In the second part of NJPW’s exclusive interview with Jon Moxley, he opened up about making the shift from being “Dean Ambrose” in WWE to debuting in NJPW. Moxley revealed that Chris Jericho and Cody Rhodes, both established stars in NJPW, as well as his new colleagues in AEW, inspired his decision to give NJPW a shot.
“I tried to follow [the careers of Chris Jericho and Cody Rhodes]. When you travel in WWE, you’re kind of in a bubble and it’s difficult to follow along, but I did watch what I could,” Moxley explained. “Then, when I knew I was leaving – Japan in general was definitely on my bucket list. I wanted to have a good run in Japan, and of course NJPW was the goal. So when I got the call from them, I was just like, ‘let’s go, put me on the airplane’.
Moxley noted that certain NJPW-turned-WWE stars, like Shinsuke Nakamura and Karl Anderson, have been encouraging his participation in the G1 Climax this year.
“Well, Shinsuke Nakamura is in WWE and doing very well. I never got to wrestle him sadly, but he heard that I was likely going over to be in the G1, and he was very pleased,” Moxley said. “[He] said it was a great life experience. Karl Anderson, who I’ve actually been friends with since I was 18, since we’re both from Cincinnati, I asked him about the G1. A few others as well, and everybody was great and said, ‘yeah, go for it’.”
Moxley gave some high praise for the stellar performer Nakamura has exemplified himself as while being a part of WWE. Moxley thinks Nakamura’s adaptability will help him find success wherever he competes in the ring.
“I think [Nakamura is] doing great there. Fans love him,” Moxley said. “It’s a different style, but he fits in well because he is charismatic, he is flamboyant. He can go, so whether it’s a New Japan ring or a WWE one he can do well anywhere.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit New Japan Pro Wrestling.