Former AEW Champion Chris Jericho has compared his experiences with a top NJPW star to working with The Undertaker.
At WrestleKingdom 14 last year, Jericho forced Hiroshi Tanahashi to tap out, denying The Ace entry through the forbidden door. Jericho has praised the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion and hopes for a rematch one day.
Speaking on Busted Open Radio, Chris Jericho noted that his match with Tanahashi was one of his favorites. Explaining how Tanahashi reminds him of The Deadman, Jericho said:
“The Tanahashi match is one of my top favorite matches in the honorable matches section. That one kind of came out of nowhere. Tana’s been working almost as long as I have, I think he’s been working twenty five years. And I’ve always heard of Tanahashi, but I never really knew anything about him. And when I went to New Japan, I only did six matches there, but three of them were headlining the Tokyo Dome.
“2018 was versus Kenny, 19 was versus Naito and 20 was versus Tanahashi. And each one, like, I think my Tanahashi match was even better than the Kenny match, which is the one that everybody talks about, because I knew about Kenny. Kenny and I were obviously both from Winnipeg and there was a connection there. Plus we’re both Canadian. But with Tana, I really didn’t know.
“When you get in the ring with him (Tanahashi), wow. He is so good, I’m smiling just thinking about it. What it actually reminded me of was the first time I ever worked with Undertaker, who I did not work with until I had been in the WWE for about ten, twelve years. We just never were on the same show and never really crossed paths.
“And to be in there with a guy like that was just unbelievable, like ‘oh my gosh it’s all true. It’s true! Everything you hear about The Undertaker is true! He’s really that good.’ And that was the same way I felt about Tanahashi. We just had so much fun being in there together and it was such a blast. He’s so smooth. People think that the Japanese style is dumping each other on each other’s heads and all that stuff, it’s not the case at all. It was really just a great match and like I said, it helped sell out the Tokyo Dome that year.
“When we did the two nights in Tokyo, it was the second night My last match in New Japan, maybe ever. Who knows if we’ll ever go back. But if that’s the last one, what a way to go out.”
Jericho is no longer under contract with NJPW. His match against Tanahashi was the last bout of his formal deal with the promotion. Jericho has since admitted that he has “unfinished business” in NJPW, and has pitched an AEW invasion angle.
Quote via Wrestling Inc.
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