The NJPW Heavyweight division received a shock today as the boogeyman of their brand, Chris Jericho announced he will be returning to the company for Dominion 6.9 to challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Title.
Jericho’s return will happen on June 9th in Osaka at Dominion PPV, NJPW’s equivalent of SummerSlam. Unless circumstances change, he will be taking on current IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada in what will be the main event of the show. If he wins, this will be his second belt in the company as he dethroned Tetsuya Naito of the Intercontinental Title at the same event last year.
The newly dubbed “Painmaker” was revealed via a video package released by NJPW. That video is here:
Okada had just defended the title against SANADA when Jericho made the challenge. During Okada’s post-match address, the lights went dark and Jericho’s video played on the big screen. Jericho made the challenge and screamed that he was going to win.
Jericho had made it clear that he was still interested in competing for New Japan when he signed with AEW earlier this year. He stated that he still had a list of guys that he wanted to work with New Japan. Clearly, Kazuchika Okada was near the top of that list. This challenge came less than 24 hours after Jericho and Kenny Omega made an appearance at Southern Honor Wrestling to hype their match at AEW Double or Nothing.
Jericho was last seen in the company in January where he lost his Intercontinental Title to Naito at Wrestle Kingdom 13. He had made sporadic appearances for the company since making his debut at Wrestle Kingdom 12 to take on Kenny Omega.
(All images and videos courtesy of njpw1972.com /NJPW YouTube)