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MJF Earns First AEW Title In Win Over Jon Moxley at 'Full Gear'

A nonstop night of action, featuring the return of Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks, ended with a riveting main event.

Jon Moxley is one step closer to finally getting that vacation.

Back in September, Moxley lost the AEW title to CM Punk in the main event of All Out. He was set to be off television for six weeks, until bedlam occurred in the aftermath of the pay-per-view.

“That vacation lasted about 30 minutes,” Moxley told Sports Illustrated last month. Instead, Punk lit into company executives during the post-show press conference, then had an altercation in the locker room with Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks, resulting in suspensions for all involved. That led to a series of events where Moxley won the title for a third time, effectively ending his vacation before it started—and set up the first title victory for Maxwell J. Friedman.

Originally intended to defeat Punk for the title, MJF defeated Moxley in the main event of Saturday night’s Full Gear pay-per-view, elevating his status to new heights in the industry. MJF won in an extremely compelling fashion, defeating Moxley in a snug, physical bout. He benefitted from a heel turn from William Regal, which cost Moxley the title. MJF and Regal will make a superb team, with two of the best talkers and minds in all of wrestling combining to work together.

Here are the results from Full Gear:

• Jungle Boy defeated Luchasaurus by submission in a steel cage match

• Death Triangle defeated Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks

• TBS champion Jade Cargill defeated Nyla Rose

• Chris Jericho retained the Ring of Honor title in a four-way against Bryan Danielson, Claudio Castagnoli, and Sammy Guevara

• Saraya defeated Dr. Britt Baker

• Samoa Joe submitted Powerhouse Hobbs in a triple threat that also included Wardlow to become the new TNT champion

• Sting and Darby Allin defeated Jeff Jarrett and Jay Lethal

• Jamie Hayter defeated Toni Storm to become the new interim AEW women’s champion

• The Acclaimed defeated Swerve In Our Glory to retain the tag titles

• MJF defeated Jon Moxley to become AEW champion

A highlight of the pay-per-view was the return of Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks. They haven’t been on AEW programming since All Out, serving a suspension following their post-show altercation with CM Punk. They wrestled Death Triangle’s Pac, Penta El Zero Miedo, and Fénix for the trios titles, which were the belts they had won before their suspension at All Out. This was one of the most compelling parts of the night, and it ended with Omega taking the pin after Fénix finally followed Pac’s demand to cheat for the victory. It was the right decision on multiple fronts—Omega and the Bucks show that they are willing to be team players, the six-man tag loss doesn’t particularly hurt Omega (especially considering the finish wasn’t clean), and it helped advance the Death Triangle storyline. With Omega and the Bucks back, AEW feels complete.

AEW Schedule: Touring, TV coverage.

Another intriguing part of the show was Saraya making her return to the ring for the first time in five years. Ring rust was clearly evident, and she struggled to keep up with Britt Baker. Her offense was limited and the match featured a slow, deliberate pace. It ended with Saraya winning, an interesting choice considering Baker is so valuable to the company. But this was a tough match to book, as Saraya couldn’t afford to lose in her return bout.

AEW is in the process of redefining itself. Once a featured part of the show, CM Punk is no longer involved with the company and his status is never addressed. Adam Cole’s future is in question regarding his concussion recovery. And Cody Rhodes’ exit from the company was a major loss, breaking up AEW’s core.

Full Gear represents an important step for the company’s future. While there were too many matches–this would have been a candidate for show of the year had there only been six matches–there were plenty of highlights, including Jamie Hayter winning the women’s title, Jungle Boy overcoming Luchasaurus, and a babyface turn from Keith Lee. Full Gear was not a total reset, but it helped realign AEW’s direction.

MJF winning the world title is a monumental moment for AEW. He is one of the most complex, complete characters in all of wrestling, and he gives a consistent reason to watch Dynamite every week. This is the next step for his progression as a superstar, and it will be fascinating to watch to his era begin out.

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