AEW star and former IWGP U.S. Champion Lancer Archer sat down with Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman on The Wrestling Inc. Daily podcast to discuss his upcoming match against Jon Moxley for the AEW World Championship at AEW’s Anniversary Show.
Archer and Moxley have faced off before on night one of Wrestle Kingdom where Archer lost the IWGP U.S. Championship. Archer discussed that match and his ambitions for a different result the next time they face off.
“Yeah, I mean you can’t not look at the past and see what has happened before, and the fact that I actually got to step in the ring with Moxley in the Tokyo Dome at the very beginning of 2020 before everything kind of went crazy, for me, it was the biggest match I’ve had on the biggest stage I’ve ever had to work with Moxley,” Archer admitted. “And it was a two-night event for New Japan at the time. We had two nights of Wrestle Kingdom [in] the Tokyo Dome. First night had the most fans, 45,000 or something like that, and we had the most unique match. It was a Texas Death Match.
“It was Wrestle Kingdom so there was a ton of amazing matches on both shows, and for us to go out there and have the unique match that we had, in essence, it was kind of a last man standing match, but it did have the elements of a possibility of a pin or submission or anything else that could happen in that match, and that was legitimately the first time that he and I ever stepped in the ring together. And to go out there and put the performance on that we did, I think it was one of the really cool, unique things for the fans to watch when they watched Wrestle Kingdom.
“Now that being said going into this match, that was in January, this match coming up, the AEW Title match is in October. He’s been on an absolute tear in AEW. He’s not lost, not been pinned, and I plan on absolutely being the first person to pin his ass and take the AEW Championship and become the AEW Champion.”
Archer praised Moxley’s AEW Title reign so far. However, he reiterated his goal to defeat Moxley and become the new AEW World Champion.
“I think he’s done great. I think you can’t take anything away from him or even Jericho before him that carried the AEW Title, but it’s time for a brand new AEW champion, and that’s going to be me,” Archer asserted. “There’s been a lot of guys that have stepped up in a lot of different ways for Jon from Brodie to obviously, taking the title from Jericho, to just most recently MJF.
“The mind games, MJ is so smart, and he’s so cunning with everything he can do and the positions he puts himself and the people he had behind him and the team that he had pushing for him, MJF 2020 and all that stuff that was going into the match. Everything was stacked in his favor to win that match, and Jon found a way to win. I think MJF kind of disputes it a little bit, but it is what it is.
“Jon’s still the champion. I’m the number one contender, and on October 14, it’s AEW’s Anniversary Show, and it’s before Full Gear, which is in November, but it’s gonna be live on TNT. Everybody in the world can watch me beat the crap out of Jon Moxley and take the title and become champion.”
Moxley is currently both the AEW World Champion and the IWGP U.S. Champion. Archer was asked if he is also seeking to regain the U.S. Title. He said his focus is on the AEW World Championship noting that this will be his opportunity to win his first world title.
“Right now man, I’m just focused on that AEW Championship,” Archer stated. “For me, again, this is truly the biggest opportunity. I’ve been lucky. I’ve been blessed. 20 years in the business of professional wrestling, all over the world, a bunch of different companies. [I’ve] been tag champions many different times for many different companies, New Japan, NWA [and] NOAH GHC Tag Team Champions.
“The IWGP U.S. Title was the first title I got to hold as a singles champion, but going into this, this is my very first world title in any company at any point in my career in 20 years. So again, I’m just focused on that. As far as anything else and everything else, that’s in the past. My future is the AEW Championship on October 14, and that’s all I’m looking forward to.”
Archer is set to compete in a big six-man tag team match tonight as he will team up with FTW World Champion Brian Cage and Ricky Starks against AEW World Champion Jon Moxley, Darby Allin and Will Hobbs. Archer discussed the match and the level of talent involved.
“Well, like I said in the promo, they’re enemies of my enemy, and so we kind of have a common goal to put him down,” Archer noted. “Brian had his chance at Moxley, and it is what it is. He had the towel thrown in, and that’s what happened and so on and so forth. We all move forward, but I think they’re all focused on taking Jon down. Jon ‘The Dictator’, as MJ[F] would like to call him, has been up there long enough, and I think it’s time for some big, bad dudes to take him down. ‘The Monster’, ‘The Machine’ and ‘The ‘Absolute’ Ricky Starks are going to step in the ring with Jon Moxley, Darby Allin and the very unknown factor that is Will Hobbs.
“He stepped up to the plate. He just got signed with the company, and now, he’s going to be in a huge six-man with the champion on his side and one of the absolute fan favorites in the business, one of the best Darby Allin. And then you got the ‘Murder Hawk Monster’ on the other side, ‘The Machine’ Brian Cage [and] ‘Absolute’ Ricky Starks, who himself came out of nowhere.
“I’ve known Ricky for many, many, many years down here in Texas. Knew what he could do, knew his skills and abilities. Had a little bit of a run with the NWA, and then he got on with AEW when he had that fantastic match with Cody. And now he’s teamed up with Taz, and now he’s teamed up with the ‘Murder Hawk’. And we’re going to make Jon and all those boys regret even stepping in the ring with us.”
The Wrestling Inc. Daily recently had a discussion about who the next big star in pro wrestling will be. Many fans named Starks as that next big crossover star. Archer discussed whether Starks can become that next big thing in pro wrestling and beyond.
“Oh yeah, absolutely. Ricky’s one of those guys like you put a mic in his hand and he’s going to make you pay attention,” Archer described. “He’s got the look. He’s got the ability to speak. He’s got the ability to step in the ring and back it up with his wrestling skill. It’s an amazing, unique combination that Ricky Starks has. He definitely doesn’t want to step in the ring with me because I’ll put his butt down, but that being said, no, I absolutely see Ricky as one of the top talents in all the business of professional wrestling. The fact now that he is on the main stage that is All Elite Wrestling is absolutely awesome for him. He’s getting many different opportunities.
“Like I said, from being on the microphone to what he can do in the ring, to being put a commentary, he’s showing all his different facets of his abilities, and I think whether it’s in professional wrestling or outside the business of professional wrestling, he’s one of those guys that he’s a shining star. Just stay out of my way Ricky and you’ll be alright.”
Lance Archer can be seen every Wednesday night, 8/7c, on TNT as part of AEW Dynamite. Archer’s full interview aired as part of today’s 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.