Chris Jericho came up short in his quest to capture the IWGP Heavyweight Championship on Sunday at Dominion, but the story shot after the match should lead to another interesting match down the line.
Jericho faced off with the reigning IWGP Champion, Kazuchika Okada, in the main event of what is always New Japan's second-biggest show of the year, Dominion. The match was heavily anticipated for numerous reasons, not to exclude the fact that Jericho and Okada are two of wrestling's all time greats and had the potential to produce a masterpiece.
There was also intrigue to see if an AEW star such as Jericho would be allowed to carry NJPW's top championship. As of now, there is no official working arrangement between NJPW and AEW, though a few AEW stars are allowed to take outside bookings in Japan right now with the AEW schedule light until October. Jon Moxley actually won the IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Championship earlier this week, so a victory by Jericho would mean two AEW stars would carry the top two singles titles in Japan.
In the end, Jericho was not victorious but he and Okada, as expected, had a pretty solid match. The finish came out of nowhere as both men jockeyed for position. Jericho locked in the Lion Tamer, but Okada was able to escape. Moments later, Jericho went for the Judas Effected but missed. He then went for the Code Breaker, but Okada was able to carry his weight on top of Jericho, sitting down on his opponent, and getting the pinfall.
After the bout, Jericho attacked Okada. He threw the referee (Red Shoes) out of the ring, brought in a steel chair, and nailed Okada with it. All of this happened with Okada's former rival and top New Japan star Hiroshi Tanahashi sitting ringside while doing guest commentary.
Jericho hit the Judas Effect and then brought Okada to the ring apron. He wrapped a steel chair around Okada's neck and threw him into the ring post. Next, Jericho looked toward a table that was set-up on the outside but never destroyed during the match. He was set to powerbomb Okada through it until Tanahashi had seen enough. He jumped up from the announce booth and ran over to stop Jericho.
As security held back Tanahashi, Jericho got on the microphone and asked him if he saw what he did to his friend? Jericho says that he always wins and is the greatest of all time, "even in this bullsh-t country of Japan." He exited, calling Okada a "b-tch" as Tanahashi checked on his friend. The crowd showered Jericho with boos.0comments
It would seem that Jericho vs. Tanahashi is next on deck, and that's one we can't wait to see. Earlier this year when Tanahashi was IWGP Champion, Jericho called for a match against the Japanese legend.
What do you think about a prospective match between these two all time legends? Use the comments section below or drop me a line on Twitter to discuss all things wrestling @HistoricalRyan.