One of the many things in Jon Moxley’s explosive tell-all interview that stuck with people was that he received just $500 for his last WWE appearance. The WWE created a Network special on Moxley and The Shield having their last match but Moxley’s bonus pay was shockingly low to many.
“Routinely, they will pay you $500 for a show and not explain it to you and not explain to you that there isn’t anything you can do about it. It’s the way the system is set up and you don’t have a voice or power, or access to numbers,” revealed Ryback. “So, when he says it, I think it is great because when he left there he left there at the top. He was working at the top for a long period of time where you’re just like, holy s**t, that’s the way it really is? It’s like, yes.
“Not everybody that says it is bitter or angry, people are telling the facts all along. He just said it on a platform. That whole special was centered towards him leaving the company so how can you justify paying him where this guy, who they are making money off of him from the Network and everything, and they end up paying him $500? You don’t get paid anything from the Network or of that nature so there’s a lot of problems there. It doesn’t mean I hate them but there is a lot of f***ing problems. It’s nice to see somebody else speak up on it and he is confidently allowed to because he will be able to make a lot of money from the other place so everything will be fine.”
Moxley had departed WWE and already made his AEW debut when the interview with Chris Jericho took place, so he had no repercussions from WWE. Ryback weighed in on if anything would change in WWE if more people spoke up about their unhappiness.
“I think they’re going to have to. Let’s use the women’s evolution as an example. That was all Vince McMahon’s creation as far as how women were used the entire time,” Ryback said of the Divas era and prior. “That was all their fault; they were the ones booking all of that. Then they realized where we can do this and it’ll look really good for us business-wise and can make a lot of money doing this and we will end up being perceived as the heroes in all this situation so it’s going to be the same thing. They are probably already trying to figure out a way to do something to try to make it look like it was their idea all along and they always wanted to do this.”
Ryback then criticized WWE for their schedule which keeps talent on the road more so than at home. He said he would ideally work 2-3 times a week and that AEW’s more accommodating schedule will be appealing to wrestlers.
“So, I think if AEW does everything right and put a solid game plan in place once their TV starts where they have 1-2 live events. They have a TV product every week, throw in a pay per view there occasionally and the money is pretty good, I think more and more guys are going to look at them and say that this is what I want,” stated Ryback. “They will be the new No. 1 for pro wrestlers to want to go there. That was like WCW. People would want to go there because the schedule was really good and the money was good, or close to what WWE was paying. And if AEW can start getting some big names that can blend in with that roster and start setting everything in place full blown, I’m telling you WWE has to be concerned. If guys are being treated better by guys over there WWE will have no choice but to adjust because they are going to need the performers.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Conversations with the Big Guy Ryback with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.