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By Mike Johnson & Paul Crockett on 2017-11-05 06:48:00

Former WWE champion Chris Jericho will wrestle his first match outside WWE since 1999 on 1/4/18, as he appeared today during New Japan Pro Wrestling's Power Struggle event in a video where he challenged IWGP United States champion Kenny Omega to a championship match at the Tokyo Dome.

The two had been going back and forth on Twitter of late, knocking each other in what appeared to have been an angle to build to a potential match on Jericho's planned cruise event set for October 2018 but instead it was revealed to be a bout setting up a title match in New Japan for their biggest event of the year, Wrestle Kingdom, giving that event and the promotion a massive international star.   

The promotion is hyping the championship match as "Alpha vs. Omega." 

Jericho worked for New Japan Pro Wrestling in 1997 while under contract to World Championship Wrestling initially as the masked Super Liger, which was intended to be a heel nemesis for the legendary Jushin "Thunder" Liger but ended up dropped because the idea and the execution was so poorly received.      After that faux paux, he simply worked as Chris Jericho.

Jericho joined WWE in 1999 and has long noted that he never planned to wrestle outside of that company ever again.  His most recent deal with the promotion ended following Wrestlemania 33 earlier this year, although he did make a one night return over the summer to appear in a Triple Threat match with Kevin Owens and AJ Styles on a Smackdown Live broadcast.  In recent months, Jericho has been touring with his band Fozzy

Omega, the leader of Bullet Club, has seen his star has risen massively since his match at last year's Tokyo Dome event and is pretty much the biggest name internationally right now not plugged into the WWE machine.  The Jericho match presents Omega with a great opponent, a marquee match that is guaranteed to bring additional eyeballs to Omega and Internet buzz that will likely do great business for New Japan as they continue to plot a course towards expanding internationally. 


A post shared by Chris Jericho (@chrisjerichofozzy) on


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