Jon Moxley has recalled a time when he was part of The Shield and refused to lose to John Cena, arguing that the loss would “kill” the group.
The Shield – Roman reigns, Seth Rollins, and Jon Moxley (then known as Dean Ambrose) – made a huge impact when they made their debut at Survivor Series 2012, interfering in the main event triple threat match between then WWE Champion CM Punk, John Cena, and Ryback. The trio hit their soon-to-be signature triple powerbomb on Ryback, driving him through the announce table. This allowed Punk to take advantage of the situation and pin Cena to retain his title.
From there, they dominated WWE, taking on all-comers in the ring, and also using the power of numbers to influence decisions backstage.
Moxley, writing in his new book, MOX, has revealed that the group’s first loss as a team was initially pitched to happen at the hands of a team led by John Cena at the 2013 Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. Moxley believed that a loss to the team of Cena, Ryback, and Sheamus would have killed the ‘Hounds of Justice’, leaving them looking like everyone else.
“If [we] went out there with Cena and took the f*ckin’ schmootz and got pinned like everybody else, we would then become everybody else. It would kill us. I remember…being in the car with an uneasy feeling in my stomach. ‘I ain’t f*cking doing it,’ I said. ‘Whether they fire us or we get Cena’d and killed off…we’re dead either way.’”
“We would go on a long undefeated streak in six-man tags. The writers kept trying to beat us. We refused time after time, standing our ground together. It got downright awkward sometimes, but we had strength in solidarity. We knew the equity in what we had built and were not willing to give it away.”
Jon Moxley and his teammates were successful in arguing against the defeat and went on to be victorious in the Elimination Chamber bout. Their undefeated streak continued until June that year when they finally fell to the team of Kane, Daniel Bryan – now AEW’s Bryan Danielson – and Randy Orton on an episode of WWE SmackDown.