Jon Moxley's reign as IWGP United States Champion in New Japan came to an unceremonious end over the weekend after he was stripped of the title due to complications traveling to Tokyo for the King of Pro Wrestling event. Moxley was booked to defend his title at the show in Sumo Hall (which aired very early Monday morning here in the United States) against Juice Robinson, but New Japan announced in a statement that Moxley was unable to make the booking due to flight cancellations caused by Typhoon Hagibis.
"Due to travel delays as a result of this weekend's Typhoon Hagibis, we regret to announce that Jon Moxley will be unable to appear at Ryogoku Sumo Hall for King of Pro Wrestling on Monday October 14," the statement read. "As Moxley is unable to wrestle in a scheduled championship defence, he has relinquished the IWGP United States Championship."
With Moxley out, Robinson took on Lance Archer (known in his time in WWE as Vance Archer) for the vacated championship. Archer went on to win the title during the show.
As Jon Moxley is unable to appear for a scheduled IWGP United States Championship defence tonight at King of Pro Wrestling, his title has been declared vacant.
Lance Archer and Juice Robinson will wrestle for the vacated title tonight.October 14, 2019
The former WWE Champion and All Elite Wrestling star made his debut with New Japan over the summer and won the promotion's United States Championship in his debut bout. He then competed in the annual month-long G1 Climax tournament, but fell short of winning the B-Block. Though his full-time contract with AEW is officially in effect, Moxley stated in interviews that he's allowed to keep working for New Japan up through Wrestle Kingdom 14 (New Japan's equivalent to WrestleMania).
"Fortunately, there is no problem in fighting in New Japan while belonging to an American organization (AEW). In the future, I can always show up in Japan and play games," Moxley told Nikkan Spots back in August.
Meanwhile in AEW Moxley won his AEW Dynamite debut on Wednesday night against Shawn Spears. It looked like he was about to get in another brawl with Kenny Omega (his opponent at the Full Gear pay-per-view on Nov. 9), only for PAC to jump Omega from behind. As a result, AEW booked a tag match for this weeks episode pairing up Omega and Hangman Page to take on Moxley and PAC.
Ahead of his match with Spears, Moxley cut a searing promo on everyone who talked about him while he was out of action with a staph infection.0comments
"You see, where I come from, if you don't even show up to the fight well you forfeit your right to talk trash," Moxley said. "If you don't even make the walk, then you don't have the right to say anything about anything. In Chicago, I didn't make the walk. So for six weeks I've had to sit back and listen to everybody in the world say whatever they want about me, about my health. You all want to call me damaged goods. It seems like every punk ass in this industry has an opinion. They want to talk a big game, they want to type a big game about the things they want to do to me in the ring, while I'm laid up in a hospital.
"Tully Blanchard wants to act like he knows a damn thing about me," he added. "Shawn Spears says he's going to take me out. You're going to take me out, huh? Shawn Spears says my elbow isn't a hundred percent. Well we're going to find out if it's a hundred percent because for every second of every minute of this match I'm going to be trying to drive it through your skull. I gave you six weeks, I gave you all six weeks. Y'all had your fun, y'all had your turn. Now it's my turn."