Antonio Inoki Once Attempted To Hypnotize Top AEW Star

Following Antonio Inoki's passing on October 1st, 2022, at the age of 79, many wrestlers have shared their thoughts on the legend. While on his podcast, "Talk is Jericho," former AEW World Champion Chris Jericho recalled a wild story from his time with Inoki in Japan.


"When I first started going to New Japan in '97, '98, Inoki was around," Jericho said. "He actually tried to hypnotize me. He was going through this phase ... I remember I was with Yuji Nagata and Nagata said, 'When Inoki comes in here, he's going to try to hypnotize you. He said, 'It's a f*cking work, just go with it' ... I said, 'Okay.' I don't know anything, I'm just so happy to be in New Japan."

"Inoki comes in and he was talking to Nagata and did some of kind of a thing where Nagata was speaking Japanese," Jericho recalled. After Inoki tried to hypnotize Jericho, Nagata told the former AEW World Champion, "Good, good, good," in regard to his performance.

Jericho was never able to work against or alongside Inoki during his career. However, he was able to partake in two singles matches against Nagata — the man who helped Jericho figure out what to do when Inoki was attempting to hypnotize him. Both matches took place in 1997 in WCW with each of them being won by Jericho in under five minutes. Jericho wrestled for NJPW, a company started by Inoki, in 1997 and 1998 along with sporadic matches from 2018 until 2020. Jericho also took part in the AEW X NJPW Forbidden Door PPV.


If you use any quotes from this article, please credit the "Talk is Jericho" with a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.