Who do you think will be Jon Moxley’s favourite wrestler when he first broke into the business at the age of 18?
In his hit book “Mox”, Jon Moxley revealed who his favourite wrestler when he first learned to wrestle and got his start in the business. He loved wrestling as a child, but did not understand the ins and outs of the business until he attended a show at aged 17, and heard one wrestler call a “tackle” before shoulder tackling his opponent.
It was at that moment he realised how wrestling worked, and wanted to learn the art of wrestling himself. He immediately took himself down to HWA, owned by wrestling legend Les Thatcher, to learn the art of wrestling.
However, being just a teenager, he first worked for the promotion selling popcorn, working security and setting up the ring. This was until he turned 18 and could learn to wrestle with the likes of Les Thatcher, Matt Stryker and Chad Collyer. He did just that, and became a star in the promotion before setting off for bigger and better things in CZW, WWE and eventually AEW.
Jon Moxley’s Favourite Wrestler
Jon Moxley revealed in his book MOX that his favourite wrestler when he began his wrestling journey was none other than ECW legend The Sandman.
He went to Heartland Wrestling Association to train to become a wrestler, meeting owner Les Thatcher in the process.
However, when he first discovered HWA, Jon Moxley was only 16 years old and unable to learn to wrestler. Promotion owner Les Thatcher did not know this however, and had a long conversation with the young Jon Moxley about his favourite wrestlers and why he wanted to become a professional wrestler.
Moxley revealed in his book Mox that he thought of this question as a test, and answered who he thought was Thatcher’s current favourites instead of who his actual favourite current wrestler was.
“Les (Thatcher) asked me a question about who some of my favourite wrestlers were. This must be some kind of test.”
“This was not the time to mention I once dressed up as The Sandman for Halloween, wielding a broken pool cue as my singapore cane. Although, my Budweiser can and the gnarly, pus-dripping black eye i was sporting from a recent fight did make it quite an authentic costume.”
“I didn’t expect that was the sort of thing Les was looking for. No, surely HWA was a place for serious wrestlers. I discerningly answered with examples such as Benoit, Jericho, Bret at Malenko as the wrestlers I liked to watch: The technicians, wrestler’s wrestler.”
Moxley seemed correct in his decision to not mentioned how he idolised one of the top hardcore wrestlers in the United States The Sandman, after hearing about Thatcher’s opinion on another wrestler who wrestling skills were considered subpar in The Ultimate Warrior.
“Guys sit at home watching TV and think ‘Well, I can do that’ Les explained. ‘But there’s a lot more to this than painting your face and running around the ring, shaking the ropes. You have to learn to work”.
“It’s probably the first time I’ve heard that phrase. Thinking back on it, I wonder if Les’s personal disdain for the Ultimate Warrior had been going back for years at this point. Lord knows the horrible things he must have thought about The Sandman.”
Jon Moxley and The Sandman
The Sandman’s influence on Jon Moxley in wrestling is clear. Moxley made his name in CZW competing in brutal Hardcore matches inspired by the former ECW Champion, and the pair share a similar attitude in the ring.
In addition, Moxley channelled his inner Sandman on the Chris Jericho cruise in 2020. After his match on the final night of the cruise, Moxley stood in the ring and addressed the crowd holding The Sandman’s signature Singapore Cane (now referred to as a Kendo Stick) before downing a beer, just as Sandman would do before, after and sometimes during his matches.
Did you know that the Sandman is Jon Moxley’s favourite wrestler, at least when he first broke into the business? Let us know in the comments or click below to read more.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.