The new IWGP Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho spoke with Inside the Ropes on his loss back in January to Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 12 and how it may have been the most important match in the history of his career. He also noted which moves he’s not looking to take again in the future.
First off, Jericho spoke about the initial reaction to him taking on Omega and some of the doubters saying he wouldn’t be able to keep up with one of the best in the world.
“I was laughing to myself when we were getting ready for the match and people were like ‘Jericho, can’t keep up with Kenny Omega. How’s he going to do the New Japan style?’ What’s the New Japan style? Good wrestling is the style,” Jericho said. “I don’t have to keep up with anybody. I’m Chris Jericho, I dictate the pace of the match as does Kenny Omega. He’s not a f—— luchador in his first match, he knows how to work, timing, and all that sort of s—.”
He continued that high risk moves shouldn’t make a match five stars, for him it’s about telling a story and Jericho thought they did that back in January.
“I’m not going to take a dragon suplex off the top rope, that doesn’t make it a good match,” Jericho responded. “That makes it risky and stupid. You don’t need that s—. I wanted a good story, I wanted to come out of the gate, I didn’t want any rest holds. I wanted a high spot in the beginning and work this storyline. We went 35 minutes, I didn’t know how long it was going to go and when it was done, I was like, ‘That was really, really good.'”
Ultimately, Jericho’s goal was to make a ton of money for not only himself, but for New Japan, as well. Even though he did enjoy all the accolades that came once the match ended.
“When I see all the results, ‘five star match,’ ‘match of the night,’ ‘match of the year’ candidate,” Jericho said. “Hey, everybody likes to hear that, I like to hear it. More importantly, it made me laugh at the people who didn’t think I could keep up, but I’m also a 27 year vet of the wrestling business and a disciple of Vince McMahon. And what’s the most important part of a match? Okay, five stars is great, did it make money? And the answer to that is f— yes, a s— ton of money. Through an extra 15,000 people buying tickets for the [Tokyo] Dome, through a 250% increase on the New Japan World subscriptions. That’s all money and specifically because of Jericho’s involvement with the company, which means more money for me, which is what the business is all about. … [It] made millions of dollars, that might be the most important match I’ve ever had at 47 years old.”
While talking about his Wrestle Kingdom match, Jericho noted taking Omega’s one winged angel on a chair messed up his back to the point where he won’t do that spot again, nor getting powerbombed on the apron.
“The one winged angel on the chair really hurt,” Jericho admitted. “I’m not saying it hurt like a joke, it really f—– me up. It hurt my back to where there’s something still not right, but whatever, I can never take that move again. I can never take the powerbomb on the apron again from Kevin Owens, it hurts, and wrestling is not supposed to hurt like that.”
You can check out Jericho’s full comments in this video.
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