Ring of Honor Star Moose Talks About His Time with Patriots
Sports Illustrated – Count Quinn Ojinnaka among NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s detractors.
“I’d love to give Goodell a spear,” said Ojinnaka, who is known in Ring of Honor as Moose. “Free Tom Brady.”
The 6’5”, 300-pound former offensive lineman–who is about to become the biggest free agent in wrestling–is furious about Goodell’s treatment of the Brady suspension.
“Goodell lost the battle,” said Moose. “Tom Brady played last year, and he is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, so why would the NFL not want to see him play? They’re making a lot of money off the guy, and I really thought we ended this last year.”
Moose played alongside Brady for the New England Patriots during the 2010 season, and he credits Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick with preparing him to succeed in wrestling.
“Playing under Bill Belichick helped me a lot with how I get ready for a match,” said Moose. “Bill Belichickgot you better prepared than any other coach in the NFL, and that’s one of the reasons why I come so prepared to my matches. I watch tape of my opponent, I study my opponent and I go into the match knowing more about him than he knows about himself.”
Moose explained that Belichick treated him in the same manner that he treated every other player.
“On the field, Belichick was an a–hole to everybody,” said Moose. “At the end of the day, all he cared about was winning.”
The 32-year-old Moose is set to become a free agent in June, and speculation is rampant that the WWE will swoop in and sign him to a lucrative contract with NXT.
“I can’t talk about WWE,” said Moose. “I’m happy with Ring of Honor. My contract is coming up in June, but until then, I’m happy here and we’ll see what happens.”
Moose is featured in a major match in Ring of Honor’s Global Wars pay per view this Sunday, as he teams up with the electrifying Kazuchika Okada against “Big” Mike Elgin and the legendary Hiroshi Tanahashi. This past February, Moose battledOkada–and more than held his own–at the 14th Anniversary PPV in Las Vegas.
“Okada is my favorite wrestler, so when I found out I was working with him, I thought [manager Stokely Hathaway] was ribbing me,” said Moose. “But the boys kept coming up to me saying, ‘I heard you’re working Okada.’ It was surreal. Then the booker told me, ‘It’s you and Okada next month at the pay per view,’ and it was like a dream come true to wrestle the guy I consider to be the best wrestler in the world.”
The agile-yet-powerful Moose features a rare skillset for a man his size. He studied tape of Okada and incorporated devastating dropkicks into his arsenal, as well as infused his own brand of charisma and personality into his character. Moose helped learn the business at WWE training camps, which only adds fuel to the fire that Vince McMahon and Paul Levesque will be in major pursuit of the ROH star.
“When I was trained at WWE–with guys like Apollo Crews, AR Fox, and Heath Slater–guys used to get in a debate and say, ‘I want to wrestle just like him,’ or ‘I want to wrestle just like that,’” said Moose. “That’s when it hit me – I want to be Moose.
“I don’t want you to think of someone else when I wrestle. When you think of Moose, I only want you to think of me. I don’t want to be a standard big guy. I don’t want to wrestle like Mark Henry. And Mark Henry is great and he’s been doing this for years, but I don’t want people to tell me I wrestle like the Big Show or Kane, either. I want to have my own style, where I can switch it up and throw in some high flying stuff, throw in some power stuff and do some agile stuff. When you see me wrestle, I want you to be thinking about me.”
Moose credits his parents and the NFL for teaching him the importance of humility and respect, which are traits that are held in high esteem by the Japanese wrestlers. Okada praised Moose’s work after their match in February and requested the opportunity to work with him again in the future.
Story continues on SI.com’s Extra Mustard (link above)
Pretty interesting take from Moose on life in the NFL and the Patriots Way. I think this is something you don’t hear enough about. It’s fascinating to hear about these guys transition from something like the NFL to the world of pro wrestling. WWE tends to go out of their way to make you forget their Superstars ever existed outside of the WWE Universe. Moose is an impressive guy who has the athleticism of something 1/3 his side. Pretty interesting that the interviewer brought up WWE but he had to decline comment. Based on look and athleticism alone, you have to figure that Triple H will come calling in June when his contract is up.