When he was still Dean Ambrose in WWE, Jon Moxley was asked why he chose jeans as part of his ring gear after ditching the paramilitary garb he wore as part of The Shield. His answer – that his matches were basically “urban combat” and you wouldn’t head to a street fight in your underwear – made a lot of practical sense and demonstrated how much thought he put into the details of his performance.
Now he’s wrestling outside The ‘E for companies like New Japan and AEW. And his explanation for why he’s wearing trunks again is again equal parts pragmatic and promotion.
Moxley explained in his first official interview with NJPW:
“I wanted to change my look, for sure. When I was in WWE, I always wrestled in jeans, and there was a reason for that; everybody else had fancy tights and I wanted to be the opposite. More grungy, a street fighter type. But wrestling in jeans, honestly, it sucks. They’re hot, sweaty, hard to move in. I’m done with wrestling in jeans! It’s so much easier to wrestle in tights.”
As far as making a statement with a new look, mission accomplished!
“When I looked in the mirror before I went out, I felt naked because I was so used to wrestling in jeans. So I knew then that it would cause a reaction, and be a bit of a shock.”
We can only assume it was easier to work in his short tights, but in describing the match he won the IWGP United States from Juice Robinson, it still sounds like he’s doing “urban combat”:
“I love being in intense blood and guts stuff like that. It was a tooth and nail fight, and I loved that. When the crowd and the announcers are saying to each other ‘this is crazy!’ I love that. Those matches where you just go all out, everything on the line, be it for five minutes or 20 minutes. Just wild stuff.”
That’s our Lunatic. Er, I mean, Death Rider.
Check out everything else in part one of his talk with the New Japan website here.