Mojo Rawley's selfie-promo started a trend in WWE.
In December 2017, ahead of Clash of Champions, Rawley cut a promo on his former Hype Bros partner, Zach Ryder. The video was widely praised and its format was quickly copied by the company. Unfortunately, rather than focusing on what made it great, WWE honed in on the cell phone aspect of it and nothing else.
Speaking with Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp (full interview above), Mojo said that he understands why WWE copied him, but at the same time, wishes they would have given him the creative licence to continue producing content that was obviously liked and appreciated.
"You know, there’s a lot of things you do that when you put out, or maybe you’ve pitched it, it resurfaces on TV with somebody else trying to do what you’re good at," Rawley began. "I’ve always had a couple of different thought processes about it. Because, one, there is part of me that understands it and I get it. You’re getting paid a salary to do a job and especially if you’re a guy that’s not on TV every week, maybe your contribution is from a backdoor creative standpoint where it’s like, ‘Alright. Well, this guy’s got great ideas. We’ll keep them around and continue to pay him so we can steal his stuff.’ To a point, I get it. Whatever. That’s gonna happen.
But another point, I don’t know, I guess it’s your own personal ego and sense of self-respect or whatever. You’re like, ‘Guys, c’mon. What the hell? This was me. I could be doing this way better. This was my thing. This was my idea. You can try and get somebody else to get your watered-down version, but it’s not gonna be as good. Why don’t we just try to keep things authentic and roll with the originator here?’ So, I see both sides of the coin, but yeah, that was one instance where I was looking around like, ‘C’mon.’"
Unfortunately for Rawley, many of his promos while working against Ryder appeared as backstage or dot com exclusives rather than airing during Raw or SmackDown. He would eventually go on to defeat Ryder on the Clash of Champions pre-show.
After signing with WWE in 2012, Mojo (real name Dean Muhtadi) was released by the company on April 15, 2021.
You can view the full list of released WWE stars on April 15 by clicking here.