Yesterday morning, I told my wife, who doesn’t follow wrestling, about “Pizza Cutter Gate.” As I finished telling the story, her dog barking text notification went off. It was a message from Dominos about a new pizza deal. At that point, I knew I had to write about this.
Dominos issued a statement regarding a commercial that aired Wednesday night on AEW Dynamite playing juxtaposed to Nick Gage using a pizza cutter on Chris Jericho’s forehead. This bloody and hilarious coincidence has everyone but AEW laughing.
The popular pizza franchise made it known there was no synergy for the ad placement, expressed their concern about the blood-soaked match with Warner Media, and might pull their advertising going forward.
But wait, there’s more!
According to Babyface v Heel, allegedly, a reporter from a mainstream publication reached out to the site and shared a screenshot on the condition of anonymity that WWE is shopping the pizza cutter story around, hoping it will blow up and cause controversy for AEW.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter heavily implied the same thing.
“There was one question on AEW, which was notable with the gap closing on the numbers. Vince McMahon blew them off as competition at the same moment behind-the-scenes they were trying to take advantage of the bloodbath the night before.”
No one is surprised that Vince McMahon would do something like this. It’s his M.O. to hurt the competition any chance he gets. Remember what he did in the 80′ when WWE went national? McMahon killed the territory system by picking their best talent clean.
McMahon often referred to the Jacksonville-based group as the “Blood and Guts” promotion and stated during Thursday’s investors’ call that AEW is not competition like WCW was in the ’90s. It’s a gangster move to dismiss AEW publicly, only to act in the exact opposite manner behind the scenes. McMahon can’t acknowledge AEW as a true competitor.
Doing so is an inadvertent endorsement he wisely shouldn’t give.
WWE faced a maelstrom of criticism during the Attitude Era in the late 90s for, among other things, excessive violence. Two decades later, McMahon is snitching on another wrestling promotion for similar ascetics. Only in pro wrestling will one see such a hive of hypocritical villainy occur.
AEW potentially costing itself and TNT ad revenue is not a good look. Especially since wrestling traditionally has to charge less for commercial time due to its reputation. Worst case scenario is a domino effect (no pun intended) of other companies looking into Dominos’ concerns and withdrawing their sponsorship, even if Dominos does not.
Besides WWE’s alleged hypocrisy, the funniest thing about “Pizza Cutter Gate” is it all stems from a wrestler who is not on the AEW roster. Nick Gage was booked due to his reputation for weapons-filled matches where blood is the rule instead of the exception. Carving his opponent’s head with a pizza cutter is one of his signature moves.
In the end, this will all probably amount to nothing; however, it doesn’t have to. Jon Moxley told Dominos on Twitter, “Nick Gage can sell you some pizzas.” The thing is, he’s not lying. Nick Gage has enough cache where if he promotes Dominos Pizza, fans will buy it in droves.
The Noid can even get in on the action and cost Gage his inevitable rematch for the GCW Championship. Noid vs. Gage prints money.