Jon Moxley, like Tyler Black, is currently honing his skills in Florida Championship Wrestling, the WWE’s primary developmental territory. Currently wrestling under the name Dean Ambrose, Moxley is just 25 years old, although he’s already toured through and found success in a number of independent wrestling promotions. If you’ve watched him perform, it’s no wonder why.
Moxley has above average promo skills. He’s beyond natural on the microphone, and the quiet intensity he brings to his interviews puts you in mind of Raven or Jake Roberts in their primes. In the ring, Moxley is what I’d describe as a clever wrestler. He uses his surroundings to his advantage and he counters moves in very logical ways that are seldom seen elsewhere in wrestling. As such, a sense of realism is present in his matches, as he’s less about glitz and glam than he is about making it look like he’s fighting to win. His ring style oozes deplorability, as he’s not above using eye rakes and other heel tactics to notch a win. As for his actual moveset, Moxley makes a habit of violently tossing his opponent out of positions that are traditionally used to set up impact moves such as the vertical suplex or death valley driver. He uses a high-angle double chickenwing facebuster, the Hook & Ladder, as his primary finisher, and also keeps opponents down for the count with a high impact DDT out of the suplex position that he calls the One Hitter. Factor in a number of submission maneuvers, such as the crossface chickenwing and a short armbar, and you’ve got a competitor who keeps in fresh in the ring and is capable of working with a number of diverse styles.
Before being signed to a developmental contract with the biggest wrestling company in the world, Moxley made a name for himself in promotions such as Heartland Wrestling Association, Combat Zone Wrestling, and Dragon Gate USA, among others. He’s held five World Championships (or eight, depending on your vantage point) on his tour of the indy circuit, and it’s not far-fetched to believe that there is more prestigious gold in his future.
Jon Moxley got his start in the Heartland Wrestling Association in 2004 at just 18 years old. There, he and Jimmy Turner formed the team Necessary Roughness, and together the pair won the promotion’s Tag Team Titles. After transitioning into singles competition, Moxley captured the HWA Heavyweight Title twice by defeating Pepper Parks both times. His first reign lasted four months; his second, just three days. Moxley moved back into the tag team division and enjoyed another four title reigns; one with Ric Byrne, one with Cody Hawk, and two with King Vu. While reigning as one half of the Tag Team Champions with King Vu, Moxley won the HWA Heavyweight Title for a third time. Moxley continued to appear for HWA through 2011 when he signed his developmental deal with the WWE.
During his time on the indys, Moxley captured the top prize in Combat Zone Wrestling as well. In February 2010 at the promotion’s 11th Anniversary Show, Moxley won the CZW World Heavyweight Championship by defeating B-Boy. He reigned as the top dog for six months, eventually dropping the title to Nick Gage on August 8. A week later, Moxley recaptured the gold, and retained it successfully until losing to Robert Anthony at CZW’s 12 Anniversary Show. Effectively, Moxley was the CZW Champion for a full year, save for a one week span during which Nick Gage held the title. Moxley also competed in two Tournaments of Death while in the Combat Zone, although he was not victorious either time.
HWA and CZW are just the tip of the iceberg when discussing Moxley’s resume. He’s held the Full Impact Pro World Heavyweight Championship once and the Insanity Pro Wrestling World Title twice. He spent over a year in Dragon Gate USA, where he wrestled with the likes of Brian Kendrick, Paul London, and Tommy Dreamer. In Evolve, Moxley tangled with Brodie Lee and Austin Aries in a couple of stellar outings. At this stage in his career, Jon Moxley already has a storied past, and at just 25 years old, he’s got an even brighter future.