On the week of his book release, Jon Moxley made an appearance on the Talk Is Jericho podcast to discuss writing a book for the first time with Chris Jericho. Moxley noted that there is a lot more positive viewpoints on WWE than negative, and he reflected on the early days of The Shield in 2012.
“The early days of Shield were wild because the company was different. It was a different environment,” Moxley stated. “The locker rooms were different. You were there so you know, and a lot of people didn’t like us. I remember, actually, you were one of the first guys — we did a random as six-man with you early early early. We just started wearing the SWAT gear. We were still wearing heavy ass boots and busting people’s lips, flipping sh*t. We did a random six-man with you, and Sheamus and somebody.
“It was the first time we ever worked together, and afterward you were like, ‘Man, you guys are really freaking good. You guys are right there. You’re in the pocket. You guys hit hard. You guys look like Japanese, you can keep the pace up. You guys are freakin’ good. You were one of the first guys who was not mad at us for being there. Everybody else was really intimidated by our presence, but you were like, ‘Nah, these guys are good,’ and then it wasn’t long before everybody started wanting to work with us because we had such good matches.
“People were protective of their stuff. It was a less welcoming environment back then. Some new group coming in, they’re gonna beat everybody up. People are like, ‘Who the hell are these guys? They’re nobodies,’ because we were complete nobodies. It wasn’t like we were big stars from NXT. We’re complete nobodies, and we’re coming in beating up Undertaker and The Rock, so people are like, ‘Who the hell are these guys? They’re not gonna do it to me,’ and we’re like, ‘Yeah we are.’ I thought that was a thing people were really gonna want to read about. The whole Shield story is in there.”
All three members of The Shield have held the WWE Championship at least one time. At Money in the Bank 2016, each member did hold the title. Seth Rollins defeated Roman Reigns to become the new WWE Champion, and then Moxley cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase he had won earlier in the night to leave the PPV as WWE Champion. Moxley talked about what that moment meant for The Shield.
“That’s all in there too. We were like, screw you, we’re gonna take this over, and if people disagreed with that, on one night, all three of us were the world champion,” Moxley said. “I think that tells you everything you need to know. We were right. We were right, so screw you. That tied up a whole two-year story arc, which was really cool. That really is a stamp of we were right. We did exactly what we said we were going to do, and now we’re all doing pretty good.”
On that night, Moxley emerged from under the ring and attacked Rollins from behind with the briefcase. Moxley explained why added in details of what it was like waiting under the ring in his book.
“People don’t know every WWE show you watch there’s a guy under the ring at all times because he’s there to fix the boards,” Moxley revealed. “He’s there all the time. He just hangs out. He’s got a monitor, got a headset. He’s chilling. I had a few rules. Some of them are I’ll keep trade secrets, proprietary secrets, as far as this book, but one of my rules was okay, don’t just recap anything that happens on TV because I feel like a lot of wrestling books are like that.
“They just start out I was born here, and then I did this, and then this, and then when they get to the wrestling part, they’re like, then I wrestled so and so at this pay-per-view, then I wrestle so and so at this pay-per-view, and the next month we did a ladder match. And I’m like, we already saw that. That was all on TV. That’s exactly what I was not going to do. My rule was if it happened on TV, you already saw it, or if I already told the story a million times in a podcast, whether it be your podcast or somebody else, or I’ve told in an interview a million times, I’m not just gonna recap stories everybody’s already heard. I’m trying to give all new information.
“So with the thing under the ring, obviously, people saw that story play out on TV, but I tell the story if I can give it from a different perspective. Either tell you the stuff you didn’t know that was going on behind the scenes. For example, being under the ring. You’re seeing the same story but from a totally different perspective. That was kind of one of my rules. There’s so many cool things about this business, cool stuff you get to do and see. A lot of fans, all they see is what’s on TV, but there’s so much cool stuff. There’s so many cool stories that go on behind that people don’t know. So that was kind of the stuff I wanted to bring out.”
Moxley later discussed one of his other rules when writing his book involving pictures and the cover of the book. In the process, he revealed what Vince McMahon didn’t like about The Shield’s initial look.
“That was another one of my rules was whatever any other wrestling book does do the exact opposite,” Moxley said. “So every other wrestling book goes on a linear story. I’m going to go into a nonlinear story. Every other wrestling book has the color insert in the middle, no color insert in the middle. It’s all black and white. There’s color in the front and the back, which are really cool pictures, but there’s just kind of pictures throughout. That was definitely a conscious decision. Getting pictures was hard, man. That was one of the harder things.
“I figured it’d be really easy because I don’t have any access to WWE pictures, and I didn’t want to call them or anything like that. Getting a picture of The Shield was really hard. We had a few photographers who had pictures of The Shield that they owned that were at shows but none of them were any good. I was looking for that one definitive picture, and I just couldn’t find it. I guess I’m giving a spoiler for the book, but hopefully won’t make any difference. I was like, okay, you know what, screw it. If we can’t find an acceptable picture of The Shield, everybody reading this book knows what The Shield looks like.
“They know who frickin Roman Reigns looks like. They know what I look like. They know what The Shield look like. They already know. We don’t need to show them a picture of it. I went screw it, we’ll go the opposite direction. We won’t have a picture of The Shield. I found like my one old SWAT vest they had and a pair of boots a The Shield mask that we wore for big shows that Vince hated, even though we would have sold millions of them. We had these cool Sub Zero ninja masks. We busted them out at WrestleMania, and we looked cool as f*ck, I’m not gonna lie.
“The next night Vince was just furious. He’s like, ‘They can’t see your faces! Get rid of the masks!’ And the merchandise guys were mortified. They’re like, ‘They’re already coming up with designs. We’re gonna sell millions of these.’ Vince was like, ‘No, you can’t see their faces!’ We did it in Australia again just to piss him off, and we didn’t tell him, like years later, and boy, they got pissed again. Vince just hated those masks. So I put my Shield gear, basically, on the floor of my garage and lit it in a artistic, stylistic way, and that’s the only picture of The Shield, just a picture of my old gear.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.