New Japan’s World Tag League tour is beginning to wind down and there are only 2 more events. 12/7 in Akita and 12/9 in Iwate.
One of the biggest matches taking place at January 4th’s Wrestle Kingdom will see IWGP Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho facing Tetsuya Naito. Jericho recently wrapped up a tour with his Metal band Fozzy, this finished on December 4th so would supposedly leave him free to appear for NJPW. Aside from the World Tag League events there will be 3 more shows on NJPW World before the big January 4th spectacular. The traditional 12/14 and 12/15 Korakuen Hall “Road to Tokyo Dome” shows will be part of the offering. It is also tradition that one of the shows features a tag team main event featuring the competitors in the Wrestle Kingdom main events. So whilst it is unlikely we could see a Kenny Omega/Chris Jericho vs Hiroshi Tanahashi/Tetsuya Naito match.
The storyline heading into the Intercontinental Title match is that Jericho is ‘refusing’ to face Naito. In a recent interview with NJPW1972 Jericho stated that “Why does Naito get a re-match? Why? What does he do? He beat Zack Sabre Jr. You know, ZSJ is a great technical wrestler, but I can break him in two like a branch. I beat Naito. I beat EVIL. To me, you don’t just get to have a re-match just because you say so. When I lost the WWE title to John Cena, I didn’t just come back the next day and say, “I want a re-match”, it doesn’t work that way.”