In the first installment of his two-part interview on Chris Jericho's "Talk Is Jericho" podcast, WWE's Dean Ambrose speaks somewhat candidly about his work in the company, offering some noteworthy criticism of WWE's practice of scripting promos.
"A lot of guys come out and they do the exact same thing, are in the exact same mood and have the exact same entrance every night… I really just make up a lot of crap as I go along," said Ambrose. "The first time that somebody handed me a sheet of paper with a promo on it, it was like a 'throw up in your mouth' kind of moment. And it's not like their fault, you know? It's not the writers' fault. But if was my world, there would be no written promos, there'd be no scripts… That wouldn't be a thing."
Ambrose said that he prefers to work off the cuff without a script and in situations where he might have a line or two figured out or otherwise mentally prepare for a promo without laying it all out in advance.
Regarding in-ring promos—including his own—Ambrose was especially critical.
"I think there's too many in-ring promos now. I hate in–ring promos," Ambrose said. "I've never done a promo in WWE that I liked. I've never been like, 'That was a good promo' once in WWE and I've done a fair amount… Anytime, even if I change it a little to where I'm like, 'Okay, I like it. Is it cool if I do this?'…But there's always like, 'Okay, make sure that you hit on this and make sure you say this and use this term… Say pay-per-view instead of special event' or something… You know if there's one of those little things in there, then it's ruined for me."
Asked if Vince McMahon has given him any specific feedback regarding his work, Ambrose said that hardly anyone has given him feedback the past few months and that he's been left to his own devices. He said this is a good thing and Jericho agreed that it's something of a compliment that WWE gives him free reign to work in his own style.
"I think Vince—I think particularly with me—he finds certain things where he's living vicariously or acting out certain impulses," he explained. "Because he'll be like, 'I want you to say you'll rip his face off' or 'I want you to take this mannequin and chop his hand off…' and he's really into it."
Further discussing the mannequin promo, Ambrose said he worked it out with Vince in Vince's office and Vince asked him what kind of things he'd do to the mannequin and Dean said he'd mention chopping its "balls" off. Then he asked Vince if he could say "balls" and Vince told him to use the word "testicles" instead.
Jericho asked Ambrose about his pre-Shield work and Ambrose recalled starting in May 2011, explaining that he'd started in FCW and missed the chance to do work in NXT, except for a preliminary event that was never filmed or released. He said that Joey Mercury was one of first people to talk to him about working for WWE but that his first call was from company executive Ty Bailey.
"I just woke up and I got a phone call for a number I didn't recognize and for some reason, I just picked it up," he said. Ambrose said he was skeptical and thought maybe a friend was pranking me. "I said, 'Yeah, great. Sounds great. Be a big star. I'll come down to WWE and rock the territory. He hangs up and I'm like, 'Okay.' I completely no-sold it. …And then a little while later I got a call from (then-FCW trainer) Joey Mercury …and I knew that he was down there and it was like 'OHHH!'" He said he had to take some time and process the call so he could really fathom what was happening.
Ambrose also talked about his days in CZW, sharing that his character name "Jon Moxley" came from combining his first name (Jon) with a last name that was provided to him at the last minute during an early match as an indy worker. Ambrose said that Cody Hawk, who still trains wrestlers in Southeastern Ohio, was tremendously influential on his early work in the business.
He also shared that he's been largely happy working for WWE, saying that it's just fine with him to get a paycheck every week for wrestling.
The interview was recorded during WWE's recent tour of Europe. You can hear the entire episode at this link. Part two of Ambrose on Jericho's podcast went live today.