Jon Moxley is over the moon, if you can believe that.
He walked in to a meeting room in Cleveland, Ohio to speak with us. Making the media rounds isn't something most would expect Jon Moxley to enjoy. “I'm on a roll today,” he said, seemingly excited to keep things moving. Jon Moxley is happy.
Less than a year removed from his impressive run in WWE as Dean Ambrose, Moxley has found new purpose in the wrestling world – all over the wrestling world. He's now a top performer for All Elite Wrestling, a champion in New Japan Pro Wrestling, and even showing up at independent events across the country.
The way Moxley tells it to Fightful.com, he didn't know where he'd land or what he'd do, or even if he'd do anything. He just knew he wanted to switch things up and do it differently, even if that meant leaving the wrestling scene for a couple of years. It didn't end up going that way, but the Jon Moxley we heard from wasn't the same frustrated, creatively stifled Jon Moxley that helped sell a ton of Omaha Steaks on a Chris Jericho podcast last year.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled,” Moxley told Fightful “Like I said, I didn’t know if I’d just disappear for a year or two years, I don’t know what I wanted to do. I just knew I wanted to have fun wrestling again. It all came back so quickly it was almost like waking up out of a long nap or something. I keep going back to it, I feel like I’m 18 again. I can’t wait to keep getting back into the ring and trying new stuff. I pop up awake in the middle of the night going “Oooh!” with ideas and stuff, and I like to just go to the ring sometimes with no ideas and just see what happens on the fly. ‘Cause now I feel like all my synapses are firing. I didn’t really know how coming into AEW when I showed up on the first night, I didn’t know if they’d boo or if they’d cheer or make no noise or what. I had no idea, really.”
Despite those aforementioned creative frustrations, Moxley specified how fans have always been engaging for him. At the moment, he's involved in three significant situations across AEW, NJPW and Bloodsport, but all categorically different. Moxley says that despite a minimal social media presence, he's pushed by his audience to do new things, especially now that he can.
"That’s what’s so great about wrestling fans, they’re always so appreciative of when you put your body on the line for them and when they know you have the same passion for this that they do,” Moxley said, wearing an eye patch after he'd been brutally attacked by Chris Jericho. “Wrestling fans are the greatest fans in the world. You just saw this last weekend Edge, who hasn’t wrestled in nine years, come back to like he never left, to a hero’s welcome. I think that’s how wrestling fans are a special kind of fans. They can push you along to where you need to go. I can’t be more grateful to everybody who has pushed me along on this ride so far. We’re only a matter of months into it and we got years and years to go, hopefully, many, many years. I just can’t wait to see what’s on the horizon, ‘cause there could be anything. I got a lot of big fish to fry right now. I got Chris Jericho in my one eyed line of vision, I got Minoru Suzuki in my sights, I got Josh Barnett in my sights. I got stuff in the back of my mind that people don’t even know yet. It’s an exciting time. I’m trying to be grateful and living in the moment. Just being in the ring, just being the process of “Oh, I get to wrestle today.”
Moxley would expand on that, specifying that being on a boat like the Jericho Cruise isn't something he'd typically jump aboard, no pun intended. Moxley doesn't exactly have a reputation of being a people person. Not because of any particular negative interactions, just because he's been known to keep to himself and lives a fairly private life. Not only did Mox enjoy his social life on the boat, he was able to experience some professional milestones, as well.
“Being stuck on this boat for four days, I’m like “Alright, I gotta be stuck on a boat with a bunch of people I don’t know for four days.” I’m not necessarily claustrophobic, but I’m not so sure I want to be stuck in some tiny little cabin or how big is this boat? Like, my social anxieties and all my neuroses are gonna come to the forefront when I’m stuck on this boat with all these people. It was fun to just wrestle for three days in a row with great fans. I got to wrestle Christopher Daniels for the first time. It’s been over fifteen years since I had my first match, I never happened to cross paths with. He’s a guy I watched when I was a teenager on VHS tapes. Legends. To be able to get in the ring with, cross another guy off the list. He’s one of those guys you just want to work [with], too. My point, bringing up the boat, was all these people are on their vacation or whatever, but for me every day is a fucking vacation. I get to wrestle for a living. So, I don’t need to go to the Bahamas to have a vacation. I’m in Cleveland, I’m on vacation. Next week in Huntsville, I’ll be on vacation. Tokyo, I’ll be on vacation. It’s a great life,” Moxley said.
You can see our full interview with Jon Moxley at the top of the page, and we'll have several more articles, and a long-form piece from this interview.
He's scheduled to face AEW World Champion Chris Jericho for the title at AEW Revolution, February 29 on PPV from Chicago, Illinois. You can see him weekly on All Elite Wrestling Dynamite, 8 PM EST, Wednesdays on TNT.