On the 200th episode of The Ross Report, 'Good Ol' J.R.' Jim Ross spoke with special surprise guest Chris Jericho about his upcoming match with IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 12. Specifically, Jericho discussed his sneak attack on Omega during the NJPW Tag League finale, Omega as a performer, and the so-called Alpha vs. Omega match being the biggest match in pro wrestling today.
During the interview, Jericho took aim at the fans who doubted whether he would build an angle for his Wrestle Kingdom co-main event match with Omega. With that said, Jericho was glad to be able to surprise the wrestleverse yet again.
"I think when this match was made, Alpha vs. Omega, Jericho vs. Omega, a month-and-a-half ago in Osaka [Japan] or wherever it was, it makes me laugh that people think, 'Jericho announces a match, here we go, it's going to be a big match, we'll see you in Tokyo [Japan] in a few months on January 4 !' As if I wouldn't do something to build an angle. I'm too much of a disciple of Vince McMahon/Bill Watts/Stu Hart. Any great promoter would do an angle to build the match, to sell the tickets. So once again, in Fukuoka, Japan and I attacked Kenny Omega from behind, nobody saw that coming. And I love that! To me, that's what [pro] wrestling's all about. When you can surprise the fans and the 'smart marks' that think they know everything, but they don't know anything, it makes me laugh because even you, Jim, would understand as an old school guy, of course I'm going to build an angle! Of course I'm going to do that. That's what wrestling is!"
While Jericho confirmed that he and Omega would like to put on a strong match, 'Y2J' averred that the build and the story are more important than the match itself.
"Honestly, yeah, the match is important. We want to have a good match. I love good matches, but who cares? The most important thing is the story and the angle building towards that match and selling the biggest amount of tickets we can, okay?"
Jericho shared that getting physical with Omega felt "excellent" and put over Omega as a performer before pointing out that he has not been in the ring with someone getting color for over a decade.
"He's a great performer," Jericho said. "He's a great worker. And once again, it was pretty heavy stuff. And [Ross] know[s] this, in 2017, for some reason, if you get busted open, your mentor Gordon Solie, 'his face is a crimson mask' and that's what it was. And we don't see that a lot. For me, I think it has been 10 years since someone has been busted open in a match that I was involved with and it felt good. There [are] certain rules and regulations that we have to abide by in the United States, in the WWE at this point in time, so to come into New Japan and have no rule, but there [are] still rules, I mean, listen, I understand the concept of [pro] wrestling, so I know what to do, but to have Kenny Omega busted open and to feel that, maybe, power, vibe, or energy, there's nothing like it. And in the right circumstances, when you can bust somebody open, when you can get some color, as we used to say, it means the world because people understand that more than anything. This is the real deal. After 10 years to have a guy I've never been in the ring with, to see the reaction of the people, the reaction of the worldwide audience, and to see those pictures that were taken of Kenny Omega with the aforementioned crimson mask, wow, that sells tickets!"
To conclude, Jericho reiterated that the match is the biggest blockbuster in pro wrestling today.
"This is a Tokyo Dome main event and if you can't have some color and have someone busted open for that, when can you have it? And to me, this is the biggest match in [pro] wrestling today because we've seen [John] Cena vs. [Brock] Lesnar, we've seen Roman [Reigns] vs. Cena, we've seen those matches. They've done those a couple of months ago. Tell me any other match in wrestling today, any country with any combination that has a bigger buzz than Alpha vs. Omega, Jericho vs. Omega. I don't think you can do that."
Come on, baby! 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