Independent Focus: Why Jon Moxley Is The Next Big Thing

Ken DrabekCorrespondent IIAugust 22, 2010

One look at Jon Moxley tells you all that you need to know about him.

He is tall, lean, and oozing with attitude. He is young and brash, but something is just a little bit off with the "Street Dog."

The gears in his head seem to constantly be churning. It is clear that Moxley marches to the beat of a different drum.

The term "loose cannon" comes to mind.

It is only fitting that this 24-year-old from the streets of Cincinnati, Ohio would conjure up thoughts of the off-the-wall Brian Pillman, who also came from Cincinnati and was well known for his unpredictable nature during the later stages of his career, and life, as a pro wrestler.

While Moxley may not be the second coming of "Flyin' Brian" in the ring, he is undoubtedly an impressive and versatile talent who is as comfortable delivering a cross face chicken wing as he is swinging a steel chair.

Moxley was trained by Cody Hawk and Les Thatcher and spent his early years in the Cincinnati based Heartland Wrestling Association. It was in the HWA that Moxley honed his skills as a wrestler and developed into one of the hottest commodities on the independent scene today.

Moxley is currently the most decorated wrestler in the indies. He is the reigning World Heavyweight Champion in Insanity Pro Wrestling, Combat Zone Wrestling, and Full Impact Pro.

Holding three World titles at once is an awesome feat for any wrestler. Moxley's championships are even more impressive because has only been a pro for a little over six years.

Moxley defeated Roderick Strong in April to win the vacant FIP World Heavyweight Championship. It was no small feat for Moxley to beat Strong, who is one of the biggest names on the independent scene.

Strong has the second longest reign as FIP World Champion and he is the only man to hold the FIP belt twice. By defeating him, Moxley proved he could hang with the best of the best.

Over in CZW, Moxley regained the promotion's World Heavyweight Championship last weekend by defeating CZW legend Nick Gage and Egotistico Fantastico in a three-way match.

It marks Moxley's second reign atop CZW, though his first ended only a week prior when Gage defeated him for the title in another three-way also involving Drake Younger.

"Mox" has also made a name for himself by competing in both EVOLVE and Dragon Gate USA, two of the hottest indy promotions out there these days.

His record in EVOLVE stands at 0-1-1 after a loss to Drake Younger in his first match and a double DQ against Brody Lee in his second match. He has yet to really make a splash in the rankings, but his presence in the promotion has surely been felt.

In DGUSA, Moxley is currently a part of the Kamikaze USA faction with Shingo, Yamato, and Gran Akuma. He had a notable feud with Tommy Dreamer that culminated with Moxley picking up a victory over the ECW alumnus in a hardcore match at the promotion's "Mercury Rising" pay-per-view.

Moxley also has the notable distinction of being the final wrestler that Bryan Danielson will face on the independent circuit.

The DGUSA show on September 26 in Milwaukee is Danielson's final indy show for the time being, as he has made his return to the WWE. Luckily, they are allowing him to finish up his independent bookings, and he will be taking on Moxley in what is shaping up to be an excellent match-up.

Before Danielson made his WWE return, Moxley issued this challenge to the "American Dragon" via YouTube.

The promo, despite being filmed on a dark street somewhere, is a perfect example of why Moxley is currently one of the best talkers in the indies and arguably anywhere in pro wrestling today.

His delivery brings to mind Heath Ledger's turn as The Joker in "The Dark Knight." It has been a source of some criticism, but it is hard to deny that Moxley always delivers a captivating promo.

In today's day and age of "Sports Entertainment" that kind of skill on the mic can make or break a young performer.

It doesn't hurt that Moxley can also go in between the ropes.

He has competed in ultra-violent hardcore matches in CZW and spent time on the mat with some of the best international talent in Dragon Gate USA. To say he is well-rounded seems like an understatement.

The combination of entrancing mic skills and stellar in-ring work make Moxley a wrestler to watch. The average wrestling fan may not know his name, but if he keeps it up there is a good chance that someday they will.

Photo courtesy of Scott Finkelstein 


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