Jon Moxley was AEW World Heavyweight champion for less than three weeks when the pandemic began submarining the company's booking and plans. He's remained the champion ever since, and continues to be the face of the promotion as he approaches eight months with the gold.
Speaking with Sports Illustrated, Moxley says he relishes the opportunity to be "the guy" in these unusual times.
“I’m the guy carrying the torch during a pandemic,” says Moxley. “It’s a weird time, and COVID is f**king up the bookings every week, but I want to carry the torch through tough times. Even though I didn’t originally picture myself in a good-guy, protagonist role when I first came here, it’s the way it happened. I can send a message of perseverance and picking yourself up after you fall down. People have lost their jobs, lost their business, and I can project strength, with no fear in the face of adversity, for those watching our show.
"I want to give stability in an unstable time. I need to give AEW some stability as we build a secure future for this brand because it’s vital for this industry that AEW is a success.”
He adds, “The most satisfying part of this run has been telling stories unencumbered. We still have a collaborative, creative process, but I don’t have to listen to writers tell me my story. Tony Khan and other people have ideas, and when those ideas are better than mine, I use theirs. I could see the entire MJF match in my head long before it happened.
"That’s the artistic part of wrestling for me. I’m not blessed with the ability to do springboards or 450s or moonsaults, but I can tell a story as well as anyone in the industry.”