Jericho had been entirely absent from the promotion after he won the IC title from Tetsuya Naito at Dominion back in June. Champions have to defend their titles a minimum of once every six months in NJPW, but that doesn’t mean people, in real life or kayfabe, like it when wrestlers do that! The most vocal critic of Jericho’s Lesnar-esque behavior was L.I.J.’s Evil, who had also looked like he would the Fozzy frontman’s first challenger at Dominion.
Evil was scheduled for a much-anticipated singles match against noted Halloween hater Zack Sabre Jr. at King of Pro Wrestling. After ZSJ and hype man Taka Michinoku cut an in-ring promo on the King of Darkness, he entered on a throne carried by masked, robed figures. Just as Evil started to enter the ring, one of these figures started beating him up, and revealed himself to be Y2J.
He was AGAIN in terrible goth makeup, but this time just for fun, I guess! When fighting a goth, etc.
Jericho held his belt high and flexed in front of a prone Evil and unimpressed ZSJ.
Jericho left the arena, IC challenge implied to be accepted, and Sabre entered the ring, ready to go for his match with Evil. Since Evil still could not yet even rise to his feet after the attack, the referee threw the match out, declaring it a No Contest. ZSJ was not happy about this and started attacking Young Lions and the still-defenseless Evil.
Naito, who’s had a rivalry building with ZSJ since the Brit eliminated him from both this year’s New Japan Cup and G1 Climax tournament, ran into the ring to save his stablemate and help him out of the arena.
So, given the time limit on Jericho holding the white belt undefended, we can assume we’re getting Jericho vs. Evil at Power Struggle! Naito vs. ZSJ could easily happen at the same show, leading to Naito vs. Jericho II at Wrestle Kingdom 13. Also, hopefully Evil and ZSJ will actually get to have their match at some point in the near future. Until then, see you on the Jericho Cruise!