Hamish Woodward

Jon Moxley’s Debut In NJPW Began An Incredible Title Run

Jon Moxley, Shota Umino

Former AEW and WWE Champion Jon Moxley is one of the biggest stars in wrestling today, after a decade on top of the wrestling world.

He made his debut in AEW in 2019, but just weeks later Moxley would debut in NJPW, being one of the top gaijan’s in the company, even to this day.

He recently unsuccessfully challenged for the NEVER Openweight six-man tag team titles, losing alongside the Blackpool Combat Club.

However, Moxley has not secured his residence card in Japan, facilitating a longer run in NJPW going forward.

The former WWE Champion’s run has been fantastic so far, stemming from Jon Moxley’s debut in NJPW four years ago.

Jon Moxley’s NJPW Debut

After Jon Moxley’s release from the WWE in April 2019, there was intense speculation as to where he would wind up next.

Some people thought he was guaranteed to turn up in AEW, while others saw an opportunity for him to make a splash in Japan.

Turns out, both were true.

He made his AEW debut at the end of Double or Nothing 2019, attacking Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho following the main event.

Due to this, many people expected him to be barred from wrestling for New Japan Pro Wrestling. The Forbidden Door had been slammed closed by NJPW management, who felt slighted by Omega’s decision to leave the company to sign for AEW.

For over a year, no AEW was allowed to wrestle in NJPW, and vice vera – except for Jon Moxley.

Prior to Jon Moxley’s debut in NJPW, the company teased that a mystery challenger would be appearing at the June 5 “Best of the Super Juniors” finale show to challenge Juice Robinson for the IWGP United States Championship.

A vignette aired during Wrestling Dontaku on May 3 showing an individual in a bar, holding a knife and hiding his identity to the crowd. This man was later revealed as “Mox”, with Jon Moxley confirmed as he newest signing to NJPW.

Moxley would make his debut in NJPW on June 5th 2019, at the Best of the Super Juniors final.

Moxley answered the challenge of Juice Robinson, who held the IWGP United States Championship. Moxley was introduced as The Death Rider, sporting a new look, now entrance music and a brand-new attitude to his WWE character.

He beat Robinson in a good match, winning his NJPW debut. He went on to defend the title numerous times, winning it twice before dropping it to Lance Archer on AEW Dynamite.

A few days after his debut, Jon Moxley would take Shota Umino under his wing, christening him “Shooter” and adopting his as his “young lion”.

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