KENTA became the number one contender to Moxley's championship after defeating David Finlay in the finals of the first-ever New Japan Cup USA Tournament. En route to winning the inaugural tournament, KENTA defeated the likes of Jeff Cobb and Karl Fredericks on NJPW Strong, before ultimately pinning David Finlay on Friday night.
Interestingly, the 39-year-old KENTA told Sports Illustrated in an interview that he was motivated to win the tournament just so he could face Moxley.
"I said many times that I'm going to prove that I'm the best pro wrestler in this business," KENTA said. "That's why I'm here. I've had ridiculous past feelings here in America, and I want to get rid of that humiliation. That's why this tournament is a great opportunity for me. And I want to get the [IWGP US Title] belt from Moxley. Honestly, a few years ago, Moxley and I were at different levels. But I don't feel like that now."
KENTA also declared that he plans to become the first-ever Japanese wrestler to hold the IWGP U.S. Championship, a title that has been previously held by the likes of Kenny Omega, Cody, Jay White, Juice Robinson, and Lance Archer.
"I'm going to be the first-ever Japanese IWGP U.S. Champion, and I'll bring that belt to a higher level," KENTA added. "I've never forgotten my American humiliation. If I have the belt, it will get more attention from both Japanese and American fans."
Moxley originally defeated Robinson to win the title in May 2019 until he was forced to vacate it in October of last year. However, the AEW World Champion reclaimed the IWGP U.S. title at Wrestle Kingdom 14 in a Texas Deathmatch against Archer.
Hey @JonMoxley— KENTA aka Lil'K (@KENTAG2S) August 22, 2020
I'm coming for YOU.