On November 19th, All Elite Wrestling is presenting its next Pay-Per-View (PPV), Full Gear at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Thus far, only two matches have been announced for the PPV. The AEW World Championship will be on the line when Jon Moxley defends his belt against Maxwell Jacob Friedman “MJF", and Toni Storm will defend the interim AEW Women’s World Championship against Jamie Hayter. While more matches will be announced before the PPV, it’s clear that Tony Khan (TK) is playing favorites and not listening to the AEW fanbase.
Since TK’s promotion came to light in January 2019, AEW has brought in various free agents including Ruby Soho, Adam Cole, Bryan Danielson, Claudio Castagnoli, Miro, Keith Lee, Swerve Strickland, Saraya, Jeff Jarrett and countless others. This has caused AEW’s roster to expand rapidly, making it difficult for Khan to get everyone on TV and put them in storylines that fans can get invested in. Despite the massive roster, TK is primarily using his favorites like Moxley, Chris Jericho, The Elite (before the incident at All Out with CM Punk), and Britt Baker rather than utilizing everyone on his roster. When wrestlers aren’t getting screen time and not being utilized in feuds, then fans aren’t going to care about them.
Back at AEW Road Rager on June 15th, the Jurassic Express (“Jungle Boy” Jack Perry and Luchasourus) lost the AEW Tag Team Championships in a Ladder Match. In the aftermath, Christain Cage (another free agent AEW brought in) looked like he was consoling Perry and trying to encourage him to get back on his feet. However, it turned out to be a ruse, as Cage dragged Perry back into the ring and delivered the Kill Switch, Cage’s finishing maneuver. In the following weeks, Cage and Perry became immersed in an extremely personal feud. As it progressed, the fans started cheering louder and louder every time they saw Perry. As the feud intensified, Luchasourus turned on Perry and aligned himself with Cage.
Perry and Cage were scheduled to have a match at the All Out PPV on Labor Day weekend. The match didn’t actually happen, as Luchasourus attacked Perry during his entrance. “Jungle Boy” was thrown onto the steel entrance ramp and then he was thrown through a table.
Fast forward to today, and we haven’t seen “Jungle Boy” on the show since he lost to Luchasourus on Dynamite back in mid-October, so all the momentum “Jungle Boy” was building and his connection with the fans has seemingly vanished. Meanwhile, Luchasourus was involved in a triple-threat match for the All-Atlantic Championship on this week’s episode of Dynamite against Rey Renix and Orange Cassidy. When Luchasourus was on the entrance ramp, Perry came up from behind and attacked him with a steel chair, then he hit Luchasourus with a cross-body that sent him crashing through a table.
Since arriving in AEW last year, Bryan Danielson has been involved in high-profile feuds. Upon his arrival, “The American Dragon” was immediately placed into a feud with the then-AEW world champion Kenny Omega upon his debut. Since then, Danielson has feuded with wrestlers like “Hangman” Adam Page and most recently Jericho. Now it appears he’s feuding with his “Blackpool Combat Club” member Wheeler Yuta, which is interesting because they’re both part of the “Blackpool Combat Club” along with Moxley and Castagnoli.
Danielson has been involved in three separate feuds over a championship, twice for the AEW World Championship with Omega and Page (two separate feuds) and once for the Ring Of Honor (ROH) World Championship with Jericho. Danielson is a major name in the world of professional wrestling, and fans still love him, so it makes sense why he’s been involved in these feuds since arriving in AEW. However, in my opinion, some of Danielson’s screen time should be going to home-grown young talent who deserve a push such as Ricky Starks. “The American Dragon” is 41-years-old, and he has put himself through the wringer, so he might not have a lot of time left in his wrestling career. AEW needs to have their young wrestlers ready to go when guys like Danielson and Jericho do indeed hang up the boots.
Since defeating “Powerhouse” Will Hobbs in a Lights Out Unsanctioned Match at AEW Rampage: Grand Slam on September 21st, Starks has not been seen on AEW television. This is an atrocity in my opinion. During his feud with Hobbs, Starks was cutting fantastic promos and fans were really starting to get behind him. Full Gear is a few weeks away, and Starks isn’t involved in any type of program that will culminate at the PPV. On the flip side, Hobbs appears to be getting a TNT Championship shot against Wardlow.
Based on what’s happened over the past few weeks on Dynamite and Rampage, there are some other matches that should come to fruition in New Jersey such as Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D vs. Saraya, Danielson vs Yuta and Jade Cargill defending her TBS championship against Nyla Rose. On one hand, it could be a good thing we haven’t gotten any other matches announced because that could mean Khan has heard the complaints about the PPVS being too long. On the other hand, AEW is giving fans less time to get excited and invested in the matches.
AEW was founded on January 1st, 2019. Over the nearly four years since TK’s promotion launched, AEW has experienced multiple trials and tribulations, but in that same time period, the company has added a boatload of wrestlers to the roster, which has subsequently resulted in certain wrestlers not getting the screen time they should be getting. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that TK is playing favorites and riding their coattails while not listening to the fans.
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