Jon Moxley has finally returned to an NJPW ring, coming face-to-face with the number one contender for his IWGP United States Championship, KENTA, at the conclusion of the latest episode of NJPW Strong.
KENTA was in the main event of the episode, teaming with fellow Bullet Club members El Phantasmo and Hikuleo to take on the debuting Lio Rush and his partners, TJP and Fred Rosser. After suffering defeat, the Bullet Club trio went to attack the opposing team after the bell, but the lights went out and, when they came back on, Moxley was standing in the ring. The ‘Death Rider’ laid out ELP and Hikuleo with the US Championship belt then confronted KENTA. The two went back and forth before Moxley escaped an attempted Go To Sleep and dropped KENTA with a Death Rider DDT.
Taking to the microphone, Moxley let KENTA know in no uncertain terms that he wasn’t safe from him and he would see him in Tokyo.
“KENTA, I think you thought you were going to get off easy my man. I think you thought there would always be an ocean between us, political lines between us, but I don’t play those games. I don’t see yellow lights or red lights, I focus on green lights and as of this moment, my foot is officially up your ass. Your dream of becoming United States Champion just became a nightmare.
“I’ll see you in Tokyo one of these days. We’re gonna get it done however we gotta get it done.”
Moxley last appeared in NJPW via video at Wrestle Kingdom 15, where he warned he would be coming for the winner of the number one contender match at the event between KENTA and Satoshi Kojima. Before that, because of travel restrictions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, he had not been seen in the company since February 9th, 2020, when he successfully defended the US Championship against Minoru Suzuki at New Beginning in Osaka. He is now the longest reigning US Champion in the company’s history.
KENTA won the briefcase guaranteeing him a match for Moxley’s title back in August 2020 in the New Japan Cup USA tournament. As well as Kojima, he has defended the briefcase against the likes of Juice Robinson and Hiroshi Tanahashi. He has repeatedly called Moxley out over the last few months, with it not being clear when Moxley would be able to return to defend the title. However, now it looks like we’ll finally be getting the match sooner rather than later.