New Japan Pro Wrestling has uploaded a video to their YouTube account today featuring an interview with their current IWGP Intercontinental champion, Chris Jericho.
The sit-down interview with Jericho took place the day after his victory over Naito at Dominion on June 9th.
During the course of the interview, he discusses a range of topics, including his thoughts on Naito, a potential rematch with the ex-champ, Naito’s Los Ingobernables stablemate, EVIL, his feelings on winning the IWGP Intercontinental championship, as well as what he enjoys about wrestling in Japan and NJPW.
Reflecting on his performance from the previous night where he became the 19th IWGP Intercontinental champion, Jericho said, “it’s very exciting and very important to the legacy of Chris Jericho.”
On accepting a rematch with Naito, Jericho states, “Absolutely. I think Naito is an excellent opponent for me.” He goes on to emphatically declare, “I’m better, and that’s okay. It’s okay for Naito to lose to me.”
He does admit, however, that his thoughts already go past Naito somewhat.
“I would wrestle with Naito again in a second. But I also want to wrestle with Okada, Tanahashi; I want to challenge Kenny Omega for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. EVIL needs to mind his own f*****g business, I don’t know why he came down last night. So there’s a lot of opponents in New Japan that I would like to wrestle with.”
Elaborating his thoughts on EVIL, Jericho says, “ EVIL is – when I look at the New Japan roster and see who are the next superstars of the company – the next Okada, the next Naito, the next Tanahashi – I think EVIL is one of those candidates.” He continues, “But he made a big mistake coming down to save Naito. I know Naito is his friend, I know Naito is his senpai, but he needs to mind his own f*****g business. That really made me mad. But he’s going to pay price. I don’t know when, but I hold grudges very deeply. I don’t forget. And I don’t live and let die.”
He promises, “I will get my revenge on EVIL at some point. And only I know when. So congratulations EVIL, you made a name for yourself. I didn’t know your name before, now I do. And now I can’t think of anything else other than getting my revenge on EVIL. So watch out for that.”
It’s a NJPW World, We Just Live In It
On New Japan as a company, and its place within the wrestling industry at this point in time, Jericho had this observation: “New Japan is not a Japanese company anymore. It’s a world-wide company.”
It’ll be interesting to watch Jericho’s New Japan experience continue to evolve, especially as he continues to reinvent himself, embroiling himself with major storylines across multiple promotions.
Whether it’s against Naito/EVIL in NJPW or his recent appearance at All In setting up a deeper feud with Kenny Omega, Chris Jericho continues to be wrestling’s renaissance man.