Moxley feels like his old self again working in New Japan Pro Wrestling. He noted how in WWE, the matches feel like a recurring dance between the superstars, the referee, and Vince McMahon.
"[In WWE,] it's almost like Vince is in the ring with you, the producer is in the ring with you," Moxley explained. "It's like you have two little bubbles on your shoulder, like three heads in the ring. All of a sudden when I got in the ring [in New Japan], five minutes into the match I was like, there's no chatter. There was no producer-ref-Vince chatter. It was like silence. And I didn't expect that. I was like, 'Whoa, I'm alone again. It's just me in the ring.' And then I just started beating the [crap] out of Juice and I was like, 'Oh yeah, this is what I used to do.'"
Moxley has his sights set on the future, and that future is his participation in NJPW's G1 Climax that begins this weekend. This highly prestigious tournament is well-known as being one of the most grueling events a New Japan talent can be a part of.
"I expect it to be a grinding tour," Moxley said. "But dude, I've done the most horrific WWE European and worldwide tours that you could imagine. Like no days off, 14 days straight, 25 minutes every night in the main event. Going through tables every single night. I could have done the G1 next year, done some more matches in Japan, got a feel for the style. I've gotta do this s--t in four weeks. Basically, this is a crash course in New Japan. This might be my one opportunity do it.
"I heard a lot of stuff about how hard this tournament is, how grueling this tournament is. When one of the top companies in the world with such great history invites you to their flagship event - yeah, it'll be hard, but you only get one life," Moxley continued. "What am I gonna say? No? Why would I be saying no? I expect it to be hard. I expect it to be a lot of rough mornings. The thing with me is, most likely I'll have the foot on the gas pedal pretty hard the entire time. Whether that's smart or not, that's just the way I'm wired. I expect it to be fun."
Tournaments like the G1 Climax increase the amount that the fans get to see one of their favorite stars perform, but it will also obviously makes them more susceptible to injury.
"It's kind of like March Madness or something like that," Moxley said. "Pick your favorite guy and you can follow him through the tournament. Stories will play out through the tournament. Everybody will play a different role. Somebody might bang their leg up in the first match, and then they have to deal with having a hurt leg for the rest of the tournament. Like, actual pro wrestling stories."
Moxley likes how the tournament is organized because it will allow for organic rivalries to blossom from the matches themselves. He's not the type of character that wants to over-complicate things.
"Being over there [in Japan] was like, 'Oh, it's just pro wrestling,'" Moxley said. "It's like the pro wrestling I grew up on. Pro wrestling is a sport. It's simple. It's a story, two guys, the conflict. We're having a fight in the ring. Wins and losses. New Japan is very sport-centric. If you're kind of burned out on sports entertainment and watching people have big, long diatribes in the ring and you want to get back to sweat flying, people chopping each other, suplexing each other, going for submissions, the sport of professional wrestling - if you miss that, then the G1 is gonna be for you."