Jon Moxley Vs. Yuji Nagata Was Originally Scheduled For NJPW Strong

The match was moved to Dynamite after Tony Khan spoke to NJPW

Jon Moxley and Yuji Nagata battered each other over the IWGP United States Heavyweight Title last night and The Maestro Of Mayhem ultimately picked up the win after connecting with the Paradigm Shift. 

The match was just another example of the burgeoning relationship between All Elite Wrestling and NJPW following KENTA's Dynamite appearance in February. Moxley revealed to Sports Illustrated the title match was originally going to take place on NJPW Strong, but it was switched to Dynamite after Tony Khan spoke to New Japan. 

"Strong is a great hour of professional wrestling, and it's great for the young guys and it's great for the fans. I love being a part of it. I heard from [New Japan's] Rocky Romero, who told me Gedo still wanted to do me against Nagata, and that he was flying him out to America for Strong. So that was our plan, and I thought that was f*cking awesome," Moxley said.

After finding out the news, Moxley told Tony Khan, who got in touch with the NJPW office soon after.

"Tony asked, 'Why not do it on Dynamite?' And I said, 'If we can, then f*ck yeah, that would be bigger, especially for a legend like Nagata.' We both loved that it would be a chance for Nagata to be back on TNT. Before I knew it, Tony talked to New Japan, and now it's happening. And it's a chance to celebrate his career," he continued.

The AEW World Champion also revealed he decided he wanted to face Nagata all the way back in February 2020 after watching Blue Justice in a multi-man match at The New Beginning In Osaka. Moxley defended his IWGP United States Heavyweight Title against Minoru Suzuki later in the show. 

"I was watching Nagata kick the p*ss out of guys. Up until that point, I thought of Nagata as one of those guys where it felt like our paths would never cross and our timelines would never intersect. I'd have put him in a category of Kurt Angle or Bret Hart, where I would have loved to work with him but we couldn't because we're from two different eras. But as I was watching him, I thought to myself, 'F*ck, Nagata can still go.' It took me about two seconds to determine I wanted that match," Moxley added.

"Then I went back in the locker room because I had a lot of s*it on my mind before wrestling Suzuki. That match was a success, and as I was heading to the bus at the end of the night, I saw Gedo, the New Japan booker. I went up to Gedo and said, 'I'm just throwing this out there, putting it into the ether. Maybe one day, if I can get in the ring with Nagata, that would be really cool.' I wasn't asking for anything major. I didn't want a blood feud where he came to my house or where I'd have to attack him. I just wanted to share the ring with him. Two hours before that, I saw him move around the ring like a cat and Gedo looks at me and goes, 'Ohhhhhh, I will keep that in mind.'"

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

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