In an insightful interview with The Messenger, Jon Moxley, formerly known as Dean Ambrose in WWE, opened up about his decision to exit WWE and the influence of All Elite Wrestling (AEW) on that choice. Moxley's WWE journey concluded in a rather unorthodox manner.
In January 2019, WWE made the rare move of announcing that Dean Ambrose would not renew his contract set to expire in April. Ambrose had been a part of WWE's main roster since November 2012, leaving a legacy as a former WWE Champion and as one-third of The Shield, arguably WWE's most impactful faction.
During his tenure as Dean Ambrose, Moxley achieved significant accolades including secondary titles and was an integral part of The Shield alongside Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. All three members have had stellar solo careers, further etching the faction's name in WWE history.
As Ambrose's WWE stint reached its conclusion, fans were treated to multiple Shield reunions, including a WWE Network special as a heartfelt send-off.
Jon Moxley AEW Impact
Moxley's AEW debut at the Double or Nothing pay-per-view in May 2019 set the wrestling world ablaze.
He interfered in the main event, attacking Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho, thereby establishing his presence as a cornerstone in AEW. But would Moxley have still left WWE if AEW hadn’t been around? "I was gone one way or another," Moxley revealed.
"I was ready to take off the mask, step away from TV, and wrestle anonymously in a parking lot in Mexico if that's what it took to rediscover my passion for wrestling." For Moxley, leaving WWE felt like being "released from jail," as he was deeply dissatisfied with his creative direction at the time.
“Whether AEW existed or not, my path would've been similar," Moxley explained. "You might have found me wrestling in Japan or at indie promotions like Revolver. My departure was never contingent on AEW’s emergence”.
It's been over a month since Moxley's last AEW appearance due to a severe concussion. However, he has been medically cleared for in-ring action, indicating that fans won't have to wait much longer for his return. This candid interview sheds new light on Moxley’s decision to leave WWE and adds another layer to his evolving legacy. Whether or not AEW was in the picture, it appears that Moxley was determined to forge his own destiny.