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Jon Moxley Beats Jake Hager, Retains AEW World Championship on Dynamite

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 16, 2020

TOKYO, JAPAN - JANUARY 06: Jon Moxley looks on during the New Japan Pro-Wrestling 'New Year Dash' at the Oita City General Gymnasium on January 06, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Jon Moxley beat Jake Hager in a No Holds Barred match on Wednesday night's episode of AEW Dynamite to retain the All Elite Wrestling World Championship.

Moxley hit Hager with a Paradigm Shift onto a steel chair and got the pin for the win.

The AEW world champion tried to finish Hager with the Paradigm Shift earlier in the match, but Hager soon countered with an arm triangle:

All Elite Wrestling @AEWrestling

Top rope attack by @RealJakeHager is reversed into the #ParadigmShift by @JonMoxley then shifted into the arm triangle by Hager! #HAGERVMOX Watch #AEWDynamite NOW on @TNTDrama 8e/7c #AEWonTNT @AEWonTNT #WatchingAEW https://t.co/4jMLZXaIc7

Overall, Moxley and Hager exchanged heavy blows throughout the match, with Moxley getting the better of his opponent with this flying knee strike:

All Elite Wrestling @AEWrestling

A huge lariat attempt by @JonMoxley was shrugged off by @RealJakeHager. But, the running knee strike floored the challenger! #HAGERVMOX Watch #AEWDynamite NOW on @TNTDrama 8e/7c #AEWonTNT @AEWonTNT #WatchingAEW https://t.co/4xsWwTF7KY

Undeterred, Hager soon hit this gut-wrench suplex:

All Elite Wrestling @AEWrestling

Knee strike, change angle, knee strike immediately into a gutwrench suplex by the challenger @RealJakeHager! #HAGERVMOX Watch #AEWDynamite NOW on @TNTDrama 8e/7c #AEWonTNT @AEWonTNT #WatchingAEW https://t.co/ckhldNtZom

Moxley later responded with a lariat onto Hager:

All Elite Wrestling @AEWrestling

This time the lariat attempt by @JonMoxley drops @RealJakeHager! #HAGERVMOX Watch #AEWDynamite NOW on @TNTDrama 8e/7c #AEWonTNT @AEWonTNT #WatchingAEW https://t.co/9ATNj8Hz9q

Hager nearly got Moxley to submit with an ankle lock late in the match, but the champion rebounded and stayed undefeated in singles competition.

There were again no fans in attendance at Wednesday's show because of the coronavirus pandemic, but it arguably worked in favor of the two men since they were able to do battle anywhere they desired in a match with essentially no rules.

While Moxley has been at odds with The Inner Circle for months, especially leading up to his AEW world title win over Chris Jericho at Revolution on February 29, his issue with Hager began two weeks ago.

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After Hager won a squash match in quick fashion, Moxley sought him out and attempted to take down the undefeated Bellator MMA fighter. Instead, Hager managed to put his rival to sleep.

While Moxley is one of the toughest and most fearless performers in professional wrestling, Hager is as legitimate as they come because of his success as a collegiate wrestler at the University of Oklahoma coupled with his transition to MMA.

Hager has also done some big things in the world of professional wrestling, including winning Money in the Bank and the World Heavyweight Championship in WWE, plus being the final Lucha Underground champion before the company ceased operations.

Meanwhile, Moxley is a former WWE champion in his own right and was one third of arguably the greatest stable in wrestling history: The Shield.

Since making his surprise AEW debut at Double or Nothing in May last year, Moxley has arguably been AEW's biggest star, and he appeared unbeatable entering his highly anticipated clash with Hager.

The same could be said for Hager, though, as he ran through the competition after finally having his first official AEW match against Dustin Rhodes at Revolution.

While Hager's level of competition didn't quite measure up to that of Moxley, he had the advantage in terms of size, strength and real-life fighting skills, plus the possibility of The Inner Circle interfering had to loom large in Moxley's mind.

Even so, Moxley prevailed and handed Hager his first loss in AEW, which means a new challenger must emerge ahead of the scheduled Double or Nothing pay-per-view on May 23.

         

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