Ever since showing up at New Japan Pro Wrestling in November 2017, current IWGP Intercontinental Champion and future WWE Hall of Famer, Chris Jericho, has been wrestling’s man of mystery. He’s also been standing side-by-side with guys like Cody, Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) in starting this revolution where guys don’t need WWE to make a name for themselves. After spending the bulk of his career in WCW/WWE, Jericho is now fully embracing what it truly means to be an independent wrestler and because of that, you just never quite know where he’ll pop up these days.
Chris Jericho is a Liar
If wrestling fans have learned anything over the past year and a half, it should be that Chris Jericho is a masterful liar…Okay, liar might be a strong word, but no one has been better at working fans than the only person in history to have held both the WWE and IWGP Intercontinental championships.
Jericho’s first appearance in NJPW came as a shock. After working his last match in WWE against Kevin Owens and AJ Styles for the United States Championship in July 2017, Jericho set his sights on another and newly created US title, this time of the IWGP variety. Jericho appeared via video to challenge Omega to a match at Wrestle Kingdom 12. It was a bout between two guys from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, each believing themselves to be the best in the world. It was Alpha vs Omega. It was Jericho’s first match outside of WWE since 1999, his last year in WCW, not to mention his first in Japan since even longer than that, 1997.
From there, Chris Jericho has made sporadic appearances in NJPW, each less likely than the next. After wrapping up the Omega feud, Jericho said in his Wrestle Kingdom post-match press conference that he was “leaving tomorrow to go back to the United States and never coming back to Japan again.” In a tweet directed to him from a fan, Jericho echoed this sentiment saying his time in NJPW was done. Lies. The dirt was barely laid on the grave of his NJPW career when Jericho showed up at New Year Dash to attack Tetsuya Naito.
After re-inserting himself in the NJPW landscape, fans wondered when Jericho would make his next appearance with many, including Dave Meltzer, speculating that it would be taking place at the NJPW show in Long Beach, Strong Style Evolved. But Jericho seemed to quell that notion when he spoke with Inside the Ropes and explained that he had no plans to do U.S. indies or U.S. NJPW shows, out of respect for Vince McMahon and WWE.
“It’s not a matter of just going out and doing indies – and like I said – I always felt like the unwritten rule is I don’t want to go into the states…I felt like that would be a real slap in the face of Vince. Ya know if something ever went down with us, I probably would do a show in the states and we could probably fill the Cow Palace. Jericho and Kenny rematch, or whatever it may be. All In. I’d love to be a part of that, but ‘A’ it’s in Chicago and ‘B’…at the risk sounding like an ass—-, but I can’t lower my value by working one of these shows. It’s about picking my spots with the right guys at the right places for the overall contract I’m signing.”
Oh Chris Jericho, you spectacular liar.
To be fair to the legend, it seems this was less of a lie at the time and more of Jericho changing his tune. After he did, in fact, show up at All In, painted like Pentagon Jr. and later performing that way for his Fozzy show the same night, Jericho explained what led to the change of heart.
“Over the course of the last few months, my mindset has changed a bit to where I’m enjoying being part of this new revolution of wrestling. I thought I would consider it, but the idea has to be right,” Jericho said on his podcast, Talk is Jericho. “Cody called me again and I starting thinking, ‘I wonder if I could make this work.’ The idea was ‘what if I could come in earlier in the show and attack Kenny?’ The idea was to keep the angle alive from the Tokyo Dome to the Cruise.”
Bound for Jericho?
With Chris Jericho breaking his “won’t work in the U.S. unless it’s for WWE rule,” speculation started to abound that he could make another shock appearance, this time for IMPACT Wrestling‘s Bound for Glory. And unlike the last time when Jericho played coy to work fans about his NJPW return and All In appearance, he was pretty open about the possibility.
“Why not?” Jericho told James Ellsworth on the #DuhCast. “If it’s creatively satisfying, if it’s something that I can really sink my teeth into, something that I can really enjoy, then why wouldn’t I give it a try?”
Add to this the fact that Jericho has been linked to IMPACT Wrestling before due to his close relationships with both Co-Executive Vice Presidents, Scott D’Amore and Don Callis, and the various teases IMPACT has made including Austin Aries on a recent episode of TV saying that he is “the best in the world at what I do,” then it adds up for a perfect storm of rumors. Rumors, that Jericho has only seemed to fuel by retweeting various comments and messages from the company and fans regarding a possible appearance at IMPACT’s biggest PPV of the year.
If IMPACT’s President Ed Nordholm is to be believed, however (which if you’ve learned nothing else from this article, it should be don’t trust anyone when it comes to where Chris Jericho is working), Jericho and Bound for Glory just simply aren’t “in the cards.” That being said, when asked if Jericho would be at BFG, Nordholm’s weak denial was preceded by the oh-so-eloquent and yet perfectly stated comment, “Are you trying to get me shot?… If it were true, would it be sort of even remotely possible that I could go home and not get killed?”
When pressed further on the topic with about how much Jericho would change the game for IMPACT Wrestling, Nordholm simply said, “I think Chris Jericho changes the game for anybody.”
Do you think that Chris Jericho will show up at Bound For Glory in NYC?
— DiscussPW (@DiscussPW) October 2, 2018
Ed Nordholm is just a guy trying to run his business and prepare for his company’s biggest show of the year. Of course, he’s not going to let slip any news as big as a Chris Jericho appearance. That being said, rumors have been picking up over the last few days that Jericho will in fact be at BFG and possibly a few more shows. The news was first reported by Joe Peisich on Barnburner’s No Holds Barred podcast. Peisich said he’s heard that Jericho is “tentatively on the card.” Shortly after that, Peisich provided an update:
“From what I hear Chris Jericho and [Impact Wrestling] are in last-minute negotiations to not only appearing at Impact Wrestling at Bound For Glory but also to be appearing going forward for at least 2 or 3 shows. That can fall apart, it could not. Remember Jericho just appeared in Japan. Jericho has that Wrestling Cruise on October 27th so he could do something with that Impact Wrestling event and continue it on that Wrestling Cruise.”
Another thing to consider is that Jericho recently told a fan on Twitter that he was “not interested” in taking part in the World Cup at WWE Crown Jewel. As we’ve learned, Jericho is a master of working people so everything he says at this point, has to be taken with a grain of salt, especially this.
While still making appearances with NJPW, Jericho still found time and opportunity to pop back up on WWE twice. The first was for Raw 25 in January and the second was for Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia in April, where Jericho entered as the 50th and final entrant in the match.
No thanks. https://t.co/oNeioYiRps
— Chris Jericho (@IAmJericho) October 10, 2018
Chris Jericho confirmed for Crown Jewel. https://t.co/K51eeXFx95
— Dark Matrix, Back For Halloween (@THERasslemania) October 10, 2018
Considering Jericho was in the midst of his feud with Naito at the time, no one really expected either appearance. But as only Jericho could, he managed to work for both companies at almost the same time. Which brings us to November and the second Saudi Arabian event, Crown Jewel. Bound for Glory and any angles Jericho likely works for IMPACT will be wrapped by then. The cruise will have set sail and returned by then. And Power Struggle as well as Jericho’s first IWGP Intercontinental Championship defense against EVIL isn’t until hours later. Sure, the flight would be a red-eye on a private plane and the turnaround as well as logistics would be a little crazy, but Jericho made it work for All In and his Fozzy concert on the same night. If he really wanted to, he could make it happen for these two shows as well.