In case you were wondering who had the idea for Jake Hager to no sell Moxley's finisher a while back, it was Jon Moxley himself. He told me the spot was by design that way it made the DDT on the chair look more impactful. The match was filmed because he wanted to get as much stuff in the can as he possibly could. Jon wanted to call the match a No Holds Barred match because of the connection between the term and MMA fighting, which Hager is doing these days. He noted that Hager is way stronger and faster than most people realize and shoot gutwrench powerbombed him during the match. The idea was to make the contest more gritty and realistic at spots because Moxley wanted to put over the fact that Hager has the ability to mop the floor with him at any given time.
Moxley still plans on doing Bloodsport, even though his two attempted matches with Josh Barnett have been postponed int he last 8-9 months. He joked with us that maybe they'll have to roll out mats somewhere and just do the match, but at least they haven't been canceled five times like Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Moxley tuned in to WrestleMania, which he said he watched both nights of in its entirety and enjoyed it. He spoke highly of the flow of the show and said that the performers worked their asses off. Moxley felt bad that the wrestlers that have worked hard all year didn't get their WrestleMania moments as planned, though. Moxley really liked the Boneyard match between Undertaker and AJ Styles and says Taker is like a comic book character or an action star from decades past that we still buy into a la John McClane or John Wayne.
Moxley told us that it's hard to gauge his success or performance as AEW World Champion because he hasn't been in front of an audience much since winning the title. He was really bummed out for the indies and for AEW losing Blood & Guts. He said being champion or even running shows in this landscape isn't ideal, but it's what they have to do.
I asked Jon Moxley about his favorite agents and producers in WWE, and he noted Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble, even going as far as to say he thinks Jamie Noble is the best producer there is. Michael Hayes was another one that he says proved him wrong on many occasions where the thought he was right. Moxley mentioned that the AEW creative process is collaborative and he hasn't seen anyone get mad or upset about ideas getting passed on or changing.
We talked about his film CageFighter: Worlds Collide as well. He wasn't on set with Luke Rockhold at all during the film, but did get to meet and work with Chuck Liddell. Moxley underwent a lot of MMA training for the film, some of which he didn't end up needing.
Dana Brooke would love Ulysses Diaz to make a move to pro wrestling, and says she even foresees it. He has experience in jiu jitsu, bare knuckle, MMA and boxing, and he seems keen on the idea as he also grew up watching wrestling.
Dana Brooke pays attention to Ulysses Diaz's training, and participates in some of the agility drills. She says that she grew up wanting to try out MMA, but transitioned into wrestling. Dana would considering giving combat sports a shot after she's done wrestling. She hasn't integrated as much of the MMA training into her work.
Dana was overwhelmed and flattered by so many of her colleagues picking her to win the Money in the Bank match, including Natalya, who she spoke really well of. Other women on the roster recognizing her hard work to improve makes her feel better about it.
The happenings of the past few months has taught Dana a lot about herself, especially as it pertains to regimens and routines.
Lio Rush dropped a pretty big piece of info during our interview. He said that at one point during his teaming with Bobby Lashley, he was slated to become Intercontinental Champion. The idea was to have unfolded during WrestleMania season and the feud with Finn Balor. He can't recall why it was that the idea ended up getting nixed.
We'll have more from our talk with Lio next week.
Fightful spoke with Blue Meanie, where we spoke about several topics from his WWF and ECW career. He said that he returned home from an indie date in 1998 to an answering machine message from Al Snow, asking about his contract status. He was offered a spot in WWE, and Bruce Prichard finalized the deal.
A year later he was gone from WWE, and had lost a bunch of weight for the role with the help of a nutritionist. He said that many people didn't even believe he was Blue Meanie anymore, so he went with the fat-shaming Blue Boy gimmick. Paul Heyman even had reservations, and Meanie presented him with the ideas. He admitted that it was difficult for him to be a heel, as anyone who has talked to him knows that he is one of the nicest dudes in wrestling. We closed by recalling the Rick Bognar as a fake Razor Ramon in ECW ahead of his WWF run.
Rob Gronkowski is back in the NFL, and carrying his WWE 24/7 Title all over the place, and Vince McMahon may be even more responsible for that than you realize.
"I think Vince would do pretty well on this show, the eccentric character that he is. You look at [Axe], and he's unassuming," Becky Lynch told Scott Fishman of TV Insider when asked about how Vince would do on the show "Billions." "Vince is such a larger-than-life character. At the same time, I watched him the other day demonstrate falling off a tower at 74-years-old without a bother, brushing his shoulders off and standing up again."
This led to Fightful Select poking around about what happened during this spot. We're told it was actually at the WrestleMania 36 rehearsals. A nervous Rob Gronkowski was preparing for his 24/7 Title spot, just a couple of weeks before he'd announce a return to the NFL. In order to show him that the spot was safe, Vince McMahon actually did the dive himself. The story was verified by a half dozen people within WWE, as well as some that have since left.
One person in the building said those there caught it and had a reaction of "did that just happen?," and that Vince McMahon said something to the nature of "not so bad, is it?" You may remember that Vince McMahon also did Shawn Michaels' zipline entrance at the WrestleMania 12 rehearsals....though that was way back 24 years ago.
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