Moxley retains IWGP US Title

Feb 27, 2021 - by Allen Rockum

Jon Moxley’s record-long reign as IWGP United States Champion continued on Friday night as the All Elite Wrestling star made his in-ring debut for NJPW Strong and defeated KENTA at Night 2 of New Japan’s The New Beginning USA. The Japanese star seemed to have the match in-hand throughout, nailing a DDT on his No. 1 contender’s briefcase early on and driving the champ through a table with a diving elbow. But Moxley eventually put him away by countering a flurry of offense with a DDT, followed by his Death Rider (Paradigm Shift) finisher.

Moxley first won the title in his debut match for New Japan Pro-Wrestling back in June 2019 but was forced to relinquish it due to travel issues later that year. He regained it by beating Lance Archer at Wrestle Kingdom 14 and successfully defending it against Juice Robinson and Minoru Suzuki before the COVID-19 pandemic stopped him from traveling overseas.

Jon Moxley’s record-long reign as IWGP United States Champion continued on Friday night as the All Elite Wrestling star made his in-ring debut for NJPW Strong and defeated Kenta on Night 2 of New Japan’s The New Beginning USA. The Japanese star seemed to have the match in-hand throughout, nailing a DDT on his No. 1 contender’s briefcase early on and driving the champ through a table with a diving elbow. But Moxley eventually put him away by countering a flurry of offense with a DDT, followed by his Death Rider finisher.

Moxley first won the title in his debut match for New Japan Pro-Wrestling back in June 2019 but was forced to relinquish it due to travel issues later that year. He regained it by beating Lance Archer at Wrestle Kingdom 14 and successfully defended it against Juice Robinson and Minoru Suzuki before the COVID-19 pandemic stopped him from traveling overseas.

From there the title was effectively up in the air. Moxley couldn’t travel to Japan, nor could he appear on NJPW Strong due to AEW’s rules about its wrestlers appearing in other US televised promotions. That policy finally changed in late 2020, resulting in Moxley arriving to answer KENTA’s challenge. The BULLET CLUB member even went so far as to jump Mox on Dynamite and team with Kenny Omega for a tag match against Moxley and Archer.

It’s unclear what Moxley’s immediate plans with New Japan will be. Nobody came out to interrupt his celebration and throw down a challenge for a future title match (a common occurrence in New Japan), and he’s got an Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch with Omega at AEW’s Revolution on March 7. If that match winds up writing Moxley off TV, New Japan fans might be in for another hiatus.

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