With the shocking news of Chris Jericho set to face off against Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 12 for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), the wrestling world immediately wondered what it meant for Jericho and his future with the WWE. Was the WWE allowing Jericho to appear this one time for a rival promotion in the hopes that it would keep him happy and create good relations between the two companies? Or, is Jericho done with WWE and moving on to other options?
The reality is that what's going on seems to fall somewhere in between.
Jericho is no longer a contracted performer for the WWE per wrestling insider Dave Meltzer who responded when asked by a fan on Twitter. As such, Jericho is free to do what he wants with whatever company he wants.
He's a free agent, has been for more than six months https://t.co/EAkO5UcYGI— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) November 9, 2017
That said, there are still many on the inside that believe Jericho and the WWE might still be on okay terms. If there is an issue, it's between Jericho and Triple H (two guys who have often butted heads in the past). Jericho has been working tirelessly on a Rock 'n Wrestling cruise that he is financially responsible for, and he looked to Triple H to help both financially and with NXT talent. However, when Triple H declined it forced Jericho to look at other options.
It is being reported that Jericho would have preferred working with WWE on his projects but their disinterest led him to look to both ROH and NJPW. That interest led to his worked battles online with Omega and eventually signing to appear at Wrestle Kingdom 12.
While Jericho has been a free agent for months, he and the WWE continued to talk. On a number of occasions the two sides almost worked together (including being the first option before Kurt Angle was chosen to replace Roman Reigns at TLC).
There may be a rift now between Jericho and Triple H, but it hasn't changed Jericho's status. He's free to do what he wants and he's on great terms with Vince McMahon. After his appearance in January for NJPW, the WWE Universe will have to wait and see if their relationship continues.