What a difference a year makes.
In May of 2019, Jon Moxley had just made his surprise debut with AEW at Double or Nothing. That was followed by a series of shoot interviews about what made him decide to trade the pile of money WWE offered him to continue playing Dean Ambrose for the risk of a new company. Most of his reasons focused on how horrible he found WWE’s Vince McMahon-led creative process. The net takeaway was how miserable he was working there.
Fast forward to May 2020, and Mox is World champ for a promotion with a lengthy national television contract. He’s got a starring role in a movie (Cagefighter: Worlds Collide) making its international streaming premiere this weekend on Fite.
Life is good. Time has passed. There’s a global pandemic causing everyone to put things in perspective.
Moxley’s tone when discussing his old employer and his time there has understandably softened.
Earlier this week, he offered Fightful a review of WrestleMania 36. A positive review!
“I watched the whole thing. Both nights. I enjoyed it. I thought it flowed nicely and a lot of people really worked their ass off and put on great performances. I enjoyed the Boneyard Match, I thought that was cool. I thought that was really cool, too, because the Undertaker is a really beloved character. He’s like a comic book character. He’s a beloved character from our childhood. Same as John Wayne or John McClane [Bruce Willis’ Die Hard character] or any action movie star you can think of, so it was really cool. I think everybody really enjoyed that.”
Which is cool, but lots of people loved AJ Styles & Undertaker’s Boneyard Match. That doesn’t prove anything! But on another stop of his Cagefighter press “tour”, Moxley struck a reflective tone with Sports Illustrated while discussing WWE, the positives of his time there, and concerns about his exit interviews.
“It’s through my own doing by being so vocal about the things I was frustrated about, but I hope I didn’t go so overboard that people forget all the good stuff. “I had a pretty good friggin’ run there, and that Money in the Bank  was incredible. More than anything, that was a sense of relief. I’d come so close so many times, rolling the boulder to the top of the hill only to have it roll all the way back down. I’d made so many promises to fans that I didn’t follow through on by failing to win the title. So when I was sitting in the ring as champ, a weight was finally lifted off my shoulders.
It’s all about peaking stories at the same time. You don’t want to miss a moment because you waited too long. It was tough to call me winning that, and that’s the perfect scenario.”
While it was nice to hear an insider confirm many of the same issues have had with WWE’s product, it’s also nice to hear that his entire six-and-a-half year main roster run wasn’t misery.
Don’t worry, though. Moxley can still get some digs in. When comparing his feud with Chris Jericho in AEW to the one they had in WWE, he talked about how they were different characters and people now. But he also told SI that in AEW, “we didn’t overcomplicate it with a team of 30 writers”.
That’s our Mox.