Tetsuya Naito vs Chris Jericho
January 4, 2019
Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan
NJPW WrestleKingdom 13
IWGP Intercontinental Championship; No Disqualification
To quote the most overused word on Chris Jericho’s podcast, WOW! This actually exceeded expectations, and whatever limitations Jericho may have at his age were non existent with the no-DQ stips and superior psychology he’s gained over the years. The two had a lot of leeway to do what they wanted, and did some memorable spots like the DDT on the table and expert use of the kendo stick.
Some have called it the best performance of Jericho’s career. From a psychological standpoint, it’s definitely up there. Tetsuya Naito was at his best as well, and the two had deafening crowd heat throughout. The near falls were done to perfection as well, and Naito got a clean win that could’ve easily been a screwjob if WWE was booking it.
AEW or not, I hope Jericho continues with NJPW. Also, with his success here, I’d think it’s almost a certainty more top level WWE stars explore their options when their contracts expire. Let the new wrestling war begin!