In the lead up to New Japan’s King of Pro Wrestling, one of the most anticipated matches was the no disqualification match between Juice Robinson and champion Jon Moxley. After beating Juice for the title at the Best of Super Jr final, Moxley went into the G1 on a hot streak. However, on the last night of the tournament, Robinson pinned the US champ and issued a challenge for KOPW. However, Lance Archer has won the IWGP US Championship in Moxley’s place.
After the journey these two have been on and the two epic wars New Japan fans witnessed, it seemed stupid putting any restrictions, so the match became no DQ.
However, with a typhoon hitting Japan this weekend, Moxley was unable to defend his title and was stripped of it. Although it seems harsh, this is not the first time it has happened. Togi Makabe was stripped of the Heavyweight title after failing to participate in a title match because of the flu.
As Jon Moxley is unable to appear for a scheduled IWGP United States Championship defence tonight at King of Pro Wrestling, his title has been declared vacant.
Lance Archer and Juice Robinson will wrestle for the vacated title tonight.
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) October 14, 2019
With the card being changed at the last minute, NJPW made the decision to put the big and powerful Lance Archer in this slot to fight Juice for the newly vacated title. This was definitely not surprising and was a joy to many fans who saw Archer’s amazing performance during the G1.
An Exciting Match To Be Sure
This match was extremely exciting because it was the first meeting between the two and, after making their entrances, Archer demanded that it remained no DQ. Due to this, it was one of the most jam-packed and dangerous matches of the night.
This was the best and worst decision possible. It gave everyone watching some amazingly brutal moments to watch. Archer managed to get the advantage early on by re-injuring one of Juice’s hands which is his main arsenal. That wasn’t to say Archer dominated the whole time. Juice was as brutal as we’ve seen and was already prepared for a match of this caliber, albeit with a different opponent. Unlike Moxley, not only is Archer super strong, but he’s also so agile and athletic for a man of his size, as shown by him walking the ropes effortlessly.
One of the highlights had to be Archer replacing all the turnbuckles with chairs and tables which could only mean one thing: something was going to be broken. Juice and Archer then continued with the onslaught and eventually stacked up a pile of chairs in the center of the ring. Juice tried to hit Pulp Friction on it but was countered. This helped Archer gain much-needed momentum.
Eventually, after Juice kicked out of a Blackout onto the stack of chairs, Archer used his EBD claw and pinned Robinson to win his first-ever singles title. It has been a long time coming and the reaction from fans in Ryogkoku and Twitter showed that.
— 新日本プロレスリング株式会社 (@njpw1972) October 14, 2019
An infamous Archer
After the match finished, Archer wasn’t content on letting Juice off. Remember: everybody dies. So, Lance continued the onslaught. Until a returning, David Finlay made his way out to protect his best friend. Not only was this an amazing sight for fans, but also makes us think that maybe Finlay could be the next challenger. After failing to win it off his former best friend Jay White, could now be Finlay’s time to shine?
Even though the match was last minute, it was an amazing bout between the two and fitted perfectly on a card of amazing matches. Lance Archer deserves this title because, not only is he an amazing wrestler, but he’s the perfect ambassador for New Japan in the US and such a workhorse. The title is back. In the hands of someone firmly rooted in Japan, and it was well earnt: congratulations Lance Archer since he has won the IWGP US Championship!