NJPW Strong has begun featuring a tournament to determine the next challenger for Jon Moxley and his IWGP United States Championship. David Finlay was on The Wrestling Inc. Daily to discuss his thoughts on Moxley heading into the tournament.
“Jon Moxley is a huge name. The IWGP United States Championship is a huge title,” Finlay noted. “So I think beating Jon Moxley, winning the tournament [and] winning the title, that would be some accolades I would like to add to my resume.”
Finlay beat Chase Owens in the first round of the tournament setting him up for a match-up against Tama Tonga. Finlay was asked if Owens is overlooked, and he said he is calling him a sleeper within NJPW.
“I would agree with that, but Chase is a sleeper,” Finlay stated. “He does well in tournaments. He’s kind of a bracket buster. He was trained by Ricky Morton, [who] is one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. So he’s definitely somebody to take very seriously.”
Evil shocked the wrestling world when he defeated Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships at Dominion. Finlay gave his thoughts on Evil’s win and how it has come in a weird time creating a Japan division and U.S. division in NJPW.
“Yeah, I didn’t see that coming,” Finlay said. “I mean, maybe it works out. Maybe it doesn’t. It seems to have worked out. He’s the double champion now, so, you know, can’t argue with the results.
“Yeah, I guess. I mean it’s a weird situation right now where your kind of limited on what you can do and what you can’t do. We almost have like a Japan team and a U.S. team right now. So you got to make do with what you have.”
Former NJPW wrestler Alex Koslov returned to NJPW as a color commentator alongside Kevin Kelly for NJPW Strong. Finlay said he was impressed by Koslov on commentary and hopes that he returns again.
“I, actually previously, hadn’t been around Koslov at all besides like just saying hey and kind of like in passing, but I thought he did really well on commentary. I was impressed,” Finlay said. “I would really like to have him back on commentary. I thought he was that good. So I really enjoyed it.”
It was reported last year that AEW had blocked Moxley from NJPW’s G1 Climax Dallas show. Moxley later denied that was the case saying he had a prior engagement and was never booked on that show. Finlay was asked whether Moxley could defend the title in the U.S., and while Finlay does not have the details on Moxley’s contract situation with NJPW and AEW, he hopes that Moxley can defend the title in the U.S. Finlay also talked about how many things are taking a backseat now due to the pandemic but hopes things can eventually get back to normal.
“I honestly have no idea,” Finlay admitted. “I think that’s between Jon Moxley and New Japan and AEW to figure out, but it would be cool if he could defend it in the States since it is the United States Championship.
“Honestly, I think everything’s taking a backseat right now just due to the current circumstances, but I think once everything gets up and running, everything will be hopefully back to normal or even better.”
David Finlay can be seen Friday nights as part of NJPW Strong on NJPWWorld.com. You can follow him on Twitter @THEDavidFinlay. David’s full interview aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon by clicking here.