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Jon Moxley Recalls Trying to Get ‘Pooper Scooper’ Promo Changed, Not Noticing Roman Reigns Leukemia Reference Out of Exhaustion

June 1, 2019 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Jon Moxley WWE Dean Ambrose Raw 11-19-18

– In the latest episode of Talk is Jericho, Jon Moxley spoke about how he started to hate his promos in WWE, his vision for the character, how he felt like he was fighting for his career after The Shield broke up and more. Below are some highlights of Jon Moxley speaking about the issue trying to get his promos rewritten, dealing with Vince McMahon over it, and how much he started to detest the process.

Jon Moxley on his mindset before the day he started counting the days until he left: “Now, let me take you to the day — I’m going to try and tell this almost as a narrator, not try to be emotionally invested in it. This is the day I started — I remember being in the writers’ room, pulling up my phone, and counting the days and being like, ‘OK. I got 99 days left or 146 days or whatever. That’s like 12-15 Raws? I can do that. I can get through 12 more Raws,’ or whatever it was. So, we’re in LA, early start, show starts at five. Get there around noon. Seth [Rollins] gets there around the same time as me. Working with Seth. I’m the bad guy at this point. I’m the heel. Get to the arena and immediately a bunch of writers come up to me with a bunch of scripts. And the thread throughout the show is that Seth Rollins will be challenging me to come out to the ring and fight. I pop up on the screen and cut a promo and then cut like various promos. I got like six promos throughout the night saying a bunch of stuff, and then at the very end, we finally have a big fight in the ring, right? So it’s going to be a long day, a lot of running around, some are going to be live, some are going to be pre-taped. Even pre-taped ones that should take 30 seconds, you know in WWE can take 40 minutes because the lighting’s gotta be perfect, etc., etc. So, they hand me these scripts, and to my eye, all the things that are these scripts — it’s a typical WWE script. It’s a bunch of big words, a bunch of goofy words. None of it makes any sense to me, but we’re not telling any kind of tangible storyline. We’re not doing anything to get any kind of characters over. Nothing that makes any sense to me. Typical.

“But the one I’m most concerned with is the in-ring promo at the end of the night. We’ll worry about all these other little backstages — we’ll deal with them when we get to them. I’m most concerned with the in-ring promo at the end of the night, 6:16. So, we go into the writer’s room, I start reading this promo. And again, not trying to pass judgement, but to my eye — in my opinion — this is absolute hot garbage awful crap. You can’t make any sense of it. I don’t know what we’re even saying. The main gist of it is that the people are smelly, disgusting people, and they’re foul, disgusting people — you can just kind of see Vince [McMahon] saying these words. [In Vince’s voice] ‘Agh! Liverpool sounds like a skin disease!’ You know? So you can just picture the Vince face or whatever. I don’t know who wrote this, but if it was you, you should be ashamed of yourself.”

Jon Moxley on trying to get the promo changed before Vince McMahon saw it: “So, it’s a bunch of crap about the people are smelly and insulting the audience. It doesn’t make any sense, and it doesn’t get anything over. I’m confused. So I’m like, ‘OK.’ But the thing that catches my eye the most is the joke about a pooper scooper. I’m going to let that hang in the air for a minute. I’m going to let you really absorb it and say it again, pooper scooper! Like something along the lines of like, ‘I wouldn’t come out there with that pooper scooper!’ And I’m like, ‘I’m not saying that. No.’ So I’m like, ‘Let’s change it.’ I’m like, ‘Did Vince write this?’ ‘We don’t know who wrote it,’ so here’s how the creative process works in WWE. It doesn’t really make any sense. I still don’t know how it works. So now it’s like, OK, Vince is in a meeting. We have to try and rewrite it, send it into [Raw lead writer Ed] Koskey, have it be reprinted, send it into Vince without the pooper scooper line because if he sees it, he’s going to fall in love with it. And then he’s going to be like, ‘Ohhh! You gotta say the pooper scooper line! And it’s such good s***!’ So we’re like, ‘OK. Hurry up and take out the pooper scooper line.’ He tries to make it more like — We’re in LA — he tries to insult the content of their characters more so than their actual smell. So it’s something along the lines of, ‘Oh. LA shallow trash. I wouldn’t come out here without a gas mask or something.’ Remember that because it’s going to be important later.

“And then I’m like, ‘Yeah, OK. Whatever. I might not say that line, but whatever. We’ll worry about it later. Let’s just get it in front of Vince without the pooper scooper line because I’m just like — that’s just too embarrassing. I can’t say that.’ So we get it in. We send it in. We cross our fingers that Vince sees our version and not the original version. So now I’m a little bit exhausted just from this insanity, right. So, I’m going off to do the next promo that was in a hallway with another writer. And I’m reading it, and again, doesn’t make any sense. I don’t really know what I’m saying or what points I’m making or how I’m supposed to be getting any heat or telling any story or anything [like that]. I told the writer. I said, ‘You know, if we didn’t have to try to run around and not make ourselves look like idiots and get rid of pooper scooper lines and stuff like that, we could actually sit down and tell a story. We’re all just in self-preservation mode and trying to not look like idiots instead of creating like good things.’ He’s like, ‘*Mumbling* I don’t know — whatever–‘ Do that promo. I think that one’s pre-taped. Come back into the writer’s room, and I’m like, ‘Any update?’ ‘No update yet, but we did get this.’ And it says, ‘Notes from VKM. Dean needs to understand why he needs to insult the audience. Dean needs to read his promos verbatim and not try to rewrite them.’ And I’m just like, ‘*Annoyed sigh*’ Just like the feeling of getting punched in the gut. Just like, ‘What?!’ And I said to the writer — it’s not his fault — but I yelled at him. He just took the brunt of it. I was like, ‘Why do I work here?! I’m a professional wrestler who can tell stories and come up with promos! I believe that I have the ability to talk people into buildings, and I learned those skills years ago and wanted to bring them to WWE. And you just want me to say your stupid lines. If you want somebody to read your stupid lines, hire an actor because they’d probably do a better job of it than me. I’m not interested in doing it.”

Jon Moxley on his line referencing Roman Reigns’ leukemia: “Earlier, I had to go into Vince because in this promo, there’s a line that’s a very distasteful line taking a jab at my friend who had leukemia and is now going off to recover from that, Roman Reigns. Something — I don’t remember what the line was, but I went, ‘I’m not saying [that] — are you kidding me?’ I’m going right into Vince on this one. It’s clearly a mistake. This is clearly a mistake. So I go into like — I think it was in a production meeting at the time, and I’m like, ‘Hey, real quick, This is— surely you don’t want me to say this.’ And he’s like ‘Oh no, but Roman’s part of the story, we’ve got to make sure he’s still included, you turn on him and Seth,’ and he kind of explains it to me, ‘You know, you just say the thing about Roman, just include him.’ And he said it in kind of an innocuous way, where it kind of didn’t seem so bad, and I was just like, ‘Uh, okay,’ and all the writers were like ‘Oh, you gotta say it,’ and basically, he gave me the Vince Jedi mind trick, which I’m pretty immune to at this point, but every once in a while he still gets me. It’s my fault, I got Jedi’d, whatever. So I’m like, ‘Oh. OK,’ right? So, I think this one we did live. I cut the promo. As soon as that line left my mouth, I went ‘Oh my God I can’t believe I just said that.’

“It was just something about like, ‘He’s got cancer, it sucks to be him,’ something like that. Not cool, especially like with like — I mean come on! You know, like, dude! So like — and in the middle of all this, trying to get pooper scooper lines out of the scripts, I don’t even realize that this horrible thing that I shouldn’t be saying, it’s like ‘Oh my god.’ Now, I gotta go back into the writer’s room. This is getting to be an exhausting day, right. And if you’re having trouble following this, imagine what it was like to be me. So, I go back into the writer’s room. And success, we got our version of the promo in before the pooper scooper line. And also, remember to keep in mind during all of this, this is a billion dollar company run by a man who is allegedly a genius. And keep in mind, we’re all adults, and we’re talking about stuff like that. So good news, we got it in before the pooper scooper line. But when he wrote that, ‘I wouldn’t come out here without a gas mask,’ or whatever. Now, I read the new promo, now this is written by Vince. And it says, ‘Dean Ambrose enters wearing a surgical mask.’ You know, like a mask that a doctor would wear to protect you against diseases; diseases from the smelly, disgusting people. And it’s just more of the same smelly, disgusting people. What is that smell? *In Vince’s voice,* ‘What the hell is that smell?!’ I’m like so embarrassed. I’m like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ Because he saw the gas mask — You see, here’s where he made a mistake. He used a noun. You got to watch out for nouns because Vince will turn a noun into a prop real quick. So now, I’m wearing a surgical mask. Things like, ‘Yeah. He wants you to wear a surgical mask, right? And next week, come out with a gas mask. And then the next week, come out with a full hazmat suit to protect myself against the disgusting fans.’ I’m like, ‘Oh my god!'”

Jon Moxley on talking to Vince McMahon about it: “So now, I gotta go to Vince. Again. I remember walking up into his office. That’s where he is at this point. And Koskey was about to go in and go over something. And I’m like, ‘Hey, can I go in real quick? I just gotta do this.’ And he’s like, ‘Okay, cool.’ And I’m by the walk-in, I went, ‘Can you give me 30 seconds though, first?’ I remember physically leaning on a road case, and just feeling like actual exhaustion. Just like emotional, physical, mental exhaustion. Not so much because of that day, but because of six years of this. Six years of having to go into this man’s office, this old man, and trying to explain to him why wearing a surgical mask is a stupid idea. Why carrying a little red wagon to the ring is a stupid idea. Why maiming a mannequin in the ring is a stupid idea. I was just like, I was done! And so I go in, and I’m like, ‘Yo,’ I tried to explain it like, I don’t think people will be able to understand me if they can’t see my mouth moving. He’s just like ‘Oh, it’s just –‘ So we came to some kind of compromise where I have like a handkerchief, which is a little less embarrassing. And he’s like, ‘Oh, you know, it’s so you! You don’t wanna lose that thing that makes you you, because you have so much creative license. You can do anything. You could check with props, see if maybe you could put a clothespin on your nose. I dunno, something like that!’ And I’m thinking, ‘What creative license do I have? I do exactly what you tell me, and it’s terrible crap! It’s not creative license.’ So I’m like, whatever, and do the promo with the handkerchief.”

“And I remember, I ran out of that building when I was done. We had a big fight that was kind of hot, I had a little adrenaline. Everybody’s super happy, people are like high-fiving at the end of the show like it was some great success. Got in the truck, went in the hotel around the corner, and soon as I got in the room it was like — first of all, I was like, ‘I need a drink right now.’ Second of all, I’m like, what a waste of time. We didn’t accomplish anything. I had six promos, I can’t tell you what I said, I can’t tell you what the story is. Our angle now is gonna be dead, if it’s not dead already. I don’t even have words.”

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk is Jericho with an h/t to 411mania.com.