AEW's Jon Moxley Describes What It Meant For Him To Win IWGP Championship

Jon Moxley is currently enjoying his new role as the top guy in NJPW following his victory over Tetsuya Naito at Windy City Riot, where he became the first American to hold the current incarnation of the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, and the first American to win NJPW's top prize since AJ Styles in 2015. Having already been WWE and AEW World Champion in the past, holding the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship holds a special significance for Moxley, as he told Sports Illustrated what the moment of winning felt like.


"Those moments in the ring are like a drug," Moxley said. "It was a great atmosphere, it was a crazy moment. I was all f****d up with blood in my eyes. There was absolutely nothing that was going to stop me. Not giving up in the face of adversity, the will to not be denied. All the long-ass plane rides, all the injuries, all of that went away at that moment"

Moxley knows that being IWGP World Heavyweight Champion is a once in a lifetime opportunity for him, particularly after all of the success he has had in WWE and AEW, so he is going to make the most of every moment he holds onto NJPW's top title. "I'm still here. So much of decision-making in pro wrestling is out of your control, but I have this one shot. I may never get another one. Plus, I'm a father now. At first, it didn't seem so realistic. It wasn't even a goal. I just embraced every moment in Japan. I love being there, training there, and wrestling there. All I'm focused on there is wrestling. That's it. So it's a state of mind that allows me to grow as a pro wrestler. It's all about the pursuit of pro wrestling."


Jon Moxley Is Willing To Embrace The Pressure

On the April 24 "AEW Dynamite," Moxley successfully defended the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship for the first time. He defeated Powerhouse Hobbs in the show's main event, before calling out his next opponent, Ren Narita, by calling him a dead man. If Moxley gets past Narita at NJPW's Wrestling Dontaku event on May 4, he will travel back to the United States to defend the title against his protégé Shota Umino, a man who has been by his side in Japan since his very first match in NJPW.


The ability to represent NJPW on a global stage is something Moxley is not only excited for, but is determined to do better than anyone. "I'm not intimidated by the opportunity. I'm much more comfortable with the ball in my hands. Let it fall on my shoulders. I'll take all of the blame if it goes wrong. I am more comfortable when s**t goes off the rails. A lot of people want to be in those positions, but then they get there and realize it's a lot harder than they thought."

As for how long Moxley plans on being the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, he admitted that his relationship with NJPW means a lot to him and that he is in a great spot with both AEW and NJPW, but like most things in life, nothing lasts forever. "Nothing lasts forever. You can't take anything to the grave with you. One day you're giving everything back to the universe, and the world keeps spinning. It could last three weeks, it could last three years–but to be in this position, it means as much to me as anything I've ever had in wrestling."