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Review of Jon Moxley’s Revealing Interview on “Talk is Jericho” Podcast About His WWE Departure and Future With AEW

Jon Moxley has made a lot of news in the last week after he debuted at All Elite Wrestling’s “Double or Nothing” debut PPV this past Saturday. Moxley signed a multi-year deal with AEW. Today, the former WWE superstar Dean Ambrose opened up about how unhappy he was in WWE on a brand new episode of Talk is Jericho hosted by Chris Jericho, who is also working for AEW. This is a mix of review of what he said with some of my thoughts mixed in.

The interview took place at Moxley’s house in Las Vegas, which is where Double or Nothing took place.

Before we get to the critical comments from Moxley, he did seem grateful about his eight years in WWE, he made great money and met his wife (Renee Young) there. He talked about how he could easily just sell everything they have and go on the road with his wife because she is his best friend, so he knows they would be happy. He also spoke about how special the Make-A-Wish connections were with fans.

One of the things Moxley kept talking about were his frustrations with some of the scripted promos that WWE gave him to say on television. He hated when he had to promo where he was critical of his good friend Roman Reigns after Reigns announced he had leukemia. When he did the promo, he hated it and regretted doing it.

Moxley hated dealing with scripts from WWE writers. He explained it this way.

“Why do I work here? I’m a professional wrestler who can tell stories and come up with promos. I believe I have the capability to talk people into buildings, I believe that I developed those skills years ago and wanted to bring them here to WWE and you just want me to say your stupid lines. If you want somebody to read your stupid lines, hire an actor because they’d probably do a better job. I’m not interested in doing it.” (Thanks to WrestlingInc for the quotes.)

Moxley felt like leaving WWE in July 2018, but he decided to stick it out and didn’t want to get in legal trouble.

Moxley told the story about doing a promo in November 2018 where he had to get shots from his doctor because he didn’t want to get diseases from the fans. Moxley hated the promo from when he found out from a writer. Vince McMahon made sure Moxley knew that it was not a comedy, it was so well written and it would get him a ton of heat. Moxley told Vince if this is what you want me to do, then I’m the best man to do it. Vince apparently loved it and Dean flew home that night. He said he couldn’t get out of there faster. Moxley said: “This is so embarrassing. I can’t believe what is happening.” He said he was so depressed. Here’s the promo he spoke about.

Moxley talked about WWE continuing to want him to rip on Roman Reigns for having cancer and he said the line they wanted him to say was brutal. He said that whoever wrote the line should be ashamed of himself with Moxley claiming that they probably would have lost sponsors from it. Here’s how he explained it.

“This promo also had a line about my actual friend who’s going through leukemia that Vince wanted me to say, that he tried to talk me into saying. This is where I absolutely drew the line. I said, ‘absolutely not.’ It is the worst line. I’m not going to say it on the air, I’ll tell you after we’re done. It would have been like a thing where someone would had to get fired, maybe me. They might have like lost sponsors, like the Susan G. Komen and all of that. I don’t know who wrote it, I don’t know if it was Vince himself. If it was a writer and he’s listening right not, ‘you should be ashamed of yourself.’ You wouldn’t believe it!”

Moxley spoke about how he used to love thinking about wrestling promos and how he would say things, but then he lost that passion for it because of how WWE would script the promos for him.

Moxley talked about how after The Shield broke up in June 2014, he thought of his character as 90% John McClane from diehard, then the rest of it was like Dusty Rhodes, Bret Hart and guys that can walk through anything. He felt like he got over on his own in those first few months as a babyface.

Moxley was frustrated about how Vince always gave him “goofy nonsense” yet Jon tried to stay positive. Vince edited his promos a lot when Jon wanted to change them with Vince continually saying to Dean that he viewed Vince as a goofball character.

Moxley talked about how in December 2017 he had triceps surgery and he thought that maybe he would come back stronger than ever, so maybe things would be different when he came back. When he was ready to come back, he was watching all kinds of wrestling from current wrestling and stuff from the past. He got these ideas about his comeback, but then he kept realizing that WWE won’t let him do stuff he wanted to do.

While he was out of action, Moxley flew himself out to WWE headquarters in Stamford, CT (because Jericho told him to do that in the past) and pitched ideas to Vince McMahon about his comeback. Jon wanted to be a heel, a completely different character perhaps against AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan on Smackdown, but then they told him he was going to be the same guy in The Shield. He liked teaming with Seth, but he wanted to do some different stuff. Moxley thought that he would return at SummerSlam, they pretended they would go with his idea and then they brought him back on Raw instead. He was frustrated by it.

Moxley ripped on the way that he returned before SummerSlam 2018 with Seth Rollins being told to say a line that he had a lunatic to watch his back. Moxley: “How do you screw that up?” He was frustrated by how much WWE overproduces everything.

Moxley claimed that whether or not AEW existed, he still would have left WWE even with no other promotions out there. He said he would have started his own promotion if he had to in order to get out of WWE. He said that the instant rumor was that he was going to AEW and he noted that silence drives people nuts, so he remained silent.

Moxley talked about how there was some new contract coming from WWE. When it was Royal Rumble weekend, he told WWE that he was gone. He told Vince and Hunter that it was not a decision he came to fast or lightly. He said it was not about one particular thing or an emotional decision, but he was going to leave when his contract was up.

Moxley spoke about how when they knew he was leaving, they decided to have him start that angle with Nia Jax. He didn’t have a problem with it because Jax is a powerful woman, but he wasn’t that happy about a lot of things going on. Vince claimed he didn’t know that Jon was upset about the stupid promo with the shots, yet Vince had to always make things feel okay in his mind. Jon told Vince he had a sick feeling in his stomach on Mondays because he hated being on Raw. Jon claimed that he felt like they were “burying the fuck out of him” with the Nia feud and then he was okay with doing it. They had fun in rehearsals doing it, but then it just got dropped.

Moxley talked about how the rumors came out that he was leaving the company, so WWE released a press release that he was leaving the company. He claimed his phone didn’t stop ringing for 48 hours and he got so many texts from people asking him if he was leaving.

Moxley claimed that he never looked at the new contract that WWE gave him. He didn’t want to look at it because he wanted to leave. He wondered what if they offered him with $10 million, he already had his truck paid off, his house paid off, his mom’s house was paid off and he didn’t live like that. In other words, it wasn’t about the money. He was unhappy.

Moxley said that since he left WWE last month, he feels like a totally different person again and he’s happy. Moxley said that when he looks back on it now, he is surprised he lasted as long as he did. He’s not bitter about anything that happened because now the reward is he gets to start over and it’s like he is 18 years old again. Now he has experience and stuff, so he’s starting ahead of the game.

Jericho talked about how now they have a chance to change things in the business in AEW. Moxley said it’s really exciting. Moxley spoke about how he wanted to prove that WWE’s creative process sucks, does not work and it’s absolutely terrible. He told Vince, Hunter, Michael Hayes and so on.
Moxley said that he thinks Vince is the problem – not so much Vince, but the structure that he has built around him with a team of writers and producers. Moxley said that there is great talent in WWE, but the creative process sucks. He said that AEW will be putting on their best product and if that causes WWE to be better then that’s good. Moxley and Jericho both complained about how much WWE micro-manages things.

Moxley talked about when they had EC3 come in on Raw, he’s a great friend of his, but then the match was only like three minutes and the fans hated it. Moxley claimed he was doing heel stuff, yet the fans were cheering him and they were rejecting EC3 at the live events. Moxley was so frustrated, he said that a writer knew, but it was Vince, who was determined to have Ambrose put over EC3 again. He claimed Vince was mad that his plan wasn’t working and that the fans were cheering Ambrose. Moxley thought it was the fans telling WWE that they knew WWE was trying to bury Dean.

Moxley revealed how much he got paid for The Shield special live on WWE Network: $500. He wasn’t impressed by it. He said that’s the minimum and what you get if you are an extra at Raw. Jericho said that was one final “FU Ambrose” and Jon joked he should frame that check.

Moxley said that being in AEW is about being the best version of himself and he said he knows he’ll have creative freedom there. He said that Cody (Rhodes) is like him because they are wrestling fans that would always talk about wrestling because they love it. Cody told Jon to play his music his way and Cody was frustrated about his final days in WWE just like Jon was.

Moxley was excited saying that the whole world is his oyster. He said that he’s going to learn new styles, there are new opponents to work with and he can’t wait for it. Physically, he feels pretty good, but mentally he cannot wait to get started.

When Moxley first heard about AEW starting one month after his WWE deal expired, he knew he wanted to be part of it and then it was in Las Vegas where he lives. He said that when he signed a contract, it felt different than WWE.

Moxley said that he liked AEW President Tony Khan because he’s a wrestling fan that can tell you about ECW PPVs from 1998. He said that Tony is more of a wrestling fan than Vince is. Tony is just a fan that loves wrestling and he’s so fun to talk about. Jericho said what he feels bad about with Vince is he can’t take a break when all he does is think about wrestling every day for 40 years.

Moxley had some advice for Vince McMahon: “Your creative process sucks, change it.”

Moxley talked about his first tweet video after he was released from WWE at midnight on April 30th. He was inspired by movie trailers, so that’s what they did with the first Jon Moxley video. Moxley talked about his friend “Sick” Nick Mondo, who was a deathmatch wrestling legend and now he’s a filmmaker, so he made the Moxley video. He said it was filmed in February, they filmed in Los Angeles for two days straight and they spent like $8,000 on it and there was a film set in LA. He said that Vince texted him at like 4am his time while Jon was filming these scenes in LA with Vince wanting him to wrestle on the European tour and Jon said no to that. Jon told Vince that he was committed to a film project, but the film was filming these Jon Moxley videos.

Moxley explained that he didn’t even tweet it, his social media guru guy tweeted it. They embedded it into Twitter and scheduled it at midnight on May 1st. He said it was the exact response he was hoping for.

Moxley talked about how Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns knew how he felt for months leading into his departure.

Moxley spoke about how for the rest of the year, there’s some stuff that he’ll be doing and it might surprise people, but he’s happy he can do whatever he wants. Moxley said that this isn’t about money. Everything he does, he’s driven by passion, creativity, artistic satisfaction and fun. He said the rewards, be it monetary or otherwise, will come.
Moxley reminded us that he is 33 years old while Jericho is 48 years old and still on top of his game, so he knows he can be anything he wants to be.

The last question Jericho had was who is Moxley looking forward to working with anybody. Moxley said that anybody because he knows he can help bring eyeballs to the company now that they are going to be on TNT this fall. He said however he can help the most, put him in that position. Jericho said that they can help guys working live TV. Moxley said that when he got to WWE, there was so much he knew, but he learned. Moxley said they had no idea what was going to happen and it’s so exciting.

TJR Thoughts: This was very revealing and I enjoyed listening to it. It was very eye-opening as well. I’m glad that Jon was able to share his frustrations with his WWE run because quite frankly, he was right to be mad about a lot of this stuff.

I think a lot of WWE fans have been frustrated with the product, especially on Raw, in the last eight months or so and a lot of that is covered by Moxley/Ambrose here.

Jon is going to be very motivated in AEW because you can tell how he felt frustrated in WWE. Now that he’s free from WWE, we are really going to see what he can do as a professional wrestler in a major company. When he said that he wants to be the “best version of himself” that tells me that he is driven to succeed.

I highly recommend that you listen to it. Use the player below or search for the Talk is Jericho podcast on your favorite podcast player.