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AEW announces plan to ensure Cody vs. Jericho won’t end in a draw at Full Gear

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As a way to guarantee the main event of their next pay-per-view (PPV) won’t end the way the last episode of Dynamite did, and get in a shot at WWE for the backlash to the finish of their last event in the process, All Elite today announced there will be a judging panel for the World title match between champion Chris Jericho and Cody at Full Gear on Nov. 9 in Baltimore.

Here’s the press release:

AEW Brings in Three Judges for the World Championship Title Match at “FULL GEAR” PPV Event on Saturday, Nov. 9

-- Panel of Esteemed Judges Could Decide Fate of Chris Jericho vs. Cody at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore --

BALTIMORE, (October 29, 2019) – AEW today announced a new tiebreaker stipulation for its World Championship title match featuring defending champion Chris Jericho taking on “The American Nightmare” Cody at the FULL GEAR pay-per-view event in Baltimore on Saturday, Nov. 9.

In the event there is no winner at the end of the 60-minute time limit, a panel of three esteemed judges, who will be seated at ringside, must vote for a winner. In the event there is not a unanimous choice, the majority decision will be the winner. This will ensure that a draw will not be the outcome of this World Championship title match.

Chris Jericho was crowned the inaugural AEW World Champion by defeating Hangman Adam Page in a brutal, bloody match at ALL OUT in August. Since then, Jericho has formed the nefarious “Inner Circle” with Sammy Guevara, Jake Hager, Santana and Ortiz to counter Cody and The Elite. At the AEW Dynamite show in Pittsburgh last week, a vicious brawl between the two powerhouse factions erupted when Cody punched through a glass door of a suite to get to the Inner Circle, which spun into an all-out melee on the crowded concourse at Petersen Events Center. The three judges will also ensure that the blatant assists Jericho has received thus far from The Inner Circle will not be tolerated during the title bout.

Cody’s road to the Championship bout included wins against Dustin Rhodes at DOUBLE OR NOTHING and Shawn Spears at ALL OUT. Other feature matches at FULL GEAR include Jon Moxley battling Kenny Omega, PAC vs. Hangman Page, and The Young Bucks taking on Inner Circle members Santana and Ortiz.

FULL GEAR will be live on PPV on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and is available for purchase via iN DEMAND cable operators, DirecTV, DISH Network and B/R Live. International fans can purchase the event at ITV Box Office and FITE.TV.

My first reaction to this is similar to Cody talking “quality of wins” - it seems likely to needlessly complicate things, a solution to a non-existent or avoidable problem. It also makes me think of gimmicks like Impact’s Grand championship which never really clicked.

But, it’s worth seeing how it plays out. It sounds like it will only be for major matches. It’s a fun way to involve some legends - and with Starrcast conventions attached to all AEW’s PPVs, there are plenty of cool names hanging around these shows. And while he’s in great shape for his age, it’s unlikely Jericho is going broadway on what will be his 49th birthday. This is probably planting the seeds for a future draw more than telegraphing one for Full Gear.

Perhaps more interesting/troublesome is the bit about judges ensuring interference by the Inner Circle “will not be tolerated”. Isn’t that the referee’s job? We’ve seen DDP and Arn Anderson get involved on Cody’s behalf in the company’s brief history - does this mean judges will be official “enforcers”? If they get into the action, how are they impartial? And if they’re brawling, how are they judging at the same time?

Let us know what you think, Cagesiders? We’ll let you know when the judges are announced, if any questions about how this works get answered, and how the whole thing shakes out a week from this upcoming Saturday.