He may not presently be able to defend the IWGP United States title overseas due to COVID restrictions, but champion Jon Moxley made his mark Friday night at NJPW's Strong in Port Huemene, CA, attacking the man who had been calling him out for months.
During a post-main event scrum pitting KENTA, El Phantasmo, and Hikuleo against Lio Rush, Fred Rosser, and TJP, the lights suddenly went out. When they came back on, Moxley appeared, laying out Hikuleo and Phantasmo with the US title. Moxley then exchanged blows with KENTA, before countering the GTS with the Death Rider.
Moxley then vowed that he and KENTA would tangle in Tokyo, "one of these days."
KENTA became number one contender to the United States title in August, after winning the New Japan Cup USA tournament. In the months since, KENTA has successfully defended his title shot against the likes of Jeff Cobb, Hiroshi Tanahashi, David Finlay, Brody King, and Satoshi Kojima. Along the way, KENTA has called out Moxley, noting his inability to defend the belt.
Moxley has reigned as US champion since January 4, 2020, when he defeated Lance Archer in a Texas Death match at Wrestle Kingdom 14. His last match with New Japan came on February 9 of last year, when he defeated Minoru Suzuki at New Beginning in Osaka.