As we’ve seen with the company’s presentation of Royal Rumble history recently, WWE often seems to go out of their way to not mention anything outside of their sports entertainment universe. It’s one of the reasons something like referencing Mickie James’ Impact Knockouts championship while announcing her for this year’s Rumble is so surprising and refreshing.
Another recent example of WWE acknowledging the greater pro wrestling world came last Friday (Jan. 21) during SmackDown’s show-opening promo segment between Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. Rollins not only brought up their old Shield brother, but he referred to the former Dean Ambrose by his current nickname, “Mox”.
There were some reports the script included Jon Moxley’s name, but based on what he told Alex McCarthy of talkSPORT, it sounds more like Seth’s call:
“It’s an just an easter egg, I think, for some of the fans that have enjoyed [The Shield] and stuck around, followed us for years and stuff like that.
“It would be very easy to tell the story of The Tribal Chief versus The Visionary, that’s a simple story and obvious for those who watch on a weekly basis but if you follow the industry and you pay attention and you know where we came from, you know there was a third guy in the mix.
“I’m not going to sit here and ignore that history, I’m going to bring that up because I think that’s important. And I think people who care about that appreciate it. It’s one of those things where it was on the tip of my tongue, it made sense, so it came.”
Rollins is right that fans appreciate not pretending the years of programming we’ve followed doesn’t exist just because a contract expired. And if you’re a new viewer, something like last Friday’s “Mox” name drop is probably just as likely to send you to Peacock to watch old Shield matches and angles as it is to get you to watch Dynamite.
Hard to see a downside. Let’s hope WWE gives us more “easter eggs” like that in the future. Or let’s their Superstars give them to us. Either way.