Jon Moxley vs. Nick Gage: Title vs. Career?!? Those were not words I expected to type this morning, but as I woke up and saw the news from my home in Manchester, England, that is exactly the news that arrived out of GCW’s Homecoming 2022 Night 1 show last night, August 13th.
After Mox successfully defended his GCW World Heavyweight title against EFFY in the main event of the show, Mox made a call for “real competition” (a bit harsh on EFFY, but ok), and who should make an appearance than the man For Whom The Bell Tolls, the leader of the MDK gang, Nick Gage?
Gage announced that he wanted to be the one to defeat Jon Moxley, which was fine with Mox except for two things: 1) Mox will decide when and where the match will take place; and 2) if Mox is putting the GCW title on the line, Nick Gage is going to have to put up a stake of his own, one worthy of the title shot: his career.
That is one hell of a significant stipulation! Career matches have historically been used when wrestlers have reached the end of their time in a promotion and are moving on. The old ‘Loser Leaves Town’ stipulation often provides a dramatic way to usher in someone’s exit from a company and is often used as a fitting way to bring a satisfying end to a major blood feud i.e. the feud is so heated ad vicious that the only way of ending it is to have one person leave the promotion altogether.
Gage and Mox certainly have the history to warrant such a stipulation. The pair feuded in CZW, having three matches against each other in 2010 (one being a triple threat with Drake Younger), and, after staring each other out at the end of their respective title matches, the pair met once more for a big deathmatch showdown at last year’s GCW Fight Club, with introductions and commentary from hardcore legend Mick Foley, no less. A massively bloody brawl saw Mox successfully defend the GCW title after hitting Gage with a DDT from the top rope through a glass table. Even then, there were hints that a rematch would occur. The MDK leader took the mic after the match and apologized for letting his gang down, vowing he would bring the title back to GCW. Now it appears he’s looking to make good on his promise.
So, then: Jon Moxley vs. Nick Gage—Title vs. Career. It should be a hell of a war. But, by virtue of the stipulation, have GCW already given away the result of the match?
Note that it’s only Nick Gage that has his career on the line, not Mox. While Gage has spoken about going for as long as his body can handle the punishment, I can’t see him going out just yet. He still looks like he’s got some gas in the tank, and he’s probably never been as popular as he is now. I can’t see him retiring just yet. Even if it was just a case of Gage having to leave GCW rather than retire, where would he realistically go next? Even though Gage would probably appreciate the extra pay a move to a new company would most likely provide, he most likely wouldn’t be booked as strongly as he is now, nor would he likely have the same level of popularity. Plus, would any of the major companies risk having him on their roster full-time? It’s the age-old question: is it better to be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond?
Plus, Mox has once more proven that he has legitimate big value to AEW, carrying them through a difficult period during the company’s injury crisis. It would make sense that Big Tony would want to keep Mox closer to him and away from potentially injury-causing deathmatches that would only deplete his company of star power even more.
Either way, Jon Moxley vs. Nick Gage: Title vs. Career should be a hell of a war and one that we at Sports Obsessive are very much looking forward to witnessing.