the TNT Championship shortly thereafter on July 6. It was supposed to be his chance to put over AEW’s secondary title.
While he got five months with the title, he could not accomplish that feat. His title reign did not make a major impact and was shockingly ended at AEW Full Gear thanks to Samoa Joe.
Mr. Mayhem is far from done. He will recover. He could very well be the one to dethrone The Samoan Submission Machine, winning either the TNT or ROH TV Championship.
However, it is a shame that Wardlow did not get the spotlight he deserved as champion. After all the build-up, he is losing momentum quickly.
Powerhouse Hobbs did not lose as much in this match, but he could also be labelled as a loser. This was an opportunity to give him the ball, but AEW decided to double-crown the 43-year-old Joe instead.
Winner: Jamie Hayter/Loser: Toni Storm
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Toni Storm and Jamie Hayter had arguably the best women’s match in AEW history, especially on pay-per-view. It was a special contest, built around the crowd excitement for Hayter.
However, only one woman could win in the end, and Hayter did just that. While both Dr. Britt Baker, DMD and Rebel had to get involved to help, the rising star picked up her definitive victory in a way that no one will forget.
It was a moment that will only be the beginning for Hayter. She will likely hold the interim AEW Women’s Championship until Thunder Rosa returns to challenge her. Assuming Hayter defeats the current official champion, she will soon be challenged by Baker.
The women’s division is heating up, especially with Hayter. Unfortunately, that left Storm without the gold and an asterisk on her entire title reign.
Given the match quality and the rising attention on the women’s division, Storm was the best women’s champion AEW has had to date. However, that reign will not be recognized as anything more than interim.
She will need to work her way back to the title to get an official reign. Luckily, Storm has shown she is at her best right now and should stay in the spotlight even without the gold.
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Sometimes, the obvious answer is the correct one. AEW has built a franchise player in Maxwell Jacob Friedman, who became the hottest star in the company through consistently charismatic performances.
He has cut promos that rank among the absolute best in AEW’s history. He has put on great matches every time out, even while fans questioned his in-ring ability.
It all came together after a controversial angle that led to MJF disappearing from television for months. When he returned, he needed to win the AEW World Championship, and he did just that.
This match was built around a crowd that was fully behind The Salt of the Earth. MJF played up a face role for a while, but when it matter most, he took a shortcut with the help of William Regal.
The future of AEW is now centered on a powerful alliance of Regal and MJF. It’s likely that the next year or more will focus on MJF, and that is all he could ever ask for.