Jon Moxley details what it was like working with Brock Lesnar.
WrestleMania 32 was supposed to be a star-making performance for Jon Moxley (formerly Dean Ambrose in WWE). Moxley had successfully talked himself into a match with Brock Lesnar, and many thought the Street Fight would be a brutal affair. In the build-up to the match, Ambrose teased used a chainsaw and a barbed wire bat along with a wagon full of other weapons, giving the impression that it was "kill or be killed" for him against Brock.
The actual match was a tepid affair and a glorified squash with Lesnar running through Moxley in 13 minutes.
In an interview with Wade Keller of PWTorch, Moxley detailed everything one would want to know about his time working with Lesnar.
"There was no effort put into the angle. By the time we got to WrestleMania, the angle wasn't hot anymore. I got that match because we did a three-way match with me, Roman [Reigns], and Brock that turned out awesome. There was a promo for it, and I took it upon myself to get up in Brock's face and like, 'You're a suplex machine. But I might stab you.' There was an electricity. I'm just doing that on my own. It wasn't scripted, and it got over. Now people want to see me vs. Brock," recalled Moxley. "I was supposed to work with [Chris] Jericho, and Bray [Wyatt] was supposed to work with Brock. I earned this match on my own merit, me doing my thing, my way. [Brock] was like my dream opponent and dream scenario. You can imagine how much thought I put into this. Now that [WWE writers] are writing it, they got me in Goofball City again. Mick Foley gave me his barbed wire bat that I'm never going to get to use because of blood. I'm thinking in my head, 'they're afraid to yell at Brock. Maybe we get a little hardway juice?' I'm thinking Brock is on the same page as me. I think he truly thought he was doing me a favor. Like, me being in the ring with him would do awesome things for me. He didn't want to be there. It was a street fight so we had to get stunts approved. I pitched all this stuff to producers and I feel like I was getting ignored because our match wasn't important to the producers, writers, or Vince. They gave me enough to give me the match but they didn't give me the help to make it a good angle. Like, I'm ready to die in the ring. I'm trying to take the worst beating in the history of the world. But in the weeks leading up, the angle wasn't good, Brock wasn't there half the time, and we don't do anything interesting.
The weeks leading up to WrestleMania involved Moxley talking to Terry Funk and Mick Foley, both of whom passed along their favorite weapons to Moxley. On the Raw before WrestleMania, Moxley carried a wagon to ringside and filled it with weapons while Brock stood in the ring. The idea wasn't Moxley's favorite.
"On the go-home show, I carry a red wagon to the ring and fill it with weapons. I go into Vince's office and I'm mortified. 'I'm going to face Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. I'm going to my death. This is serious. And you've got me dragging a red wagon. Make me understand.' He says, 'It's serious to you. You drag the wagon out, don't look at him, put the weapons in, and say I'll see you at WrestleMania.' I'm thinking I'll drag this wagon out there and they'll laugh at me. It got over in the building to a degree because if anybody can pull a red wagon and make it look cool, it's me. Right after that segment, I said to Brock, 'I get to Dallas tomorrow, whenever you want to talk, whatever you need.' He goes, 'it's gonna be okay. Don't worry about anything. It's gonna be fine' which made me think he had a plan. [In Dallas] we had one scheduled rehearsal the night before the show. We ended up not even doing that.
Moxley then discussed the ideas he had for the build-up and the match itself.
"I texted Vince and asked for one thumbtack bump and he texts back 'maybe' with a smiley face. [The ending I pitched] was an F5 onto the thumbtacks, he puts me in the head-and-arm choke, I'm fading, I flip the bird, and I'm out. He chokes me to death. I even had the idea of, in the weeks leading up to the event, I start heel hooking people like Frank Mir. I was even gonna go to Frank Mir's gym and he was going to teach me the way. I had all these ideas and no one wanted to put any effort into it except me," he stated. "I'm explaining all this stuff and Jamie Noble is like, 'I got goosebumps. This is going to be the greatest match ever.' I give every idea during this conference call [the Wednesday before WrestleMania] and Brock just goes, 'I don't think we need all that stuff. All those extra gimmicks. It's a simple story. We go to suplex city, you get a weapon and make your comeback.' I got a kendo stick and a chair. Couldn't do any tables. No stunts. Nothing. I even pitched that he elbows the shit out of me, busts me open, and it's a doctors stoppage. The same finish he did with Randy [Orton] at SummerSlam ."
Moxley went on to say that he pitched an idea to pepper spray Brock to begin the match, an idea Brock actually liked. However, Brock didn't approve of the idea until the day of the show and by then, it was too late for WWE to come up with prop that looked good and useable for television.
"The day of, I'm just hoping for magic. He doesn't show up until 3 p.m. We haven't talked about any of the match. We start talking, he's not very interested and doesn't want to be there. This is the most important match of my life. I was begging him to kill me but he did not have the mentality of trying to steal the show. He didn't give a shit," said Moxley. "We start seriously talking about the match during the second match [at WrestleMania]. And we're fourth. We didn't have a finish. He doesn't want me to kick out of multiple F5's even though it's WrestleMania. He turned down everything. [It felt like] Raw, not WrestleMania. I remember being sad watching Shane [McMahon] vs. Undertaker because they put in so much effort and wanted to steal the show. We mailed it in. We could have easily stolen the show. All he had to do was put in a little effort."
Moxley finished by saying he would have preferred to work against his originally planned opponent, Chris Jericho.
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