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Jon Moxley talks about WWE scripting The Shield promos, how Chris Jericho convinced him AEW was real

Jon Moxley was on Wrestling Observer Radio to promote his new book, MOX, available nationwide on November 2. The book is available for pre-order now on Amazon.

Here are some highlights:

Moxley talking about his dislike of scripted promos and said he will never do another one again:

“I will never read a script on a wrestling show for the rest of my life. I guarantee you that. Nobody will hand me a script ever again.  That sh*t ate at me. Promos are my favorite part of wrestling…Literally from almost day 1, they (WWE) hand us this promo. It was the first promo The Shield ever did. They handed us a script. I was like, ‘Ok, we’ll play with this. I got some ideas of stuff I want to say.’ They said, ‘No, this is what you’re saying.’ I said, ‘Yea, but we’re thinking about this.’ Then it got awkward. People started looking at each other, like writers, and Heyman was there because we were involved with Heyman at the time.

Hunter came in and it was awkward. It was made very clear to us that this is what we’re saying. We’re reading the script. I remember this feeling in my gut like, ‘Oh no. I made a terrible mistake’, because my favorite part of wrestling is coming up with promos, talking, saying the truth, and relating it to the situation. It’s so much fun and artistically pleasing. I love doing promos, but now that’s taking away? Now I just read what’s on the script, literally on day 1. But I went along with it. Over the years you can work with the writers, you can work with Vince, and you get a little more leeway sometimes. I feel like over the years, I got good at getting a shi**y script and making it good, reading it well, and changing it a little bit. I got a little leeway. There’s some scripted sh*t that was pretty good. I actually got really good at being a WWE Superstar taking a script, you got 8-10 minutes, making it perfect, nailing all the beats, and getting all the hits in. I got really good at that sh*t, but this isn’t what I want to do ultimately.”

Moxley was asked whether his leaving WWE was incumbent upon AEW or if he was leaving whether there was an AEW or not?  

“Dude, I didn’t know if AEW existed. I was already out the door. The crazy thing about it is it was just timing. A big thing people probably don’t know or understand is that it wasn’t a super easy decision to go to AEW. It was not easy at all. It was actually very scary to go to AEW. But the timing of it was so crazy, that it was almost like I didn’t choose this. The universe chose me. I would be a pu**y if I didn’t take this opportunity. Of all people at this exact moment in time, at this crazy crossroads of professional wrestling where some fu**ing sh*t is going down, there’s a chance for one person to step in and do this, and you got picked. Like, you were the guy that the universe picked. It wasn’t as easy a decision to just sign with AEW.

A lot of people probably think, ‘He just left WWE and went to work for another millionaire. It wasn’t a risk.’ It was down to the wire.  Before that original Double or Nothing, I was going to go back out here and I was going to figure out who the f**ck I even was as a professional wrestler anymore. The AEW thing was scary because I’m like, ‘I don’t know who these people are. I don’t want this to be another WWE. I don’t want to sign this contract.’ It was like I just got out of a divorce and I’m jumping into another marriage and I don’t even barely know this person. I didn’t know Tony. I met Tony a few weeks before Double or Nothing. Jericho was a big help. He was the first guy I talked to about it because honestly, I heard a little bit about this AEW thing. There’s all these like Impact, AEW, PWG, Ring of Honor, all these three letter companies.

So AEW, whatever, I didn’t think it was a big deal. I just thought it was like an indie, like ok, that’s another place I could work on the weekend one of these days, Maybe I can go work there. I don’t know where they run. Maybe they do a bingo hall in California. It didn’t hit my radar at all. It was when I talked to Jericho on the phone, and he was like, ‘No dude. This is like a real thing. I signed here and they have real money. It’s a real thing.’ I’m like, really? I literally had no idea because I was in such a bad state and just trying to get through this contract. It was a bad deal. I was not in a good mental space. I had no clue what was going on outside the world. I didn’t know what GCW was and now I’m the GCW World Champ. I watched this Bloodsport show on WrestleMania weekend because I wasn’t booked on WrestleMania, but I had to be there anyway.

Brett Lauderdale, who was a ref from CZW when I was there, came up to me and he runs all this (GCW) now. I started checking out GCW and I’m like, GCW rules. I literally didn’t know what it was because I had grown to hate wrestling so much that I didn’t pay attention to anything other than what was going on outside of the world. I didn’t watch the shows that I was on. I just walked on, did what I needed to do, and got the f*ck out of there. Now there’s this whole plethora of new sh*t. I was like Rip Van Winkle. It was like I was asleep for years, I woke up, and the whole world was different. Back then, we did DVDs. It was all about selling DVDs, and now there’s streaming and all this new technology. Everything is different. It was like, oh my God, I have to catch up. It was a wild time when I first left WWE trying to catch up to what was going on, but it wasn’t a sure thing that I was going to sign with AEW. I’m glad I did for sure, obviously, but at the time, I was like, ‘I don’t know you all, and you all don’t know me. We’re meeting for the first time. I don’t know if this is a fit.’ It was fate, like the timing of it was such a funny thing too because I happened to live in Vegas at the time.  It was all fate. It was crazy.”

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Wrestling Observer Radio with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription. A WrestlingObserver.com subscription includes the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and daily audio shows in addition to thousands of hours of archived audio shows.


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