AEW World Champion Chris Jericho Clarifies Status With NJPW

Chris Jericho could still wrestle for New Japan Pro Wrestling if he wants to as he says it won't affect his work for All Elite Wrestling.

The former WWE star became the new promotion's first Champion at All Out at the end of August, promptly losing his belt thereafter. He previously fought for the aforementioned Japanese company and had quite a run over there.

Jericho's feud with Kenny Omega proved to be the best segment of that run and, fortunately, it's carried on into AEW. But he also held the IWGP Intercontinental Championship for 209 days, another cool achievement.

There were questions over whether fans had seen the last of Jericho in NJPW but, speaking to Ariel Helwani, the AEW World Champion said he could still work with the overseas promotion as long as dates don't conflict, although his current deal is an exclusive one.

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via thebiglead.com

“I can do New Japan shows if it doesn’t conflict with AEW," he explained. "I did one earlier this year, where I had an IWGP Championship match against Kazuchika Okada. I might do some more with them. But it’s (his AEW deal) pretty much exclusive."

NJPW is now a popular, reputable promotion that can boast having put some of the biggest names in the business on the map. Jericho also says he's partly responsible for raising the company's popularity, especially in the US.

"It did start with New Japan," he said. "I'm not putting too much credit into my own credit box, but when I did the Tokyo Dome show with Omega, the New Japan World subscriptions went from 35,000 to 100,000. It was because people wanted to see that match.

"If you were a wrestling fan that paid attention to more than just WWE, you wanted to see that match. As a result, people started checking it out for the first time to see Jericho versus this guy, Kenny Omega. But they also saw The Young Bucks, Okada, Kota Ibushi, Rhodes, Juice Robinson, Hangman Page, Tetsuya Naito, and all these other guys.

"So, New Japan became very hot. It came to the States, they were selling out. They were (the fans) familiar with these cast of characters. Then when the Tony Khan thing came up, and AEW, you kind of knew those characters from New Japan."

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Chris's reveal doesn't necessarily mean he will be heading back to NJPW in the near future, but it's great that he's still affiliated and still has the freedom to perform over there even under contract with AEW.

For now, though, fans will have to pay attention to his newly-formed AEW stable and its feud with The Elite.

Source: Wrestling Inc.

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