Chris Jericho shocked the wrestling world last week when he appeared at New Japan Pro Wrestling's Power Struggle event with a special announcement - he'd be facing Kenny Omega at WrestleKingdom 12 at the Tokyo Dome on January 4, 2018.
Jericho is no stranger to New Japan, given he wrestled for the company back in 1997, but fans were stunned given how Jericho has been a WWE company man for years and was on its programming as recently as the July 25 episode of Smackdown Live.
But the WrestleKingdom match combined with the news that Jericho's "Rock & Wrestling Rager at Sea" cruise would feature talent from Ring of Honor left fans speculating if he had severed ties with Vince McMahon and the WWE.
The former Undisputed Champion went on Jim Ross' podcast "The Ross Report" this week to clear the air.
"You know how smart I am throughout my career, and you know the relationship I have with Vince, and I would never jeopardize that, or give him any nasty surprises," Jericho said. "So, I'll leave it at that."
"I think in the back of his mind, no matter how much wrestling fans sometimes like to lionize Vince... think that he's this big, evil, manipulative guy, I think he appreciates when the business is healthy he knows that it's better for his business as well," Jericho said. "So for Chris Jericho to go to New Japan, everybody knows that I'm a WWE guy. It's just the way it is, I have been for 17 years. Bu this is a once in a lifetime dream match per se with a lot of money at stake. And for me to not to pursue that I thought would've been a crime and I think Vince is the same way."
Based on those comments, it sounds like Jericho's relationship with WWE is still very much alive and that McMahon was given a heads up prior to Jericho's announcement.
In a match Jericho compared to Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather, Jericho will take on the leader of the Bullet Club for the IWGP United States Championship at the Tokyo Dome.