“And the next time you want to bring my name up on tv, just remember who the hell you’re talking about.”
With that line, Jon Moxley caught my attention.
The in-ring promo between Brian Cage, whose talking was done by Taz, and Moxley was the perfect way to start building a feud. It really is simple – Moxley is the fighting champion that doesn’t like being told what to do. Cage is the machine that looks like a million bucks and can go with the best of them. Taz is the manager that is tired of the disrespect of the new generation. The subtle progression during Cage’s match on Dynamite last week with Moxley on commentary led to the verbal barrage the two sides exchanged this week.
With all of that said, I believe that this has the makings to be a defining feud for AEW. Not at the level of an Austin/Rock or HBK/Bret, but certainly one that will be talked about for a long time. Here’s why:
This feud essentially started before Cage even debuted. Taz was trying to become Darby Allin’s manager and Allin essentially blew him off. Taz did not take too kindly to that so he aligned himself with Cage. At Double or Nothing, Cage did some serious damage to Allin. Aside from the fact that it was clear that AEW was trying to push Cage immediately, it was also showing that Taz had a zero-tolerance policy for disrespect and had some (big) muscle behind him to enforce that. By winning the Casino Ladder Match, Cage secured himself a shot at the AEW Championship in only his first match, giving Taz and himself a bigger platform to introduce themselves.
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Enter: Jon Moxley.
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The current AEW Champion has been a rebel from the start. At last year’s Double or Nothing, Moxley made his introduction in the most chaotic way possible. He emerged spiking Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega on their heads. He’s been a loose cannon with the company and his ascent to the top of the mountain has been filled with wild and brutal matches. Those matches really solidified him as the face of the company. Along the way, he’s had his issues with “authority” figures like the Elite via Omega and with the Inner Circle. His short feud with the leader of the Dark Order Brodie Lee only furthered that. He’s a man that doesn’t like being told what to do and he isn’t afraid to show a lack of respect.
On commentary last week during Cage’s match, Moxley laughed at the big man and Taz. Taz came out this week and called out this show of disrespect, almost irate at another wrestler brushing him off. When Moxley came out to talk, Taz told him to think about what he was doing before Moxley got in the ring. Moxley stopped for all of a split second before entering the ring, yet another sign of him not doing what he’s told and yet another sign of disrespect for Taz to prey on.
Moxley explained that his laughing was just excitement to be able to get in the ring with someone as exciting and dominant as Cage. He talked up Cage and made sure to let the pair know that he is a different type of competitor and won’t go down easy. His closing remark, as written above, was packed with two things: a reminder of who he is and an acknowledgment that they just pissed him off.
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I believe that the potential is infinite with these two. With Taz having a war against disrespect, Moxley being the ultimate sign of disrespect and Cage being an absolute force who doesn’t even appear human, the elements are there for this to be a great feud. I wouldn’t be shocked if Cage wins the title from Moxley at some point because I think this feud can extend beyond Fyter Fest. There is so much to squeeze out of this storyline and I’m excited to see where they go with it.
The potential is there for true greatness. Now let’s see what comes next.