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NJPW News:  Okada reveals when he found out about Chris Jericho at Wrestle Kingdom 12

The IWGP World Heavyweight Champion talks about the moment he found out Y2J was coming....


Kazuchika Okada with Chris Jericho's Wrestle Kingdom 12 opponent Kenny Omega...

What's the story?

Wrestling Inc. is reporting on a story where current IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada recently did an interview with Fox Sports Australia discussing a variety of topics. One of those topics was when he found out about Chris Jericho being on the card for Wrestle Kingdom 12.

In case you didn't know...

After starting his wrestling career in Canada, Chris Jericho would travel to Mexico to work for CMLL in 1992 and 1993. He would make his debut in Japan in 1994 for Wrestling and Romance (now known as Wrestling Association "R") and return in 1997 for New Japan Pro Wrestling as part of a talent exchange with WCW.

The heart of the matter

When Fox Sports Australia asked the question to Okada of when he found out, he would respond with:

"[I found out at] Power Struggle in Osaka. I didn't know that news. I was in the locker room watching the show same as the fans. I thought, 'Woah! What the?'"

Kenny Omega just finished a match at Power Struggle against Trent Beretta for the IWGP United States Championship when he grabbed the microphone. Omega would say that now (after his Power Struggle match) would typically be the time when someone challenges him to a match at Wrestle Kingdom.

After nobody answered the call, Omega assumed that nobody was going to challenge him, until a very familiar face showed up on the screen...

Chris Jericho surprising the Japanese crowd at NJPW Power Struggle...

When Fox Sports Australia asked Okada about potentially facing Jericho he would say:

"I'm OK. I just want to enjoy, as a fan, Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho."

Regarding Jericho's appearance in New Japan Pro Wrestling, the expectation is the appearance is a one and done deal with Jericho potentially returning to the WWE later that month for the Royal Rumble.

What's next?

Wrestle Kingdom 12 takes place live from the Tokyo Dome on January 4th, and can be seen on New Japan World. The main event of the evening will be Okada defending his IWGP World Heavyweight Championship against Tatsuya Naito.

Author's take...

If one of the biggest stars of New Japan Pro Wrestling over the past few years didn't know, then VERY few did. Based on Okada's reaction I think it was a positive one for the locker room overall.

Jericho made a name for himself in Japan before he did in the United States, and it's safe to assume almost everyone in that locker room knows that. This is a big deal because it will not only boost the morale of the locker room, but get a whole new audience to see their product.

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