BOOK REVIEW: "MOX" by Jon Moxley

Originally published at


By: Brandon Sears

In 2019, Moxley shocked the world by showing up at the conclusion of the main event of AEW’s first show, Double or Nothing, attacking Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho. But, how did he get there? Why did one of WWE’s biggest stars walk away from millions only to sign with an unproven upstart company in AEW? Well, it’s a bit of a long story and in his new book, MOX, Moxley tells of his unconventional rise to prominence and the subsequent frustrations that led to him looking for an escape out from inside Vince McMahon’s wrestling empire.

Getting his start under the tutelage of Les Thatcher and Cody Hawk through Cincinnati’s Heartland Wrestling Association (HWA) in the early 2000s, Moxley would find himself traveling the US independent scene gaining experience under various promotions including IWA, Dragon Gate USA, and most notably CZW, where he would nurture his love and appreciation for death match wrestling. Moxley tells several harrowing stories about his time in CZW including being booked on the 2009 Tournament of Death card in which Nick Gage nearly lost his life following a light tube spot that went horrifically wrong.

Moxley speaks about signing his developmental deal with WWE in early 2011 and his time spent in FCW (Florida Championship Wrestling) establishing white-hot programs with both Seth Rollins and later, William Regal. His frustrations with the creative process were nothing new by the time he had decided to leave in 2019 given his nearly year-long period on the bench in 2012 prior to being hooked up with Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns to form The Shield.

While Moxley does not have an ax to grind per se, his frustrations with WWE and how it is run were key factors in his decision to leave in 2019. He isn’t completely bitter about his time there, but his gripes are more than fair. Having to walk on eggshells in his early days where the slightest turn of phrase could get you in trouble with the wrong people and the games in which those powerful people play could lead to a constant state of unease for any performer. Despite all the success he achieved, the negatives would outweigh the positives. A disastrous heel turn in late 2018 would push him out the door at the end of his contract the following April. Moxley could have elaborated more on his frustrations about the angle, but if you were watching the programming at the time, it wouldn’t be hard to see for yourself just how bad it was.

There isn’t a lot in here about his time in AEW if you’re looking for insight into his nearly year-long title reign. He speaks candidly about his work with Brodie Lee surrounding their title program at 2020’s Double or Nothing, and the awful conclusion to the Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match with Kenny but nothing really about his programs with MJF or Eddie, which I would have liked.

The book itself isn’t presented in a linear fashion, with stories and moments from Jon’s career told out of order. That being said, it still flows well and is easily digestible given that it’s written in more of a conversational style rather than a blow-by-blow retelling of Moxley’s career through the eyes of a ghostwriter or third party. That works for most of the book, but there were other moments where it felt forced and grating. While it may have been of interest to some people, I could have done without the chapter breaks made up of Jon’s favorite movies, albums, and even one consisting of how to construct the perfect sandwich.

MOX is a good read that offers a peek into the mind of a performer who would easily fit in in just about any era in wrestling’s past let alone where he currently is in the present. I would have liked a bit more depth, but I would still recommend giving it a read if you’re even slightly curious.

MOX by Jon Moxley is available wherever books are distributed through Permuted Press

I feel like this book is going to be one long rant lol.

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From the excerpts I’ve seen from the book, some of it is indeed written as if he’s airing out his grievances to you, with lots of cursing.

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I just finished this New Year’s Eve. I thought it was fine. I was hoping that he would touch on the awkward Austin interview that he had but he didn’t.

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