Jon Moxley made his long-anticipated defense the IWGP United States championship against number one contender KENTA on Friday night's edition of NJPW Strong: The New Beginning USA in Port Huemene, California, USA.
After a hard-fought battle, a battered and drained KENTA (from one knee) flipped Moxley off and told him "F--k you" before smacking him. In response, Moxley kicked him in the gut and hit his Death Rider variant of the Paradigm Shift to secure the win.
The match was Moxley's first New Japan bout (and his first defense of the IWGP United States title) since February 9 of last year. There, he retained his championship over Minoru Suzuki at NJPW The New Beginning in Osaka.
KENTA became the number one contender to the US title by winning a tournament in August. While waiting to challenge for the belt, he successfully defended his entitlement against the likes of Jeff Cobb, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Satoshi Kojima, among others.
KENTA crossed into AEW to help build Friday's match. After attacking Moxley on an early February Dynamite, he teamed with Kenny Omega the following week, defeating Moxley and Lance Archer in a wild brawl.