Former AEW Champion Jon Moxley has heaped praise on Ricky Starks, saying the Team Taz star is “already there” and will “climb the ladder” very soon – while tipping Will Hobbs for success too.
In an exclusive interview with Inside The Ropes‘ Lead Writer Gary Cassidy, the former AEW Champion would pinpoint MJF, Sammy Guevara and Darby Allin for praise, before singling out Starks and Hobbs for praise.
“I’ll tell you a guy, though, that I’d say probably is at the top of that list – is Ricky Starks. Ricky Starks is right there already, and I got the opportunity to work with him a little bit and see his mindset, and his maturity level and so forth. Obviously he’s got the talent in the ring, and the charisma and all that stuff, you know, certain package he brings to the table.”
Moxley revealed how sharing the ring with Starks only made him even more impressed with the 31-year-old.
“From my experience working with him a tad, I think he’s got the brain and the mindset is already there, too. To me, he’s already there. He’s already ready. So I think Ricky Starks is going to climb the ladder faster than you might have expected if you’re not paying attention.”
Starks wasn’t the only talent who came in for praise, though, with Jon Moxley saying another Team Taz man is “going to take off” and has a lot to bring to the table.
“Will Hobbs has got a lot to bring to the table. I think he’s going to take off and, when it hits with him, it’ll hit, you know, you’ll be like, ‘Oh yeah, he’s got definitely got something that I can see’.”
Despite being one of the veterans of the locker room and a former WWE and AEW World Champion, though, Moxley would say he actually tries to learn from the younger talents in the locker room, like Starks and Hobbs, saying you have to harness that creativity and make the most of it.
“I’m always trying to learn myself and seeing what guys are doing, and what works, and what people like – and what people enjoy and, when I’m working with some young guys that have got all these ideas and all this creativity, and they’re unfettered and everything, I don’t want to come in and just be like, ‘Well, we’re going to do it my way because I’ve been there, you know, I’ve been at the top and this is the way it’s supposed to be done.’ Like, I’m not into that.”
AEW, of course, isn’t even two years into life on live television – and much of the roster has been learning in front of the world. However, Jon Moxley says that’s something that everyone should be doing – regardless of the amount of experience they have. The former AEW Champion would say being open-minded is the best way to provide the best product, highlighting his ‘f*** it’ approach to trying anything that might work.
“You can always learn, especially from guys who’ve been around longer than you and have experience and stuff, but I’m into having an open mind and we can all learn from each other and create new things as far as ways to tell stories. That’s all we’re doing is trying to tell stories. So I’ll be like, ‘OK, what do YOU want to do?’ And if it’s an outside-of-the-box idea that seems a little like, ‘That’s not normally the way I would do it because maybe I’m thinking too inside the box,’ I’ll be like, ‘Ah, f*** it, let’s try your idea, you know, see if it works. Maybe I’ll learn something from you,’ you know? So, I think we’re all kind of learning from each other.”
Jon Moxley challenges Kenny Omega for the AEW World Championship in an Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match at AEW Revolution on March 7th via Fite TV for viewers outside the United States.