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By Mike Johnson on 2020-04-27 11:00:00

On Saturday May 16th, fans will get to see a different side of All Elite Wrestling World Champion Jon Moxley as he steps inside the cage.  No, the former Dean Ambrose is not sliding into the MMA world, but will instead star in Cagefighter: Worlds Collide, a film that will have its official world premiere streaming for one night only on FITE.TV globally, including a big event style countdown show and exclusive post-screening Q&As for each time zone over the course of the day.  In this interview, conducted on April 23rd, Moxley discusses the film, All Elite Wrestling, future projects and much, much more.

Mike Johnson:
It is an interesting time in the world, but entertainment still moves on and entertainment is still there for us. There's going to be a very interesting event next month. Cagefighter: Worlds Collide will be premiering worldwide on, on the FITE app. And it is a most interesting movie.  Let's set the stage for it.  Cagefighter: Worlds Collide will tell the story of a MMA fighter who has perhaps the most important match of his life when he faces a pro wrestling superstar known as Randy Stone. Randy Stone will be portrayed by the current AEW World Heavyweight Champion, Jon Moxley, who is joining us right now. It's been a long time since we spoken to Moxley. Last time we spoke to him, he was working for WWE.   Obviously, there's been a lot that's happened in his life. So sir, first of all, I hope you and the family are well out in Nevada, and you're quarantining the best of your ability, and you're healthy. How are you doing this morning?

Jon Moxley:  Pretty good man. Yeah, we're just chilling out here. I haven't really left the immediate one mile radius of my house in, I guess, four weeks now. So I'm just kicking it.

Mike Johnson:  When you're a wrestler,  you're always on the road and you kind of live the gypsy lifestyle, has it been weird for you to kind of settle down in quarantine, or is it just like, I'm cool with this, let's do what we need to do.

Jon Moxley: It was pretty cool at first. I'm sorry, I'm not fully awake yet at this point. But yeah, it was pretty cool first because I was trying to just lean into like, hey, I've on the road for 300 days for however many years, so I'll just enjoy being home. It's not too bad. You do get a little stir crazy and bored or whatever like everybody does. But I can't even remotely begin to complain. I got a nice little set up here. I've been here with my wife for the last four weeks just hanging out, just doing business. So, it's been a boring and relaxing and nice. It's like everybody else in the world right now. I can't complain at all.

Mike Johnson:  On May 16th we're going to see the world premier of Cagefighter: Worlds Collide. You're going to be playing Randy Stone, a pro wrestler who goes into an MMA fight with the fighter Reiss Gibbons. So you've done some acting, you did a WWE Studios film, but this is obviously going to be a little bit more gritty, and probably a little bit more physical than doing 12 Rounds. Can you tell to us a little bit about the project, how you got involved, and what you're looking forward to about people being able to see of you in the film.

Jon Moxley: So right after, it may have been the next day, it was the day after or the next day after that my contract expired with WWE. I was kind of free to do whatever I wanted. I got a call from Christian, from the wrestler Christian, Jay Reso, who's in the movie. And was just like, "Hey, I'm the executive producer on this movie. And they're looking for somebody with a kind of name value in pro wrestling to play this part." And I was like, "That's interesting. Especially it's pretty interesting timing too."  So I was like, "Yeah, send me the script." And I read it, and I just texted him back immediately, and I was like, "I can play this guy for sure." So I just thought it seemed like it was kind of a sign or universe fate thing that it was something that was kind of meant for me to do. So I just jumped into it and it was pretty fun to do.   One of the cool things was Christian told them, because a lot of my lines and stuff where pro wrestling interviews, or talking trash, or hyping up the fight, or insulted my opponent. It's pro wrestling stuff like that. And it was all in the script. And he told them like, "Yeah, you should probably just let him kind of ad-lib a lot of that stuff because that's kind of what he does for living. And he's good at it, and would probably do it better than you would write it kind of thing. He knows what he's doing. Kind of let him ad-lib a little bit." So basically 90-some percent of the lines I have in the movie are ad-libs.

There are a couple of days we shot where they'd be like, "Okay action," then there was no script for me, a lot of it. We did this one thing where there's a scene where we have a press conference for the big fight. And it was one of the funnest hours of my entire life. It was just a big fake press conference set up with reporters and stuff. And I was just up on the stage just ranting and just saying every profanity, or insults, or anything, or a ridiculous way to put myself over, just whatever. Anything that came up to my mind and I got in a zone, and I was just saying all this ridiculous stuff for an hour. And I don't know what made the cut of the film and what didn't or whatever. But you probably have a DVD extra of just that hour long press conference. That was really fun. So that was pretty cool to be able to kind of be a more obnoxious kind of full of himself character. Because the point of it is playing the antagonist to this movie is to be a guy that you really want to see get his ass kicked by the end of the movie. So that was really fun to do.

The actual filming of the movie was pretty fun. It was extremely physical, as you said. Because me and Alex, the guy who plays the hero in a movie, we didn't have any stunt guys. He was originally the guy who was the fight coordinator. And they originally trying to get the guys from Harry Potter to play that role, and then it ended up being Alex. And so me and him put together over a couple of days, the two fights, which was fun. Me, him, and Jess Quinones, the director just kind of putting it together and that's a really fun part about movies too is the fight choreography, which I learned on the last movie I did. Because the last movie I did, first day we got in there for a rehearsal for a fight or whatever, it's like, okay, you punch him in the gut, you throw him over the table, you kick him his face, wherever it was. And it took some of the other actors all day to figure this out. It took me 30 seconds because I'm a pro wrestler. So that's what I do...and even back then I was thinking, man, this stuff is fun. It actually surprises me more pro wrestlers don't go into that after they'd done wrestling. It seems like such a national marriage. But we had so much fun putting it together. Like, what would you care to do here? Maybe give me two gut punches, and then I come back with an uppercut. And he's a legitimate professional fighter and I'm a pro wrestler so I could think creatively, and he knows all the ins and outs of the reality of it. So it was a good mix of putting together an entertaining fight that was realistic too.

When it came down to the shooting, we were in this really cold soundstage in Saskatchewan in the winter. So it was yeah, freezing cold. And like I said, we didn't have stunt guys. We were our own stunt guys. So it's three days of 10, 12 hour shoots of sometimes we'd go through the whole fight from just a wide shot. And then when you do different pickups and stuff.  But you're trying to stay warm and not get injured, and keep your body warm, keep your adrenaline flowing, and keep your intensity up for over a 12 hour period, when it's like, all right, 30 seconds, cut. Then 20 minutes later, and you're covered in fake sticky blood, and they keep spraying you down with cold water to make it look like you're sweating. So it's freezing. So you're like this giant sticky jolly rancher [candy] and stuff. So we're taking all our own slams and falls and suplexes and stuff like that.

It wasn't any CGI or anything like. It was very physical. I was pretty beat up by the end of it. So hopefully really comes across good. He actually, on the last day or second to last day, Alex torn his groin doing something, throwing a kick or something. Tore it clean. I guess there's been a previous injury he had. And he was all black and purple and bruise and gross, and he literally couldn't walk. He was on one leg. He was done.

I was thinking for a second, I was like, are we done now? Is this project just scrapped after all this work? And so when we had to do was on the final day, is figure out ways, because we hadn't filmed the climactic end to the movie yet. So we had to figure out ways to shoot tight or he could lean up against the cage, but he couldn't walk across the cage. I was still healthy so I could do different stuff to cover it up. So we had to work together with the camera guy and the director and me and him, and kind of figure out a way to get through it because now this guy has one leg, and we had to get it that day.

So, there are points literally when I'm picking him up or walking him across the cage literally because I had to kind of thing. So I haven't actually seen yet. I'll probably wait till May 16th to watch it kind of with everybody else because they're treating it like kind of an event because people can't actually go to the movies right now. So I'm pretty excited to see what the final product looks like.

Interview continues on Page 2!


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