Abe Odeh takes a look at the prospects for Jon Moxley in New Japan, as he heads there to challenge Juice Robinson. Who else can be face?
Last weekend, it was announced that Jon Moxley would be signing with All Elite Wrestling immediately after his surprise appearance at Double or Nothing. A few days later, news broke that Mox is scheduled to face Juice Robinson under the New Japan Pro Wrestling banner on June 5th. The match will be for the IWGP US Heavyweight Championship at the Best of the Super Jr. Final in Tokyo.
According to NJPW, there is currently not an official relationship between themselves and AEW but Moxley is free to compete for both companies. We saw Chris Jericho take a similar route that’s currently on the tail end of a year and a half long journey. Jericho wasn’t going on all the New Japan tours but still found his way into main event feuds with Kenny Omega, EVIL, Kazuchika Okada, and even captured the Intercontinental Championship from Tetsuya Naito.
Nobody expects this to be a one-off match for Jon Moxley, especially if he captures the US Title. So let’s start thinking about potential feuds he could work until his schedule becomes fully committed to AEW.
I feel this makes more sense than most people on the roster. They have similar personalities. They’re both cocky, brash, stubborn, and only want to run things their way. Mox and Switchblade are bound to butt heads on the same roster. If Moxley wins championship gold on June 5th, it’ll seem reasonable for Jay White to extend an invitation to the Bullet Club. Moxley just put down one of his former rivals, after all. However, it would make even more sense for Jon Moxley to reject the invite just as Jay White did to Kenny Omega.
As identical as White and Mox are, some might say the actual equivalent to Jon Moxley on the NJPW roster is Naito. Just as Jay White, Tetsuya Naito is the leader of his own faction, Los Ingobernables de Japon. “Ingobernable” directly translates to “ungovernable”. Sounds a bit like a Lunatic Fringe we used to know.
Naito only gives out LIJ memberships to guys he knows personally so I don’t expect that to happen at all. However, Tetsuya Naito already worked a fairly violent program with the outsider in Jericho that involved blood and title changes. Naito will also be attempting to capture a championship next week. If one succeeds and one fails, pairing them for their next championship match is an easy main event.
Who wouldn’t want to see this? If Jon Moxley had a Japanese dad, it would be Minoru Suzuki. Certainly a match nobody thought we’d ever see, but now I want it more than anything. If this match went 20 minutes, about 15 of them would be spent outside of the ring with hardly any rules applied. Thousands of forearms would be thrown and Young Lions would be the primary weapon of choice. It doesn’t even have to be a feud. One match is all I need. Let’s make it happen.
Zack Sabre Jr.
If Moxley is going to get involved with the Suzuki-gun faction, he might as well challenge their brightest star on the way out. In his interview on Talk is Jericho, Moxley expressed how excited he was to be able to work so many new different styles of wrestling now that he’s free to roam. Well, he hasn’t faced anyone like ZSJ any time in recent memory.
Being able to challenge Britain’s most proficient technician for Japan’s leading promotion is exactly what the wrestling fan in Moxley desires. It’s safe to say it’s exactly what we’d want as well. The funny thing is, the promos exchanged between the two may end up actually being the highlight of it all.
Another dream match. Ospreay is one of the fastest rising stars in New Japan at the moment. Trying to extinguish the newest outsider to invade his territory would be an excellent story for him, especially if Moxley is presented as a detestable heel. Ospreay is drawing closer and closer to becoming a mainstay in the heavyweight division so a match with another popular heavyweight should help him get there.
It may not happen until next year but I’d bet my money on it happening eventually. I thought Jericho was never going to get his match with Okada because AEW continued to materialize but now Okada vs. Jericho is set for Dominion. After Okada is sure to dispose of Chris Jericho, Jon Moxley would provide a great test for an IWGP Heavyweight Champion that’s running out of fresh competition.
I wasn’t going to include Kota because him and Moxley just didn’t feel right together. I couldn’t think of a reason for them to get into a heated rivalry. But then I realized the motivation is already right in front of us. Jon Moxley made his AEW debut at the expense of Ibushi’s Golden Lover, Kenny Omega. Mox created the biggest moment of Double or Nothing by embarrassing Kenny in front of the whole wrestling world.
Ibushi can get going during the heat of a match but he’s not the type of guy to go out of his way to target someone. It would be really refreshing to have red-hot Kota Ibushi be the one to ambush Jon Moxley after his match with Juice Robinson as a way to seek immediate retribution for Omega.
NXT Minus 6: Too Early To Fantasy Book War Games?
Everyone loves fantasy booking. Right?
The answer is No. It’s not too early.
6. NXT teases us with a Matt Riddle-Arturo Ruas match that went 3 minutes? I know it’s not happening, but those guys deserve a Takeover spot. Kudos to NXT for playing up the mma aspect. Everything from Mauro’s commentary to the ref stoppage made this feel like it should have been in an octagon. If you haven’t already seen it, check out Ruas’ match from the Evolve 10th Anniversary show. Dude is a killer.
5. We got the final opening round match of the Dusty Rhodes Everyman Classic. Bronson Reed is good. He delivered what might be the biggest frog splash I’ve ever seen. There is always a place for athletic big men, but he’s not the story.
4. Dexter Lumas is creepy. The key to wrestling is to crank your personality up to 11. If this creepy thing is any part of Dexter Lumas, I don’t want to be in a room with him. I don’t trust him around my kids. I wonder how many crimes against humanity he’s already committed. Creepy in a way that Bray Wyatt can only hope to be.
3. Tyler Breeze enters the running for Savage Burn of the Year. He looked at Jaxson Ryker and asked “Weren’t you Buddy Murphy?” Brutal. That line alone is worth the return of Prince Pretty.
2. I finally got the moment I was waiting for: an interesting KUSHIDA match. I was ready to send him to 205 in exchange for Akira Tozawa. And if this is Apollo Crews, I will gladly take him back full time in NXT. Stellar matchup and worth watching. 4.4 stars.
1. Oh no, this cannot be happening. They’re turning Keith Lee into Kassius Ohno 2.0? He’s talking about getting passed over for the new guys? And he’s jobbing to Damian Priest next week? Been here a year and zero Takeover matches? The Ridiculous Keith Lee deserves better. THIS…CAN…NOT…BE…HAPPENING!!!
Bonus time: Old school versus new generation. Tyler Breeze heads up a cast of NXT OGs to take on Undisputed Era in (cue William Regal voice) War Games to determine NXT supremacy. Keep Apollo around. Throw in Cesaro and Harper, maybe even Samoa Joe, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a brawl. Either that or Undisputed Era versus the Club. I’m cool with both.
Tiffany’s Takes: WWE NXT (7-17-19)
Who will be the first to challenge Adam Cole for the NXT Championship?
Who will be the first to challenge Adam Cole for the NXT Championship?
Have I ever told anyone that I can’t stand Matt Riddle? I have? Okay. I don’t even know what it is, but he sets my teeth on edge. I will give him props for having a good match with Arturo Ruas, but I’m not sure what they’re doing with his character, except teasing a heel turn after that NASTY beatdown of Ruas. I am here for Killian Dain vs Riddle, that even sounds like fun!
Looks like we are going to Undisputed Era vs Street Profits at some point, but I’m waiting for UE to make a big deal about Street Profits being on the Main Roster for the last couple of weeks.
I love that Mia Yim is learning from everyone’s mistakes in dealing with Shayna Baszler and is going after Baszler’s friends, who are the real reason she’s stayed on top for so long. This feud is going to get nasty in a hurry and I can’t wait!
The next match of the NXT Breakout Tournament had a lot to live up to after two AMAZING matches and one not so amazing. I’m not sure what in the world Australian Strong Styles is, I’m guessing it’s like any ‘Strong Style’ in that it’s pretty hard hitting. I also didn’t know Australia had a Black Forest, it was never on ‘Crocodile Hunter’. I did like this match, however. I can’t say it was as amazing as some of the other matches, but it was really good. Bronson Reed won the match for Australia, so we’ll see what happens in Round 2.
Someone should tell Tyler Breeze that having a beard doesn’t make you a man. I’ve seen teenagers with better facial hair. I did love the little dig at Forgotten Sons, but I don’t think Breeze really wants to pick a fight with Jaxson Ryker, that’s not going to end well.
Well, it looks like we’ll likely get a confrontation between Io Shirai and Candice LeRae next week, unfortunately for Kacy Catanzaro, she’s going to be Shirai’s punching bag before that.
I wasn’t really into KUSHIDA vs Apollo Crews. I’m just not a huge fan of either guy. The match was really good, but I don’ t think anyone really thought Crews was going to beat KUSHIDA, who is getting built into a title contender, but it was a longer match than Crews has been having for most of his WWE run, so there’s that.
I’m still not into Keith Lee, I just don’t get it, but I’m super stoked about the prospect of Lee vs Damian Priest, that promises to be a wild match.
So, it’s officially official, we WILL be getting Adam Cole vs Johnny Gargano III and it sounds like it’s going to be the last one. I did like Gargano comparing his victory tour of trying to inspire young people in Cleveland with Cole’s obnoxious antics at the Gargano restaurant. Also, love the ‘Johnny Badass’ thing, very cool. NXT TakeOver: Toronto II is going to be a wild ride in that Three Stages of Hell match! Thank you, William Regal for booking that!
That’s it for Tiffany’s Belated NXT Takes! Tune in Monday for Monday Night RAW!