Biff Bam Pop!’s Holiday Gift Guide 2021: “MOX” Takes Wrestling Fans Inside The Mind of Jon Moxley

Jon Moxley is crazy.

This is a wrestler who willingly engages in deathmatches, allowing opponents to break light tubes over his head. It’s nothing to Moxley to walk into a ring and beat his opponent down in less than two minutes. If you saw Moxley coming toward you on the sidewalk at night, your first instinct would be to cross the street. Moxley is tough. He is unhinged. Moxley left all of his fucks in his other jacket and, therefore, has no fucks to offer you. When it comes down to it, Jon Moxley is nuts.

At least, that’s what he wants you to think.

In his candid memoir, MOX, Moxley takes the reader on a non-linear trip through his life so far. From his adolescence in the rough Cincinnati neighbourhood known as Picadilly through his stint in The Shield, which was arguably one of the greatest factions of all time, to his appearance in the upstart company AEW, Moxley lays everything out and apologizes for nothing.

Reading MOX is a visceral experience. It is a non-linear book, bouncing back and forth between timelines and stopping in the middle of anecdotes. Do you want to know how Jon Moxley structures his sandwiches? It’s in this book, diagrams included. Moxley sometimes breaks the narrative to talk about his favorite movies and books. Instead of being jarring or confusing, Moxley’s stream of consciousness style engages the reader. If you were to have a late-night conversation with Jon Moxley, one imagines it would be much like this.

Moxley has interesting stories to tell. He was there when infamous wrestler Nick Gage was helicoptered to the hospital after being stabbed with a broken fluorescent lamp. Moxley explains what it was like to be one of the most popular wrestlers on the WWE roster and when he realized it was time for him to leave the company. He talks about his time as a teenager in wrestling school, learning how the business works.

Those tales are peppered with small intimate moments like Moxley snorting a bump of cocaine off the cover of a Soundgarden CD. Moxley doesn’t shroud those personal details in hyperbole or plaintive pleas with the reader to just say no. It happened. It’s a fact. Deal with it.

Wrestling fans read books written by wrestlers to get the inside scoop on matches or dirt on other wrestlers. Nuggets of information like that are plentiful in MOX, but it’s Moxley’s personal story that is the real draw. From being caught shoplifting as a kid to his eventual marriage to former WWE announcer Renee Paquette, it’s hard not to root for Moxley. If anything, MOX cements Moxley’s reputation as the misunderstood youngster who grew up to be a massive star. MOX is a feel-good story that doesn’t resort to sugar-coating, which makes the book compelling. While hardcore fans will get the most out of Moxley’s tales from the ring, it’s hard to imagine a better true-life success story for anyone who enjoys autobiographies.

Jon Moxley may come across as crazy on television, slapping himself in the forehead during promos or letting people run a pizza cutter across his opened mouth. MOX proves otherwise. Moxley embraces his wrestling persona and combines it with details from his real life to create a portrait of an intelligent, grateful man who has lived, sometimes barely, through some wild situations.

MOX is crazy. With its Ralph Steadman-esque graphic design and random off-topic interludes, the book is full of wacky surprises. At the book’s core, one views Moxley as a regular dude who loves his wife, likes to go hiking, and hasn’t bought a new vehicle in years. How Moxley integrates that dichotomy and the grey areas where wrestling and real life overlap make for fascinating reading.

MOX is currently available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold.

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