Big Match Feel number 3 brings you the long awaited clash between the Pinnacle's MJF and the Inner Circle's Sammy Guevara. We will use their 2020 averages to analyse how this encounter may pan out. We will do this using both Kayfabe and Non-Kayfabe perspectives.
If at the end of 2020 you told most AEW fans that it would be the last day of June before both MJF and Sammy Guevara had a singles match again, you would be met with surprise and confusion. It's for that reason we are using the two young prodigy's 2020 averages to preview how each man may approach this battle.
With simple Strikes it is Guevara that tends to throw them at a faster rate of the two, staying on his opponent far more than MJF does. However, simple Strikes are more a marker of control rather than actual effectiveness. With that being said, it is still Guevara who is the more dangerous striker with a 20% Strikedown Rate.
MJF will have to move the game away from striking to Grapples or Submission. MJF's Grapple use is 2.67x that of Guevara's and his Submission is almost double Guevara's usage. MJF will want to close the space as much as possible to stifle Guevara's Striking and even more reckless attacks. That being his ability to take to the skies with a 11 Dives per hour rate.
In terms of attitude in the ring, it's hard to properly paint a picture with the wrestler's 2020 stats as Guevara's attitude has entirely shifted. Both men have high Taunt Rates and Foul Rates, however MJF led Guevara in terms of both quite significantly.
Expect a clash of styles with Guevara looking for space to be explosive whereas MJF will look to smother, stifle and frustrate.
As mentioned before this is a hard match to predict as Sammy Guevara has not yet wrestled a Singles match since his character shift. So everything we are talking about needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. These are estimations based on his heel work in 2020. We are going to use the 29 Male Singles wrestlers from 2020 that wrestled more than 20 minutes Traditional 1v1s on Dynamite or PPV as a consensus to compare Guevara and MJF against.
Here we have highlighted Strikedown Rates as Guevara is 7th out of the 29 wrestlers, whereas MJF is 27th. Meaning Guevara was reliant on Strikedowns even as a heel even though they are often linked to babyface comebacks. I would expect to see as many Strikedowns from a babyface Guevara, if not more.
There is the exact number of wrestlers between MJF and Guevara when we look at Grapple rates with the two of them both knocked down a position; MJF 8th and Guevara 28th. Expect this to be prevalent in this match-up as it is a great way for MJF to emphasise the difference in styles and his rejection of Guevara's more flamboyant style.
It is no surprise to see MJF 3rd out of 29 when it comes to Submissions, however what is interesting is that Guevara is 12th, far above the mid-line. MJF will be far more likely to use Submissions in this match and Guevara could very well adjust to repay him in kind. The other possibility is that Guevara's Submission usage will be far below that of 2020 to underline his character shift.
Perhaps, it's because both men were working as heels in 2020 and may have been using Fouls to change the tide in their matches. Or it may just be the case that both men work in a slower and more methodical manner than you would expect from Guevara, in particular. I'd expect Guevara's character shift to come with a more dynamic and exciting use of Reversals.
This table probably doesn't pan out as you would expect. The assumption would be to find a plethora of heels at the top and a cluster of babyfaces at the bottom. Thus a numerical representation of babyfaces working from underneath bullying heels. However the role of convincing selling and match pacing often does that job more often than simple numerics.
This table suggests that MJF is more likely to dominate the match, however only just.