Nick Gage headlined AEW Dynamite Fight for the Fallen against Chris Jericho and turned in a Nick Gage match.
While some believe Gage's deathmatch style would never work on national television, Gage ended up bringing his expertise to AEW Dynamite when he carved up Jericho with a pizza cutter, smashed him with light tubes, and put him through glass.
Speaking to Sean Waltman on Pro Wrestling 4 Life, Gage described his experience at AEW Dynamite.
"I was fired up. I was born for that moment. The AEW locker room is awesome. The boys are great. I never felt like I was unwelcome or anything, so that was cool. I was able to focus on what I wanted to do. Then, they were able to let me be...I'm gonna be Nick Gage. They brought me in to be Nick Gage. If you don't want me to be Nick Gage, I'm going to leave. I felt great and I was fired up. That match was great. Shoutout to Chris Jericho for being a tough dude. It was awesome," he said. "When I first got there, I had to feel the locker room out. It's a bigger production. A lot of big names. Everyone was super cool, the whole locker room. I was born for that moment. I was fired up. I couldn't wait for my music to hit and go out there. They brought me in to be Nick Gage, I gave them a Nick Gage match and they were down for it. I went out there and did my thing."
Gage was introduced as Jericho's opponent on the July 21 episode of AEW Dynamite by MJF. Gage was the second labour for Jericho in his feud with MJF.
When asked how the appearance came about, Gage said, "I didn't make the phone call. Someone said, 'Do you wanna wrestle Chris Jericho? They wanna do a deathmatch.' I made sure it was going to be a real deathmatch, not some fake shit. We weren't going to roll around in fake glass. I was going to make sure the light tubes were real and the glass was gonna be real. They were down for it. I'm wrestling Chris Jericho, why wouldn't I? Shoutout to Chris Jericho for being a tough motherfucker. I gave it to him. I carved him up. That was real glass. I checked that shit to make sure it was real. That shit cuts you up. He took all of it. I sliced his arm with the pizza cutter right away. I wanted to represent, not only for me, but for deathmatch wrestling and all the boys who did it in the past or have passed away and (anyone) who said it couldn't come on national TV. That this shit couldn't be worldwide. I wanted to let them know that it can be done in the right way. It was an awesome match and I was so proud. I was representing for all those guys. A middle finger to all the guys who make fun of me for doing this shit or call it crappy wrestling. It's a different style of wrestling. If you want to wrestle, I'll wrestle you, but I like to have some weapons in my match. To not only have it on national TV, but we drew 1.2 million people to watch it. We must be doing something right. We had 8,000 people, which was double the number the last time they were in that building. I was proud. All my boys were proud."
Gage continued to praise the AEW locker room and said all the veterans like Chavo Guerrero, Arn Anderson, Tony Schiavone, and Jim Ross were pleasant to him and excited to see him.
When asked about Tony Khan's reaction, Gage said, "Tony came up to me all fired up. As soon as I got to the back, he came up to me, I looked that man dead in his eyes and I said, 'You've got something awesome going here. Thank you for making me feel at home.' I was fired up. He said, 'Thank you, what an awesome match.' He showed me nothing but love."
The match wasn't without some controversy as the show went to commercial immediately after Gage was carving up Jericho with a pizza cutter. Coincidentally, a Domino's ad played at the break.
Gage said about the spot, "I didn't even know about Domino's until it was over and someone told me. I was focused on carving up Chris Jericho. I got to the back, leaking out of my arm, and they told me, 'There was a Domino's commercial after you were carving Chris Jericho up.' I started laughing. What a coincidence. I was focused on making that man bleed."
Domino's issued a statement following the episode of Dynamite to say they were "assessing their advertising presence" on the program.
Gage also issued a statement, apologizing for being too ultraviolent.
It is unknown if and when Gage will return to AEW. Jericho is set to compete in his third labour on Wednesday's Dynamite when he faces Juventud Guerrera. Fightful will have live coverage of AEW Dynamite beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
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