— LARIATOOOO!!!! (@MrLARIATO) November 5, 2017
Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega had been squabbling back and forth on Twitter over the last few weeks, and there was some speculation that they were building for a match on Jericho’s wrestling cruise next October. Nonetheless, the wrestling world was pretty surprised when Jericho appeared in the above promo challenging Omega to a match at Wrestle Kingdom at the Tokyo Dome on January 4th.
This match will deservedly get a lot of hype. Omega’s series of matches with Kazuchika Okada over the past year has been the stuff of legends; longtime wrestling reporter Dave Meltzer asserted that their match from June was the greatest he’s ever seen.
A couple weeks ago, I went to the Ring of Honor / New Japan show outside of Chicago. The event sold out a 2,500 seat venue in a day or two, and an unbelievable proportion of the fans were wearing merchandise either for Omega or his cohorts in the Bullet Club.
There has been a simmering buzz amongst wrestling fans for an alternative to WWE, and a sizable portion of this Omega press conference is him stoking those flames. He doesn’t name WWE, but everybody knows exactly what he’s talking about:
Chris Jericho has arguably had the best aggregate body of work of any pro wrestler in the last 20 years. The Rock and Steve Austin obviously reached greater heights, but Jericho has sustained his stature. (John Cena has been more decorated, but Jericho is undoubtedly more critically acclaimed.)
It’s not an exaggeration to say that Jericho vs. Omega will get more attention in America than any non-WWE match since the fall of WCW. Both of these performers are phenomenal at giving promos, and the hype for this match will be quite profound.