clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jon Moxley explains the difference between his WWE exit and CM Punk’s

Difficult as it may be to believe, but there’s actually a Jon Moxley interview from the past week or so which we haven’t written about here at Cageside Seats.

Moxley’s talk with Andrew Grevas at 25 Years Later hasn’t gotten the publicity of his lengthy podcast talks with Chris Jericho and Wade Keller, but it’s well worth a read. One of the key topics Grevas gets Mox on record about is something a lot of fans and commentators have noted - the similarities between his bombshell Talk Is Jericho episode and CM Punk’s autopsy of his own WWE exit on The Art of Wrestling.

It comes up while the two are discussing how different the independent scene is now from when Moxley left it for WWE in 2011, and how amazing the health of that scene is considering the growth of NXT (emphasis mine):

“I thought it was a bad idea when Hunter started buying the indys. You had Seth and me, along with Joey Mercury and we were able to sneak in a few key guys like Luke Harper, Neville and Cesaro. Once I was on the main roster and NXT started, which I wasn’t a part of, every week Triple H was taking an Instagram selfie with some indy guy. I don’t know if he was trying to make himself look cool and get some indy cred or what, or make NXT cool. He basically started buying the indys. I remember thinking that it might not be a good idea. Then where are all of these good ideas going to come from? If they signed Daniel Bryan at 21, he never would’ve become Bryan Danielson and you never would’ve had WrestleMania 30. If they signed Punk before he really became CM Punk, he never would’ve done what he did. If they signed me at 21, I never would’ve become anything good. I had to develop first before getting brought in.

Buying up all of the indy scene was the same as Vince [McMahon] buying up all the territories back in the day. There’s nobody left to cherry pick for talent. It’s amazing that even though they bought up the indys that it has repopulated itself stronger than ever. Makes you very optimistic about the future of pro wrestling. That’s probably the biggest difference between my interview and the Punk interview. He was basically saying fuck pro wrestling, and I was saying that I got my love of pro wrestling back. I want to wrestle everyone. Let’s drop all the bridges, get all the companies together and have a super show that sells out a stadium right now. Fuck it. The sum of wrestling outside of WWE is bigger than WWE. I feel like myself, the entire AEW roster and all of the fans are the same team, reaching for the same goal, to make wrestling awesome. To not be embarrassed to tell people you’re a wrestling fan because they’d say to you ‘oh that show with fart jokes and they poop on each other or whatever the fuck happens over there anymore’. If you’re a wrestling fan and you show someone some things from WWE, you’d be embarrassed. You’d want to bust out old VHS tapes to show them why you’re a wrestling fan because this isn’t it. I want people to be wearing an AEW shirt and have someone say ‘Oh you’re a wrestling fan, fuck yeah, me too’. When I was standing on that poker chip at the end of Double Or Nothing, I didn’t know when we were going off the air. I stayed up there but for some reason, I just wanted to take a fucking victory lap. Security did not appreciate it but I took a giant victory lap around the arena, off the air and I felt like I was with 12,000 teammates. We are all AEW. We have that common bond.”

The difference is interesting. Would Punk have walked away from wrestling for MMA if there had been an AEW? Would Moxley have known he had to go if he hadn’t seen Punk’s love for wrestling beaten out of him?

Regardless, Mox’s message - both from the comparison to Punk and his assessment of the overall industry - is remarkably positive. Despite talk of “war” between WWE & AEW and fans drawing battle lines, there really does seem to be room for everyone.

That won’t stop Vince, Hunter, Tony Khan and your local promoter from fighting for a their piece of the pie, and trying to grab a bigger slice. But that’s not a bad thing, either, if it results in more options for wrestlers and fans.

Moxley’s interview with Grevas isn’t all rainbows and unicorns - as we heard in his chats with Jericho & Keller, his issues with McMahon’s process run deep. But it is a lot more optimistic than Punk’s talk with Colt Cabana. And pretty much any quotes we’ve gotten from the Straight Edge Chicagoan about pro wrestling.

Give the whole thing a read here.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats