AEW star Chris Jericho is reportedly no longer signed to New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Jericho had been signed to AEW and NJPW contracts at once for a brief period, but the Wrestling Observer Newsletter now reports that he is not under contract to the top Japanese promotion any longer.
The last match on Jericho’s NJPW contract was the Wrestle Kingdom 14 Day Two win over Hiroshi Tanahashi in January 2020 from the Tokyo Dome.
It was said that Harold Meij, who was the NJPW President until October 2020, was negative on Jericho’s contract due to the high cost. There were other people in NJPW who disagreed with Meij, but it was noted that even after the COVID-19 pandemic, NJPW will have to get its finances back on track to where they can afford another contract at the level Jericho had.
Jericho recently spoke with Mike Beauvais of TSN and indicated that he wants to return to NJPW as he has unfinished business there.
Jericho talked about a possible return to NJPW and said he wants to go back for various matches with top stars, but also to team with AEW World Champion, Impact World Champion & AAA Mega Champion Kenny Omega.
“There’s a lot of unfinished business for me in New Japan,” Jericho said. “Jay White is one [potential opponent], [Minoru] Suzuki is another one that would draw big money. Kota Ibushi and [Will] Ospreay — those four guys I’d love to work with. I’d love to do a ‘Golden Jets’ team — Kenny and Jericho — versus [Kazuchika] Okada and Ibushi or [Hiroshi] Tanahashi and Okada or Tanahashi and Ibushi.
“I think that’s a Tokyo Dome main event right there. So there’s a lot of stuff I’d still like to do in New Japan and as soon as we can start going over there again, I’m more than agreeable to doing more work there. I really enjoyed the six matches that I had there in 2018 and 2019 and think there’s plenty of room for more.”
Jericho led The Inner Circle to victory over The Pinnacle in the Stadium Stampede match at last Sunday’s AEW Double Or Nothing pay-per-view. There is no word on what is planned for Jericho as they move forward, but a return to Japan could happen as there is a working relationship between NJPW and AEW.