IWGP United States Champion Jon Moxley recently spoke with ESPN about New Japan Pro Wrestling and his recent return to the ring at Sumo Hall in Japan, where he defeated Juice Robinson for the title.
Moxley said the most jarring difference was the tangible feeling of the reins being lifted from him inside the ring. It was noted that Vince McMahon has his hands on everything in WWE that goes out on the air, but everything felt much more raw with NJPW.
“[In WWE,] it’s almost like Vince is in the ring with you, the producer is in the ring with you,” Moxley said. “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.'”
The article, which was done to promote the big G1 Climax tournament, also included comments from KENTA, formerly known as Hideo Itami in WWE. KENTA said he came to NJPW to prove who he is. He said his WWE career wasn’t good.
“I came here to prove who I am,” KENTA said, via a translator. “My WWE career wasn’t good. But I had a great experience. I have been waiting for this opportunity for a long time. I want to prove who I am to the world, so this is a great opportunity to do that. It means a lot to me.”