Jon Moxley has said that The Shield of him, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns might be the last big act to get to the top of WWE from the pre-NXT era.
The three men made waves when they debuted together in 2012 at the Survivor Series where they helped CM Punk retain his WWE Championship in the main event. The Shield made an immediate impact and was soon at the heart of major storylines in the company as they won gold with Moxley then known as Dean Ambrose captured the US Title. The Hounds of Justice soon became the attack dogs for The Authority as Triple H and Stephanie McMahon ruled WWE with an iron fist.
It was that iron fist that would eventually come crashing down on The Shield itself as Triple H resorted to plan B when he could no longer control the group. Seth Rollins turned his back on his brothers-in-arms as he sold out to The Authority.
Speaking to Metro.co.uk, Jon Moxley now of AEW, discussed if anything like The Shield could ever be seen again in WWE.
“Anything could work. I mean, it’s different because you’re a known commodity on NXT now, whereas when we came in we were complete nobodies. So, there’s a benefit to that. On the one hand, nobody knows who you are, but on the other hand, you have a completely fresh slate, you’re a complete mystery. You can come right in and starting whooping whoever’s ass you want.”
“The Shield might be the last big act that came from that old way of doing things before NXT really. You can do anything with anybody if you commit to them.”
For Moxley the issue isn’t whether stars are on the main roster or NXT, it’s about if they’re given the time and opportunity to get over:
“The problem is – it doesn’t matter if they’re on NXT if people know who they are or they don’t. If somebody’s getting over, you’re giving them the opportunity to get over, you’ve gotta actually follow through on pushing a guy or girl. It doesn’t really matter where they came from. That could definitely happen again, it’s just they gotta follow through with it all the way.”
Jon Moxley then detailed what life was like in WWE developmental pre-NXT. Moxley came up through the developmental system when it was still Florida Championship Wrestling. A very different prospect to those on WWE’s black and gold brand today.
“It was a lot harder to get called up. We were this island of misfit toys, and very occasionally somebody might get plucked out like a little toy from Toy Story, picking up the alien guy and he gets to go to this promised land of the main roster. You always have this fear that you’ve never going to get called up, so this adds a lot of stress. You can’t just relax. Every day that passes down there before you get called up, you’re like, “Is this ever gonna happen? Am I gonna get fired today?”
It was this struggle that Moxley says lit a fire in the three men in The Shield to succeed:
“From our time down there and our attitude, we had a huge chip on our shoulder. We are gonna make the most of this opportunity and f*ck everybody in our way. So we were very happy to be put in that high profile spot, and we wanted to be in that high profile spot because we were itching to prove that we belonged there. So, it was very comfortable for us.”
“When we’re sitting down in FCW like, “f*ck these motherf*ckers on Raw! We’re better than all these dudes, we can hang with all these dudes! We’re gonna come in and f*cking blow their asses away. It was a more hostile environment back then, so we stuck together. ‘F**k these motherf*ckers! They don’t like us? F*ck ’em!’ We weren’t there to make friends.”
In the end, those on the main roster soon gravitated to The Shield because of their talent in the ring. The Shield shared the ring with WWE Hall Of Famers such as The Undertaker, Kane, The New Age Outlaws, and Mark Henry on their way to dominance.
“Very quickly, people started wanting to work with us because we were having good-ass matches. All of a sudden, all the top guys were wanting to get in six-mans with us because we were having good matches. And we’d make them look good! Me and Seth would bump our asses off for these dudes, you know? It’s just indicative of – we were right. We turned out to be everything we said we were gonna be and we weren’t full of it.”