WWE’s developmental system, which has evolved from FCW to NXT, develops talent inside and outside the ring. They don’t just work on improving a wrestler’s abilities, as they also work on improving their physiques, their promo skills, and even their social skills.
Jon Moxley was someone who, admittedly, needed that social development to reach the level he’s at today. He talked more about some early social encounters he had in WWE when he joined his wife’s podcast, Oral Sessions with Renee Paquette.
“When [The Shield] first started doing meet and greets, we were in FCW, an island literally of nobodies; nobody knew who we were. The group I was with, we were from the equivalent of a farm system in wrestling in Florida. We were nobodies. Nobody knew who we were. We were making gas money, came upon the scene in a matter of months later. All of a sudden, we’re the fu–ing Backstreet Boys,” said Moxley.
“We were like a boy band. We were going to malls and chicks are going crazy. I’m meeting all these people, and I didn’t know how to talk to people. It was very weird to me. People were like, ‘Oh my God, I love you so much!’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t know you. Thank you.’ I didn’t know to behave in a scenario.
“Being in WWE kind of helped me learn better social skills. I learned how to talk to people I don’t know, especially in these Make-A-Wishes, these people are shy. You have to make these good experiences with them. I learned how to be a person in the public eye. It took actual work. It’s like, a skill to develop.”
Moxley grew up in Cincinnati and he admittedly had a rough upbringing. His family didn’t have lots of money and he dropped out of high school to pursue a career in wrestling. Even when he finally made it in WWE and earned a huge paycheck, Moxley’s mindset never changed from when he was poor and didn’t have any money.
He talked with Renee about not really knowing what to do with all the money he made in WWE, and why he isn’t one to live lavishly.
“When I was doing my taxes in WWE, because you’re an independent contractor ? which is not true ? you’re a fu–ing employee. So, you have to pay your taxes. In the developmental first couple of years, I didn’t make that much money. I was able to do them myself on TurboTax,” revealed Moxley.
“When I had been on WWE for a while and working on a bunch of different states, I started to make more money and taxes became more confusing. So, I look up an accountant; I didn’t know s–t. I only had a bank account for two years. So, I find my accountant and financial advisor, I walk into their office, and I explain my situation. They asked what do I want to do with my future.
“I said, ‘Well, I’m finally making some money now. I don’t know when this is going to end. This could end tomorrow, so I just want to save as much as humanly possible.’ So then, in five years, if this all goes to s–t, I’m good.
“That was my plan when I just started to make a little money in WWE. I was going to hoard it and save it because this could end at any moment. Went up, and had really nice, long run. Went over five years, but I still have that same mentality. I don’t ever want to depend on anyone else for a paycheck if that was the case.”
Moxley is among the highest-paid talents in AEW, but that apparently hasn’t changed his mentality about possibly losing it all tomorrow. Renee asked him if he still worries about being poor again.
“Yes, that’s why I don’t like to spend money,” stated Moxley.
“Even in WWE, when you first walk away with potentially a lot of zeros on it, the fiscal responsibility to your family of, ‘Is this irresponsible of what I’m doing? Is it selfish?’ Yes, so always on my mind is saving, being frugal, and not all of a sudden trying to become something that I’m not.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Oral Sessions with Renee Paquette with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.
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