Jon Moxley left WWE after nearly a decade with the company, but now he is wrestling for AEW and NJPW. He worked his first post-WWE match at Sumo Hall, a building he has wrestled in before for WWE. However, it was much different this time around.
While speaking to New Japan’s website, Mox said that he’s worked Sumo Hall six or seven times before with WWE. That was a different audience. Therefore, he didn’t really know if NJPW fans would be receptive or even know who he was.
It was very different. I’d performed there six or seven times for WWE, but that was for WWE fans in Japan, or fans sampling that product. I didn’t know how the NJPW fans would react to me, or even know who I was. I thought I would have to show them who I was through what I did in the ring and the violence I put out there on my opponent.
I didn’t know how it was going to go, but it was great. I can’t thank them enough for the energy they have, and the respect. The respect the Japanese fans have is tremendous. When I was in WWE, I looked forward to coming to Japan the most, more than TV, or WrestleMania, because they have such respect for this sport, and it makes you want to work harder.
Obviously, things worked out very well for Jon Moxley’s New Japan Pro Wrestling debut. He not only defeated Juice Robinson for the IWGP United States Title, but he received an amazing ovation in the process.
It might be odd that as United States Champion, Moxley isn’t allowed to work any NJPW shows in the USA due to restrictions with AEW. At least he knows that the NJPW fans are more than welcoming for the next time he competes in Japan.