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Jon Moxley Was Set To Reunite With Shota Umino At NJPW Strong

Jon Moxley Shota Umino

Jon Moxley was reportedly set to reunite with a friend from the not too distant past at the recent NJPW Strong event where he competed in tag team action.

According to Sports Illustrated, Moxley was set to team with ‘Shooter’ Shota Umino, one of New Japan’s Young Lions. The IWGP US Champion faced Umino in his second match for New Japan Pro Wrestling at Dominion in June 2019. That match came only four days after Moxley had won his NJPW debut and with it the IWGP United States Title against Juice Robinson.

After Moxley had defeated Shota Umino in that match, he took the Young Lion under his wing and teamed with him throughout Moxley’s stint in the 2019 G1 tournament. All told Moxley and ‘Shooter’ teamed nine times, winning three of those matches and losing to the likes of Los Ingobernables De Japon, Bullet Club, and CHAOS. The last time the men teamed together was on the 12th of August 2019 at Nippon Budokan in a losing effort against Juice Robinson and Toa Henare.

At NJPW Strong on the 7th of May Jon Moxley teamed up with Chris Dickinson to face Ren Narita and Yuji Nagata. That came just five days before Moxley defended his IWGP US Championship against the veteran Nagata on AEW Dynamite.

The report from Sports Illustrated on why Moxley couldn’t team with Umino read:

“Sports Illustrated has learned that Moxley’s partner was originally intended to be Shooter, who is a New Japan prospect (or, in NJPW terminology, Young Lion) Shota Umino. He suffered an injury and was unable to work the match. Dickinson was a late addition to the match, specifically requested by Moxley, and he fit in perfectly with his violent, believable commitment to the craft.”

In October 2020, Moxley fought and defeated Dickinson in a brutal encounter at Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 3. Dickinson has been a regular face on the US-based NJPW Strong shows, mostly teaming with his partners in Team Filthy.

Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston will challenge The Young Bucks for the AEW Tag Team Championships at the upcoming Double Or Nothing pay-per-view.

Credit: Sports Illustrated