Few wrestlers have gone from strength to strength over their career as much as Jon Moxley. The former WWE Champion has evolved his career from death match wrestler, to WWE superstar and to the current World Champion Jon Moxley we see on AEW Dynamite ever week.
He made his name as Jon Moxley on the independent scene, become a champion in CZW before earning himself a move to WWE. Whilst in WWE developmental he had iconic matches against William Regal and Seth Rollins which narrowly missed out on his best matches list.
Once he was called up to the WWE main roster as “Dean Ambrose”, Jon Moxley best matches of his career started to come thick and fast. As part of the legendary trio known as “The Shield”, he had one of the most exciting moments in WWE history as he dominated the WWE until the teams untimely break up in 2014.
Once he went solo, he achieved incredible single glory. He became a WWE Champion in 2016 and added an Intercontinental Championship reign to his list of gold as well. However, he felt underappreciated by WWE during his run and left the company in 2019 after running down his contract.
He went on to sign for AEW, where Dean Ambrose died and Jon Moxley was born again. He had a new attitude, new ring attire and a new lease on life. Jon Moxley’s best matches would follow, now that he was no longer shackled by WWE’s restrictive in-ring style and laborious touring schedule.
He is a two time AEW Champion in All Elite Wrestling, and Jon Moxley also became a IWGP United States Champion in NJPW. In AEW and NJPW came the bulk of the best Jon Moxley matches in his career and he solidified himself as one of the best wrestlers in the world.
Jon Moxley’s Best Match
5. vs Kenny Omega at Full Gear 2019
Ranking it at number five on the list of the best Jon Moxley matches is his incredible battle with Kenny Omega at Full Gear 2019. This match was the main event of the first ever Full Gear Pay Per View and was was an early contender for the best AEW match of all time.
The bout pitted together two of AEW’s top stars. Jon Moxley, who debuted at Double or Nothing 2019, faced off with former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega. Omega was one of the Executive Vice Presidents of AEW and regarded as one of the finest wrestlers in the world.
Meanwhile, Jon Moxley had just left WWE after a 6 year run on the main roster that had earned huge acclaim and an army of fans desperate to see what he was going to do next.
Those fans were ecstatic when Moxley debuted in AEW at Double or Nothing to attach Kenny Omega, setting up this dream match months down the line. It was a true WWE vs NJPW dream match, in front of a rabid set of fans who couldn’t have been more excited to see the two superstars face off in an AEW ring.
The two had a heated rivalry up until the match, most notably brawling to close the first episode of AEW Dynamite. This led to the match stipulation being changed to reflect the brutality of the feud – a Lights Out Match.
The match type was a simple one. It was unsanctioned, took place “after the show” (but in the main event) and had one simple rule – anything goes. Weapons and violence were encouraged and entertainment was absolutely guaranteed.
Both wrestlers went all out in this match, with no regard for their opponents, or their own, health and safety. Broken glass, barbed wire, mouse traps, chairs, thumb tacks and trash cans were the specials of the day and neither men held back on inflicting as much pain on each other as possible. Blood was shed and tears flowed in the crowd as they watched two of their favourite tear chunks of flesh out of each other.
Omega would fall in one of Jon Moxley’s best matches, after his own arrogance caused him to attempt a Pheonix Splash from the top rope (a move popularised by his former tag team partner Kota Ibushi). However, Moxley moved out of the way and Omega crashed head first into the exposed wood of the ring, after the canvas had been removed.
Jon Moxley then landed a Paradigm Shift on Kenny Omega, pinning him in one of the best early matches in AEW. It set a new standard for hardcore matches in AEW and showed AEW fans that the Dean Ambrose of old was gone and Jon Moxley was an entire new breed of wrestler.
4. vs Bryan Danielson at AEW Revolution
After a prolonged series of promos in which Bryan Danielson tried to recruit Jon Moxley into being a team, the pair finally decided to meet in the middle – of a wrestling ring, at AEW Revolution 2022.
After rejecting all of Danielson’s offers, teaming with him intrigued Moxley. He could really see no reason why the pair should not team up together and saw the potential the pair had in kicking ass together, while also nurturing the next generation of AEW wrestlers.
Jon Moxley only had one problem, however. He couldn’t trust Bryan Danielson unless he bled with him, inside the squared circle, locked in combat with each.
This was not an issue for Danielson. Not at all. As one of the best wrestlers to ever live, he had his fair share of battles and his buckets of bloodshed. Facing off with someone like Jon Moxley would be no cakewalk, but was nothing he had not gone through before and walked out the other side from.
At AEW Revolution, the pair gave the crowd a five star match which ranks in at number four on the best Jon Moxley matches. It sits as one of his greatest matches for its’ incredible hard hitting nature, coupled with some excellent mat wrestling which you seldom see in a typical Jon Moxley match.
The American Dragon took no prisoners, tying Moxley in knots as he dominated the early landscape of the match. Moxley saw flurries of offence in the match as he tried to get back on top, but the control of the bout always fell back to Danielson.
But Jon Moxley hung in the match, and it was his resilience that won the day for the man known in Japan as “Death Rider”. As Danielson’s confidence turned to cockiness, his eye dropped off the ball and gave Moxley the opening he needed.
Picking his spot, he saw an opening by grabbing the beard of Bryan Danielson and rolling him up for the win.
It was an epic match, with the cherry on top of the match being the post match brawl. The pair began to fight in the ring after the bell rang, trading shots before William Regal ran from the crowd to break it up. He then slapped both men, and dragged them both to the back.
Not only was this one of Jon Moxley’s finest bouts, but was also the birth of the legendary Blackpool Combat Club.
3. vs Team Hell-No & Ryback (with The Shield) at TLC 2012
Not many men can claim their first match in any company to be one of the their finest. However, Jon Moxley is not just any man. While many claim that the match against The Wyatt Family was the Shield’s finest, I think that nothing can compare to their incredible debut at TLC 2012.
The trio of Dean Ambrose (Jon Moxley), Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns made their first WWE appearances at Survivor Series 2012, attacking John Cena and Ryback to help CM Punk retain his WWE Championship. They were originally aligned with Punk but soon after went out on their as the “Hounds of Justice” inside WWE
They had their first match a month later, in the first of many 6-man tag team matches that wowed fans all across the WWE. CM Punk was due to face Ryback at TLC, but an injury ruled him out of the show. He would lose the belt to The Rock a month later, but Ryback still needed something to do at the big show.
Instead of a title match, Ryback teamed with Team Hell-No (Kane and Daniel Bryan) to take on The Shield. Jon Moxley lead his team as the leader of the Shield (at the time) in an incredible performance. A chaotic brawl all across the arena which encapsulated what is fantastic about Jon Moxley and trios wrestling, with all six men putting on some of their best performances of all time.
The Shield won the match but every man in that match came out looking better than they did before. 5 of the 6 men in that match would become world champions in their career, with Ryback the odd man out (although he arguably could have beaten CM Punk at TLC if the injury had not occurred). Despite only being his first match in WWE it remains third on Jon Moxley’s best matches list.
2. vs Tomohiro Ishiii at G1 Climax 2019
Jon Moxley joining the 2019 G1 Climax was one of the biggest shocks of the summer. He had just left WWE after a 6 year run on the main roster, with the former WWE Champion feeling disallusioned with his booking in the company.
He signed for AEW after leaving Vince McMahon’s promotion, and tore down the WWE in a shoot interview on Chris Jericho’s podcast “Talk is Jericho”. He bemoaned the backstage atmosphere and booking, claiming “they ruin everything!”.
He walked out on the company in April 2020 after letting his deal expire. He quickly signed with AEW and appeared at Double or Nothing 2019 by attacking Kenny Omega to set up their long lasting feud together.
In the meantime, he also penned a contract with New Japan and after beating Juice Robinson in his debut official announced he was taking part in the historic G1 Climax Tournament.
The winner of the tournament would earn a shot at the IWGP World Champion at Wrestle Kingdom. A huge prize, but many wrestlers stood in Moxley’s way on his route to gold. Former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Tetsuya Naito, cruiserweight-turned-heavyweight Shingo Takagi, and Bullet Club leader Jay White were all huge names also staking their claim as a top star in New Japan and would prove tough matches for the man now known as “Death Rider” Jon Moxley.
While he was expected to have fantastic matches with all those men, it was Tomohiro Ishii that would put on the most spectacular bout with Moxley. The Stone Pitbull has long been regarded as a great worker but he put all that praise on show in a hard-hitting bout with Moxley in the G1.
The match was an absolute brawl. The pair beat the living hell out of each other, with neither men pulling any punches in their quest to impart as much pain as was humanly possible on each other. This included roaming the crowd as wayward murders, which in a post-COVID world seems like an impossible task.
Jon Moxley had a lot to prove in this match (having just left WWE) but he managed just that with one of his best matches in his entire career. Ishii also had another classic match that has led him to be considered one of the top workers in New Japan.
The crowd was electric and were into every second of the match. Jon Moxley won with a Death Rider in a match that will live long in the memory, despite Moxley not winning the G1 Climax.
This goes in at number two in Jon Moxley’s best matches, just behind another classic from NJPW against a star of that promotion…
1. vs Will Ospreay at Windy City Riot 2022
For me, the best match in Jon Moxley’s esteemed career was his New Japan bout against British Ace Will Ospreay. The pair had been teasing a match for years, ever since Moxley first set foot in New Japan in 2019, but due to the pandemic a number of dream matches had to be deferred to a later date (this included a planned bout with Hiroshi Tanahashi, which did not take place until Forbidden Door in 2022).
The clash of styles between Jon Moxley and Will Ospreay was apparent. Their in-ring style, personality and view on wrestling were polar opposites and made for an exciting yet unpredictable bout. With how good both men are in the ring, this was always bound to be one of Jon Moxley’s best matches.
However, few could have predicted just how good the fight at New Japan’s Windy City Riot would be.
It started out with a wild brawl, both men unable to contain themselves as they finally got their hands on one another. They had previously faced off in a fatal four way in a match including Juice Robinson and Hiroshi Tanahashi, but this was the first time they had faced off in a single match.
Ospreay went all out, trying to show that he was not afraid of the dangerous Moxley. He took the fight too him, opting to brawl with the brawler instead of trying any fancy chain wrestling the British fighters are known for.
He took control of the match, even putting Moxley clean through a wooden table early on to assert his dominance on the fight.
The Chicago crowd watched in awe as the match devolved into a series of counters, then counters to those counters, and an extra set of counters on top of that. Each man had the other scouted to perfection and neither seemed to be giving any other the inch in an excellent display of pure professional wrestling.
Jon Moxley ended his best match in victory after he reversed a Stormbreaker into a pair of Paradigm Shifts and pinned The Kingpin to pick up a huge victory to cement his place as the top wrestler of 2022. Ospreay continued to wow fans as he put on spectacular match after spectacular match, which he would continue in his five star match against Orange Cassidy at Forbidden Door.