On the first episode of AEW Unrestricted, AEW referee Aubrey Edwards and broadcaster Tony Schiavone welcomed Jon Moxley. Moxley talked about his first match after leaving WWE with Juice Robinson where he won the IWGP United States Championship. He described the experience as him waking up after a long nap.
"I thought it was gonna be this long rehabilitation process for myself. I was like, 'do I even know how to wrestle anymore?'. It all came back so quickly like almost like I had been asleep for years and I woke up out of a nap," Moxley said. "It really is a totally different guy who was in jail. 'Oh Jon's out of jail. Cool. Sweet. He's back.' It's hard to even explain. The first match I had was in Japan, and I remember it was the second to last on the show. It was a big match. It was a debut match. First match for New Japan which is the biggest company over there.
"I'm following Hiroshi freakin' Tanahashi who's like the John Cena of Japan. He's on right before me so I'm like this is a tall order. I just couldn't picture what I was gonna do or how I was gonna wrestle. I couldn't picture it, so I was like, 'OK, I'm just gonna empty my mind of everything and just not have any expectations: not go out there and try hard to be something because people can see you do that if you try to be something that you're not.' I don't wanna try too hard to be something new or whatever. I'm just gonna relax. I remember before that match I was really calm because looking at the situation I should be so nervous right now.
"I remember joking about it. I was so remarkably calm right now. I think it's [because] I had already given up everything. There was nothing left to lose. What's the worst that could happen? In my mind, I'm like, 'I think the whole world thinks I suck already so I'm like I don't know screw it. Whatever happens happens.' Then two minutes into the match, all these little gears in my brain start clicking, and I'm like beating the holy hell out of my opponent, a guy named Juice Robinson.
"I couldn't ask for a better opponent right off the bat than him. It's just this wild fight. There's blood. I'm like beating the hell out of him. There's like an energy in the building. It was like it all came back to me. I'm like, 'oh yeah, this is how I used to wrestle all the time. This is what I naturally do.' If you just throw me out there with no plan, this is what happens. I'm like, 'oh this feels so good.' It was like stretching my legs for the first time in years."
Moxley talked about the reaction to the match like he was back. He also praised the diverse AEW roster and the different kinds of matches he can have with them.
"The response we got after in the building and when I got to the back, it was like, 'I'm f--king back. I'm back. Here we go. I'm off to the races.' It's been continually like that ever since getting to wrestle all these different great opponents like that are in this crazy roster of AEW," Moxley said. "It's like a smorgasbord of different styles. I'm just having the time of my life. I'm just waiting for something bad to happen for the wheels to fall off."
In the podcast, Moxley talked about how there was a time in his life where he hit rock bottom. He talked about when he could not get booked and felt like quitting the wrestling business. He said that the first half of 2019 was felt like exactly like that time, but the second half of 2019 was a big turnaround for him.
"Last year was a really up-and-down year. I started 2019 off at the absolutely lowest I'd been probably since that period in 2007 that I was describing earlier where I just couldn't get booked anywhere. That's probably the only other point that was as low from a purely professional standpoint," Moxley said. "Started off as low as you possibly can get. Had some ups and downs trying to navigate those last few months there without anything bad happening because I kept thinking that something bad was gonna happen. No way this is gonna end amicably. I was so nervous just got to get to the finish line without anything bad happening, and I did. Then I had a little bit of time off. Then Double or Nothing.
"So, it went from starting the year off at the absolute [lowest] to Double or Nothing is about as high as you can get. Then right into Japan like as high as you can get to Full Gear as high as you can get. There's all these great moments, but also, then I had a couple of injuries. I had to get surgery. That pulled me right back down. When I had to pull out of the All Out pay-per-view, I was gutted. I never really had to pull out of a match before that, not that I can think of. It was such a big match. We sold so many tickets so fast. I was like, 'oh god.' This recurring, nagging thing. It was a WWE injury. It felt like it had been following me. I felt like WWE got the last laugh."
Moxley also said that 2020 has been good for him so far. He hopes that 2020 will be filled with more positives for him in his career.
"2020, so far, is really good. It might end up being the best year of my career. Started out the year with a good match with Trent on New Year's Day," Moxley said. "Somehow I wasn't hungover on New Year's Day.
"[Had] successful trips to Japan. [I had a] good match with Sammy Guevara and Darby Allin. [I'm] just having fun with a big pay per view coming up. Last year was crazy highs and lows. Hopefully this year, let's stay high baby."
Schiavone asked Moxley about his relationship with WWE broadcaster Renee Young. Their relationship has been documented on Total Divas, and Moxley expressed positivity about his relationship with his wife despite the both of them working with different companies.
"It's pretty good. We're a true power couple. Our household got revenue streams coming from Fox, WWE, AEW, New Japan [and] all other projects. We go wherever we want. My wife came to the Tokyo Dome the other day," Moxley said. "I'd walk to Monday Night RAW backstage if I wanted to. Nobody would say nothing. No, I'm just kidding. I would never do that.
"We kind of surpass any bullc--p kind of thing. She's such a valuable asset there, and her career is on the ups. She's got big stuff coming, and whatever her ultimate goals are, whether they lie on wrestling or outside of it, she'll be going after that super hardcore, and I'll be right behind her. She's been super behind me throughout this whole thing."
Moxley continued to talk about the support he has gotten from his wife during the time where he was going to let his contract with WWE expire. He also joked about Young quitting her career to just be with him. He also joked about Young getting a job on the Today show which would allow him to let go and relax.
"I remember New Year's Eve that year I was just sitting there getting all surly and miserable and was going like, 'not even gonna re-sign just go to Japan.' She's like, 'good. Go. Do it.' I was like, 'good. Maybe I will.' That was her attitude, but with all that being said, it'd be so much easier if she was here. It'd just make my life so much easier. Maybe she should just drop all her career aspirations and follow me around while I do wrestling.
"That's not gonna happen. She's a woman in power; a woman in charge. I'm hoping she gets the Today show, one of those types of gigs. I might move to New York. Then I can truly check out and just get fat. That's the ultimate goal: she gets the Kelly Ripa gig, and she can be my sugar mama. I'll just do a random indie show once a year, and I'll look like Arn Anderson."
You can listen to the podcast by clicking here. If you use any quotes from this article, please credit AEW Unrestricted with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.