Jon Moxley’s AEW booking trades short-term pain for long-term gain
Jon Moxley isn’t supposed to be AEW Champion right now, but he is. Booking him against the likes of Konosuke Takeshita is a wise long-term move.
Jon Moxley winning the interim AEW The World Championship was necessitated by an injury to CM Punk, and the company is capitalizing on this unplanned opening by scrubbing some of the most underutilized talent on the roster. When punk beat hangman Adam Page at Double or nothing it looked like fans were in line for the Summer Of Punk they never had while in WWE. It wasn’t supposed to be this time either, as the self-proclaimed best in the world injured his foot enough to require surgery.
This opened the door for Moxley to win the interim world championship in the main event of forbidden door, and if the last few weeks are any indication, The Death Rider has every intention of being a fighting champion. He was involved in the blood and guts match immediately after crossing over with NJPW, then defended his title against Brody King. King won a royal rumble-style match to earn Moxley a chance, and it looks like AEW will continue to feature outstanding but underworked wrestlers while Punk heals.
AEW could have gone in two directions with Moxley as the interim world champion. They could have stuck him in a main event level feud with someone like Miro or Page. This could have lasted until Punk was ready to return, and at that point Moxley could have ended the residual feud and tackled championship unification in a long program with CM. However, Tony Khan has decided to take this run in another direction, and while it may cause some short-term difficulties in terms of long-term storytelling, it will be the right decision as far as the bigger picture is concerned.
Instead of locking Moxley into a one-on-one feud, it looks like AEW will use him to set up some solid matches with wrestlers such as Brody King and Konosuke Takeshita. King won’t be returning to Moxley after their match, as it looks like he’ll be committed to a program with Darby Allin and Sting for the foreseeable future. Which makes his main fight a unique event. And even though he lost, King was able to show off his skills inside the ring in front of as many eyeballs as possible: in a championship match against Jon Moxley during Wednesday night dynamite.
It looks like Khan will return to it once more during the first week of Fyter Fest. It was announced online that Moxley will fight Takeshita in an AEW Interim World Championship elimination match on the July 13 edition of Dynamite. This means that for the second week in a row, Moxley will be working with a talented but underutilized member of the AEW roster. Without an extinguished feud for Jon before Punk’s return, it’s a stellar way to leverage his star power by giving King and Takeshita some in-ring rubs. These aren’t long-term stories, but hanging out with Moxley in AEW the main event matches will be important to these people in the long run.
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