Chris Jericho was recently a guest on WWE Hall Of Famer Jim Ross‘ podcast, The Ross Report, to discuss his upcoming “Alpha vs. Omega” match against IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 12 next month. “Y2J” discussed surprising New Japan Pro Wrestling fans with how involved he has been in the build-up for the bout, and how talented Omega is inside the ring. You can check out the highlights here below:
Surprising NJPW fans with his involvement in the feud’s build-up:
“I think when this match was made, Alpha vs. Omega, Jericho vs. Omega, a month-and-a-half ago in Osaka [Japan] or wherever it was, it makes me laugh that people think, ‘Jericho announces a match, here we go, it’s going to be a big match, we’ll see you in Tokyo [Japan] in a few months on January 4 ,” said Jericho. “As if I wouldn’t do something to build an angle. I’m too much of a disciple of Vince McMahon/Bill Watts/Stu Hart. Any great promoter would do an angle to build the match, to sell the tickets.
“So once again, in Fukuoka, Japan and I attacked Kenny Omega from behind, nobody saw that coming. And I love that! To me, that’s what [pro] wrestling’s all about. When you can surprise the fans and the ‘smart marks’ that think they know everything, but they don’t know anything, it makes me laugh because even you, Jim, would understand as an old school guy, of course I’m going to build an angle! Of course I’m going to do that. That’s what wrestling is!
“Honestly, yeah, the match is important. We want to have a good match. I love good matches, but who cares? The most important thing is the story and the angle building towards that match and selling the biggest amount of tickets we can, okay?”
Omega’s talent inside the ring:
“He’s a great performer,” Jericho said. “He’s a great worker. And once again, it was pretty heavy stuff. And [Ross] know[s] this, in 2017, for some reason, if you get busted open, your mentor Gordon Solie, ‘his face is a crimson mask’ and that’s what it was. And we don’t see that a lot. For me, I think it has been 10 years since someone has been busted open in a match that I was involved with and it felt good.
“There [are] certain rules and regulations that we have to abide by in the United States, in the WWE at this point in time, so to come into New Japan and have no rule, but there [are] still rules, I mean, listen, I understand the concept of [pro] wrestling, so I know what to do, but to have Kenny Omega busted open and to feel that, maybe, power, vibe, or energy, there’s nothing like it.
“And in the right circumstances, when you can bust somebody open, when you can get some color, as we used to say, it means the world because people understand that more than anything. This is the real deal. After 10 years to have a guy I’ve never been in the ring with, to see the reaction of the people, the reaction of the worldwide audience, and to see those pictures that were taken of Kenny Omega with the aforementioned crimson mask, wow, that sells tickets!”