Jon Moxley's New Japan Pro Wrestling Status Revealed
Even though he's been plenty busy as the AEW World Champion, Jon Moxley is still the reigning IWGP [...]
Even though he's been plenty busy as the AEW World Champion, Jon Moxley is still the reigning IWGP United States Champion for New Japan Pro Wrestling. He first won the championship in June 2019 by beating Juice Robinson at the Best of the Super Juniors 26 final night, was stripped of it due to travel issues, then won it back at Wrestle Kingdom 14 earlier this year by defeating Lance Archer in a Texas Death Match. He successfully retained his title in another match with Robinson the following night, then defeated Minoru Suzui at The New Beginning in Osaka in February.
Moxley hasn't wrestled for the company since then, due in large part to COVID-19 shutting down New Japan's operations for months and preventing talent from the United States from traveling overseas. The company has booked a new No. 1 contender (Kenta) via their New Japan Cup USA tournament on their weekly US show, NJPW Strong, but Moxley can't appear on that show due his AEW contract preventing him from appearing in other televised promotions in the United States.
In an interview with Wrestling Observer Radio this week, Moxley explained that he doesn't have any contract with New Japan as of now.
"I don't have a contract with New Japan. I had one that was from June when I started up until Wrestle Kingdom, and it was just for that specific run," Moxley said (h/t Wrestling Inc.).
"I knew that I wanted to go to Japan; I loved to wrestle in Japan. When we'd go over to the shows in the Summer, we would always go in like June or July to do a double shot in sumo hall, those are my favorite shows of the year because I just love the fans over there," he continued. "I love that you can just wrestle, get a clean break on the ropes. Oh! I love the fans over there, the respect and the style, and I look forward to it every year. To me, that was more important that WrestleMania, was the Sumo Halls every year. I always had it in the back of my mind, because I knew the reactions I could get in Japan, I just knew. I had a feeling that I could work here. Like, if I ever come back here, I had a feeling in my mind that I could. So, I knew I wanted to go to Japan and at least have one solid run in a legit Japanese company.
However, it doesn't sound like the door is shut on him returning to New Japan in the future.
"... Later down the line, it was like, 'Yeah man, it's basically whatever you want to do. If you want to come in for one or two big shows, if you want to come do a tour, if you can do the G1, that will be sick! Whatever you want,'" he said.