The Ayatollah of Rock’n’Rollah returned to New Japan Pro Wrestling eight months ago and has been working with top talent since arriving in November. From his opening feud with Kenny Omega to capturing the IWGP Intercontinental Championship from Tetsuya Naito, Chris Jericho has definitely made the most out of his latest NJPW run.
However, Jericho also made a few appearances for the WWE, showing up for both the Raw 25th Anniversary show and the Greatest Royal Rumble. Jumping from NJPW to WWE, though, it’s not hard to notice that there are some big differences in his character between the companies. WWE’s Chris Jericho is, while very good in the ring, a tad wacky and flamboyant. NJPW’s Chris Jericho is sadistic and intent on proving just how good he really is by taking out the company’s brightest stars.
Jericho spoke with Sports Illustrated recently and took a chance to explain the differences between his character in the WWE and NJPW.
The New Japan Jericho is not WWE’s Jericho. This, once again, distances those two characters from each other, which is exactly the way I want it.
I’m always about reinventing myself, evolving and changing. That helps you stay current, helps you build your brand, and gives you longevity.
We did the original beatdown with Kenny and got some blood going, which you never see in the WWE nowadays, and we did the press conference where I was swearing and attacking reporters. You can’t do that in WWE, but you can in Japan. Just to have those shackles released, it just felt like all of these things led to more of a Bruiser Brody character than a Shawn Michaels-type vibe.
Chris Jericho’s persona in NJPW is deadly and psychotic in a sense. He’s dangerous, and Bruiser Brody is probably a good way to describe his current state in Japan.