Photo Credit: James Musselwhite

Jon Moxley On What Went Wrong With His WrestleMania 32 Match Against Brock Lesnar

Pro Wrestling Torch editor Wade Keller had an extremely in-depth interview with Jon Moxley. In this extensive two-part conversation, the man once known as Ambrose goes into major detail about what went wrong in regards to his WrestleMania 32 match against Brock Lesnar. Moxley had countless ideas for what could make the match steal the show, but it was a combination of WWE higher-ups not listening or caring along with Brock not giving the match build enough attention that stifled the street fight showdown from being historic. Below is Moxley’s take on the matter with only several adjustments for clarity and conciseness.

“Well, like, I wish I had never said anything about it because now it’s just cause now I have to explain it, but now if you want the full story is when I wasn’t put the blame necessarily on Brock, so much as Vince and everybody else surrounding that situation cause there was no effort toward ending to the angle. By the time we got WrestleMania, the angle wasn’t hot anymore. I got that match because we did a three-way thing, we did a three-way for the number one contender with me, Roman and Brock that actually turned out awesome and there was a promo for it and I was like, kind of took it upon it to be like, ‘I’m gonna get up in Brock’s face, you know? What’s the worst that could happen?’ So I got all up in Brock’s face and I’m trying to portray to him that like, ‘Yeah you might be a suplex machine guy, but I might stab you. Like I might stick a pencil in your eye. You know, I bring a different dynamic as an opponent. You’re like obviously, physically a much different thing than me, but I might stab you’ kind of vibe. You know what I mean? So I’m up in his face and whatever and there’s like an electricity. Like the people are like “Oooo, this is interesting,” right? And I’m just doing that all on my own, this isn’t scripted right? But it got over and there was like an electricity between us, right? So now people want to see me and Brock. Cause I was supposed to work with Jericho and Bray was supposed to work with Brock.

“So I’m like, ‘I earned this match on my own merits. Me doing my thing my way made it to where like people wanted to see this match. So now I’ve earned the match. So now I’m like, ‘Yes! This is like my dream opponent, dream scenario, street fight.’ You can imagine how much effort and time and thought I put into this. This is my life.

“Now that they book it, now they’re writing it, now it becomes goofball city again. They got me doing a thing with Terry Funk where I’m chaining a chainsaw, as much as great as it was to do something with Terry Funk, where I’m chainsawing a table for some reason. Mick Foley is giving me his barbed wire bat that I’m never going to get to use, you know? And I was like, ‘Why can’t we use it?’ And they’re like, ‘Oh, blood!’ I’m like, ‘ugh.’ But also, like, I was also thinking in my head that I’m like, ‘They’re afraid to yell at Brock.’ So I’m like, ‘Maybe we get a little hard way juice?’ You know what I mean? I’m thinking like, ‘This is going to be cool.’ And I’m thinking Brock is probably thinking the same page as me like, ‘We’re gonna tear it up!’ I think he thought, I think he truly thought he was just doing me a favor, like me being in the ring with him was enough to like, do awesome things for me. I think that’s what he thought. He didn’t want to be there. In the weeks leading up, cause this is the thing it’s a street fight. It’s not like a match that you can just call in the ring. It’s a street fight at WrestleMania so we got to get stunts approved, set up. We gotta get the right props for table bumps or whatever stuff we’re gonna do, you know? And I pitched all this stuff to everybody, all the producers and I feel like I’m just getting ignored cause our match wasn’t important to any of the producers or writers or Vince. They gave me enough to give me the match, but they didn’t give me any help to make it a good angle, or like, make it like a hotter thing people want to see. I’m pitching we do this, can we do this? I’m ready to die in the ring. I’m not trying to put Brock through abuse, I’m trying to take the worst beating in the history of the world. Like, if he kills me, great, I’ll go down as a legend, you know? I was ready to do anything.

“But in the weeks leading up, the angle’s not good, Brock’s not even there half the time, we don’t do anything interesting. The week before, in the go-home, in Brooklyn, I carry a little red wagon to the ring and fill it with weapons. I go into Vince’s office, I’m mortified. Mortified. I’m like, ‘Yo, I’m going to face Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. Like I’m going to my death. Like, this is so serious and you got me dragging a little red wagon. Like, make me understand.’

“And he’s like, ‘Oh, it’s dead serious to you. You’re just going to drag that red wagon, you’re not even going to look at him. Just gonna drag the wagon out, put your weapons in, ‘I’ll see you at WrestleMania.” I couldn’t convince him otherwise so I’m like, ‘Okay.’ I tried to do it exactly the way he saw it and like, and I’m thinking (A) we’re in Brooklyn. I’m gonna walk out here with a little red wagon and they’re gonna laugh at me. And they’re gonna think I’m the guy who’s gonna beat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania?

“So I remember right after that segment I said to Brock, I was like, ‘Dude, I get to Dallas tomorrow. I don’t know, whenever you want to talk.’ I’m like, ‘Dude, whatever you need. Call me at midnight. I’ll come over.’ You know what I mean? And he just goes, ‘It’s gonna be okay. It’s gonna be okay. Just don’t worry about anything. It’s gonna be fine.’ Which made me kind of feel like okay, he’s got like a plan or something? So I’m like, ‘Okay, alright,’ you know?

“At WrestleMania you have like rehearsals. They have like rings in the hotel so you don’t have to do it on the day of, you know you like put together your match kinda, try stuff out. Cause everybody wants to steal the show at Mania, you put in maximum effort during the week. You have like scheduled rehearsal. We have one scheduled rehearsal at like 11 pm, Saturday night, the day before the show, at the stadium cause he never even came to the hotel. He didn’t get in to late Saturday night, so I’m like, ‘Oh, okay, whatever.’ You know what I mean? ‘That’s pretty late, but whatever.’ But we don’t even end up doing that. Cause he’s like, ‘We don’t need to do that.’ We have one conference call. Right? It’s like me, Michael Hayes, Jamie Noble, and Brock and Paul Heyman. It’s a conference call on Wednesday cause he’s not in Dallas yet and I’m just in Dallas just waiting and none of my ideas are approved yet, Brock hasn’t even heard any of my ideas cause he doesn’t care, hasn’t been around.

“I remember the night before this conference call, I wanted to run it all by Jamie Noble, the producer. One of the two producers on the match. So we meet up in like, we’re in the hotel in some kind of landing stairwell or something like above the bar or whatever you know at night and I’m like, “Dude, check it out.” And I lay out my ideas,you know? Whatever they were. And I was really trying to get thumbtacks approved and I had Vince, cause I texted him, “Can I have one thumbtack bump please?” and he said ‘Maybe’ with a smiley face. And I was like, ‘Yes! I’m gonna get it cause it’s gonna be the first thumbtack bump,’ I’m gonna take it, I’m not asking him to, but I was like ‘yeah.’ So whatever it was I had at the end I’m like, ‘Then finally, you know he can’t put me or whatever, he’s f-ckin’ F5ing the f-ckin’ thumbtack, whatever, I’m on his back and choking him and then he’s f-ckin’ puts in a f-ckin’ final F5 in the f-ckin’ thumbtacks and then f-ckin’ he doesn’t even bother covering me this time. He just f-ckin’ puts me in like a head and arm choke he gave Shane Carwin in f-ckin’ UFC and he just f-ckin’ chokes me out and my f-ckin’  arm’s up in the air and it’s starting to f-ckin’  fade, and then I f-ckin’ flip the bird and then it f-ckin’ slowly fades. My arm drops and he just chokes me to death. Like after putting me through the most f-ckin’ powerbombing me in f-ckin’ thumbtacks and F5ing me through f-ckin’ every f-ckin’ thing.’ You know, whatever. I don’t know if that was a good finish, whatever. He hated it.

“Like I even had an idea where I was like, ‘What if like for the weeks leading up to it I start ankle locking people?’ Like heel hooking people like Frank Mir did to him? Like I’m studying all his fights? And I was like, I live in Vegas, Frank Mir lives in Vegas. I was like, ‘I’ll even go to Frank Mir’s gym and we’ll do like a thing where he’s teaching me the way of the heel hook.’ You know? I had all these crazy ideas, you know this cool stuff, but nobody wanted to put any effort into it, except me. You know I was invisible for like that whole build-up in the weeks leading up to it, during the week. So we have this conference call, and I remember like I was telling you, I’m on the floor rolling around in like a kimura and stuff, explaining all this stuff to Jamie and Jamie’s like, ‘Dude I got goosebumps.’ He’s like, ‘This is going to be the greatest match ever…’ I was like, “I know this is going to be awesome.” So like the conference call comes, I lay it all, nobody says anything, I said, “Okay, here are all of my ideas.” And I give every idea I had for the past three weeks that nobody wants to listen to. Brock’s probably not even listening. And he just goes, “I mean I don’t think we need all that stuff. I mean, all that extra gimmicks and stuff. It’s just simple story. I mean, look, we go to Suplex City, then you get your hands on a weapon, you make a comeback.” And here’s the thing I kept saying throughout the weeks. I kept going, ‘What are the weapons?!’ And it was like, ‘Well you got a kendo and a chair.’ Can’t do any tables cause those stay for other people that are more important than my match. No stunts, no nothing, you know? So I’m like, ‘Oh, f-ck.’

“So I just keep hoping like the day of something’s gonna happen you know that’s awesome. So once we get out there it’ll be some magic. Cause we had like magic in the three-way we had before and the little promo we did you know, it was there. Now the angle’s a little goofy, but like something could happen, you know?

“I even pitched that he just elbows the shit out of me and busts me open and just does a doctor stoppage. The one he did the same thing with Randy at Summer Slam? So I was like, ‘That would be cool. And you couldn’t say that there was blood because you immediately stop the match.’ You know? And maybe like I get up and I f-ckin’ flip him off and he comes out and F5s me again, I look like a hero, I don’t know. Something.

“So like, day of the show, I get there at like 11 am. He doesn’t show up to like 3 o’clock. We have not talked about any of this match. 3 o’clock. Show starts at like five, we’re like fourth. Starts talking about stuff, he keeps walking away, talking to other people, he’s not very interested, doesn’t really want to be there it seems, you know. This is the most important match of my life, you know? Everybody at WrestleMania wants to show up and steal the show. There are people on that show that night that I know have been literally rehearsing their match for a month like at the Performance Center. Because you should show up to WrestleMania to want to f-ckin’ steal the show. I was like, ‘Dude! We have the opportunity! We have a street fight! We can do anything! I’ll take any bump you want! Literally, I’m begging you to f-ckin’ kill me! Please! Powerbomb me into thumbtacks a hundred times!’ ‘Uh, we don’t need all that, uh.’ Like he did not have the mentality of trying to steal the show at all. Did not give a shit.

“We start talking about the match in earnest for the first time while like the second match is going on. I think it was a ladder match. And we’re fourth. And we don’t have a finish. He doesn’t want me to kick out of multiple F5s and at WrestleMania, everybody kicks out of  five F5s cause he only does Germans and F5s, you know? So I’m throwing stuff out there you know what I mean? At the last minute. Stuff that’s coming to my head.

“It’s like pulling f-ckin’ teeth. Like he turned down everything. By the end, I’m just throwing out every f-ckin’ stupid idea, you know. So we put together a little f-ckin’ sequence. We put together a finish. Maybe I’ll grab the barbed wire but you duck and you throw me into a pile of chairs, which is not even that good. That’s just wrong. That’s not WrestleMania.

“I was like banging my head against the wall, like screaming at everybody for weeks it felt like. It felt like I was invisible. The main reason is, I wasn’t the most important match on the show. I was like the sixth most, I basically not important at all. As long as the Brock’s on the show, Brock’s good. Like, other matches were more important. Whatever else was on the show that night, you know. I was just like, they didn’t give a shit.”

On seeing the Shane McMahon vs. Undertaker match later that evening:

“They put in so much effort. These guys wanted to steal the show and I’m like, ‘We mailed it in.’ I’m not gonna be on WrestleMania again, you know? I can say that pretty confidently. After having conversations like this and me and Brock, dude, we could have so easily stole the show, you know? All we would have had to do was put in a little f-ckin’ bit of effort.”

(Transcription credit should go to @DominicDeAngelo of WrestleZone.)

Part one of the interview audio is below and so are links listen to the full audio are below:

Listen to “WKPWP – Interview – Jon Moxley a/k/a Dean Ambrose (pt 1 of 2): Follow-up to podcast with Jericho talking WWE creative process, more (6-1-19)” on Spreaker.