Over the past week AEW’s Jon Moxley has been announced for two upcoming New Japan Pro-Wrestling shows. One is his first with the company in more than six months, and the other his first in Japan since the start of the pandemic.
All we were told about the first booking — May 21’s Resurgence in Long Beach, California — was that he’d be wresting.
But by the way the second of those two dates was revealed, we knew he’d be teaming with his New Japan protege Shota Umino (who Mox refers to as his “young boy”, a Japanese wrestling term for students/trainees that, when not honing their in-ring craft at the dojo, are usually responsible for things like ring set-up and other menial tasks in support of the promotion and its veteran wrestlers) at Dominion on June 4 in Osaka. Umino broke the news about Moxley’s return to Japan by stepping to new NEVER Openweight Six-Man champions Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tomohiro Ishii, so that figures to be the match. The identity of Mox & Shota’s third man isn’t clear however, and its led to some excited speculation about certain other members of Blackpool Combat Club.
Now, they’ve announced Mox’s Resurgence match and it looks like it will tie into the title bout at Dominion. And it will involved Moxley & Umino teaming with someone from the BCC. But it isn’t a Superman or a Dragon. For Long Beach, Mox is bringing his AEW young boy — Wheeler Yuta.
The team of Moxley, Umino & Yuta won’t be facing the Six-Man champs though. That’s because Tanahashi is already booked for another match at Resurgence, facing Will Ospreay in the mini-tournament to determine Kenny Omega’s next IWGP United States title challenger. So Okada & Ishii’s CHAOS stablemate Rocky Romero will join them to face Moxley and his boys.
That could set the table for another Blackpool-er to join them in Osaka next month, though. So don’t give up your Claudio Castagnoli or Bryan Danielson dreams just yet.
Here’s the final card for Resurgence, which New Japan has confirmed will main event with the Mercedes Moné or Stephanie Vaquer facing Willow Nightingale or Momo Kohgo for the new Strong Women’s title:
• NJPW Strong Women’s Championship tournament finals
• Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Will Ospreay in the semi-finals of the IWGP United States championship number one contender’s tournament
• Jon Moxley, Wheeler Yuta & Shota Umino vs. Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii & Rocky Romero
• Hikuleo (c) vs. KENTA for the NJPW Strong title
• Fred Rosser vs. Juice Robinson in a Street Fight:
• Zack Sabre Jr. & Bad Dude Tito vs. Barbaro Cavernario & Virus
• Willow Nightingale vs. Momo Kohgo in a NJPW Strong Women’s Championship tournament semi-final
• Mercedes Moné vs. Stephanie Vaquer in a NJPW Strong Women’s Championship tournament first round:
• Bateman vs. The DKC (pre-show)
• Christopher Daniels vs. Alex Coughlin (pre-show)