Jon Moxley successfully became AEW's first three-time world champion on Wednesday night at AEW Grand Slam, defeating fellow Blackpool Combat Club member Bryan Danielson in the show's main event. Mox threw everything at "The American Dragon" to try and keep him down, including a pair of Death Riders with the second one on the elevated entrance ramp. Danielson kicked out, but Moxley immediately transitioned into a rear-naked choke. Danielson eventually passed out, causing the referee to call for the bell.
Moxley was originally scheduled to go on an extended vacation following the All Out pay-per-view earlier this month, but the chaos surrounding CM Punk (and his torn triceps) forced AEW to suddenly have a vacated world championship. Mox then cut a passionate promo on the following Dynamite, saying when it comes to being the face of AEW he "wants the ball." He then proceeded to beat Sammy Guevara to advance to the finals of a six-man tournament for the gold.
The winner of the #AEWGrandSlam Tournament of Champions and NEW #AEW World Champion is @JonMoxley, after an absolute WAR with #BlackpoolCombatClub teammate @bryandanielson! What a night of action here on #AEWDynamite Grand Slam on @TBSNetwork! pic.twitter.com/Kn1H9U7l9V— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) September 22, 2022
Moxley would first capture AEW's top prize at Revolution 2022 against Chris Jericho, mere weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic began. He successfully defended the championship nine times before dropping it to Kenny Omega at Winter is Coming 277 days later.
His next reign was much more unorthodox. Shortly after CM Punk won the AEW at Double or Nothing 2022, he went down with a surgery-requiring foot injury. Moxley faced Hiroshi Tanahashi at Forbidden Door for the first-ever interim world championship, which Moxley won. He then defended the title three times before Punk's return, leading to Moxley beating him in just under three minutes in a shocking squash match to become Undisputed Champion. That official reign would only count for 11 days before Punk won the title back at All Out.
As for Moxley's first challenger of this reign, it's unclear. MJF was seen up in the stands watching the match with his Casino Ladder Match poker chip, which he can use to cash-in for a title match at any time. There will also be a battle royale during tonight's Rampage tamping to determine an official No. 1 contender.
"Let me tell you this, I am now once again the AEW World Champion. It is among one of the best things that I will ever do but it is not even near the top of the list. This championship doesn't define me. Being a good man, being a good father, being the kind of man people can look up to, that is what defines me," Moxley said in a post-match promo. "But when it comes down to the best wrestling promotion on this planet. Blood, sweat, tears, passion. This belt doesn't define me, but I define this belt!"
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