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Jon Moxley on Remaining on a Handshake Deal With NJPW, People Thinking He’d Appear at WrestleMania 40

April 24, 2024 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
AEW All Out Jon Moxley Orange Cassidy Image Credit: AEW

Sports Illustrated’s Justin Barrasso recently interviewed AEW star and current reigning IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Jon Moxley, who discussed his recent title win, working under a handshake deal with NJPW, fans believing he was going to make a surprise appearance during the WrestleMania 40: Night 2 event, and more. Moxley noted that while WrestleMania 40 was happening, he was already in Japan and asleep head of a scheduled date for New Japan. Below are some highlights:

Moxley on staying on a handshake deal with New Japan: “When I first came to Japan, I wanted to understand it and participate in it. That allowed me to learn and grow. I didn’t come in and say, ‘This is what I do and this is what we’re doing.’ Everyone I wrestled, I learned from. I’ve really been able to grow a lot working with New Japan. It’s been a mutually beneficial relationship. They get me, and I get them. The first deal I signed with them was for six months. The shoe fit, so we kept going. We’re still on a handshake deal.”

On being asleep in Japan when Seth Rollins made his Shield entrance at WrestleMania 40: “I was asleep in Japan when that was going on,. When I woke up, I had these messages saying, ‘I thought you were coming out!’ And I was like, ‘Coming out where?’ It’s cool that people thought it was me. But I was asleep.”

On winning the IWGP World Title: “Those moments in the ring are like a drug. It was a great atmosphere, it was a crazy moment. I was all f****d up with blood in my eyes. There was absolutely nothing that was going to stop me. Not giving up in the face of adversity, the will to not be denied. All the long-ass plane rides, all the injuries, all of that went away at that moment.”

Moxley on what Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns have accomplished: “What they’ve done, it’s a really cool thing. We were nobodies. We came in with attitudes, and we pretty much said, ‘We’re coming in, fuck you, and we’re taking this shit over.’ The more time that passes, the more it becomes evident that we did exactly what we said we were going to do.”

Jon Moxley will be in action on tonight’s edition of AEW Dynamite. He’ll be defending his newly won IWGP World Heavyweight Championship over The Don Callis Family’s Powerhouse Hobbs. The show will air live tonight on TBS starting at 8:00 pm EST.