Recently on The Ross Report, 'Good Ol' J.R.' Jim Ross spoke with Chris Jericho about his upcoming match versus IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 12 in January 2018. Notably, Jericho talked about whether WWE Chairman Vince McMahon was upset by Jericho working for NJPW, whether NJPW appreciated the enormity of the so-called 'Alpha vs. Omega' match, and whether Jericho is familiar with Omega's work.
When asked whether McMahon was informed about Jericho's return to NJPW before the dream match against Omega was announced, Jericho insinuated that McMahon was informed ahead of time and that he was fine with it.
"Yeah, I mean, not to get into specifics, but [Ross] know[s] how smart I have been throughout my career and [Ross] know[s] the relationship I have with Vince that I would never jeopardize that or give him any nasty surprises, so I'll just leave it at that. And like [Ross] said, I think in the back of his mind, no matter how much [pro] wrestling fans sometimes like to lionize Vince, or whatever the word is, kind of think that he's this big evil, manipulative guy, I think he appreciates the fact that when the business is healthy, I think that he knows that it's better for his business as well, so for Chris Jericho to go to New Japan, I mean, everybody knows that I'm a WWE guy. That's just the way it is. I have been for 17 years, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime dream match, per se, with a lot of money at stake. And, for me to not pursue that I thought would have been a crime. And I think Vince felt the same way. As I said, the timing of this is perfect."
Jericho added, "he was cool with me doing this match and he's cool with [Ross] doing New Japan shows because I think deep down inside, Vince loves [pro] wrestling and he loves WWE wrestling, but he knows, guess what, it doesn't matter what you do, J.R., or what I do, we're WWE guys. It's what we are. The more they can see us outside of that, the more it promotes his brand."
According to Jericho, who envisages his Wrestle Kingdom 12 co-main event match as a Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor type of blockbuster, NJPW did not understand how big of a deal the match is on an international level.
"I don't think New Japan quite understood how big this was on an international level. Maybe in Japan it's a big deal, but here and everywhere worldwide, and maybe everywhere but Japan, it's the main event of the show. It's a double main event, is what New Japan is calling it, but to me, I think the majority of fans in this country who are interested in outside wrestling besides WWE feel like it is the main event and a damn big one at that. I think that to not put it on pay-per-view would be to leave a lot of money on the table and that's definitely not going to happen under my watch."
Interestingly, Jericho claimed that he has not watched a single Kenny Omega match before, but will start to study Omega's oeuvre now.
"I have never watched a Kenny Omega match before. I'm going to start watching them now and get into the groove and start to figure out how I want to run this match and what the ideas are. I didn't watch because I wanted to wait until I could really focus because I'm the type of guy that can't just make ideas happen. It's like writing a song. The muse has to come and then when the muse comes, I'll come up with the whole match in 10 minutes. So I want to start really focusing in on some of Kenny's work when I get off this tour. I just heard about Kenny. I talked about Kenny. I listened to a lot of people that are experts in the business tell me about him, and I'm really excited to start delving into some of his stuff, and really focusing in on it and seeing how Chris Jericho can start putting together a match on Kenny Omega's strengths. And also from him as well, I'm really excited to hear what his ideas are. And Kenny's not a spot monkey, but New Japan is a different style and WWE is a different style. I think if we can merge the two, the New Japan fans and the fans worldwide are going to lose their f--king minds."
Bah gawd, start the damn podcast! If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit The Ross Report with an H/T to WrestlingINC for the transcription.
Source: The Ross Report