From the NJPW Rumor Mill: How is Chris Jericho able to wrestle for NJPW?
What's the story?
Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega is set for Wrestle Kingdom 12, but fans around the world are confused as to how a WWE Superstar can do battle against a New Japan performer in the Tokyo Dome.
In case you didn't know...
Halfway through today's NJPW Power Struggle show, there seemed to be little in the way of major news. Matches were being set up for Wrestle Kingdom 12, but none of them were major breaking news stories.
Everything changed after Kenny Omega's successful IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship defence against Beretta. Omega dared anyone to challenge him to a match, and seemingly had no takers before the lights went out in Osaka.
A pre-taped vignette aired on the screen, where Chris Jericho made his return to NJPW. Jericho challenged Omega to a match at Wrestle Kingdom 12, and The Cleaner accepted.
The heart of the matter
Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega is going to happen at Wrestle Kingdom 12, and the question on the lips of every wrestling fan is 'how'? Jericho is a WWE man through and through, and has often said that he wouldn't be willing to wrestle for another promotion.
WWE is notoriously possessive of its performers, so how is a modern legend able to wrestle on what is arguably the second biggest wrestling show of the year?
The reason is not entirely clear, but the clue could lie in the length of Jericho's contracts. Y2J is a man with his fingers in many pies, and as such his returns to WWE are often short-term fixed-length deals. The simple fact could be that Jericho signs a new deal with Vince McMahon and co. every time he returns, as opposed to having one deal with the promotion.
This frees up "The Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla" to do what he wants outside of his WWE tenures, such as tour with Fozzy, release books, and challenge Kenny Omega to Tokyo Dome matches.
WWE is yet to comment on the match, but the ink is fast drying on the paper. Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho is set to take place at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12. January 4, 2018, can't come soon enough.
I, like most of the pro wrestling world, am still in shock over the announcement. I'm not entirely sure how a Jericho vs. Omega Tokyo Dome match is possible, but boy am I glad that it seems to be.
Christmas may be six weeks away, but the real season of joy will take place 10 days after Santa's shift is done.