Kazuchika Okada’s latest reign as IWGP Heavyweight Champion got off to an incredible start at today’s NJPW Wrestling Dontaku event, as The Rainmaker narrowly defeated Los Ingobernables de Japon’s SANADA in a nearly 40-minute war for the most prestigious title in professional wrestling.
Shortly after his victory, however, the champion was interrupted mid-celebration by a strange and unexpected message on the big screen… from Chris Jericho!
The six-time WWE world champion wasted little time making his intentions known, throwing down a challenge for the IWGP title at New Japan’s second biggest event of the year — NJPW Dominion, returning to Osaka Jo-Hall on Sunday, June 9th.
Despite being physically exhausted after enduring one of his toughest battles in recent memory, Okada graciously accepted Jericho’s challenge, effectively making the bout official. This will be the first time ever these two incredible warriors face off, pitting one of the greatest Superstars in sports entertainment history against arguably the single greatest IWGP champion that Japan has ever seen.
For those wondering, Jericho is under contract with All Elite Wrestling and will still be headlining the upcoming AEW Double or Nothing event with Kenny Omega, in Las Vegas later this month. His contract, much like Omega’s, allows him to take bookings with New Japan directly without the promotion having to go through the office to negotiate terms.