Jon Moxley is set to wrap up his blood feud with Kenny Omega at AEW Revolution in a match that will likely feature some sort of stipulation to act as a bookend to their rivalry. Assuming that Moxley doesn’t defeat ‘The Cleaner’ to reclaim the AEW Championship, it leaves the question looming of what’s next for the former ‘Lunatic Fringe’.
Moxley has become AEW’s flag bearer since defeating Chris Jericho for the title at last year’s Revolution pay-per-view, which feels like a lifetime ago after the year we’ve all experienced. Mox was the perfect candidate to elevate AEW to the mainstream level, he brought with him the fame of being one of WWE’s top stars and had the respect of his peers inside and outside of the company. Throughout his reign, Moxley helped establish other members of the roster’s hierarchy, including: Brian Cage, Lance Archer, Eddie Kingston and Darby Allin, who have all gone on to become solid foundations of the promotion’s mid-card scene.
Losing the championship to Kenny Omega couldn’t have come at a better time; not that Moxley was growing stale, in fact fans had never been more behind him, but it has helped bring on the start of a new era in pro wrestling, one where bridges are being built over the gaps between indie promotions, ties with Impact and New Japan are slowly being established and more lucrative opportunities are on the table now for aspiring superstars. And at the centre of all this progression are both Jon Moxley and Kenny Omega.
But what happens after they conclude their programme at Revolution? Kenny Omega will presumably proceed into new championship feuds and continue to forge the ‘New Bullet Club’ storyline alongside Don Callis, The Good Brothers and Young Bucks, but what will come of Jon Moxley?
Personally, I believe that Mox should re-establish himself as one of NJPW’s top gaijin stars, not only so he can continue to explore new avenues and dream matches in Japan, but to also further the link between AEW and their far-Eastern counterparts. A relationship between the two companies has been something that fans have been wanting to see since AEW was brought into existence.
The majority of AEW’s top stars have had extended tenures in Japan, where they have built friendships and feuds with NJPW’s most prolific performers. For some of those wrestlers to make the trip to America (once we’ve seen the back of this pandemic) and reignite some of those old flames, then it goes without saying that WWE would have a tough time competing with them.
Considering that Moxley is still recognised as New Japan’s IWGP United States Champion, and having made a pre-taped appearance at January’s Wrestle Kingdom event, it’s confirmed that both AEW and NJPW are happy to exchange talent for the sake of special appearances.
Moxley is set to battle fellow WWE alumni, KENTA, for the US Championship upon his return, which will be a fantastic match in of itself. Depending on whether Moxley treats this as his final hurrah in Japan before promptly returning to focus on his AEW career, this could potentially lead to even bigger things for Jon going forward.
Moxley has already ticked off a few dream matches prior to COVID-19, the encounter with Minoru Suzuki being one of the most requested matches from fans worldwide. But there are still plenty of NJPW wrestlers that Moxley has yet to tangle with: Tetsuya Naito, Jay White, Kota Ibushi and Kazuchika Okada, just to name a few. Seeing Moxley do battle with today’s Mount Rushmore of NJPW would be a great way to revitalise his career following a few losses to AEW’s Omega, and kickstart a new chapter of his career. Perhaps this could even lead to a bout for the IWGP World Championship? It would certainly be fitting of his global status as one of, if not the best wrestler in the world today.
The other road for Moxley to explore could even be with Impact Wrestling, the promotion that has somehow managed to resurrect itself once more under the tutelage of Jon Callis and Scott D’Amore. With AEW looking to bring Impact in under their umbrella, Moxley could be a great ambassador for the brand to help bring new eyes to the product and help bolster their roster.
At the moment, Impact are relying on a small handful of stars that have mainstream value, mostly former WWE stars and those that have managed to make waves on the independent scene. Moxley could at least help shift the spotlight onto some new stars while maintaining a buzz around the main event scene. Mox would naturally shift into the championship picture and could even find himself becoming an Impact World Champion here in 2021.
Whichever route Moxley decides to go down, it goes without saying that wherever he ends up will benefit massively. Even if he sticks around in AEW to help boost the credibility of the mid-card/tag scenes, Moxley will be a hot commodity.
Where would you like to see Moxley go next after his feud with Kenny Omega? Let us know in the comments below.
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