IWGP Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho spoke with NJPW and among other things, talked about why he thinks Tetsuya Naito is jealous of him and more.
Jericho on why he thinks Tetsuya Naito is jealous of him:
“I want to say something else about Naito as well, I’m not denying his abilities, he’s a tremendous wrestler, he’s got a great character. He’s full of confidence, full of arrogance, he sells merchandise. He’s the total package. The only thing he doesn’t have is what I have – worldwide experience.
He seems to think that it’s a bad thing that I have worldwide experience, he seems to make jokes that I have all of these different championships and titles. I still think he’s jealous because last time, Kenny Omega vs Chris Jericho was a better match than Okada vs. Naito. It sold more tickets.”
“NJPW World in the USA went-up 60%, not because of Naito, but because of Chris Jericho. So, I understand the jealousy, I understand the fact that he wishes he could be me and that’s OK. I think that he confuses the two.
He confuses the fact that Jericho is a bigger name, a better performer more critically acclaimed, more trophies, more titles, more T-shirts, more dolls, more action figures, more video games, more bubblegum cards. You name it! Chris Jericho bowling balls, Chris Jericho eyeglasses, Chris Jericho ice cream bars. All of those things are real, it’s true.”
On him wanting to top his match at Wrestle Kingdom 12 against Kenny Omega:
“Well last time, Kenny and I stole the show at the Tokyo Dome, we had the best match, much like Shawn Michaels and I at WrestleMania XIX. When you have an event as big as Wrestle Kingdom or WrestleMania, when you can have the best match of the show, the best bout, it’s a very special moment.
It takes that match from a normal match to a legendary match, one you can never forget. That’s always the goal, to live up to the tremendous performance last time at Wrestle Kingdom 12. Sometimes it doesn’t work that way.
You always try, but to me, the most important thing is to continue to be the IWGP Intercontinental champion, get another big win, get another great performance and continue onto my ultimate goal of being the IWGP World champion.
“Whether that’s versus Kenny Omega, whether that’s versus Tana, Okada, whoever. The intercontinental championship is very important, I held it 9 times in the WWE, but the most important is the world championship.
I had to win the Intercontinental championship and become a great IC champion in WWE to take the next step in order to become a world champion. It’s the same thing with IWGP.
I’m very honored to be the IC champion – the second most important championship in the company. But, it’s time to have another great performance in the Tokyo Dome and then set my sights on the IWGP world championship.”
Jericho will be defending his IWGP Intercontinental Championship against Tetsuya Naito at Wrestle Kingdom 13 on January 4th next year, at the Tokyo Dome.