Jon Moxley Details Struggles With Alcohol Addiction, Reveals His Therapist Told Him To Retire
Jon Moxley describes his struggles with alcohol
Back on November 2, 2021, AEW President Tony Khan announced that Jon Moxley had entered an inpatient alcohol treatment programme. The former AEW World Champion spent time in rehab and was away from TV for a couple of months before his return on the January 19, 2022, episode of Dynamite.
The Purveyor Of Violence has since re-established himself as one of AEW's top stars and he will face Hiroshi Tanahashi for the Interim AEW World Championship at the Forbidden Door pay-per-view on June 26.
Ahead of the world title match, Moxley returned to The Sessions, hosted by his wife Renee Paqeutte, and he detailed his struggles with alcohol addiction.
"Nothing bad happened. I didn't go to jail or anything. I just couldn't stop. I was trying for the longest time, which sounds stupid, if you don't know, you just stop drinking. I didn't really know, until I started dealing with this, but if you've never had to look into it, you might not know, but if you just stop drinking, if you drink a lot, you can die. I always drank. Drank beer all night, back in the day, sleep two hours, go out, wrestle 25 minutes. After shows, get f****d up, wake up the next morning and sweat it out. Never had any problems," Moxley began.
"At some point, it was the first time I tried to stop and I was experiencing for the first time, at least that I remember, alcohol withdrawal, which is as bad as withdrawal from just about anything. It's dangerous, and a lot more dangerous in a lot of ways. First thing they told me was, 'Just quitting drinking, cold turkey at a certain threshold, which I was at, it's the worst thing you can do. It's the most dangerous thing you can do. You can go into cardiac arrest and die.' What's really common is you can have seizures. Something really bad can happen from that, that's what happened to Cass [W. Morrissey], I was terrified of that for the longest time," Moxley continued.
He added: "The feeling of it is crushing, physical, and anxiety. Not anxiety like you're nervous about something, the physical feeling of anxiety. Your breathing is messed up, you're twitchy. They call it the shakes because you're literally shaking. There were times when I would be at TV and I feel like, 'People are going to think that I'm on drugs' because I'm sober. I'd be talking to people and I'd have a little shot or flex just to mellow out because I'd be like, 'People are going to think I'm on crack right now.' I was levelling myself out for the longest time. That gets really tiring. Every match, especially at TV, were the longest days because I would be having this horrible alcohol withdrawal at TV, I was terrified I was going to have a seizure on live TV or on a plane and the plane would have to land.
"To avoid that happening on a plane, I would never be at an airport and on a plane without being nicely buzzed. If I didn't have time to hit the bar before I got on the plane or its morning and the bar is closed, I'd be sitting on the plane like, 'Come on with the cart. Come on with the drinks.' I was really scared of something catastrophic like that happening. I was so exhausted with it because everything has to revolve around staying level. I couldn't enjoy wrestling because I was so worried about that. You can't go on TV and wrestle f***** up, so I was worried, going through withdrawal. As soon as it got done, it was this big wave of relief, 'Got through another day, another TV, didn't have a seizure and die on live TV. Sweet.'
"Immediately start getting loaded because it's been however long. Then you just end up drunk again. It's this never-ending cycle of hell. There were months of absolute hell. It wasn't, 'I'm all stressed out and have problems.' It wasn't, 'I need to go to rehab and talk about my feelings.' It was, 'I'm going to die.' It can happen to anybody. I don't know what the threshold is, but once you start feeling those withdrawal symptoms, be it alcohol or pills or whatever, that's when you're in trouble. Doing whatever you're doing to normalise yourself, it's a bad slope."
Moxley also revealed that he was suffering from night sweats, nightmares, and mood swings prior to his decision to go to rehab.
Speaking further, Moxley revealed he decided to enter rehab following a Wrestling Revolver show on October 30 and going to an inpatient alcohol treatment facility came together in 15 minutes.
"I didn't tell anybody. It all happened in like 15 minutes. I could feel the world closing in on me and I think I knew subconsciously that it was coming. I had this one indy show for Sami (Callihan) for Wrestling Revolver. That was the last show I did. Got through that last indy show and I could feel the world closing in because people were texting me. Eddie (Kingston) texted me, 'You alright?' 'Yeah, why?' I knew you [Renee] were talking to people. I was starting to feel like people were noticing, whether they were or not. I knew you were," Moxley added.
"I was in Des Moines, a Southwest flight, they don't serve booze on Southwest flights for some reason. I knew that so I was like, 'I'm getting loaded before I get on this plane, three-hour flight.' Loaded when I landed, came home, I feel like you were already mad at me, I don't know, I could feel the entire world closing in on me and I was like, 'I cannot go another day like this. I can't go one more day.' It happened in like minutes. 'I wanna go.' 'Okay.' Called the place, it was Halloween night, I didn't tell anybody else," he recalled.
"I was standing outside, on the phone with them, giving them my information, kids are walking up to me while I'm on the phone with rehab and they are like 'Trick or Treat.' 'Give me one second, I have to pop a Snickers bar in here.' Called an Uber, it [rehab] was maybe 10-15 minutes away, an hour after I walked in the door (at home), I was walking into rehab. It was over. I was probably in some type of stupor for a minute."
Moxley also revealed that his therapist in rehab told him to retire and start a wrestling school, while Tony Khan told the former AEW World Champion, "If you never came back, that would have been cool."
Renee Paquette gave props to Eddie Kingston too for constantly checking in on her while Moxley was in rehab.
H/T to Fightful