While a move to AEW does seem likely in the months ahead, Jericho clearly has some more ideas he would like to see come to fruition in Japan. Following his IWGP Intercontinental Championship loss to Tetsuya Naito at WrestleKingdom 13 on Friday, Jericho made it known that there is at least one more match he would like to have with New Japan.
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Jericho says the IWGP Heavyweight Championship is next on his agenda which would mean a match with the new champion, Hiroshi Tanahashi, who defeated Kenny Omega for the belt at WrestleKingdom 13.
Tanahashi is a living legend in New Japan and arguably the greatest wrestler on the planet. Despite a long career in the sport, Jericho has certainly given more credibility to the argument that he is still one of the top wrestlers in the world, taking his game up a notch in the last year since moving over to New Japan and having classic bouts with Omega and Naito. Now, a match with Tanahashi could definitely be classified as a certified dream match and we're all in on the prospects of getting to witness such a bout.
Jericho spoke about wanting to wrestle Tanahashi with the media following WrestleKingdom 13. Below are his comments (translated), courtesy of Yahoo Japan.
"It is a big mistake if [you] think that the time with me and [New Japan Pro Wrestling] will be over," Jericho said. "I kept the [Intercontinental Belt] for the longest in 2018. So, let me tell you, I want to challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Belt. ... Chris Jericho will challenge the IWGP Heavyweight Champion and you will understand!"
Jericho's match with Naito at WrestleKingdom is a must watch, just like nearly all of his matches in Japan over the last year. A match with Tanahashi could end up being the best of all and a fitting climax to his run with NJPW.
There's no doubt that this most recent tenure in Japan has given new life to Jericho's career. Few men throughout wrestling's history have continued to successfully evolve their character in the way that Jericho has over the last couple of years, from his story with Kevin Owens in WWE to his completely different look in Japan. It has been a fascinating and fantastic thing to follow for fans and journalists alike and Jericho deserves all the praises in the world for the way that he has continued to master his craft.