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Opinion

Abe: Top Money Matches for Jon Moxley in NJPW

Jon Moxley said he wanted to put himself in uncomfortable situations in order to grow. Who would do that for him in New Japan?

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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.

Jay White

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.

Tetsuya Naito

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.

Minoru Suzuki

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.

Will Ospreay

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.

Kazuchika Okada

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.

Kota Ibushi

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.


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Opinion

King’s Greatest Hits Of Jeff Hardy

As he battles his demons, Chris King looks at some more positive moments in Jeff Hardy’s career!

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Jeff Hardy WWE Smackdown

I’m sure by now you’ve heard the disturbing news that former WWE superstar and recent AEW signee Jeff Hardy, was arrested again for multiple charges including a DUI.  Hardy has had a hard and tragic road of recovery throughout the years in multiple wrestling promotions.

Not too long ago, Hardy walked out on WWE after they were rumored to have offered the former world champion to go to treatment for his substance abuse issues. Hardy refused and said that he was better but, as we saw the demons are still lurking and got the best of him again.

I have seen some nasty comments and even some distasteful memes about the AEW superstar and felt compelled to go against the grain. Instead of kicking a man when he’s down, I’m going to put together a greatest hits for the “Charismatic Enigma.”

Jeff Hardy & The TLC Match

Everyone can say that Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon helped innovate the iconic ladder match and you are right, but Jeff Hardy and his death-defying stunts changed the concept of the match forever. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian and their iconic TLC match should have their wing in the Hall of Fame. The risks all six superstars took for the adoration of the crowd could have ended all of their illustrious careers. In the words of Vince McMahon, It’s such good shit!

Jeff Hardy Earns The Undertaker’s Respect

On the July 1st, 2002 episode of Monday Night Raw, Hardy delivered the performance of a lifetime nearly winning the WWE Undisputed Championship from The Undertaker in an incredible ladder match. The young up-and-comer was faced with his greatest task yet, challenging for the most prestigious title in sports entertainment. Hardy showed that without a shadow of a doubt he deserved to be in the main event scene, but came within minutes of defeating Taker. At the time of the match, Hardy was still finding his footing as a singles competitor and earned the respect of the champion and legend.

Swanton Bomb From The Heavens

When I think of the daredevil Jeff Hardy, I can’t help but think of this one crazy-as-hell stunt. At WWE One Night Stand 2008, Hardy faced off against the juggernaut Umaga in a falls count anywhere match. This match was so insane as both superstars fought into the parking lot. Hardy is one of the craziest and bravest superstars, hit a Swanton Bomb off a damn stage truck onto Umaga. It’s one of the wildest things you’ll ever see.

Hardy Wins The WWE Championship 

In 2008, Hardy finally made his way to the main event title picture alongside partner Triple H. HHH was Hardy’s mentor in some sort of way which led to the daredevil achieving his lifelong dream of becoming WWE champion. At the 2008 Armageddon pay-per-view, Hardy would face HHH and longtime rival Edge in a triple-threat match for the title. In what was a great match between all three superstars, Hardy delivered a Swanton Bomb to Edge to win the illustrious championship.

Straight Edge Problems For Hardy

The following year, Hardy found himself in the way of young-up-and-comer CM Punk who is looking to make an example out of him. Punk had won the Money in the Bank briefcase for the second year in a row and took advantage of Hardy to win the world title. What started as mutual respect between both superstars changed drastically, when Punk started throwing jabs at Hardy for his drug and substance abuse real-life issues. Punk would form his infamous stable known as the Straight Edge Society. This is a very underrated feud and you should go back and watch it in its entirety. The promos are gold.

The Hardy Boyz Return To WWE

Both Matt and Jeff Hardy found success in multiple other wrestling promotions including Ring of Honor, and TNA during their time away from WWE. Both brothers were struggling with their vices and made poor life choices but straightened up their act over the years. In 2017, the Hardy Boyz would face longtime rivals The Young Bucks in ROH. The following night the adored tag team would make their incredible return to WWE at WrestleMania 33. Matt and Jeff would be named the final team in the Fatal 4-way ladder match for the Raw Tag Team Championships. The pop these two received was insane and very much deserved. They would go on to win the match and win the titles to capitalize on their momentum.

Jeffery Nero Hardy Makes AEW Debut

From 2017-to 2022 Jeff Hardy would find himself pigeonholed in the mid-card title picture. He would have feuds with a plethora of superstars including Samoa Joe, and Randy Orton. Orton and Hardy had a nasty Hell in a Cell match back in 2018. Earlier this year, Hardy was seen running around after the 24/7 Championship, which was disappointing to see. After being genuinely unhappy in WWE, Hardy would make his AEW debut on the March 9th episode of AEW Dynamite. Hardy would come to the aid of his brother and longtime partner.

This week news broke that Hardy had been arrested for multiple charges including a DUI. While it’s easy to beat a man while he’s down, how about we uplift and try to encourage him to get the help he needs.

As a longtime wrestling fan, I have the utmost respect for Hardy and wish him the best of luck in his battle with addiction.


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Opinion

DeMarco’s Things I Learned From WWE Smackdown On FOX (June 17, 2022)

Greg DeMarco presents what he learned watching WWE Smackdown On FOX for June 17, 2022, featuring Matt Riddle, Vince McMahon, Pat McAfee, and more!

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WWE Smackdown Riddle Reigns

Greg DeMarco presents what he learned watching WWE Smackdown On FOX for June 17, 2022, featuring Matt Riddle, Vince McMahon, Pat McAfee, and more!

WWE presented Smackdown on Friday night, June 17, 2022, from “Moneyapolis” featuring the “big fight feel” main event between Roman Reigns and Matt Riddle, with The Tribal Chief’s Undisputed WWE Universal Championship on the line. We also continued down the road to Money In The Bank in Vegas.

RK-Bro Is Effectively Done

The video package and all of Matt Riddle’s tributes to Randy Orton are just a little bit too much. Riddle does “too much” very well–in fact, it’s his character. But the amount of tribute being played to Randy Orton seems to be a set-up for Orton’s eventual return (whenever that might be) OPPOSITE Riddle. Maybe it’s in the Royal Rumble, maybe after.

Regardless of how it happens (and much of that has to do with his surgery and rehabilitation process), I think we are closer than ever to a heel Randy Orton opposing the babyface Matt Riddle.

Madcap Moss Is Undeniably Over

“Madcap just might be a guy.” – Pat McAfee

Pat McAfee knows what he’s talking about on this one–Madcap is indeed a guy. Riddick Moss always had the tools, just had injury issues. Since making his return to competition as Baron “Happy” Corbin’s sidekick, all Moss has done is prove his worth to WWE. He’s got a good look. He can cut a good promo. He’s vastly a underrated in-ring storyteller. And above all else, he has “it.”

WWE is always looking to add to the main event rotation, but it seems harder to crack that right now. But Madcap Moss has what it takes to do just that.

Montez Ford Is Gonna Be A (Solo) Star

The Street Profits are a fantastic act, and are insanely over. But Montez is a guy–a guy who the company can build around. While I feel bad for Angelo Dawkins, I (along with so many others) see Ford being a solo star.

We’re Getting Baron Corbin vs. Pat McAfee At SummerSlam

It’s the perfect set-up:

  • Baron Corbin is highly regarded within the organization as one of the safest workers around, a point that has been made by Randy Orton himself.
  • Pat McAfee is a big-moment superstar, and SummerSlam is the moment for him.

And for the record, I love it. While I an a big time purveyor of “Baron Corbin Sucks,” I know what he can do in the ring. And him vs. Pat McAfee would have Nashville rocking–and that is what McAfee in the ring is all about.

Vince McMahon Is Literally A Man Of Steel

If you have listened to any of Bruce Prichard’s podcasts, you know Vince McMahon believes you “don’t sell.” Not in the ring, but whenever the world has turned against you in any way–including lawsuits and investigations–you don’t sell it. You hold your head high, and live above it all.

That’s exactly what the boss did when opening up WWE Smackdown On FOX. It’s entirely possible that the plan changed along the way, and we were going to get “Mr. McMahon” at some point–but what happened is trademark Vince. Not the character, but the man. And if we expected anything else, we haven’t been paying attention.

Matt Riddle Is Now A Made Man

Matt Riddle and Roman Reigns delivered a pay per view (or premium live event…pick your poison) quality main event on WWE Smackdown on FOX, on a night where the world was likely watching. Tonight was his moment, and even in a loss, he delivered.

With a singular world champion–and one who likely isn’t losing anytime soon–it’s hard to say when Riddle could become a world champ. But the stipulation added to tonight’s match (which wasn’t discussed enough on air) means that Matt Riddle now cannot challenge Roman Reigns again (that’s how the graphic showed it). That screams a Money In The Bank or Royal Rumble win to me.

It’s also highly possible that a Seth Rollins wins the Money In The Bank briefcase, and his cash in splits the titles back up, opening the door for Riddle come next spring.

Either way–one fact remains true: Matt Riddle is now a made man, and doing it on his own.


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