Heading into Full Gear, MJF looked to once again pull double duty in defending both the ROH World Tag Team Championship as well as his AEW World Championship. The night seemed to start well after he and his temporary partner Samoa Joe successfully retained his ROH title over The Gunns, with Joe earning a future AEW World title opportunity in exchange for his help. Their victory came partly thanks to a surprise appearance from Adam Cole.
However, the night quickly took a turn for the worse for Friedman. After Joe exited, The Gunns brutalized him out of frustration as a horrified Cole looked on helplessly from ringside. The two laid into MJF’s leg with a steel chair for several minutes before finally making their way to the back, allowing medical officials to check on him. MJF was eventually carted out of the arena on a stretcher and into an ambulance as he pleaded with Cole to not let Jay White take his world title.
Following the opening match of the main show, Tony Schiavone announced that MJF was injured and would be unable to compete in the main event of the show. As he was about to award Jay White with the World Championship by default, Cole interrupted and proclaimed that he would take MJF’s place and defend the title in his honor. Shortly after, Tony Khan made the new Full Gear main event official via social media.