Jon Moxley stars in Cagefighter: World Collide, a film about about a pro wrestler who crosses over to the world of mixed martial arts. Cagefighter premieres (outside the United States) Saturday night, May 16th at FITE.TV.
We had a chance to speak with the AEW World Champion last week. Moxley spoke about a wide range of topics, including his experience working on Cagefighter and whether or not AEW should sign some of the 20+ wrestlers recently released by WWE.
Moxley also spoke about wrestling with no crowds and cinematic matches. The Ace of AEW wrestled Jake Hager in an empty arena last month on Dynamite. We asked Mox about what it was like to practice his craft in such a different environment than he’s used to. This prompted him to tell a great story about some advice he got from the late all-time legend, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.
Below, check out Jon Moxley’s comments about wrestling with no audience, cinematic matches and valuable advice he got from “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. His comments about Piper come at the 1:38 mark.
Roddy Piper’s Advice for Jon Moxley
Jon Moxley enjoyed a good relationship with WWE Hall of Famer “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, a master of pro wrestling psychology. Moxley already had a lengthy career under his belt by the time he worked with Piper in WWE, but there were still some lessons to learn from the master.
“You know Rowdy Roddy Piper told me once, I had a pretty good relationship with him,” he began. “One time he came to like a Smackdown or something? I can’t remember exactly how he phrased it, but I was out there wrestling; I did something and I was just kind of soaking in the adulation of the crowd or playing to the crowd or something like that, you know?”
Piper then dropped some invaluable knowledge on Moxley about how to enhance his connection with the audience by basically ignoring them.
“He came to the back and found me, he’s like ‘you went too much babyface’ or something. I can’t remember exactly [what he said] but he’s like ‘don’t even worry about them’ [the fans]. He’s like ‘you look at the guy’s shoes.’ Basically saying you stay focused on your opponent. You’re there to hurt him, kind of thing.”
Piper’s Starrcade 1996 Entrance
Jon Moxley recalled Piper’s ring entrance at WCW Starcade 1996 as an example of Hot Rod completely immersing himself in the moment.
“If you go back and watch? One of the best instances you’ll ever see, again on a weird tangent, but one of the best instances you’ll ever see is Roddy Piper at Starrcade 96 against [Hulk] Hogan. Where he beat Hogan with the Sleeper, but yet it’s somehow inexplicably not for the world title, I think?”
“If you watch just Roddy Piper’s entrance? From the moment he walks through the curtain his eyes are locked on Hogan. And it’s just like, it’s like this death march to the ring. Even though he was in his 50s with an artificial hip? When you watch that and you watch the entrance you’re like ‘this dude’s going to war.'”
You can watch “Rowdy” Roddy Piper’s match against Hollywood Hogan from WCW Starrcade 1996 below. Ironically, the clip includes the entire match, minus their entrances.
Visit FITE.TV to order Cagefighter: Worlds Collide (Outside the United States. The film will be released in the US later this year)