Jon Moxley is on top of the professional wrestling world right now, thanks in large part to his most recent exploits in the ring. Mox walked into the Tokyo Dome for New Japan Pro Wrestling on January 4, won the IWGP United States Championship and successfully defended it the next night.
Three days later, he pulled a swerve on Chris Jericho and thus set himself up as the No.1 threat to the AEW World Championship. Jon is in a prime position in both companies right now and his New Year is beginning the same way his old one just ended. So will Jon Moxley own 2020?
Moxley has been a major topic of conversation since his departure from WWE in 2019. The man formerly known as Dean Ambrose took his leave of Vince McMahon’s company and restarted his pro wrestling journey under his old moniker.
But this time, his profile was considerably higher than it ever was. Moxley was an indie star before WWE, but after WWE, he was a worldwide star. He took that notoriety to AEW and thanks to that spotlight, he’s been in a featured spot. Now he’s pulling double duty for both AEW and New Japan.
Watch Jon Moxley tear down The Inner Circle in AEW!
It’s a situation that many fans likely believed they would not see with Jon, but it’s one that he’s completely embraced. Mox didn’t exactly reinvent himself when he left WWE. However he did take what was working for him and expand on it. Anything that did not work, was discarded. He left the goofy humor of Ambrose behind and instead became the killer known as Moxley.
It was the kind of run that most pro wrestlers can only imagine. Jon took a huge risk by leaving his old job and admittedly left a lot of money on the table as a result. But dollar signs were of little consequence to him, especially when compared to his happiness. Jon was not allowed to be himself in WWE and more importantly, he was forced to be something he wasn’t.
So when the right moment came, Jon made his exit. But instead of disappearing from the scene, he signed with AEW. It was a move that many felt was inevitable, though there was never any guarantee that it would work. But Jon was over from day one and he stayed over. But then the story became even more intriguing when he landed in a major spot with New Japan.
NJPW rolled out the red carpet for Jon Moxley and he walked it like no one else ever had. Jon was reinvigorated and he was anxious to prove to the world that he was only just getting started. Moxley was a star in two companies and was on his way up, instead of falling down. He proved that WWE was not the last stop; it was only the beginning.
Listen to Mox after beating Lance Archer at Wrestle Kingdom!
But what does all of this mean for 2020? The fact is that Jon Moxley has barely scratched the surface of what he can do in both New Japan and AEW. He’s not been overexposed by either side and he continues to be a red-hot star. There are endless possibilities for him, especially if his work in New Japan continues into the New Year.
Mox is headed for a war with Minoru Suzuki in what can only be described as unavoidable. Jon’s character thrives on mayhem and Suzuki happens to be a master of it. It was perhaps only a matter of time until both men crossed paths in the ring and now it’s finally coming to pass.
This will not be a pro wrestling clinic, though it definitely could be. Both men are technically proficient in the ring and would undoubtedly deliver a five-star bout. But this match will be a fight, a massive melee worthy of these two agents of chaos.
Watch Moxley lay out Suzuki in New Japan!
So who’s next in NJPW? Mox has beaten Lance Archer and Juice Robinson, two of the company’s top American stars. Jon has pinned Tomohiro Ishii, Shingo Takagi and Tetsuya Naito. He’s waged war with Hirooki Goto and Jay White. Mox has already done quite a bit in New Japan and before its over, he could accomplish quite a bit more.
Will Hiroshi Tanahashi be on Jon’s radar? How about Kota Ibushi? Kazuchika Okada? Could Mox face Naito for the IWGP Championship in 2020? The sky is the limit for Jon and it’s obvious that New Japan is extremely high on him right now.
Then there’s Mox’s current run in AEW. Will Jon defeat Chris Jericho for the World Championship? If so, then Jon will surely become the face of AEW to the rest of the world. Moxley has already beaten Kenny Omega, Shawn Spears and Darby Allin. If he wins the title, will Jon then cross paths with Hangman Page? What about MJF or Cody Rhodes? Moxley is one of AEW’s primary stars and there’s no reason to believe that will change in 2020. His star can only burn brighter than it is now.
Jon Moxley is in the best spot of his pro wrestling career. At age 34, Mox is a proven main event star and he’s reached an ideal position in which he can call his own shots. Moxley has left his old life in WWE far behind. Now he’s on top of the world and he’s only just getting started.
Tom Clark is a Senior Pro Wrestling Analyst and Featured Columnist for Wrestling Rumors. His podcast, Tom Clark’s Main Event, is available on iTunes,YouTube, iHeart Radio, boinkstudios.com and live every Friday at 12pm EST on Wrestling Rumors Facebook Live