How AEW's Chris Jericho may become the next IWGP Heavyweight Champion
Yes, you read that right. Like always, Chris Jericho has once again shocked the entire wrestling landscape. In a sudden turn of events, Jericho, who was believed to be exclusive to All Elite Wrestling (AEW), would be eyeing the IWGP Heavyweight Champion at New Japan Pro Wrestling's second biggest event of the year, Dominion, on June 9, 2019.
The NJPW made this announcement on YouTube via this vignette:
In the video, Jericho announces himself as 'The Painmaker', which could be aimed directly at the current IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kazuchika Okada, who is known as 'The Rainmaker'.
If everything goes as planned, for the first time ever, we would experience Chris Jericho vs Kazuchika Okada in a blockbuster match-up at Dominion 2019, on June 9.
It is worth noting that Chris Jericho is set to face former IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kenny Omega, in AEW's first-ever pay-per-view, Double or Nothing, on May 25, 2019, as they look to renew their intense rivalry from January 2018 in the build-up to Wrestle Kingdom 12.
The implications of this latest announcement made by NJPW are immense and raises a number of questions.
Firstly, what are the terms of the agreement between All Elite Wrestling and the wrestlers associated with it?
Secondly, would we see other wrestlers signed with AEW, such as Omega, Rhodes, and The Young Bucks, make occasional appearances at NJPW? Or such an arrangement is exclusive only for Jericho?
However, the biggest question would be: what if Chris Jericho becomes the new IWGP Heavyweight Champion? Will he be working full-time for NJPW, till the time AEW lands a television deal?
We will have to wait and see in order to know the answers to all these questions. However, one thing is certain - Okada and Jericho are bound to produce a quality match at Dominion.
Kazuchika Okada held the IWGP Heavyweight Championship for a record 720 days, before losing it to Kenny Omega on June 2018.
This loss, however, led to a psychological breakdown for the character of Okada who struggled extremely hard to regain his mojo. Finally, at the G1 Supercard event on April 6, 2019, Okada reclaimed the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
Therefore, it is highly improbable that Okada would drop the title this early, and it would indeed be a daunting task for Chris Jericho.