To say Chris Jericho‘s jump to New Japan Pro Wrestling was a major story in 2017 would be an understatement. He set himself up as one of the main attractions in a match against independent star Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 12, and not only did it work, but the event had over 43,000 fans in attendance and it earned glowing reviews around the world and from fans who might not have otherwise watched the show.
When the jump first happened, there were rumors it had soured the relationship between Jericho and WWE. It was then learned that wasn’t the case and Vince McMahon, along with WWE, was on board, knowing it might be good for everyone. All the while, it was assumed Jericho was still a WWE guy and he’d be back in WWE in the not-too-distant future.
It was a good plan on paper, but a wrench might have been thrown into the equation.
While it’s not confirmed if Jericho’s actions the night after Wrestle Kingdom 12 mean anything in respect to his WWE future, his single match with Omega looks to be only the beginning of more work with NJPW.
During New Japan’s New Year’s Dash event the next night, Jericho showed up and attacked Tetsuya Naito who was one half of the other Wrestle Kingdom main event match. Why he attacked and where this is going is uncertain but it signals the fact that Jericho isn’t done in Japan just yet.
Oh!My God!! @IAmJericho surprises @s_d_naito and the Korakuen crowd at New Year's Dash! The legend seems to have had enough of Naito's attitude! Watch Now（English Commentary）▶︎https://t.co/fEh4jA7fML#njpw #njpwworld #njdash pic.twitter.com/b3KeNBcEL0
— njpwworld (@njpwworld) January 5, 2018
We’ve also learned that Jericho has a t-shirt line with Hot Topic and NJPW and that usually indicates the company plans to market more of the wrestler and future dates are part of that deal.
This might be interesting news as it pertains to the rumors that Jericho might make an appearance at the Royal Rumble on January 28th. While he’s not confirmed to have any role at WrestleMania 34, a Rumble appearance might have been a nice way to capitalize on some of the buzz Jericho had generated while in Japan.
We’ll have more details as they come.
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