After weeks of back and forth on social media, Chris Jericho has challenged Kenny Omega to a match at January’s NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12. This will mark Jericho’s first match held outside of the confines of WWE since he debuted with the company in 1999. When Jericho makes his periodic returns to WWE, it’s been reported that he signs short-term deals that just cover the length of his stay, which is presumably how he’s able to wrestle for NJPW.
Jericho and Omega have sniping at each other for awhile now on Twitter, and since there had never been any known real life animosity between the two Canadian athletes, most fans assumed that this was leading to a showdown in the ring. Some had speculated that the match would take place during next year’s Cruise of Jericho event that Y2J is putting together on the high seas, but it turns out the venue will in fact be the much bigger Wrestle Kingdom 12.
Held annually at the Tokyo Dome, Wrestle Kingdom is New Japan Pro Wrestling’s biggest event of the year, and has featured acclaimed western performers such as AJ Styles, Finn Balor, and Brock Lesnar in the past, as well as WWE’s current fast-rising Japanese star Shinsuke Nakamura. Jericho laid out the challenge to Omega at today’s Power Struggle event, after Omega had just finished defending his IWGP U.S. Championship against Trent Barreta.
Appearing on the main video screen, Jericho tore up a picture of Omega, before declaring himself the best in the world, and saying that he was making the challenge in an effort to prove that he was the greatest of all time. Jericho acknowledged that Omega was a great performer, but asserted that he was the true “alpha” of pro wrestling, and would show Omega why at Wrestle Kingdom. The live crowd erupted with cheers, and also chanted Y2J.
While Kenny Omega has yet to wrestle for WWE – although realistically, he probably will at some point – he is widely considered one of the best wrestlers working outside that company today, and a Jericho/Omega match-up is sure to be deemed a dream match by many fans. Interestingly, Jericho is still listed as a member of the SmackDown roster on WWE’s website, despite not having appeared on TV since July. One wonders if that will now change.
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