Newly crowned All Elite Wrestling champion Chris Jericho will defend his title against Cody Rhodes at the Full Gear pay-per-view event in November, Sports Illustrated has learned.
The match is indicative of AEW’s commitment to the win-loss record of its stars. Rhodes has yet to lose in singles action, defeating Shawn Spears at this past weekend’s All Out pay-per-view, as well having his hand raised in the company’s signature match, which took place against Dustin Rhodes in May at the inaugural Double or Nothing show. Rhodes also went to a draw with Darby Allin at Fyter Fest in July.
The combination of wins and quality of opponents, similar to the strength of schedule format applied in college football, has propelled Rhodes to a title match against Jericho. The commitment to a wrestler’s record adds an element of realism to AEW not typically on display in major North American wrestling promotions, and enhances the chase for Jericho’s world title.
AEW president and CEO Tony Khan confirmed the report.
“Cody’s outstanding record in singles competition has secured him the number one contender ranking, and he will be challenging AEW world champion Chris Jericho in the first ever pay-per-view defense of the championship on November 9 in Baltimore at Full Gear,” said Khan. “Cody earned this opportunity over the summer as he remained unbeaten in singles bouts, scoring pins on a pair of proven veterans, defeating his older brother, the legendary wrestler Dustin Rhodes at Double or Nothing, and beating bitter rival and former partner Shawn Spears at All Out—and battling to a draw with the exciting upstart Darby Allin at Fyter Fest.
“This is an AEW world championship match that so many All Elite Wrestling fans are excited to witness, and I’m glad we’ll be able to present it at Full Gear.”
He continued to dominate coverage throughout the week, igniting even more interest when news broke on Tuesday that a police report was filed over Jericho’s missing AEW championship belt. Jericho showcased his seemingly innate ability to improvise and capitalize upon any opportunity, and his social media posts and videos helped transform the story into a massive gain for the company.
A clash between Jericho and Rhodes on pay-per-view gives each performer the chance to further elevate AEW’s status in an industry with a fan base hungry for an alternative to WWE.