Could Jericho vs Naito Be Next On The List?

Ever since NJPW megastar Kenny Omega got into a Twitter feud with WWE Legend Chris Jericho, fans have been dreaming of the “What if?” scenarios of Chris Jericho heading back to NJPW for the first time since his earliest days in the industry. As the months built up, it began to seem like nothing was happening. Until finally it did. And then “The Alpha” Chris Jericho challenged Kenny Omega to a match at Wrestle Kingdom 12 to determine who was the best wrestler on the planet. The taunting continued until Jericho finally appeared live and in person in Japan last week to deliver Omega a bloody beat down going into January 4. But as excited as everyone is for this dream confrontation from the two biggest stars from Winnipeg (you idiot!), most assumed this was a one shot deal for the former “Lionheart” in the Land of the Rising Sun. But according to Chris Jericho himself, that may not entirely be the case.

Photo: NJPW

Could Jericho vs Naito Be Next On The List?

A few days ago, Chris Jericho spoke to Proresu Today, one of Japan’s biggest wrestling news sites, to discuss Wrestle Kingdom 12 and how his match versus Omega was a bigger event than the IWGP Heavyweight Championship match between Kazuchika Okada and his challenger, Tetsuya Naito.  Here’s what Y2J told them:

“Okada and Naito will be a huge match, but even in Japan, people are getting to be more excited for me and Kenny. As big as Okada and Naito is, it can’t transcend New Japan. (Our match) might never happen again. That gives it a different level of importance. I’ve said maybe me and Kenny will never happen again. But I never said I’d only do one match. I never said this would be my last match with New Japan. Wait and see.”

Jericho continued to weigh in on Naito’s displeasure with the double main event billing when he spoke to Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated today:

“Naito, don’t worry about what I’m doing, just worry about what you’re doing,” offered Jericho. “You’re going on last, but just because you’re last doesn’t make you the main event. See WrestleMania 18 if you want to know more about that.

“I don’t give a sh– who’s on last. If Naito is pissed off at me, then go out and prove it. It makes me want to work harder. Worldwide, and I’m just telling the facts, Alpha-Omega is the main event.”

Of course, all of this is in retaliation to an article with Yahoo Sports Japan, where Naito scoffed at Kenny Omega’s statement that it was a double main event.

Naito’s comments drew the ire of Jericho almost immediately.

Since then, there’s been posturing and pissing contests in Japanese media and online from all parties, but Jericho seems to be provoking the popular leader of Los Ingobernables de Japon, with Jericho vs Naito playing out in the press and Social Media. And as we’ve seen in the past, and most recently with his Wrestle Kingdom 12 opponent Kenny Omega, Jericho is a master at using the media to lay groundwork for his future battles.

Photo: NJPW

Could of this baiting with Naito be leading to the possible other match he hinted at with Proresu Today? After all, the night after Wrestle Kingdom 12, NJPW throws it’s next big event, New Year’s Dash 2018, and there’s no announced matches yet. Perhaps once he’s done with Omega, the new “Alpha” in NJPW may set his sights on another larger than life character from Japan with a knack for the bravado – and someone who just may be the new IWGP Heavyweight Champion.

Photo: NJPW

What do you think? Is this back and forth hinting at Jericho vs Naito? Or simply drawing eyes to Wrestle Kingdom 12 even more? Let us know in the comments below!


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