It was a surprise to a lot of people when Chris Jericho announced that he would face Kenny Omega at New Japan’s Wrestle Kingdom 12 event on January 4 because Jericho has only wrestled for World Wrestling Entertainment since August 1999. Since then, Jericho has mentioned many times how loyal he was to WWE and how that was the only wrestling company he wanted to work for. So what changed? It turns out nothing at all other than Jericho seizing an opportunity.
Jericho has recently praised Omega as the best wrestler in the world and Jericho has called himself that in the past, so he views the Omega match as a nice test. Jericho noted also that he got the idea for the match from the hype surrounding the big Floyd Mayweather win over Conor McGregor back in August as a dream match that became a reality.
In a recent interview on the Busted Open Radio Show, Jericho explained why this match with Omega is good for the entire wrestling business, including WWE, which Jericho says is still his home. Thanks to Cageside Seats for the quotes.
“I think I’m in a very unique position in the WWE where I have a great relationship with the company, one guy [specifically], where normal rules might not apply. But I also do it with respect and with relevance to what they’re doing and realize that WWE is still my company, it’s still my home, but I’m not handcuffed to WWE. If I want to go to New Japan to work a main event at the Tokyo Dome or put on my own cruise and work in tandem with Ring Of Honor, that’s OK, because guess what? At the end of the day, when I go back to the WWE it makes me that much bigger of a star.”