AEW Full Gear 2022 was a triumph, so much so that we are still talking about it almost two weeks later. Here at Lace ‘Em Up we love pro-wrestling, along with many other things, and we wanted to share the positive things that AEW did during their last pay-per-view event of the year.
Now, let’s run down the 5 best moments from AEW Full Gear 2022. You can find our results here and look out for the Lace ‘Em Up AEW Awards for this last quarter.
#5. Saraya’s Return To The Ring At AEW Full Gear 2022
Saraya made her big in-ring return at this year’s AEW Full Gear 2022 after spending five years on the bench thanks to a neck injury. She returned to wrestling making her debut in AEW just after All Out this year entering instantly into a feud with the former AEW Women’s World Champion Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. The two spent weeks throwing words at each other but AEW Full Gear was the night that the two would finally officially throw hands. What a performance the two women put on inside the squared circle with the two working well together as their chemistry really shone.
It felt great seeing Saraya back in the ring, in her house, in the place she has always felt was her natural habitat. Fans have been waiting for years to see if she would be cleared and once she was she did not disappoint. Now we have to wait to see who is next on her list, with so many fantastic women in the AEW locker room it would be great to see her against the likes of Penelope Ford, ‘The Bunny’ Allie, Athena or even Jamie Hayter. Who will she aline herself with? there are so many questions and dream matches on the cards now and that is exciting.
#4. William Regal’s Betrayal
Oh, Regal what have you gone and done now? From the biggest face and a hero to many to the most dastardly human on the planet, William Regal knew how to play the game. A career heel he has been a popular authority figure for the last 10 or so years but the morally grey man from Blackpool can’t stay good for too long. It felt like this was coming for a while but no one wanted to believe it.
MJF and Regal teaming up to betray and dethrone Jon Moxley makes a lot of sense when you know the history of these three men. MJF and Jon Moxley are two of the best talkers in the company, morally opposed, and stylistically different but also deeply rooted in their love for old-school wrestling. Both have the ability to make you love or hate them in an instant and, both enjoy getting down to the mat. These things also best describe William Regal during his career. Bring in the added layer of Moxley and Regal having feuded in FCW/NXT while also coming together in AEW to form the Blackpool Combat Club.
#3. MJF Becomes AEW World Heavyweight Champion
They say that
The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.
And as we saw at AEW Full Gear 2022 MJF truly is the devil and that was shown in his manipulation of William Regal who sided with him to help take the championship off of Jon Moxley. This was a great match and an amazing moment for MJF, who despite being one of the best and most hated heels in pro wrestling, is also a fan favourite. When you ask a wrestling fan who they like MJF will always pop up, cause he is so good at what he does, he has the ability to make you like him then destroy it all and show his true colours with a snarky smile and a change in his tone of voice.
He truly is a generational talent and it isn’t surprising that he has become the AEW World Heavyweight Champion in less than 5 years within the company. He is also very young still and has a lot left to do in his career. MJF hasn’t even hit his peak yet, as a wrestler’s peak is considered to take place in their mid-thirties, but if he is this good now, imagine how good he will be in 10 years’ time.
#2. The ELITE Return At AEW Full Gear 2022
After almost three months away The ELITE is back and better than ever. This isn’t just the return of Kenny Omega, Matt and Nick Jackson but also the onscreen return of Brandon Cutler, Michal Nakazawa and Don Calis. This also means Being the ELITE is back, which has been very much missed by the fans.
Do you know what else has been missed by the fans? Their high-flying, hard-hitting, fast-paced action and they had the perfect opponents for their first match back in Death Triangle. With one of the best matches of the night and a huge crowd reaction for their welcome-back match, it seems that everyone is happy to see this trio back. As are we here at Lace ‘Em Up.
#1. Jamie Hayter’s Crowing Moment
One of the best moments of the night was getting to see the crowning moment of our girl from Southampton, England. Jamie Hayter has low-key been one of the best women’s wrestlers on the planet for a number of years, but we have finally got to see her thrive on a bigger stage. Now, that’s not me downplaying her position and how important she was as a part of Stardom, it was after all the second biggest promotion in Japan last year, but unfortunately, Japanese wrestling is still quite niche, even amongst wrestling fans.
The fans have been behind her for quite a while with it all coming to a head leading into the fatal four-way match at All Out 2022 back in September with some even backing her to win the ‘interim’ championship. Toni Storm would go on to win this match but with the fans being so vocal it was only a matter of time before Hayter would get another chance at gold and reach the top of the AEW Women’s division.
That happened in a beautifully crafted women’s championship match that might be one of the best produced by AEW. After such a lacklustre championship run for Thunder Rosa, It has been fantastic to see the belt elevated again by Toni Storm and now in the hands of Hayter, it should stay that way.
Remember, Don’t Be A Hayter.