Violence. It’s painful. It’s scary. Terrifying even. But what happens when you use violence to tell a story in a medium like professional wrestling? What happens when you take two very different but equally admirable personalities that absolutely DESPISE each other and put them in the same ring? We get pure magic.
That’s what happened when Jon Moxley and Hangman Adam Page met each other on the night of March 6th, 2023 at AEW’s Revolution PPV. This is the story of the current and the future ace of AEW. As mentioned above, this was a clash of personalities. Jon Moxley is a man that cherishes inflicting pain on his opponents while Adam Page, he is the farthest thing from a violent person. But on the way to the PPV, both men KO’d each other one time each, Mox also escaped an onslaught from Hangman once and after Jon poked the bear one too many times they finally agreed to settle it in a Texas Deathmatch.
It was time for Jon Moxley to pay for his sins, and that’s exactly what the theme of this match was. Page attacks Mox during his entrance, they brawl in the crowd for a bit and get into a strike exchange which of course not many people are going beat Mox at, and Hangman didn’t either. This match is brutal. It’s absolutely vicious. I said it was time for Mox to pay for his sins, but he is the one who brought the barbed wire to the match first. Hangman blocked it and then raked Jon’s own forehead with it. It’s hard to stay on top of Mox in this type of environment though, this is the man’s wheelhouse. So Mox starts absolutely killing Hangman. Stabs him in the forehead with a fork multiple times, shout out Jun Kasai. He sends him running into the chair with barbed wire wrapped around it, which frankly gives me a headache watching from home, and then he smashes the same chair onto his back.
“You sick fuck” chants, horrified faces in the crowd and I mean who can even blame them? Jon Moxley is a fucking nutjob and being that crazy comes with its consequences. Such as getting powerbombed through the two barbed wire chairs that HE SET UP.
ORIHARA MOONSAULT WITH BARBED WIRE WRAPPED AROUND PAGE’S TORSO.
The crazy spots in this match are of course extremely unsettling but they’re also creative. I have had structuring issues with death matches a lot in the past, but this is different. Everything has a purpose and feels like a potential deal closer. The anticipation of what’s coming next is what keeps me so invested and that happens only because of how good everything that came before it has been.
Hangman’s hand getting sandwiched between bricks, him getting curb-stomped onto one and piledrivered onto the chain, Mox stops at absolutely nothing including going below the belt and yet Hangman refuses to stay down. He will not be denied, he keeps pushing through just to take down this monster that he’s confronted with. Not a single weapon was introduced first by him, Jon is the one bringing all of them and he just doesn’t learn that he’s met a dude that won’t go as far as he does but will absolutely make him pay for all the atrocities he commits. The brilliant finish itself symbolises the story too. Mox is hanged with the same chain that he introduced and he has to tap out. Not only does Hangman survive the greatest beating he’s ever taken, he takes down his nemesis and makes him submit. Jon Moxley enjoyed inflicting the pain but he never expected to receive such a pushback.
This match made the phrase “What goes around comes around” come to life. It was surreal. An unbelievable experience. A barbaric and vicious affair that completely lived up to the brilliance that was this feud. I’ve always thought that Jon Moxley is a tremendous wrestler but this was the match where I finally cracked the mystery of what his emotional connection with people has been for me. Jon Moxley vs Hangman Adam Page was not only the best match of both men’s careers but it was also the best AEW match of all time and how fitting that it was between the two aces!