Yesterday saw AEW's Jon Moxley speak with Cincy 360 ahead of this week's episode Dynamite, which goes down in his Cincinnati, Ohio hometown, with his promotion's current success an inevitable topic of conversation.
The former AEW World Champion offered the following comments on AEW's current run and latest crop of roster additions, attributing much of the success to authenticity (h/t Fightful for the transcription):-
"It's cool. It's crazy to see when this was all just an idea a few years ago. Tony Khan sitting at my kitchen table and being like, 'We're going to have real TV and real touring.' 'Really?' It seemed almost unrealistic. To take a gamble to come here and be like, 'If you guys are doing that, I want to be part of it. Maybe we'll fall flat on our face and we'll all look stupid and this will be a big disaster, but if it's successful it would be really cool because that's what wrestling needs.' Looking at it two and a half years later, I don't think we could have imagined it going any better. I've talked a lot of crap about what I think sucks in wrestling. I think characters should be authentic and I don't like hokey crap or scripts and writers. I'll never read a script for the rest of my life, bet your ass on that. A guy like Eddie Kingston is Eddie Kingston 24/7. He finishes his cigarette, walks into the building, and it's the same guy. There is no 'put-on' character going on here. That's what wrestling should be. Letting guys be themselves and having their own creativity whether they are Orange Cassidy or a crazy high-flying team like the Young Bucks who think up the most ridiculous and action-packed sequences.
Moxley went on, giving his take on what Vince McMahon's likely reaction to the current AEW product would be, contrasting this with the crowd reactions:-
"No one is trying to tone each other down or say, 'that's too much.' Vince McMahon would watch a lot of AEW matches and say, 'That's garbage. They're not selling. Slow it down. It's crap.' Blood and guts or whatever, but he wouldn't be paying attention to the 15,000 people going nuts. I feel vindicated. I said a lot about how I felt wrestling should be that's what AEW was going to do and that's what we did. Now, look where we are. Now, I'm going to have a bit of a flex."
McMahon's infamous "blood and guts" comment in July 2019 led to Tony Khan's promotion filing a trademark for "AEW Blood and Guts" that November, eventually hosting the titular event in May 2021. The two sides have never been shy of throwing barbs at each other either, with Moxley's 2019 Talk is Jericho interview one of the most incendiary volleys of criticism ever launched WWE's way.
That Vince would hold the opinions expressed above is believable, too. WWE and AEW strive to create different products. Where AEW aims to produce high-level pro wrestling, WWE President and Chief Revenue Officer Nick Khan commented in April that "we don't use that word around here," putting his company over as a media group first and foremost.
Moxley faces Japanese legend Minoru Suzuki on Dynamite tonight.