Chris Jericho is gearing up for a big match against the legendary ace of New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Hiroshi Tanahashi, according to Sports Illustrated’s Justin Barrasso. The bout will reportedly go down on January 4th at Wrestle Kingdom 14, marking the third consecutive year that Y2J will appear at the Tokyo Dome.
While Jericho is currently the reigning AEW World Champion, there are a number of top All Elite Wrestling talents including Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley, the current IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Champion, who are contractually allowed to take bookings with New Japan.
Jericho last appeared in a New Japan ring in June at their annual Dominion event, unsuccessfully challenging Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Tanahashi actually saved the “Rainmaker” from an attack following the show’s main event, planting the seeds for a future collision.
It’s possible they will want to bring Jericho in to shoot an angle to set up the match with Tanahashi, although his schedule with AEW will obviously complicate things slightly.
The next logical place to do something would be October 14 at King of Pro-Wrestling, New Japan’s last really big show of the year, where Tanahashi will be celebrating his 20th wrestling anniversary in a tag team match. Jon Moxley is also scheduled for that show, so they could fly both into Japan and still make it back to the U.S. by that Wednesday.