Why Was Jon Moxley Mentioned by Seth Rollins on Last Week's WWE SmackDown?

Last week's Friday Night SmackDown saw yet another verbal confrontation between Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns before their Universal Championship match this Saturday at the Royal Rumble. The promo managed to get fans talking when Rollins casually mentioned Jon Moxley, given that a) WWE doesn't typically acknowledge people in AEW and b) Rollins didn't use Moxley's WWE name, Dean Ambrose. Reports came out in the days that followed that Rollins' was actually part of the script and in a new interview with TalkSport Rollins said he wanted to acknowledge the full history he and Reigns share even if Moxley is no longer in the picture. 

"It's an just an easter egg, I think, for some of the fans that have enjoyed [The Shield] and stuck around, followed us for years and stuff like that," Rollins told Alex McCarthy. "It would be very easy to tell the story of The Tribal Chief versus The Visionary, that's a simple story and obvious for those who watch on a weekly basis but if you follow the industry and you pay attention and you know where we came from, you know there was a third guy in the mix. I'm not going to sit here and ignore that history, I'm going to bring that up because I think that's important. And I think people who care about that appreciate it. It's one of those things where it was on the tip of my tongue, it made sense, so it came."

He also discussed the importance of challenging Reigns — "This is a WrestleMania main event calibre match, no question. I definitely think we're going to kick WrestleMania season off the right way. It's always going to be me and Roman. It's always going to come down to me and Roman. In many ways, we are the biggest two stars in WWE in this generation and I think fans have been clamouring for this match -- especially where both of us are at in our career paths -- and we didn't think we were going to get it. But now, here we are and I'm looking forward to the electricity of the Rumble.

"Stars aligned or misaligned, I don't know! Depends how you look at it. I was on SmackDown on the rise for a long time and Roman was beating tons of guys over there. Month after month he was clearing the way over there and the only guy he wasn't getting touched by was me," he added. "Whether that was by design or not I don't know, but at the end of the day I got drafted to RAW, shifted my focus and because of the brand split, it's one of those things where you go 'ah, looks like we're not going to get the matchup of the ultimate top stars on SmackDown,' but we've ended up having a title match in front of tens of thousands of people at the Royal Rumble."