On today’s episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily, Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman sat down with filmmaker and GCW Deathmatch Hall of Famer “Sick” Nick Mondo. Mondo recently filmed a countdown special for the GCW Fight Club main event, Jon Moxley vs. Nick Gage. Mondo gave his thoughts on Gage’s mainstream breakout since his deathmatch against Chris Jericho on AEW Dynamite.
“One of those things you can never imagine until you see it,” Mondo admitted. “It was a bit watered down, but Gage taking that top rope Frankensteiner on glass, that was legit. I just love that moment. I kept watching that over and over. It was just one of those gifts. One of those that you couldn’t even imagine until you see it. I loved that, and it got a lot more eyeballs on him. It helped him with his merchandise and everything I’m sure. I was so happy.
“When we shot in the prison, that was just two days before he faced Jericho, so I got to kind of chat with him leading up to that. He was calm, and he was cool about it. Saw it as a real opportunity and it was. I don’t know this, but I believe they might be doing a bit more of the hardcore stuff on Rampage, and so maybe you’ll see Gage again. I don’t know, but I believe they’re going to do some more of that. But I think all of us are just so happy to see him get that opportunity.”
Mondo gave some details on the location he filmed Gage at for the countdown special. Revealing some of the small interactions he had with the deathmatch king.
“Eastern State Penitentiary is a retired prison in Philadelphia, and it’s just visually stunning, but I think Tuesday through Friday you can go there and tour there and it’s cheap,” Mondo said. “Mondays they leave it closed for people who want to rent it for shoots and whatever, and so I talked them into letting me rent it for one hour, which I think was $500. That’s all we could afford to put into it.
“They kept warning me ahead of time, ‘You should have somebody come scout because that hour is gonna go quick,’ and I looked up some photos and I said, ‘What is this?’ They said, ‘Oh, that’s cell block 7.’ I said, ‘No, I’m good. I’m good.’ We comfortably got our shots and got out of there. It was funny because I brought Gage in there, and he’s like, ‘Aw man, I’ve always wanted to come here.’
“His girlfriend called him on the phone, and she was like, ‘I’m so jealous. I want to be there with you,’ and he’s like, ‘Yeah, we’ll come back. You should see it.’ And I just thought it was amusing he liked tagging around there, but it probably doesn’t feel anything like a current prison. It’s just high vaulted ceilings with sky lights. I wanted to shoot during the day because night would be more dramatic, but you’d have to light the place. Good grief, I couldn’t do that in an hour, and that’d be way too expensive, but that was a fantastic location to get.”
Eastern State Penitentiary is well known to have held this iconic mobster, and it is supposedly haunted by his spirit.
“That’s the actual prison Al Capone was held, and they preserved his cell,” Mondo noted. “And you would be surprised because if you had access to money, you could can actually doll up your cell, and he’s got an oriental rug, and this nice cabinet, and a radio, and a comfortable desk and chair. And they took care of it. He’d just sit in there, chill and smoke his pipe and listen to the radio.”
You can follow Mondo on Twitter @NickMondoMedia
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