Former WWE Superstar Mojo Rawley has been less than complimentary about one of characters that he portrayed during his time with the company.
Rawley was signed by WWE in 2012 after a brief career in the NFL. The former 24/7 Champion appeared on both NXT and the main roster before his departure in April 2021. By the time of his exit, Rawley had been inactive for ten months, last appearing on SmackDown on June 15th 2020.
Mojo Rawley enjoyed his first run of success as part of the ‘Hype Bros’ where he teamed with Zack Ryder. While the pair never claimed tag team gold, they came within touching distance on more than one occasion, with their final attempt being halted by an injury to Ryder. With his partner out injured Rawley began appearing as a singles Superstar winning the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 33.
By the time that early 2019 rolled around, Rawley had lost some of his initial momentum, which led to an evolution of his character. The former college football star began appearing in vignettes talking into a mirror where he berated an unseen person for their failures. He reappeared on RAW on May 13th sporting new face paint while defeating Apollo Crews. However, the gimmick was quickly dropped.
Reflecting on this period in a recent interview with Chris Van Vliet, Rawley explained that he was dead against the new gimmick.
“[laughs] I was so against that. I really didn’t want to do that. But truthfully the sketches didn’t look half bad. I remember thinking I hope when I wear this it looks this cool, it couldn’t be furthest from. I pitched this idea of everyone looks at themselves in the mirror and everyone hypes themselves up. Everyone has that degree of vanity, let me run with it. Let me cut promos where I am berating them for their shortcoming, and you don’t know who I am talking to. You find out later it’s me, and we can take this whole new attitude and run with it. Somehow that lead to me losing my mind and drawing on my face, I don’t know what it became.”
Rawley continued to express his exasperation at the change in character and the brief run working with Apollo Crews that followed.
We literally did one match with that character. Me and Apollo [Crews] were paired together on a Europe tour. I remember I was like 2 and half weeks of everyday working together, we put on some great matches. There was so much that we pitched together. We put on matches that nobody was really expecting out of us and the fans gravitated towards. It’s hard though. You got 2 guys with no TV time going after these guys with established rivalries.
But it was in the reports every night. These 2 are onto something, lets give them a run. So they booked Apollo for my debut match in this new run. We were stoked, we were like lets go out and kill it, show them what we got. Then we found out it was a 60 second match that was written out entirely for us. Two and a half weeks, then it’s that, then it’s over. I just painted my face like an idiot for nothing.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Rawley explained that he hopes to expand into the world of acting now that he’s away from WWE. Although, the former NXT Superstar did express his desire to return to wrestling, just not quite yet.