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Jon Moxley defeats Juice Robinson to win the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship

Jon Moxley applies a stepover toehold facelock to a bleeding Juice Robinson NJPW World

At New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Best of the Super Jr. 26 Finals this morning (for full results, check here), Jon Moxley made a statement with his first post-WWE match when he won the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship from a freshly-shorn Juice Robinson.

Making his entrance through the crowd and wearing actual wrestling gear for the first time in years, Mox made it clear that this ain’t your PG Dean Ambrose before the match even began, getting in Robinson’s face and flipping him the double birds. The match itself was the brawling affair you’d expect from two men who are as good with their fists as Juice and Jon— they fought into the crowd, Robinson hit a senton atomico off the top of the entrance, when they came back to the ring Moxley began biting and tearing at an open wound over Juice’s eyebrow.

From there it built into a crescendo of violence as Jon shifted gears to target the leg, a table got introduced, Juice threw a chair in his face, another table came into play and in the end, Mox hit Dirty Deeds, got a nearfall, and followed it up with what commentary called Death Rider, a high-angle brainbuster version of the butterfly DDT.

Moxley had a vigor to him that he hadn’t had in WWE in years, and the match was a tour de force, a real kitchen sink brawl where they did a little bit of everything and the end result was even greater than the sum of its parts.

And now that Jon has a title in hand, I’m excited to see what challengers he has lined up over the coming months as he brings his unique shade of explicit Mox violence to the New Japan roster, because not only was the match excellent, it felt totally appropriate to a New Japan audience while also not being very different from the usual NJPW main event (or co-main) match.

There you have it, folks

Excited to see Jon Moxley as your new IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion, Cagesiders?

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