Soon after he departed from WWE, Jon Moxley hit the industry with a bang. At the final night of Best of Super Juniors 2019, he defeated Juice Robinson in his New Japan debut to win the IWGP US Championship becoming the first person ever to hold both WWE and IWGP US Championships. Moxley went on a rampant tear, having a strong showing in the G1 Climax and beating the likes of Taichi and Jeff Cobb in the process.
Unfortunately, Moxley had to vacate the title for a while due to travel issues, but he soon regained it from Lance Archer at WrestleKingdom in the Tokyo Dome last year. Since then, the title hasn’t left Mox’s grasp and his reign has even withstood the threat posed by Minoru Suzuki. However, due to Moxley’s commitments with AEW in North America, he hasn’t been able to compete in New Japan let alone defend the title as it was slowly overshadowed by the belt on the other shoulder of Jon Moxley, the AEW World Championship.
While Moxley was busy rebuilding his name in the U.S.A defeating challenger after challenger, another challenger emerged from the other side of the world who doesn’t care about the AEW Championship, he has his eyes set firmly on the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship and his name is KENTA.
KENTA is a well-established performer having wrestled in various promotions all across the world including WWE under the name “Hideo Itami” where he was underutilized, to say the least. He is considered by many to be one of the best wrestlers in the world right now and it’s hard to disagree given his athleticism and his diverse move-set ranging from hard-hitting roundhouse kicks to technical submissions. KENTA earned the right to challenge for the US Championship at the inaugural New Japan US Cup which took place in August and has held the briefcase since. From thereon, KENTA has been on a hot run in New Japan with his push going as far as to having him submit the ace of New Japan, Hiroshi Tanahashi at Power Struggle. That was a shocking moment for wrestling fans all across the world because this conveyed a very strong message that KENTA can hang with the top stars of the company. Gedo must be high on KENTA if he booked Tanahashi to tap out against him and this doesn’t look good for Moxley’s title reign.
Moxley hasn’t defended the belt since the pandemic hit hardest and he has become the longest-reigning IWGP US Champion of all time with his reign crossing close to a year. To be fair, Moxley has had more important and urgent threats to tend to in the form of challengers such as Brian Cage, MJF, Lance Archer, Eddie Kingston and currently, Kenny Omega. However, as WrestleKingdom draws closer, KENTA grows impatient by the hour taking his concerns to Twitter and demanding the championship if Moxley doesn’t show up anytime soon. Moxley hasn’t responded yet and it is unlikely that he will until something drastic happens, which leads into the meaty part.
On the November 18 episode of Dynamite, Moxley was found lying flat on his back after being attacked by someone. That someone hasn’t been revealed yet but, there is a very strong theory going around that it could be KENTA. After all, he’s the challenger, and he also has a very evident motive but questions have been raised regarding the travel issues but here’s the thing. KENTA lives in Florida and it wouldn’t be difficult for him to make a surprise appearance on Dynamite. Moreover, since AEW has a very strong relationship with New Japan and with the advent of a new president of New Japan, the rumours of a possible New Japan and AEW collaboration are at an all-time high. It can be argued that Moxley will have to deal with travel issues if he plans on showing up at WrestleKingdom given that Renee is pregnant and he might not want to take such a risk but there is a whole other dimension to this. What if the NJPW US Title is defended in AEW. We have seen it with the NWA Women’s Championship so how far of a stretch would it actually be to consider that a New Japan Title can be defended in AEW, after all, it is the United States championship.
Anyways, these were my two cents as to what could or could not happen in this sticky situation but let us know what you think of this whole scenario by tweeting us at @TWMWrestle on Twitter. Thank you for reading this.