Chris Jericho's upcoming match with New Japan Pro Wrestling superstar Kenny Omega is not a match fans thought they would ever see. Jericho talked to Busted Open Radio about why he believed the match is so intriguing to casual and die-hard fans alike.
Jericho will face Omega, the IWGP U.S. Champion Kenny Omega, at Wrestle Kingdom 12 on Jan. 4, 2018 at the Tokyo Dome in what will be his first match outside of the WWE since he signed with the company in 1999. It's considered a one-shot deal and Jericho is will likely return to the WWE next year.
Jericho, who has always had the mind of a genius when it comes to the wrestling business, got the idea for a match with Omega after watching the buildup to the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor boxing match over the summer. He and Omega started trading barbs on social media before Jericho made his surprise challenge. He said he believes it will be the biggest match in the wrestling industry today because fans never expected they'd see him and Omega in the same ring.
"If I told you I've thought about the match in any way, shape or form up until now, I'd be lying. I haven't even thought about the match yet. To me, it was about the announcement and the promotion. And like I said, when McGregor and Mayweather was announced, right off the bat it became the biggest match in boxing history just because you never though you'd see it," Jericho said. "And I'm not saying it's the biggest match in wrestling [history] but I think at the time, right now in November of 2017, it is because nobody thought they could see it. Now, there's a whole contingency of people who have no idea that New Japan exists or who Kenny Omega is, that's fine. I'm talking to the people that care about this, and if you're a casual wrestling fan or know anything about any other company besides WWE, it is intriguing."
Jericho also explained why he's glad the match is happening in NJPW as opposed to in the WWE. He believes Omega's star power in Japan makes it a match that will be special for the fans. He also has a long history of performing in Japan before he ever joined the WWE, so he's excited to make his return.
"I think just the fact that if Kenny left New Japan tomorrow and I went to the WWE and we had the same match at WrestleMania, it wouldn't have the same mystique about it because there's something about it now where everyone knows that Omega is so big in Japan and Jericho has a history in Japan, which is another thing I liked about it. Kenny and I's careers mirror each other; I started in Japan, I grew up in Japan, I've been there 60 times, so there's a big history of Jericho in Japan as well that started before I ever went to the WWE," he said. "So there's a combination of a lot of things that make this very special and a once-in-a-lifetime type of matchup. I think if it was in the WWE, even if there was no restrictions, it still wouldn't be as big because it's still WrestleMania in a WWE ring. This is different, it's over in Tokyo, it's at the Tokyo Dome fore New Japan Pro Wrestling. I think that adds to the intrigue and the mystique of the match right off the bat, as well."
You can listen to the full audio below:
.@IAmJericho tells @bullyray5150 & @LarryDallasSXM that he vs. Kenny Omega happening in Japan is truly a special, once-in-a-lifetime match and has a unique mystique about it happening in Japan rather than the United States. pic.twitter.com/sB1WQnBiho— SiriusXM Busted Open (@BustedOpenRadio) November 10, 2017
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Busted Open with a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription. Busted Open with Dave Lagreca & co-hosts Bully Ray & Larry Dallas can be heard weekdays from 2p-4p Eastern Time only on SiriusXM Rush Channel 93 and is available any time on demand on the SiriusXM App.
Source: Busted Open Radio