Debating What Is the Best Jon Moxley Match of the Last Decade

Erik BeastonJune 21, 2022

Debating What Is the Best Jon Moxley Match of the Last Decade

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Jon Moxley is a wrestler who has just gotten better with age.

    Exploding onto the scene in 2012 with the arrival of The Shield in WWE, he has evolved as a wrestler to the point that some of his best work has come a full decade after he first donned the flak jacket as Dean Ambrose.

    However, is his most recent work with All Elite Wrestling responsible for his best match of the last 10 years, or is it one of his encounters from his days in WWE that ranks above all others?

    Find out now with this look at five matches that we consider to be Moxley's best.

    Don't agree? Sound off in the comments section with what you think is the best Moxley match since 2012.

5. Full Gear 2019 vs. Kenny Omega (Lights Out Match)

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    The first contender on this countdown may also be the most polarizing.

    The main event of the first AEW Full Gear PPV in November 2019, the Lights Out match against Kenny Omega was the culmination of six months of punishment dealt to The Best Bout Machine by the relentless Moxley.

    It was the first real grudge match in the company's history and promised to be very violent. It did not disappoint.

    With the result not officially counting toward the competitors' win-loss record, Moxley and Omega unleashed hell on each other. There were mousetraps, barbed wire and broken glass, which The Cleaner put into the mouth of his opponent.

    In the end, it would be Omega's own overzealousness that proved costly as he attempted a Phoenix Splash onto his opponent, only to crash on the unforgiving wood of the ring that he had left exposed himself. The Paradigm Shift from Moxley won it from there.

    The match is a masterpiece of brutality in that it escalates with every spot. This is not a generic brawl in which guys meander around the ring hitting each other with weapons. It is an expertly crafted epic that paid off the hottest feud in AEW and set the bar incredibly high for all the hardcore battles that followed.

    Was some of it a bit over the top, such as the barbed-wire bedframe spot? Absolutely, but that does not detract from everything else Moxley and Omega accomplished in the match.

    For a guy still relatively fresh off his WWE run and looking to redefine himself as a no-nonsense ass-kicker, this was an essential bout on Moxley's resume.

4. Elimination Chamber 2014 with The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family

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    The excitement for The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family in February 2014 at the Elimination Chamber PPV was palpable.

    The top two trios in WWE had spent the weeks prior cutting foreboding promos, and the match carried a big-fight feel.

    There was every reason to believe Moxley (then Dean Ambrose) would partner with Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns to score another significant victory for The Shield. Their win-loss record as a team was nearly flawless, with several wins over industry giants.

    Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan had different ideas, though. The harbingers of doom picked The Shield apart, systematically breaking it down before leaving Reigns to fend for himself. The Big Dog eventually fell to Sister Abigail.

    The Wyatt Family won but there cannot be enough said for the pacing, physicality, aggression and intensity that dominated the contest. It was a testament to the efforts of WWE Creative to put together a match that was every bit as anticipated as the night's main event inside the chamber.

    A great match that signified just how in-tune with each other The Shield had become, it is also a reminder of just how special they were as a unit at a time when WWE desperately needed young stars to emerge and lay the foundation for its future.

    Moxley was a huge part of that youth movement.

3. Revolution 2022 vs. Bryan Danielson

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    Anytime two celebrated professional wrestlers like Moxley and Bryan Danielson share the ring, there is bound to be a certain level of expectation from the audience.

    That was the case in February 2022 when the two squared off in one of the marquee bouts of the AEW Revolution PPV.

    Fans expected violence, physicality and the sort of ruthless aggression that exists well beyond a marketing tagline. They wanted to see two of the toughest competitors in modern wrestling history beat the life out of each other, and that is exactly what they got.

    The hitting went hard but the mat wrestling went harder. Danielson, the mat marvel, found out the hard way that Moxley is fully capable of countering, reversing and outwrestling any man, as he did in the final moments of the bout.

    The American Dragon allowed his hubris to get the best of him for a moment and the always alert Mox grabbed him by the beard, pulled him into a roll-up and secured the pinfall victory in a smartly worked match.

    A great contest that ranked among the best on the night's stacked card, it would have been the highest-ranking singles match on this list were it not for another 2022 showstealer just two months later.

2. NJPW Windy City Riot vs. Will Ospreay

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    On the surface, Moxley vs. New Japan Pro-Wrestling's Will Ospreay appeared to be a clash of styles.

    From a personality and in-ring perspective, everything about the combatants was different and made their April 16 clash in Chicago as part of NJPW's American tour that much better.

    It started as a wild, chaotic brawl that saw Ospreay look to set the tone by proving to his unpredictable opponent that he was not afraid of the Moxley mystique. It worked, too, with the Brit putting the former AEW world champion through a table before exchanging finishers in a moment that left both men down.

    There were counters, reversals and dramatic near-falls as the wrestling-rich fans in Chicago lived and breathed along with the fighters. In the end, it was the tenacity and ferocity of Moxley that proved the difference as he escaped his opponent's Storm Breaker finisher and delivered consecutive Paradigm Shifts for the win.

    The match was infinitely better than expected. Ospreay added to his reputation as one of the best wrestlers on the planet while Moxley continued to showcase his adaptability as a worker.

    Often confused for a brawler who can only really throw fists and kick the life out of people, he used the match with Ospreay to prove he can hang with the best.

    It was the second match in which he outwrestled a guy considered by most to be his superior when it came to traditional in-ring work. More importantly, it continued what has been arguably Moxley's greatest run of matches in his career.

    Motivated, focused and driven to reclaim his spot atop the pro wrestling mountain, the match with Ospreay was a genuine five-star classic.

    As great as this was, though, we must go back 10 years to relive Moxley's best bout of the last decade and one of the greatest first impressions in wrestling history.

1. TLC 2012 with The Shield vs. Ryback, Kane and Daniel Bryan

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    When injury forced WWE champion CM Punk out of the defense of his title against Ryback at Tables, Ladders & Chairs in December 2012, Moxley, Rollins and Reigns were thrown into a match with The Big Guy and tag team champions Team Hell No.

    If the pressure of The Shield's first match being a high-profile PPV showdown with three top babyfaces wasn't enough, the fact that it took place in a TLC match that carries lofty expectations was that much more weighty.

    Undeterred by the magnitude of the moment, though, Moxley and Co. proceeded to turn in one of the greatest debut matches in wrestling history, a chaotic brawl that captivated viewers, popped the audience and provided Ryback with a genuine five-star match.

    Big bumps from Moxley and Rollins helped define the bout, but it was the structure, the build to certain spots and the final powerbomb to Daniel Bryan, that really helped elevate it past the normal fare.

    There was a sense of urgency from all involved. Not only were The Shield determined to show the world they were the future of WWE, but Ryback was also in the middle of a massive push and Team Hell No were enjoying a hot run of their own.

    Determination from all involved and a red-hot crowd that bought everything the performers were selling helped create a flawless introduction to The Shield and one of the great matches of the last 10 years.

    It was also one of the most significant, based on how important Moxley, Rollins and Reigns have been to pro wrestling since.


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