Updated: May 12
In 2018 Chris Jericho took on Tetsuya Naito in hopes of capturing his first ever new japan pro wrestling gold. After losing the dream match with Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 12. Jericho vowed to never come back to New Japan. However Naito unknowingly invited a confrontation with Jericho setting up for a match at Dominion 6.9. Here we talk about the build up and the match which Jericho says one of the toughest matches of his career.
The Build Up As mentioned in the introduction Jericho was coming of a huge loss to Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 12. Furious and irate he made a declaration that he would be leaving new japan and never be returning. This looked to be the end of Chris Jericho in new japan however everyone would be sadly mistaken. Naito thought through the gruelling G1 climax which allowed him to fur fill a childhood dream, To main event the Tokyo dome and challenge Okada the current world champion. Building up to his world title match Naito became frustrated that the media craze was built up on the wrestlers who swopped in at the last minute. To makes things even worse Kenny Omega appealed to new japan to put his own match against Jericho on par with Naito. This pushed Naito over the edge and made his feelings public at New Year Dash. To the shock of many Chris Jericho would appear and began attacking Naito. Despite been pulled apart and fans cheering for Naito only fuelled Jericho's resentment for Naito. Maybe leaving New Japan was never on Jericho's plans.
Misdirection After the brawl at New Year Dash, Jericho began leaving misdirection in his statements which left fans and NJPW very unsettled and waiting for a blindside beatdown. It wasn't until wrestling dontaku that Naito let his guard down. Coming from the ring Jericho dressed as a fan jumped the guard rail and began assaulting Naito. Jericho had extra reason to lure Naito into a ring as he captured the IWGP intercontinental championship by defeating Minoru Suzuki. With countless beatdowns by Jericho the match was made official Jericho VS Naito for the IWP intercontinental championship at Dominion 6.9. The Match This match would be Jericho's first match since failing to defeat Omega for the IWGP united states championship. With a beatdown before the bell. This match was very physical and with Jericho's experience on display he was able to capture his first IWGP gold. The six-time WWE world champion has been known for his desire to put others ahead of himself in an effort to them over. However, it's also important for him to win a meaningful match every now and then, and that was exactly what happened at Dominion. This marked the second major defeat Naito has suffered this year, with the first being to Kazuchika Okada at Wrestle Kingdom. Needless to say, he will bounce back eventually, but it will be more fun to follow what's next for Jericho in New Japan now that he has gold around his waist. But this wouldn't be the first time that Naito and Jericho would cross paths.