Why Jon Moxley vs. Yuji Nagata Was So Important For AEW & NJPW’s Partnership

On the latest episode of AEW Dynamite, Jon Moxley showed that even a four time world champion like Yuji Nagata will have a hard time taking the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship off him. His reign extended to four defenses with this win, and will now likely reach 500 days. However, this was more than just a simple title match, it was a direct message to New Japan Pro Wrestling that their stars and legends will be properly showcased.

Yuji Nagata Was Hyped Up As The Legend He Is By AEW

While Nagata wasn’t the first New Japan Pro Wrestling talent to show up on AEW Dynamite, as KENTA had already kicked the forbidden door open months ago, he was arguably better showcased due to proper hype. While KENTA showed up to attack Moxley and got involved in a crazy falls count anywhere tag team match, Nagata was able to walk into their ring and wrestle a traditional NJPW style match. This was hyped up all week by AEW & NJPW both, which included a video from NJPW of every Jon Moxley match involving the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship.

From before he even hit the ring, Nagata was treated like the living legend wrestling fans see him as. AEW showed that they respect his history, and in the ring allowed him to showcase his skills at the expense of a former AEW World Champion. By correctly using and showcasing Nagata, it showed NJPW that they can trust AEW with anyone they send over to have matches.

The companies have a working relationship, but after a bad run alongside Impact Wrestling (then TNA Wrestling) which came with un-approved title changes? NJPW are likely to remain skeptical. We saw this in their dealings with Ring Of Honor, where NJPW arguably over-protected their talents at the expense of ROH talents. They seem to be finding a better balance in NJPW, but that will remain to be seen. We just know that this match will not be the last.

NJPW Might Be More Likely To Send Names To Face Jon Moxley On AEW Dynamite Going Forward

This likely was only the first time we will see the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship defended on AEW Dynamite. NJPW might be more open to having Moxley defend against AEW contracted talent such as another former champion in Lance Archer, or more likely to send people to face Moxley when able.

Men like Hiroshi Tanahashi and Jay White have been eager to get into the AEW ring, and Moxley could be the perfect opponent for them. Moxley is the bridge between AEW & NJPW, and the reason for their working relationship, and that is continuing to be proven with every interaction between the companies.

Do you expect more defenses of this belt from Jon Moxley on Dynamite? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.

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AEWHiroshi TanahashiJon MoxleyNJPWYuji Nagata
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