Almost four years ago, Moose looked poised to be "the guy" in Ring of Honor. Then he left.
In 2017, Moose concluded a nearly three-year run in ROH that saw him dominate early on, and then only win one of his last eight matches in the company. It was a far cry from what fans originally saw from him, and likely because he was bound for a move to IMPACT Wrestling, then TNA.
The switch surprised many, considering the trajectory of both Moose and the rising profile of ROH. When speaking to Fightful, the man himself explained the move.
"I was just ready to move on. I needed a change of scenery. I was happy with Ring of Honor, I don’t think I’d be where I am right now if I’d never started or worked at Ring of Honor. I feel like Ring of Honor taught me how to be a professional wrestler and gave me a lot of the skills I possess today. So, shout out to Ring of Honor. But, I just felt like it was a change of scenery, I felt like I was stagnate there. They wasn’t really doing much with me. When I first came in I had like the thirty match win streak, or whatever, that was going on. I had some great matches with [Kazuchika] Okada and [Hiroshi] Tanahashi and Roderick Strongs and Adam Coles. It just got to the point I felt like I was wrestling the same people every weekend. It was like, you know what? I need a change. So, I felt like it was time to do something different," Moose said.
Moose went from football, to navigating the waters of the indies, to years with ROH, then to IMPACT Wrestling. The drastic change wasn't something that bothered him.
"I’m gonna be honest, I played NFL for seven years, so the next seven years I played for four different teams. So, I was kinda used to packing my things and moving on to the next thing to see what they had to offer. When I left Ring of Honor to come to IMPACT! I wasn’t nervous at all. I knew it’d be a transition, but I’ve made my whole career about going through adversaries and those kinds of transitions, so I was ready for it," said Moose.
Ring of Honor and IMPACT have both had their share of highs and lows, but Moose has remained a feature player in the latter every since his arrival. The IMPACT World Championship has eluded him thus far, but he doesn't regret his decision to jump ship.
"It was something I knew I’d wanted to do for a while, but it was just the whole football side of it took me off track a little bit. But, I’m kinda happy I went the route I went because I know I have football friends that went straight to WWE and went to the Performance Center. I’m kinda happy I didn’t go that route. ‘Cause I don’t think I would be as good of a wrestler as I am now if I’d went straight to WWE. There’s things you learn from working the indies and working for different promotions, wrestling for like Triple A and New Japan and NOAH and in the UK and wrestling all these different people from all these different countries, that you’d never learn just wrestling at a performance center. I’m kinda happy I went the route that I did. I’m not ashamed of it. If I could do it all over again, I would. I’m just thank(ful), Ring of Honor, IMPACT! and my bosses here for everything that has happened in my career," he closed.
You can see our full interview with Moose at the top of the page, and can check him out every week on IMPACT Wrestling, Tuesday nights on AXS.
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