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Updates on NJPW future of Chris Jericho

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Former All Elite Wrestling (AEW) World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho is reportedly not signed to New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) anymore.

Chris Jericho

JERICHO MADE HIS FIRST NON-WWE APPEARANCE IN 18 YEARS AT NJPW

While AEW has indeed been the veteran superstar’s post-WWE home, it is not where he wrestled first. On November 5, 2017, Jericho returned to NJPW in a pre-taped vignette, challenging Kenny Omega to a match at Wrestle Kingdom 12 in Tokyo Dome. The challenge was immediately accepted by Omega and made official by NJPW the following day as a title match for Omega’s IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship. The match was the multi-time World Champion’s first match not for WWE in 18 years, and his first NJPW match in 20 years.

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Jericho had since made several appearences for the Japanese promotion, and was the IWGP Intercontinental Champion for quite some time. His last NJPW appearance was during the second night of Wrestle Kingdom on January 5, 2020, when he defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi.

HE IS REPORTEDLY NO LONGER UNDER A NJPW CONTRACT

Since joining AEW as their first giant signing, Jericho had been, for some time, under a contract with both the rising American promotion and NJPW across the ocean. However, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, his contract with NJPW has ended.

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Former NJPW President Harold Meij was reportedly against renewing the contract of the former WWE Undisputed World Champion. While not everyone in the company was in agreement with the President, NJPW’s financial setbacks caused by the Covid-19 pandemic did not let me retain someone like Jericho with a massive contract.

JERICHO DOES NOT RULE OUT A NJPW RETURN

However, “Le Champion” has spoken of a NJPW return. Speaking to Mike Beauvais of TSN, he named potential NJPW opponents, including the likes of Bullet Club leader Jay White, Suzuki-gun leader Minoru Suzuki, and former IWGP Heavyweight Championa Kota Ibushi and Will Ospreay. He also spoke of a possible team with Kenny Omega to face two top NJPW stars: any combination of Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada and Ibushi.

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“There’s a lot of unfinished business for me in New Japan. Jay White is one, Suzuki is another one that would draw big money. Kota Ibushi and Ospreay: those four guys I’d love to work with. I’d love to do a ‘Golden Jets’ team: Kenny and Jericho versus Okada and Ibushi or Tanahashi and Okada or Tanahashi and Ibushi,” he commented.

“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,” he added.

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