Chris Jericho appeared in a video package this Sunday morning at New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s annual Power Struggle event, issuing a challenge to Hiroshi Tanahashi for a match at Wrestle Kingdom 14.
The bout is being billed as “The Ace vs. The Painmaker” in a first-time ever collision. Seeds were planted back at Dominion this summer when Jericho unsuccessfully challenged Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight title, then attacked him after the main event. Tanahashi made the save and it was assumed at that point that the altercation would eventually lead to a singles match between them.
In the video package Jericho specifically mentioned that he wants to wrestle Tanahashi on the Jan. 5th show, which will be the second night of Wrestle Kingdom 14 at the Tokyo Dome. This year’s spectacle will be held over the course of two nights for the first time.
With Wrestle Kingdom taking place on a Saturday and Sunday, working the second show gives him plenty of time to fly into Japan following the AEW Dynamite tapings on New Years Day, and be home in time for the next taping on Jan. 8th.
Jericho is set to defend the AEW World Championship against Cody Rhodes on Nov. 9th at AEW Full Gear. Given that Nick Jackson of the Young Bucks just claimed they will likely never have a working relationship with New Japan, it’s unlikely that should Jericho retain through the end of the year, he will defend the title at the Tokyo Dome.