On the final night of the Best of the Super Juniors 26 Tournament, Jon Moxley, who was revealed to be the man behind New Japan Pro Wrestling‘s “Time’s Up” vignettes, re-started his non-WWE career with a bang. In his first match back on the non-WWE/developmental circuit since 2011, not to mention his NJPW in-ring debut, Moxley defeated Juice Robinson in their first ever meeting, to capture the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship.
Perhaps it’s only fitting that Moxley’s newest title and first since leaving WWE, bears the same name of the first title he won in WWE, the United States Championship. Jon Moxley held that belt for a record 351 days. If he were to hold the IWGP version of the belt just as long, he’d surpass Kenny Omega‘s inaugural and longest reign (210 days), by over 100 days.
In his first match since leaving WWE, Jon Moxley captures the IWGP US Heavyweight Championship from Juice Robinson pic.twitter.com/hExZbvranj
— SI Wrestling (@SI_wrestling) June 5, 2019
Jon Moxley is the sixth man to win the IWGP United States Championship, NJPW’s newest title, having just been introduced a little under two years ago. Of the champions, they have all been gaijins, with Juice Robinson, the only man to hold the belt twice. In winning both the WWE and IWGP versions of the belt, Moxley is also the only man who has won both titles.
Having left WWE over creative differences and general unhappiness and apathy, Jon Moxley made his grand return to the wrestling scene not run by Vince McMahon, when he shockingly debuted at Double or Nothing, attacking Kenny Omega, Chris Jericho and anyone who stood in his way. He talked of a paradigm shift, started using his Twitter account to make bold statements, and began making an impact in his new company without having wrestled a match. Since his return to the indies and his debuts in All Elite Wrestling and NJPW, Moxley has already been announced for matches against Joey Janela (his AEW debut, set to take place at this month’s Fyter Fest), Pentagon (set for Northeast Wrestling‘s “Prison Break” event in August), and is building, most likely, to a program with Kenny Omega. A program that is even more fitting now as it will see two former/possibly one current IWGP United States champions facing off.
— Wrestling Travel (@WrestlingTravel) June 5, 2019
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