AEW world champion Jon Moxley recently spoke to Fightful about his empty arena title defense against Jake Hager from a few weeks ago on Dynamite. The Purveyor of Violence discusses how they weren't entirely sure what filming would be like due to the COVID-19 pandemic before commending Hager for working a strong MMA style. Highlights are below.
On Hager no-selling his Paradigm Shift finisher and building the match:
Yeah, by design. We kinda figured this might be the last opportunity we get to film. We didn’t know. Everything was up in the air. So, I was like, well let’s get as much stuff in the can in a few hours as we can. So, let’s just cobble together a little angle. You can choke me out, I’ll DDT you. Just no sell it so that the DDT’s ineffective on you and then we’ll do the title match. Let’s just do it tonight, so that way we have it in the can. We at least have a World title match that’s in the can that we can show people. Then, obviously, make it no holds barred. I wanted him to call it No Holds Barred because I knew we were gonna do a little bit more of that shooty style. He’s obviously an MMA fighter and that’s kind of the old school way to build. It was NHB before it was MMA. That’s kind of why we did that. But, if a regular DDT doesn’t work, DDT a motherfucker on a chair. As a general rule of thumb a DDT on a chair is always better than a DDT not on a chair. A german suplex onto a bundle of light tubes is always more effective than a german suplex not on a bundle of light tubes. So, it was really cool.
On Hager's strength and working a shoot style:
That was a thing where you just kind of go to the ring and just do it. There’s always give and take in professional wrestling, and that’s what separates it from a contest. But, it’s cool to have a realistic match where you have to work for it. If you’re gonna get a takedown, you’re gonna have to work for this takedown. I enjoy watching scrambles on the mat. You go for a leg lock, but he doesn’t get it ‘cause he goes for a switch. I like legitimate looking stuff like that and, of course, Hager could mop the floor with me at any time he wanted and I wanted him to show that kind of skill and speed on the mat that he has. There’s a point he did a switch or something and it’s scary how quick he is on the mat and he’s so strong. At one point he just shoot gutwrench powerbombed me in that match. I had no idea what was coming, I was getting kneed in the face and before I knew it, I was flipped upside down into it. He’s so strong. Such an incredible athlete. I wanted to showcase that.
Moxley is set to defend the AEW championship at today's Double or Nothing pay per view from Jacksonville.