AEW Full Gear

AEW Full Gear 2021: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Booking

What did Tony Khan get right and wrong with his booking decisions for the AEW Full Gear pay-per-view?

Wrestling fans have grown accustomed to AEW’s pay-per-views being filled with four or five star matches but what about the booking decisions done by creative director Tony Khan? Sometimes Khan’s booking can be less than five stars. Below we look at the decision made at AEW’s Full Gear pay-per-view and what it could mean for the storylines moving forward.

Thunder Rosa & Hikaru Shida def. Nyla Rose & Jamie Hayter – Good Booking

Keeping Thunder Rosa and Hikaru Shida on the winning end of a match is good booking in that it keeps them looking strong for a possible build up to challenge Baker. Thunder Rosa had one of the most memorable matches in AEW history against Baker but has not really reaped the benefit of the match the way Baker has. The natural rivalry is there for Thunder Rosa and Baker should Tony Khan chose to go back to that well.

For Hikaru Shida, keeping her on the winning end also gives her a chance to face Baker once more. Shida was the longest reigning AEW women’s champion before Baker won the championship from her. Shida has never gotten a proper rematch against Baker so that is another option for Khan to go to if he chooses.

Both Thunder Rose and Shida are well alive in the TBS women’s championship tournament. Right not it is a guessing game as to who will win the tournament, but it should be babyface character as Baker currently holds the title as best heel worker in the women’s division.

MJF def. Darby Allin – Good Booking

Darby Allin is quickly becoming the man to beat if you want to reach that next level in your AEW career. Miro and CM Punk both went over against Allin and both are in much better positions now than they were before they locked up with him. It is no secret that MJF is one of the best heels in AEW and in all of professional wrestling. His promos are lethal, and his in-ring work is getting better and better. Allin is arguably the most over with fans in AEW (much like Jeff Hardy has been in WWE) so it was good booking for MJF to beat Allin in his quest to become a monster heel in the company.

AEW World Tag Team Championship: Lucha Brothers def. FTR – Good Booking

The Lucha Brothers prove again that they are the best tag team in all of professional wrestling. Having them go over FTR was good booking because their title reign has just started. Despite being champions they still get shorter screen time than the Young Bucks do but when it comes to in-ring work they really set themselves apart. Having them lose the titles so quickly would really spark online backlash of the Young Bucks pulling the strings in creative storytelling. But Khan got the call right with putting over the Lucha Brothers and having their reign continue.

World Championship Eliminator Tournament Final: Bryan Danielson def. Miro – Bad Booking

Bryan Danielson has done everything in this business. He has main evented WrestleMania and is a first ballot hall of fame talent. He will go down as one of the greatest professional wrestlers to ever step in the ring. Having him beat Miro was a bad booking by Khan. Miro has the opportunity to become the shinning example as to what Khan can do to a wrestler’s career once they are no longer under the microscope of WWE creative. But Miro’s career in AEW has been a roller coaster of lows and highs. After dropping the TNT title, this was the perfect opportunity for Khan to put Miro in that main event position. With the outcome of Hangman Page winning later in the night. Miro would have been the best way to kick off Hangman’s title reign.

Jurassic Express & Christian Cage def. SuperKliq (Young Bucks & Adam Cole) – Good Booking

Good solid babyface booking by Kahn here. The Jurassic Express were due for a win over the Young Bucks and SuperKliq. The win also fuels the singles rivalry for Adam Cole against Jungle Boy and Christian Cage.

Pac & Cody def. Malakai Black and Andrade El Idolo – Ugly Booking

Anytime Cody goes over in a match it is ugly but a win for Pac is a good thing, thus this creative decision gets an ugly stamp. The four men in this match are sort of just in the background in AEW. None are really in the world title picture either because it is too soon, or Khan just doesn’t seem any of them as top guys in the promotion.

AEW Women’s Championship: Britt Baker def. Tay Conti – Good Booking

Good booking. There is no need to end the reign of Britt Baker just yet. At least not until a real babyface rises in the division.

CM Punk def. Eddie Kingston – Ugly Booking

The return of CM Punk has been ugly since his memorable return promo. This match was going to be ugly from the moment it was announced. With Moxley out of action Eddie Kingston is in a limbo state and jobbing to CM Punk does not really help is character out, nor does defeating Kingston help Punk’s aspirations of becoming a world champion if that what he is trying to become. Until CM Punk returns to his angry persona he had in WWE most of his creative direction will be ugly.

The Inner Circle def. American Top Team & Men of the Year – Ugly booking

WWE always gets flak for putting non-wrestlers in matches all the time. There was no real need for this match to be on the card other than for Chris Jericho to have an Eddie Guerrero tribute. Tony Khan was better off having Sammy Guevara defend the TNT title in a singles match. The paring of Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page has been lackluster at best. The booking of this match serves no real purpose other than to get the Inner Circle on the card. Ugly booking as that the match benefited nobody involved.

AEW World Championship: Adam “Hangman” Page def. Kenny Omega – Bad Booking

Sometimes you must stick with what is working. Booking a match, a certain was because it is what the fans expect is bad book and that is what happened at AEW Full Gear. Saturday night was supposed to be the culmination of the journey of Hangman Page. But injuries and other setbacks really made this feel just like another Saturday night. AEW diehards will try to tell you that this was the culmination of a three-year long journey, but it certainly did not feel that way. Being familiar with the YouTube antics of the Elite is different from seeing what airs on national television. The build up to the match against Omega felt a built rushed for Hangman’s character arc. Kenny’s title reign has been built on more of what he has done for outside organizations then what and who he has beaten in AEW. In the latest high profile matches Omega has lost to Christian Cage, beat Cage in a rematch, then wrestled Bryan Danielson to a draw. Not exactly the monster heel he is supposed to be. Beating page would have made Omega the biggest heel in the business. Sometimes it is okay to not give the fans what they think they want and let them wait just a little bit longer for a larger payoff.

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