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Chris Jericho and his WWE Contract Status

Chris Jericho Vinnie Langdon III, via Flickr


Chris Jericho and his WWE Contract Status

And here we are, days after “Y2J” Chris Jericho made the monumental announcement; that on January 4th, 2018, he will return to the land of the rising sun. He laid out the challenge to the current IWGP United States Champion, Kenny Omega; set for Wrestle Kingdom 12 in the Tokyo Dome.

This will be his first match outside of the WWE since 1999, when he left WCW for the big company from Stamford.

There have been conflicting reports that Jericho was still under contract, although he left the company in May. Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer reported that Y2J’s contract expired in May of this year.

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Jericho and Omega have been going back and forth on social media in the last few weeks; leading many wrestling insiders to believe that there was a payoff coming soon. According to a report on Wrestling Observer Radio, Jericho was inspired by the build-up for the Conor McGregor/Floyd Mayweather fight from over the summer.

He wanted to make it a big deal, so, he called up a mutual friend of his and Omega’s; New Japan’s English commentator Don Callis. Callis spoke with Omega about the idea, then they took it to NJPW head booker, Gedo.

This led to a secret meeting in New York in August, though the deal wasn’t completed until October.

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The promo above from Jericho aired this past weekend at NJPW Power Struggle; it was filmed two weeks ago in Los Angeles, just after the deal was inked.

Jericho on the situation…

Said Jericho of the whole deal on his podcast “Talk is Jericho”:

“The last couple of months, I’ve been working on it. Keeping it a secret from all of you, [I] was actually so surprised and happy that it ended up staying a secret. Nobody knew until the match was announced at the end of Kenny’s match in Osaka [Japan] the other day, which was in the middle of the night for everybody.”

Y2J’s last WWE contract expired at WrestleMania 33 this past April; he signed a one-month extension that ended in May after he dropped the US Title to Kevin Owens. He worked a few live dates in Japan over the summer, also working one episode of SmackDown Live in late July.

Those dates, he was working as a free agent. He was asked to work WWE TLC against Finn Balor; after Bray Wyatt was forced off the show following the viral infection. Unfortunately, Jericho couldn’t do it due to other commitments.

According to Meltzer, people close to the deal expect Jericho to make his WWE return in 2018. One source stated that it could happen as early as the RAW 25th Anniversary show in January.

It was believed that Chris Jericho’s possible return to the WWE at the 25th Anniversary show would be a much bigger deal coming off of the Wrestle Kingdom match. This, of course, is believed to be based on the response AJ Styles received coming from New Japan.

Currently, Jericho is working with ROH on his wrestling cruise next year in October. Already confirmed for the cruise are Cody Rhodes, and The Young Bucks. Jericho asked the WWE about having NXT talent for the show but was declined.

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