All Elite Wrestling (AEW)'s inaugural pay-per-view event, Double or Nothing, ended with a huge surprise, as Jon Moxley, formerly Dean Ambrose, debuted. In late January of this year, it was first reported that Ambrose was planning to leave WWE when his current contract ran out shortly after WrestleMania XXXV in April. WWE had reportedly offered the founding Shield member a new contract with a huge raise attached, but Ambrose was said to have made it clear that money wasn't the reason he wanted to exit the company.
Ambrose continued to be featured on TV leading up to his WWE departure, an unusual move for the company, which usually tends to try and bury performers on the way out. This led some wrestling fans to wonder whether Ambrose was really leaving WWE, or if it was all just some elaborate storyline. Sure enough though, he did leave WWE, returning to his former ring name of Jon Moxley shortly after doing so.
It's been unclear since Ambrose's metamorphosis back into Moxley what he planned to do with his wrestling career going forward, but all was revealed last night, at AEW's Double or Nothing pay-per-view. Following the main event, which saw Moxley's old WWE rival Chris Jericho defeat Kenny Omega to earn a future shot at becoming AEW's first world champion, Moxley rushed the ring and laid out both men. The former Ambrose's arrival drew a huge ovation, and it was confirmed via press conference after the show went off the air that Moxley had indeed signed a multi-year, full-time contract with AEW. He'll make his in-ring debut at July 13's Fight for the Fallen event.
Who Moxley will battle in his debut match has yet to be revealed, although last night's events seemed to set up possible matches with both Jericho and Omega. Considering that Moxley engaged in a longer exchange with Omega though, it seems likely he'll be Moxley's first target of the two. That's also supported by the fact that Jericho's next big match will likely be squaring off against battle royal winner "Hangman" Adam Page to determine AEW's first world heavyweight champion.
One wonders if WWE was aware that Moxley planned to head to AEW once his contract was up, as it's hard to imagine they would've treated him like such a star on his way out of the company if they had. That said, Moxley is definitely AEW's most high-profile signing since Jericho himself, and it's hard to imagine him not being a permanent fixture in the main event scene going forward.