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Mox/KENTA is finally official, and Jay White is back

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New Japan with news of their own on Royal Rumble weekend.

The Royal Rumble has a way of taking up all the oxygen in the room, but New Japan made some waves over the past 24 hours wrestling fans will want to be aware of.

First, following up on his return to the company on NJPW Strong last Friday night (Jan. 29), they finally booked Jon Moxley’s next IWGP United States title defense - and will let KENTA stop carrying around that briefcase he won last summer.

New Beginning USA 2021 will stream on NJPWWorld Fri., Feb. 26 from the Oceanview Pavilion in Port Hueneme, California. Conventional wisdom says the AEW-contracted wrestler would drop the belt to the guy New Japan can use when and wherever they want. But conventional wisdom also would have been to strip Mox of the title or name KENTA interim champion seeing as he hasn’t defended it in a year. We’ll see what they do.

The company didn’t let the drama about Jay White’s status linger for too long. After the former IWGP U.S., Intercontinental and Heavyweight champion said he was leaving the company after losing to current Intercontinental and Heavyweight champ Kota Ibushi at Wrestle Kingdom 15 and working a tag match at New Year Dash!!, the Bullet Club leader returned to attack Tomohiro Ishii at the end of today (Feb. 1)’s Road to the New Beginning show at Korakuen Hall.

There had been speculation among some fans that White could appear in the Rumble yesterday, but there wasn’t anything to back up those hopes (or fears, depending on your perspective).

Excited to breathe with the Switchblade again, and finally see KENTA try to put Mox’s reign to sleep?