Jon Moxley’s first ever book, MOX, is out this week, and he went on Talk Is Jericho to discuss the book with Chris Jericho. Moxley mentioned how the idea of writing a book came to him, and he revealed that WWE had wanted him to write a book. He also revealed which current AEW star convinced him to not write the book at that time.
“I didn’t even come up with the idea. That’s how a lot of stuff is with me,” Moxley pointed out. “Anytime I’ve done a movie, it’s not like, ‘Oh, I want to go be an actor.’ No, somebody just said, ‘Hey, you want to do a movie?’ And I said, ‘Sure. Okay.’ All I ever wanted to be was a wrestler. That’s all I really want to be. That’s all I really care about, but other stuff comes to you and you go, ‘Hey, I’ll I’ll try it out.’ So it was this chick, Amanda — damn you, Amanda, for doing this to me. She’s from the publishing company.
“It’s a small publishing company, and I wanted to go with a small publishing company if I was going to do it because I wanted to have full control. I don’t want a big corporate thing. I don’t want to fight with anybody. The whole thing feels like a very DIY project. I found my own photographer, I wrote every single word of this myself. This is the least edited book of all time. Actually, they wanted me to write a book in WWE. They asked me to, like one of their WWE books, and I was like, ‘Ah, I don’t know, man. I’m not a former president or anything, man. Nobody needs to hear my story. I’m not that interesting,’ and they put a bunch of money on the table.
“And I was like, ‘Ah, maybe,’ so they talked to me with this ghostwriter guy. I didn’t know how the process worked. I was like, ‘I don’t have time to write a book. I’m on the road 300 days a year.’ So the guy talks to me, he’s like, ‘Yeah, basically, I’ll just ride around with you and follow you, and you just tell me stories and I’ll put them into words.’ And it made me so uncomfortable, and I was like, ‘I don’t know, man. If I was going to tell my story, I would tell it my way,’ but I kind of felt some pressure.
“And then I remember I actually asked Bryan Danielson, who’d written a WWE book, which was good, I thought. And I was like, ‘Yo, if you could go back in time, would you do that book?’ And he said no instantly. He’s like, ‘It wasn’t exactly how I wanted it to be,’ and I was like, that’s all I needed to hear. That’s what my instinct was telling me, so I told them no, and they’re like, ‘Really?’ And it was a lot of money on the table, but I was just like, ‘No, it makes me feel really uncomfortable. I don’t want to do it, so I’m not doing it.’ And that was it.”
Moxley said that he wanted to the book to be in the format of a journal you would find in a basement with a collection of his thoughts describing it as a “dirty book.” He discussed his process of writing his book.
“I wrote the whole thing on a Notes app on my wife’s MacBook, which I can’t operate at all,” Moxley admitted. “If I’m gonna be on a computer, I need to be on a ’90s computer with a mouse, like from computer lab. This MacBook, I literally couldn’t operate one function of this thing except the Notes app because I could just type it, and press the button, and send it on my email. So anytime something weird would pop up, I would have to be like, ‘Renee! I don’t know how to fix this!’ She would come down, fix it for me. It was written on a Notes app. It’s as dirty as can be.”
MOX contains a lot of fun sections, like Moxley’s thoughts on sandwiches as well as marriage tips he offers. There are also some dark moments from Moxley’s life in there as well, and Jericho asked Moxley if he found any type of closure revisiting those dark moments in his life.
“There’s a definite catharsis to it,” Moxley said. “There’s some stuff you would have never thought about again, but then, when you go back and kind of explore it, you see it differently because now you’re a grown up. Some of the stuff you laugh at yourself, and you go, that’s hilarious that that’s what my mindset was at the time and some of the stuff you understand better, or you understand somebody else’s perspective better where you go, oh, and it kind of makes it easier.
“Then all sudden, you’re like, oh, I’ve been carrying around that baggage but I don’t need to. It’s stupid, but it kind of forces you to kind of introspect. So that’s a really cool kind of byproduct of it. I put that off (the Danny Havoc chapter) until very, very — that happened during this whole process, and Brodie too, so both of them. I don’t want to give spoilers to the book, but obviously, they’re both in the book. With the Brodie one, that’s an example of one that I told them don’t touch a single thing.
“No editing. If there’s a period or comma, you have to, whatever, but anything that’s timestamped, like, Miami 3:22 p.m., Jericho’s dressing room. I wrote it one time, however, it maybe took 15 minutes, maybe took an hour or whatever. They’re like journal entries. Anything that’s timestamped with the location and time code, that’s not messed with at all. I told them, don’t mess with it one iota, even if it doesn’t make any sense to you. There’s one of them where they started kind of changing stuff around because they didn’t think it made sense, and I was like, no, no, you’re messing it up.
“I was like, yeah, it reads terrible, but that’s the place I was in at that exact moment. If I met the Marriott at 4:02 p.m. and this is what I was thinking and feeling the night before a pay-per-view or something, that’s exactly how I want it to play out, so you get exactly what was going through my mind and exactly how it came out. It’s not changed at all, but I was still in a state of shock during the Brodie one. So it was really weird. I put off the talking about Danny Havoc until like, the end. I put it off because I was like, I don’t even want to get into this because it’s gonna suck to get into it. That was maybe the last thing I wrote, but there’s a lot of lighter fare.”
Moxley has been very open and honest about the negative parts of his WWE run. He explained why he did not want his book to focus on those negative aspects of his WWE career.
“That’s another factor of it too because I definitely didn’t want this to be, or what I was afraid they were gonna want it to be, or I was afraid maybe people were gonna expect it to be a bitter, b**ching about WWE book,” Moxley said. “I’m not even bothered doing that. Not interested in that at all, but also, I’m gonna tell you the truth. You get my exact thoughts and feelings about how I feel about what goes on there, and how their process works and all that. I’m gonna hit you with it very bluntly, but I’m not gonna focus on any negativity.
“There’s probably a month I lost of writing about stuff, WWE related, where I was like, I feel like I have to put this in because I feel like that’s what people are gonna expect or want, and I just hated it all. I was like, I don’t like this. I don’t like reading this. Maybe there’s somebody out there who just loves trashing WWE, and they love dirt and they want to hear about this. I don’t like it. I canned it all.
“I just deleted it all, just starting over. So with WWE, mostly, I tried to hit on a little bit of everything, but I mostly focused on the good stuff, and there’s a lot of good stuff. It hit me where I was like, okay, this book is about who I am. This book is not about who I’m not. I might give you some thoughts, some feelings about some stuff. Basically, it will focus on the good stuff and who I am.”
Jericho and Moxley pointed out how many wrestling books can be about a wrestler taking shots at other people and still holding grudges over things that happened decades ago. Moxley discussed what his goal for the book was.
“I was thinking, if I die tomorrow, if I get hit by a bus, this is going to be the final record of my life,” Moxley noted. “So I want people to know who I was, the good, and the bad, and the ugly, but I don’t want to focus on anything stupid that’s not worth my time. That I’m not even worried about anymore. I don’t know why I would bother writing about it. I think it hits on a little bit of everything about every time period of my life. There’s probably more WWE in it, honestly, than AEW because AEW is kind of currently going on, so I’m kind of experiencing it now. I don’t want to say it brought some closure, but it kind of puts a pin on the WWE run very nicely. That’s over and moving on, and it was all great and everything, and now life is good and we move on.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.