The surprise appearance of Jon Moxley, formerly WWE‘s Dean Ambrose, at Saturday’s Double or Nothing was a huge moment for the show and for new promotion All Elite Wrestling. They got a mainstream wrestling name in his prime to immediately feud with their top babyface and flip the bird! After the show, company president Tony Khan revealed that Moxley will be a full-time AEW employee when their TV show starts in the fall, but is currently available to take indie and international bookings. Last night, Moxley revealed that the first of those international bookings will be with New Japan Pro Wrestling.
The video Moxley tweeted (all but the “MOX” part at the end) was first shown on NJPW programming during Wrestling Dontaku earlier this month after a tag match featured IWGP United States Champion Juice Robinson. The mysterious wrestler due to appear on the final Best of the Super Juniors show on June 5 was assumed to be British because of the British flag on the sleeve of his leather jacket. Chris Brookes was such a popular theory that DDT parodied the vignette to announce that he’ll be coming to their promotion on June 15. Turns out Moxley’s just a weird American dude who wears the Union Jack on his clothes sometimes, I guess!
What Mox is doing, match-wise, in NJPW is pretty much a given: he’s almost definitely challenging Juice for the U.S. title at Dominion on June 9, the same show on which Chris Jericho will challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. What’s he’s doing, character-wise, can only be guessed. He hasn’t been attached to any faction yet and it’s been teased that he has personal beef with Robinson, enough that Juice said recently while sitting in on English-language commentary that he thinks he’s figured out who this knife-wielding menace.
As for what this says about the AEW-NJPW relationship, it’s hard to tell. As previously stated, this is happening allegedly before Moxley is full-time with AEW. Only Jericho and Kenny Omega, as far as we know, are able to work for both companies at the same time – and Omega was removed from NJPW’s roster page, on which Jericho is still present. Whatever’s going on there, it’s worth nothing now both Omega and Moxley could work the G1 Climax tournament before AEW’s TV show starts. (So could Jericho, but he hasn’t made it seem like he wants to wrestle that many days in a row for a while now, so many don’t get your hopes up.)