Jon Moxley Falls Short in New Japan's G1 Climax Tournament

Jon Moxley hasn't appeared on AEW's product since Fyter Fest in June. But to his credit, he's been a bit busy overseas. The former WWE Champion first debuted for New Japan Pro Wrestling back on June 5, beating Juice Robinson at the Best of Super Juniors 26 finals for the IWGP United States Championship. He then entered himself into the G1 Climax, a notoriously grueling month-long round robin tournament.

For most of the tournament it looked like Moxley was going to win the tournament's B Block and advance to the final round, where if he won he'd get a shot at Kazuchika Okada's IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 14. He won his first five tournament matches over Taichi, Jeff Cobb, Tomohiro Ishii, Shingo Takagi and Tetsuya Naito.

But then things started to go wrong. Moxley suffered his first singles loss in New Japan against comedic wrestler Toru Yano via countout, then began to show signs of fatigue with losses to Jay White and Hirooki Goto. He entered Sunday's final day of the round robin tied with Naito, Goto and White at the top of the block, but wound up mathematically eliminated when Robinson managed to beat him.

So where does this leave Moxley? By New Japan's traditions when it comes to championships, his losses against Yano, White, Goto and Robinson mean all four men now have a shot at his United States Championship. Robinson will likely get the first crack at him given the storyline they seem to be telling.

In theory Moxley could challenge Naito for his IWGP Intercontinental Championship down the road, which could potentially be one of the biggest matches at Wrestle Kingdom if it were booked. However depending on who you ask, Moxley's time in New Japan may already be coming to a close. He'll be back under the All Elite Wrestling banner on Aug. 31 to take on Kenny Omega at All Out, then will start his multi-year full-time contract with AEW in October once the weekly live TNT show starts. His deal has previously reported to be exclusive, but Moxley stated in an interview with Nikkan Sports recently that he still wants to pop up in New Japan from time to time.

1comments

"Fortunately, there is no problem in fighting in New Japan while belonging to an American organization (AEW)," Moxley said. "In the future, I can always show up in Japan and play games."

Kota Ibushi and White will battle for the G1 Climax trophy in the final round on Monday.