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Charles Barkley Gave Heartfelt Praise to AEW Star

Photo: Noam Galai

Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley gave a heartfelt shoutout to All Elite Wrestling star Jon Moxley during the latest episode of his Steam Room podcast with Inside the NBA co-host Ernie Johnson.

Barkley praised Moxley for his recent decision to enter an inpatient alcohol treatment program in November before making his return to AEW last week.

“So Jon Moxley, he’s one of the biggest stars — yes, AEW. He left three months ago for alcohol treatment," Barkley said. "You know I had a younger brother who passed away so I know a lot about addiction and he just came back this week and I just want him to know — we never met. I just wanna say man, I’m really proud of him. I wish him nothing but the best. I’ve been through it with my family and man, it’s a tough situation but I just want him to know, I’m really proud of him and just keep battling. That’s all you can do. That’s all you can do. So shoutout to those guys.”

AEW President, CEO, General Manager, and Head of Creative Tony Khan initially announced Moxley had entered an inpatient program for alcohol treatment on his verified Twitter account.

Khan expressed support for Moxley and his wife, former WWE announcer and current Oral Sessions podcast host Renée Paquette, during his announcement.

“Jon Moxley has allowed me to share with you that he is entering an inpatient alcohol treatment program. Jon is a beloved member of the AEW family. We all stand with him and Renee, and all of his family and friends, as he shifts his focus to recovery,” Khan wrote. “Jon is making a very brave choice to get help, and we’re embracing his choice and supporting him however we can. I’m proud to call Jon a friend, and like many of you, I’m also a fan of Mox and look forward to a time in the future when he is eventually ready to return to the ring.

"Until then, thank you for supporting Jon and respecting his privacy at this time."

Paquette also released a statement on her verified Twitter account thanking fans for showing their support amid the announcement.

“Thanks for this outpouring of support. Jon is every bit of the badass we all know him to be. I couldn’t be more proud of him for getting to proper help he needs, and being given the space to put his health first. Couldn’t possibly love this man more," Paquette wrote.

Moxley, who previously wrestled in WWE under the ring name "Dean Ambrose," joined AEW shortly after the company's launch in 2019 and was its second World Champion, defeating Chris Jericho at the Revolution pay-per-view in February 2020.

The Cincinnati native's autobiography Mox was released on November 2 and he and Paquette welcomed their first child, a daughter named Nora, earlier this year.

On Friday (January 14), Game Changer Wrestling announced Moxley was scheduled to defend his GCW World title against Homicide at its Hammerstein Ballroom event next Sunday (January 23), leading to speculation that Moxley would also be returning to AEW, his primary employer, in the near future, prior to confirming on January 18.

"MOX IS BACK," AEW announced on its verified Twitter account. Appearing for the first time in nearly 3 months, former #AEW World Champion @JonMoxley makes his long-awaited return to #AEWDynamite TOMORROW at 8pm ET/7pm CT LIVE on @TBSNetwork!"

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