It’s been a busy few weeks for the artist formerly known as Dean Ambrose. He showed up at the end of Double or Nothing to attack Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega, had his first All Elite Wrestling match announced, and popped over to Japan long enough to win the IWGP United States Championship from Juice Robinson. Not to mention a Talk Is Jericho appearance people are still talking about.
In his latest interview with 25 Years Later, Jon Moxley talked about his time in WWE developmental and the mistakes that Triple H is making by, as we’ve put it in the past, signing everyone and keeping them forever.
“I never thought of that until you just said it but its amazing. I thought it was a bad idea when Hunter started buying the indies. You had Seth and me, along with Joey Mercury and we were able to sneak in a few key guys like Luke Harper, Neville and Cesaro. Once I was on the main roster and NXT started, which I wasn’t a part of, every week Triple H was taking an Instagram selfie with some indie guy. I don’t know if he was trying to make himself look cool and get some indie cred or what, or make NXT cool. He basically started buying the indies. I remember thinking that it might not be a good idea. Then where are all of these good ideas going to come from? If they signed Daniel Bryan at 21, he never would’ve become Bryan Danielson and you never would’ve had WrestleMania 30. If they signed Punk before he really became CM Punk, he never would’ve done what he did. If they signed me at 21, I never would’ve become anything good. I had to develop first before getting brought in.”
Mox went on to compare Triple H’s NXT expansion obsession to Vince McMahon’s usurping of regional territories back in the 1980s, and how one of the big goals of All Elite Wrestling is to make being a wrestling fan not as … well, embarrassing as it currently is. No offense to anyone reading.
Buying up all of the indie scene was the same as Vince buying up all the territories back in the day. There’s nobody left to cherry pick for talent. It’s amazing that even though they bought up the indies that it has repopulated itself stronger than ever. Makes you very optimistic about the future of pro wrestling. That’s probably the biggest difference between my interview and the Punk interview. He was basically saying f*ck pro wrestling, and I was saying that I got my love of pro wrestling back. I want to wrestle everyone. Let’s drop all the bridges, get all the companies together and have a super show that sells out a stadium right now. F*ck it. The sum of wrestling outside of WWE is bigger than WWE. I feel like myself, the entire AEW roster and all of the fans are the same team, reaching for the same goal, to make wrestling awesome. To not be embarrassed to tell people you’re a wrestling fan because they’d say to you “oh that show with fart jokes and they poop on each other or whatever the f*ck happens over there anymore”. If you’re a wrestling fan and you show someone some things from WWE, you’d be embarrassed. You’d want to bust out old VHS tapes to show them why you’re a wrestling fan because this isn’t it. I want people to be wearing an AEW shirt and have someone say “Oh you’re a wrestling fan, f*ck yeah, me too”. When I was standing on that poker chip at the end of Double Or Nothing, I didn’t know when we were going off the air. I stayed up there but for some reason, I just wanted to take a f*cking victory lap. Security did not appreciate it but I took a giant victory lap around the arena, off the air and I felt like I was with 12,000 teammates. We are all AEW. We have that common bond.”
Whether you agree with his point of view or not, there’s no end to WWE’s spending spree in sight, and it looks like the days of Jon Moxley attacking people with a “hot dog wagon” are gone forever.
(That’s probably for the best.)