Seth Rollins addressed his name-dropping former Shield member and current AEW star Jon Moxley on a recent episode of SmackDown.
Despite being a member of the Raw roster, Seth “Freakin'” Rollins will challenge SmackDown’s Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship at the upcoming Royal Rumble on January 29th. With the history between the two men, it’s no surprise that the Shield is on everyone’s mind, including Rollins himself.
Though it’s not surprising that Rollins would mention his history with his former Shield brethren, it came as somewhat of a surprise to fans that he mentioned current AEW star Jon Moxley by name (and not by his former identity of Dean Ambrose) as WWE tends to shy away from calling attention to people in other companies.
“[The Usos] are the ones who raise you up, just like me and Mox did in The Shield.”
While this reference isn’t shown in the YouTube version of Rollins’ promo, most of his verbal battle with Reigns can be seen in the video below.
When speaking to Alex McCarthy of TalkSport, Seth Rollins indicated that this mention was simply an Easter egg for fans that have been following the Shield since their debut in 2012 took the wrestling world by storm. He doesn’t want to ignore the group’s history, saying that history is important and fans appreciate the authenticity.
“It’s an just an Easter egg, I think, for some of the fans that have enjoyed [The Shield] and stuck around, followed us for years and stuff like that. It would be very easy to tell the story of The Tribal Chief versus The Visionary, that’s a simple story and obvious for those who watch on a weekly basis but if you follow the industry and you pay attention and you know where we came from, you know there was a third guy in the mix.
“I’m not going to sit here and ignore that history, I’m going to bring that up because I think that’s important. And I think people who care about that appreciate it. It’s one of those things where it was on the tip of my tongue, it made sense, so it came.”
Jon Moxley made headlines himself when he recently returned to AEW Dynamite after taking time away to enter an inpatient alcohol treatment program. During his return, he vowed to take the wrestling world by the balls, adding that “now more than ever, he’s truly free.”
For a complete list of Royal Rumble match participants, click here.