SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)…
On the Las Vegas-based KXNT 840 radio staton, Jon Moxley spoke about his AEW debut. The full 24 minutes of audio along with a 90 second video clip are available HERE.
•On keeping this AEW appearance secret: “It was top secret. Only a select very few people knew. it wasn’t hard for me to keep it secret because I’m pretty good at keeping secrets, staying silent. My ethics as a performer, even if I want to tell you and spoil a surprise for you, I just can’t. I gotta wait for you to be surprised.”
•The feeling he had walking down the stairs: “It actually is kind of a blur. It was very surreal. It was a great feeling. It was probably the best feeling of my career. It was the inverse of being uncomfortable in your own shoes. You’re so comfortable, you’re almost used to it. You have to get your bearings… Definitely I’d say probably the highlight of my career thus far. Across the street from MGM Grand a few years ago at T-Mobile I won the WWE Title, the title I wanted to win as a kid ever since I saw the Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels Iron Man match. I wanted to be champion. This totally trumps that. Standing on my own two feet, not WWE involvement, even though they made m name – Jon Moxley wasn’t a famous name, but 12,000 people or however many people were there chanting ‘Moxley’ was an indescribably satisfying feeling.”
•On how much more comfortable he is wrestling as Moxley than Dean Ambrose: “I’m just getting used to it. I was Dean Ambrose for so long. It was so weird changing my name originally. I was so used to being Jon Moxley. Then I got so used to being Dean Ambrose. Now I’m getting used to it after a week. People who knew me from before still called me Moxley. However you are first introduced to somebody, you go through so many names in your career, however you were first introduced to that person is kind of the rule how you’re called. There’s still people in WWE who called me Mox, so it’s pretty easy to transition.”
•On preparing for the AEW debut: “I’ve been looking forward to that day for a long time. I woke early, I was pacing around my house. I was so hyped up, I had to take a nap in the middle of the day. I burnt myself out with anticipation. I watched Batman vs. Ninja Turtles. I watched it three times now and cannot recommend it highly enough. The show was just about starting and I was still at my house. I think I got there during the pre-show battle royal, clandestine, snuck in, nobody saw me. This thing was tabbed for four hours, so I’d have to sit for four hours in that room, but it went by so fast. A three hour Raw when you’re there takes forever. It’s like oh my god, we’re only an hour in. This show flew by. I did about 10,000 push-ups throughout the day. The next day I was sore. I did push-ups for two hours to come out there looking jacked.”
•On whether he’s heard from old friends in WWE: “Not a lot of detailed questions or conversations. Just a lot of positivity – texts like ‘good stuff.’ All positive. Except the handful of people who were ‘I can’t believe you didn’t tell me.’”
•On the reaction to the Jericho podcast: “It seemingly got quite the response. I think it was getting as of this afternoon 10,000 downloads or listen per hour, which apparently is a lot… It doubled his previous [high listenership]. I didn’t know what the reaction to it would be, I kinda didn’t care. … I really wanted to get a lot of stuff off my chest. I texted Chris the next day and said I literally fight lighter. It was very cathartic. At the beginning of the podcast I was jumpy, I felt like that, I didn’t know it came off, but by the end I felt lighter. Most of the response has been positive… The main thing is I didn’t want to be negative. I was trying to be as objective as possible, telling stories from a third person standpoint and let you decide if it was ridiculous or not.”
•On another interview he recorded that hasn’t come out yet: “I did another interview last night, one of the big wrestling website guys. He made a pretty compelling case, a follow up, I have so many questions about this or that. I wanted to stay positive, promote AEW, so don’t get me all riled up, I’m doing this as a favor. Then he asked me a WWE question or two and then I go ‘Oh geez dude,’ and all of a sudden an hour later I’ve been ranting stream of consciousness. It’s not even done hitting the fan yet. I’m like, oh no, I’ve jumped the shark, I’m going to be the negative crazy WWE burial guy, but I have so many stories that are so unbelievable. Most of them I will keep to myself for ever, but I was so emotionally invested in that place for so long, it’s easy to get me going on a rant. I’m done now. That’s what I said at the end of that interview, now I’m done. I swear. I’m promoting AEW now.”
•On fan reaction at Double or Nothing: “I didn’t know how people would react, if they’d be surprised or not or what. I didn’t know. I think a lot of people, judging by the reaction, didn’t believe it until they saw it. ‘He’s not really going to leave. He wouldn’t. Right?’ Judging by the reaction. It took all this time. ‘Oh, he really did leave! Holy crap!’ The whole conversation is different. I can’t thank those fans who were in the building enough for that evening. What a moment those 12,000 people and all of us shared putting that show on from top to bottom.”
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•On Cody smashing the throne: “It was awesome. Obviously the symbolism. What he wanted to do with that was symbolize that he was going to be a wrestler now, not an executive, but art is open to interpretation. So if you want to say it’s Triple H’s throne with Triple H’s stupid sledgehammer, then that’s what it was to you… I was hiding out in his office and he told me what it was and I went ohhh, high five. I loved it.”
•On making plans after deciding to leave WWE: “First step for me was getting out of WWE. I wanted to see the landscape. I could stay independent. I could do Japan. I could do signings. I could show up and do a DDT and make money, but that’s not what I want to do. They told me I could play my music my way. I was in. AEW is the dream. We’re going to have an awesome wrestling company that is actually awesome. It’s a for the boys, by the boys kids of thing. There’s not a bunch of writers and office types making decisions. We’re making decisions. It feels to me already, myself, Cody, the Bucks, Kenny, Jericho, and everyone else on the roster – and the fans – are all on the same team. We’re all in this project together. I felt the fans in the arena were my teammates and we’re all in this together because we all love wrestling. It’s cool to be a wrestling fan again. It’s getting that way. I’m telling you it’s cool to be a wrestling fan again. Guess what, it’s cool to be a wrestling fan again. Wave the flag, babe.”
•On his phone call with Steve Austin: “Guess who I got a phone call from today? Stone Cold Steve Austin. We shot the stuff for 30 minutes, had a great conversation. I grew up as a ’90s wrestling fan, obviously, so any day you get a call from Stone Cold Steve Austin, it’s a really good day… He’s going to start doing his podcast again in June and maybe by the end of the year, we’ll do a podcast… It was just good brothers talking about good brother stuff.”
You can video a preview and listen to the audio of the whole 25 minute with a lot more content including his thoughts on Double or Nothing and more post-show behind the scenes notes: LISTEN HERE.
RELATED: AEW President Tony Khan discusses Moxley contract terms, weight divisions, C.M. Punk, PPV schedule, Pac controversy, iTV, UK plans, WWE