Mojo Rawley believes he and Zack Ryder could have made magic as opponents.
WWE fans were first introduced to Mojo Rawley on the main roster by way of the tag team with Zack Ryder, The Hype Bros.
Shortly after debuting as part of the SmackDown roster in 2016, Mojo would split from Zack, striking out on his own. The two men would never engage in a long rivalry, something that Mojo Rawley believed was a mistake from WWE creative not to capitalize on the natural chemistry he had with Matt Cardona, chemistry that he says all of the wrestlers in the locker room we’re highly entertained by
Appearing on Shoot Conversations with Chris Hero on the Highspots Wrestling Network, Mojo explains how the split occurred from his perspective and why he was ultimately frustrated by the lack of capitalizing on the chemistry that he believes the tag team had and how that turned into a DIY effort by both men to try and generate their own buzz.
"We were the Hype Bros for years and I thought with the real-life dynamic, if they had put that on TV, the whole locker room loved it. They loved sitting there and listening to me and Broski go on each other and hear about our adventures. I was like, 'Man, we need to be doing this on TV.' I turned on him and they told me from the start, 'You're going to turn on him, ya'll are going to have one match, and then we're deading this thing.' I was like, 'Man, we have such a good story here.' They even put it on the pre-show. After I turned on him, we didn't have anything on TV the next week, they said the video package they made for us, which I liked, was too long for the time slot, so they didn't put anything. Then I had my first match as a heel on the kick-off show at Clash of Champions. Broski and I talked and were like, 'Let's just go after each other on social and cut real-life promos.' We did and I remember cutting them in my garage and the internet went nuts over them. It was kind of frustrating because we could have been doing it the whole time."
Speaking about the tag team of Zack Ryder and the actual differences between the two men as well as their run in NXT and his own quick ride through background, Mojo reveals Triple H explained to him very quickly that the NXT audience was changing and he was likely going to be more of a main roster Superstar.
In addition to that, the former WWE 24/7 Champion explains that he and Zack Ryder were told to “chill out” their act, resulting in an inability for The Hype Bros to express themselves with the same freedom of their time in NXT once on the main roster.
"Broski had a set way of doing things. He was there for a long time and he knows what was successful for him and what didn't work out, so he had a lot more refinement. I had a lot more raw ideas. When it worked out well, a lot of times, it was him taking some of my ideas and my energy and finding the best way to filter that for the crowd and for both of us. We did have different opinions on what that team should be. Broski wanted to focus on the wrestling and in-ring and I wanted to focus on real-life components and entertaining side. For me, I knew most of our matches would be five-minute segments on TV so we had to find ways to get over, the wrestling is so much secondary. The closest thing I could think of to what I wanted the Hype Bros to be originally was probably The Street Profits, being hyped up and running through the crowd. That was stuff I think I did on live events and they were like, 'Chill out.' We did a little bit of it in NXT, but on the main roster, we never got to."
He continued, "The only thing we knew was they were putting us together in NXT and we were supposed to be there a very short amount of time, do a handful of matches, get a few reps, and go straight to the main roster. Hunter told me from the get-go, 'The way the NXT crowd is evolving, you're a main roster guy.' That short amount of time turned into a year or whatever it was before we got called up and then it was with the draft and we were sent in at the same time as American Alpha. We had all the NXT hype in the run and we kind of debuted as the real-life B Team."
Rawley would be released by WWE in 2021, exactly one year after Zack Ryder, only adding the WWE 24/7 Championship and the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal trophy to his list of accomplishments during his tenure with the company.
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