Chris Jericho has a match at New Japan Pro Wrestling's WrestleKingdom 14 event in one week against Hiroshi Tanahashi, and now that match has a stipulation that could impact AEW.
Jericho, who is the reigning AEW World Champion, has been able to check-off some dream match opportunities over the last couple of years while dabbling in NJPW. Tanahashi is certainly another such match, as he is undoubtedly the biggest New Japan star of the last decade.
When speaking to Tokyo Sports, Tanahashi brought up the fact that perhaps the two should work an AEW title match down the line if he is victorious at WrestleKingdom on January 5th.
"He's a champion right?" Tanahashi said (translation via Chris Charlton). "All I'm saying is if I beat him and he comes back asking for a rematch, then I think it's reasonable to tell him to put the belt up. If that happened it would break down a door."
Despite many of AEW's top stars having popularized themselves originally while with New Japan, the two companies have not yet worked out any official agreement to share talent or cross-promote. Some of the bigger stars, such as Jericho and Kenny Omega, do have flexibility in their AEW contracts to take NJPW bookings, though, if they see fit.
Jericho responded to Tanahashi's challenge in a video on Instagram.
"What you don't know is I speak and read perfect Japanese and I read what you said about the Tokyo Dome," Jericho said. "You said if you can beat me that you would enter the forbidding portal and request a title shot for the AEW Championship. I thought it's a great idea. So, 'Le Champion' asked the Chairman of the Board, the owner of AEW, Tony Khan, if it was okay to grant your request, and he said 'yes.' So, if you can beat me in the Tokyo Dome, I will give you a championship match for the AEW Title."
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