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At Wrestle Kingdom, Moxley reminded New Japan he’s still IWGP U.S. champ

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IWGP United States champ - and AEW contracted wrestler - Jon Moxley hasn’t appeared for New Japan since last February, when he successfully retained his belt against Minoru Suzuki. At The New Beginning, Zack Sabre Jr. showed up to challenge Mox, and fans started anticipating that clash of styles.

But we all know what happened soon after. With the pandemic refusing to stay down in Japan or the U.S., and the champ with a pregnant wife at home, it didn’t look like Moxley’s NJPW return was happening any time soon.

And it didn’t happen on night one of Wrestle Kingdom 15 this morning (Jan. 4), but Mox sent a pre-recorded video message to hint that it could happen at any moment. We got some shots of horses thundering across a dusty plain with the Revelation verse about the pale one, the Horseman riding it, and what follows him. Then we cut to Moxley on the set of NJPW Strong (which films in the States at their Los Angeles dojo), where he delivered this quick promo:

“Many men have vied for that U.S. title contract, but they all thought they were gonna get off easy. They all hoped and prayed that the United States Heavyweight champion would never return. But I am the boogeyman of New Japan Pro-Wrestling. I will get you eventually. So whoever walks out of the Tokyo Dome with that contract, make no mistake about it - I’m coming for ya.”

The contract Mox is referring to is the vehicle New Japan’s used to keep his absent title a part of their storylines. KENTA won it with the New Japan Cup USA back in August, and has defended it several times. He did so successful on Monday’s show, defeating Satoshi Kojima (who replaced an injured Juice Robinson).

Now we’ll continue to wait for Moxley vs. KENTA, but hopefully the inclusion of this quick promo means there’s a plan to make it happen in the not-too-distant future.