Mojo did not enjoy appearing with face paint on Monday Night Raw.
Mojo Rawley had a solid run in WWE. A multiple-time WWE 24/7 Champion and Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal winner, Mojo always tried to bring his a-game.
Speaking with Chris Van Vliet, Mojo explains a gimmick that he thought didn't work, where he portrayed a mentally and emotionally disgruntled person with paint, resembling shattered glass, on his face.
“[laughs] I was so against that. I really didn’t want to do that. But truthfully the sketches didn’t look half bad. I remember thinking I hope when I wear this it looks this cool, it couldn’t be furthest from. I pitched this idea of everyone looks at themselves in the mirror and everyone hypes themselves up. Everyone has that degree of vanity, let me run with it. Let me cut promos where I am berating them for their shortcoming, and you don’t know who I am talking to. You find out later it’s me, and we can take this whole new attitude and run with it. Somehow that lead to me losing my mind and drawing on my face, I don’t know what it became. We literally did one match with that character. Me and Apollo [Crews] were paired together on a Europe tour. I remember I was like 2 and half weeks of every day working together, we put on some great matches. There was so much that we pitched together. We put on matches that nobody was really expecting out of us and the fans gravitated towards. It’s hard though. You got 2 guys with no TV time going after these guys with established rivalries. But it was in the reports every night. These 2 are onto something, let's give them a run. So they booked Apollo for my debut match in this new run. We were stoked, we were like let's go out and kill it, show them what we got. Then we found out it was a 60-second match that was written out entirely for us. Two and a half weeks, then it’s that, then it’s over. I just painted my face like an idiot for nothing.”
Mojo Rawley’s big WrestleMania moment came at WrestleMania 33 where he won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Regarding that win, Mojo recalls the joy he felt at that moment.
“I think the plans all went into that [me winning]. I’ve come to learn that when you win the Andre it’s not to start a push afterward. It’s either the lead into a great moment sometime, or it’s a reward for a guy who’s been quietly busting his ass, and here’s a thank you. It doesn’t always mean that it’s going to amount to a push. I don’t know what their thoughts were at the time, I know they put me on this path to win it, especially in retrospect. Looking at the weeks leading up to that, it made sense that I was going to take it. When I heard that it was probably going to be me, that’s when I had the idea to bring in Robbie G [Rob Gronkowski] and just hype it up even more. I always try and focus on the big picture. I can do this myself and people are going to look at it as an average Andre moment. Or we can make it bigger than it is and get it out to more eyes and make it a bigger moment. They moved it to the pre-show, which a lot of people were upset about. But the pre-show was on cable, the pay per view was on the network, the pre-show gets more views by a mile than the network did. I was looking at it as a plus all around. But then afterward they didn’t know what to do. I think I was doing some strange promos with kids or something.”
“Honestly I think that was what my whole career boiled down to: It’s we got this guy, he is perfect for this one spot, high energy, hyped-up dude. We are going to put him in this space and we don’t know what to do with him after. I remember meeting with Vince one time, I felt pretty boosted after it. He sat me down and went ‘Alright, you may be one of the best athletes in the company. You may be one of the strongest in the company. You have one of the best attitudes and one of the best work ethics.’ He literally went down the list of all these superlatives where I was number one or top three. Then he was like ‘We’ve just got to figure out what to do with you.’ I remember thinking to myself I think you just said it. How do we not use that? There are so many things you could do with it. But you never know what’s going on behind the scenes. All you can do is work your butt off. I was pitching things constantly, very seldom does that come to anything if at all.”
Mojo was released by WWE earlier this year. Learn more here.
Credit to Chris Van Vliet for sending the quotes. You can check the full interview embedded above.