Earlier today, one of our staff writers wrote a piece about the potential that Team Taz was behind the attack on Jon Moxley courtesy of Kenny Omega. Let’s be honest here, Moxley is not a popular guy in the AEW locker room, but what World Champion isn’t? There’s a lot of people who want to hold AEW’s main belt and in a company that has proven to be effective at storytelling in a long and short term capacity, even small encounters could be the seed for something bigger later.
So who really attacked Moxley? I’ve got some theories. I’ll be ranking each theory on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being “this is a terrible conspiracy theory” and 10 being “this will manifest itself shortly.”
Honorable Mention theories: Matt Hardy (CHANCES: 3. That cryptic tweet might be signaling a new Matt, but I don’t think the Lake of Reincarnation has a World Champion persona for Matt)
John Silver (CHANCES: 4. Johnny’s more likely to stop getting side eyes from Anna Jay than to be the mastermind of this attack.)
Miro (CHANCES: 5. I mean…maybe he remembers some dude that looks like Jon Moxley named Dean Ambrose. I don’t judge. Plus Miro is a petty jerk. He DID threaten PAC on his Twitch stream for causing an old injury caused by some guy named Neville. Cue the shrug.)
Now for the actual prime suspects.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman: MJF still won’t stop talking about “Dictator Jon.” The formerly undefeated MJF has an axe to grind, having been outsmarted by Moxley at All Out. Thinking he would have the upper hand by getting Moxley’s Paradigm Shift finisher banned, Moxley inevitably wound up being able to skirt around that rule by hitting it behind the back of the referee. This, of course, came as MJF attempted to cheat in his own way with his Dynamite Diamond Ring. MJF made a point to go hunting for backup after his defeat, finally winning admittance and acceptance into The Inner Circle. A chance to earn a rematch against Moxley isn’t out of the realm of possibility, with the Salt of the Earth probably salivating over the idea to face a loner like Moxley with all those extra eyes ready to help if needed. However, it wouldn’t shock me if Friedman had bigger plans in mind before once again going for the AEW World Title, and his wolf pack might just have a traitor among us…or rather them.
CHANCES: 6. We’ll revisit this sooner than later.
Lance Archer: Lance is angry. Very angry. Like angry enough to throw the next enhancement talent to get in his way through your television. Archer has been sitting on a World Title shot after winning it at All Out, but has been the victim of circumstance. After contracting COVID-19, Archer had Eddie Kingston pinch hit for him only to catch quick fire and usurp Archer as the immediate threat to Mox. Archer reminded everyone in a promo at Full Gear that he wasn’t done with Moxley and still had every intention of getting the shot he’s owed, only to have Kenny Omega swoop in and cut in front of him again. Either Archer is waiting for the entire roster to get a shot at beating up Moxley, or something far more sinister is here at play. Jake Roberts is the master of mind games, so while Archer giving Moxley a love tap in the form of a backstage beat down is in the playbook, I don’t think Archer would have let the attack go without the world knowing he still has dibs on Mox.
CHANCES: 4. There’s a lot of things you don’t see coming, but Lance Archer isn’t one of them.
Kenny Omega: This is the low hanging fruit. Omega walked out first and remained nonplussed over Moxley’s absence. Stuff like this seems more like Omega now that he’s showing signs of returning to “The Cleaner” persona. Omega already has Moxley in his head, as it’s clear Mox’s victory over Kenny is living rent free in his head. Omega was expected to be the company ace by day one, and yet somehow has wound up nowhere near the top tier of singles wrestler. Nobody’s forgotten he’s the Best Bout Machine. No one has forgotten he’s the 6-Star Hero. Nobody’s remotely forgotten Omega is one of the best in the world, not even Moxley. Omega didn’t need to do that to get into Moxley’s head, nor to gain an advantage. I mean, just being Kenny Omega gives him a psychological advantage over 98% of his opponents. While Moxley might be in the 2% that doesn’t bother, it doesn’t mean that he takes Omega lightly.
CHANCES: 2. It’s the logical choice and sometimes the most likely culprit is the actual culprit, but I suspect there’s WAY more to this than we’re talking about.
Team Taz: Yeah, we talked about it and my colleague brought up some great points. In fact, Team Taz doing the hit job as they continue to build AEW’s assassins would easily fall in line with the potential theory Taz is firing warning shots at Tony Khan after their off camera squabble. If there’s one thing Khan isn’t as the company’s booker and one of their driving creative forces, he isn’t ignorant to the power of social media. Cody announcing to the AEW crowd he regained his last name after cameras stopped rolling on Dynamite made it out pretty quickly and Rhodes admitted that he should’ve realized someone would be filming. Khan is clever enough to hear Rhodes say that and use it to his advantage. Give the Daily’s Place crowd something off camera, let it slip out to the internet via a fan report (you’re welcome, Tony!), and watch it go viral. Cage wants another shot at the title, Starks would LOVE a shot at the title with his win-loss record, and Will Hobbs? Hobbs was handpicked by Moxley to go under his wing as they began Big Will’s elevation to Dynamite. Either of these three money makers could be the guy Taz ultimately sends to retrieve the AEW World Title from Jon Moxley, and as a group of hired guns, nothing tells a potential suitor for their services how successful they are than having gold around their waist.
CHANCES: 7. There’s a good chance something big is brewing for this group, and this might be it. Then again, Cody Rhodes might not let them get that far with now that they’ve drawn his and Darby Allin’s anger.
KENTA: Alright, alright, stop laughing.
Look, we all know about “the forbidden door.” We know that New Japan has some bad feelings about AEW plucking their top gaijin (with apologies to Chase Owens and The G.O.D.) from the company. However, we all know a lot of the bad blood came from the recently resigned Harold Meiji as far as working with AEW goes. And perhaps the fact Hiroshi Tanahashi was able to make a small appearance on Dynamite if even to congratulate Chris Jericho is a big deal. And sometimes something small is actually something big.
Jon Moxley hasn’t defended the IWGP United States title in months. New Japan definitely doesn’t want to let that go too much longer, but we’ve had LOTS of talks about Moxley not yet looking likely to make his way to Japan for Wrestle Kingdom. Who’s to say the Bullet Club member won’t go looking for him? And given the hard feelings between The Bullet Club and their former members The Elite, this could be a stark reminder the Biz Cliz doesn’t forgive for forget.
So maybe Moxley doesn’t make it to the Tokyo Dome. What better way to shock the world in announcing a partnership than Moxley defending the IWGP United States Title on Dynamite not long after being in an AEW World Title match? Moxley rarely acknowledges the title in All Elite Wrestling but did so in his promo Wednesday night, while casually sliding in the fact his wife is pregnant. If he’s going to let a tidbit like that casually drop, who’s to say the other casual piece of information he told us wasn’t equally important? Stranger things have happened in 2020, because I certainly didn’t expect Thunder Rosa to compete for the NWA Women’s Title on an episode of AEW Dynamite, let alone against Serena Deeb. So this could be a far fetched nothingburger or a warning sign The Forbidden Door has been kicked open.
And if it’s kicked open, who’s next to find their way to America? I’m not gonna say that AEW needs to drop another Omega/Okada classic on us, but I’ll settle for Tomohiro Ishii and Brian Cage slapping each other around for a good ten minutes.
CHANCES: Anywhere from 0-8.5. This is Pizzagate levels of conspiracy, so send me your Charlie Day It’s Always Sunny memes now. However, Tony Khan is very good at striking deals if it benefits everyone involved. A NJPW/AEW partnership doesn’t hurt a single soul, and if this gives even an inkling of a chance Kota Ibushi finally reunites with Kenny Omega on an episode of Dynamite, the internet will collectively collapse on itself. We can shut the whole thing down and go home. It’s done, we finally won.
Hangman Adam Page: Now hear me out. Deep dive in the occasional insanity you call Reddit, and their Squared Circle community occasionally comes up with some interesting theories. One of these caught my eye and once you see it, you won’t be able to unsee it.
So let’s go to Reddit and find what u/RedmondSurvivor says about this to help add some fuel to this fire.
Hangman at his absolute lowest, gone from self-pity to self-hatred, has finally succumbed to joining the Dark Order. He was convinced to go through with this attack at the behest of Mr. Brodie Lee, who will turn back up in a couple of weeks with Hangman in tow.
Adam Page has had arguably one of the best character arcs in the first year of All Elite Wrestling. From day one, even his Elite brothers looked at him like the chosen one of the company. Cody wanted to be the face, Kenny wanted to have fun, and the Bucks are a tag team. This leaves Page as their chosen ace, the guy who would be able to give them every inch of success and credibility in AEW. With the success the remainder of the Elite had outside the company, Page had the pressure of becoming the a star that was shining as bright as them in AEW. They all carved their names elsewhere, Page would plant his flag in AEW. It’s not like Page isn’t as talented as his Elite brethren, he just didn’t have the opportunities to do so at that point. And then…Chris Jericho happened. Jericho brought the dream of Page walking into the first ever Dynamite as AEW World Champion to a full halt, leading Page to do what anxious millennial cowboys do – drink. Since then, Page’s arc of trying to find that desperate need for validation that has caused him to drink, to form one of the best tag teams over the last year with Kenny Omega, and come up with the greatest jokes you can only find if you bother to read his chyrons during his entrance has been one that is arguably the most compelling story line in itself in AEW. So let’s go back to another tweet, or rather a memo. Adam Page issued his own press release, which you can read here.
First off, if that’s not the greatest press release you’ve ever read, you’re wrong. Secondly, Page has shown either in drunken stupor or in a moment of clarity that he doesn’t hate the Dark Order. He likes Evil Uno and Colt Cabana. And considering that Page has proven in this moment of vulnerability that he’s susceptible to manipulation thanks to FTR, a master manipulator like Brodie Lee may recognize this is the PERFECT time to strike. The Dark Order hasn’t forgotten about The Elite. They made their intent clear when they attacked them to end Dynamite in 2019. If anyone remembers that attack, you’ll recall that The Dark Order destroyed The Young Bucks, SCU, Kenny Omega, and Cody & Dustin Rhodes. Absent from this is Hangman Page, who had already tried to leave the Elite to forge his own identity. Flash to Being The Elite episode #184, “Blood On My Hands.” The episode addresses some of the ramifications of the attack, especially bringing up the early hesitation of John Silver about joining the Dark Order (how times have changed!) with the video ending with an attacker washing blood off their hands and disposing of a Dark Order mask. Tony Khan has openly admitted that he’s started looking at BTE as a way to help develop and advance characters. There’s a mystery Dark Order member out there that’s yet to be addressed. Maybe Page has been drinking the Kool-Aid longer than we know. Maybe he’s just been indoctrinated. Either way, this could be a shocking way to turn the company’s most sympathetic babyface into the right hand of the Dark Order and someone Brodie Lee can finally be proud of. And imagine what Kenny Omega would do if Page not only committed this heinous act, but uses it as a springboard to do what he has yet to do – defeat Jon Moxley.
CHANCES: 9. I don’t want to believe our favorite cowboy is about to throw Buckshot Lariats to please The Exalted One, but…well, you look really guilty right now, Hangman. And if you need video proof for these moments, allow me to direct you to the bottom of this article.
Like I keep saying, sometimes it’s nothing. And there’s a chance NONE of these culprits did it. Heck, you could probably place a $5 bet on PAC being the culprit (hmm…) and still have a decent chance on getting a return investment. But that’s the beauty of AEW. It’s one of the few companies where a small detail could mean something huge for someone else. Any of these parties could benefit from being caught as the culprit. Hell, the concept of Brandon Cutler high on the hubris of collecting his first two wins and feeling he can finally hit the proper momentum for a title shot is a scenario that’s unlikely and yet somehow make some sense and make for semi-enjoyable television.
Get your notebooks out, find Britt Baker’s conspiracy board, let’s start doing detective work before Winter Is Coming.
Check out our official store at PRO WRESTLING TEES, show us your support and buy a shirt. You can visit our store by clicking here.
Also check us out on Facebook and give us a like and share by clicking HERE.