Ever since Jon Moxley left WWE when his contract ended this past spring and then made a surprise debut at AEW’s Double Or Nothing, wrestling has been a whole new ballgame, so to speak. In his now-legendary interview on Talk Is Jericho, Moxley was scathing in his criticisms of WWE, where Jon Moxley’s hardcore persona had been constrained in a small, goofy box called Dean Ambrose. Now that it’s been a few months, Moxley is just as full of passion, but it seems to be much more positively directed now that he’s in a company where he enjoys working.
I don’t think it could go any better. When I initially decided to leave where I was at before, AEW wasn’t even a thing yet so that opportunity came up and it just worked out really good. I was excited about the project, agreed on all the points that there are fans that need an alternative that deserves a national, global, mainstream alternative and we can give them that. I think we are really succeeding when giving the mainstream audience something different which is the biggest thing that we need to do.
For him what matters is not how many guys in AEW used to be in WWE, but the fact that they’re currently choosing to be somewhere else, doing something else:
A lot of other start-up promotions over the years have relied on ex-WWE stars and similar formulas, but the cool thing about this is that the top 6-8 guys – if we wanted to be in WWE right now we could. We are actively choosing to do something different to try something a different way. It’s all dudes in their primes at the top of their games and we brought these fans with us. All these fans that are coming to our pay per views and Dynamite every week following our stuff, it’s really the fans have driven us more than anything. It hasn’t been hard. It’s not like we are stapling posters across buildings. These fans are hungry for an alternative. They want this and we are just trying to give them the best possible wrestling show that we can every week.
But Mox wants to make it very clear that he’s not motivated by spite. Asked if he bears any ill will toward WWE, he has this to say:
No, especially now since it’s been six months later. I’m not motivated about showing WWE anything. I showed them when I had my great run there. I don’t have anything to prove to them. I don’t care what they do now. Good luck to them or whatever, but I don’t have any of that chip on my shoulders about me showing Vince McMahon, I honestly don’t have that. I feel like that would be negative anyway. My energy is about creating new, positive things and putting out good, creative angles and enjoying myself, and enjoying the fact that I don’t have to have a real job and to live my dream of being a pro wrestler, which is all I ever wanted to do.
Whether you’re enjoying Jon Moxley’s work in AEW or not (personally, I am), it seems really clear that he’s the happiest he’s been in a long time, and doing exactly what he wants to do.