Jon Moxley lost the AEW International championship to Rey Fenix last night (Sept. 20) at Dynamite Grand Slam.
The match had a very awkward finish where Referee Rick Knox didn’t touch his hand down to the mat for the third time even though Moxley did not lift his shoulder up following a piledriver. Fenix picked Moxley up for a second piledriver, giving the referee another chance to correctly finish the three count. Early word going around in the aftermath was that Mox probably suffered a concussion, and an audible was called to give Rey the win.
On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said the concussion happened before the bell even rang to officially start the match. Fenix executed a flip dive off the ramp, smashing Moxley’s head into the ground.
Here’s the spot:
Yeah, it looks like this Fenix dive was when Moxley got hurt. He lands on his head and he doesn't move right after it.— Raion (@Raion74_) September 21, 2023
Insane that he still worked the whole match. pic.twitter.com/dlAJ9Bzjqo
Moxley had a lot of trouble getting to his feet afterwards. Here’s an exchange between AEW commentators Taz and Excalibur right after that move, noting that Moxley was showing clear signs of a concussion:
Excalibur: “That is a glassy-eyed look on the face of Jon Moxley. That expression on Moxley’s face, typical of a man that just got rocked.”
Taz: “Yeah, I completely agree with you.”
Excalibur: “...Moxley, very labored movements on his behalf...look at his posture. Look at how he’s walking. Taz, this is not what we’re used to seeing out of Jon Moxley.”
Taz: “Yeah I think he got rung up a little bit.”
Even so, the AEW medical team did not intervene. Rey threw Moxley into the ring, and the bell rang to start the match. They went at it for the better part of 15 minutes before something changed and they decided to go to the abrupt finish.
Meltzer said Moxley was later diagnosed with a mild concussion but seems to be okay.
“He was okay backstage. He was diagnosed as a mild concussion. And he was not hurt by either piledriver...that wasn’t the dangerous spot. Working the match was dangerous, though, there’s no doubt. That’s not a good thing.”
What happened here can’t be allowed to happen again. All you have to do is look at Adam Cole’s potential career-ending health scare related to concussions to know this is not something to mess around with. The bottom line is that AEW needs to examine this situation and make better decisions regarding wrestler safety going forward.
What do you think about the way AEW handled Jon Moxley’s match, Cagesiders?