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My favorite Chris Jericho performance of the week was at the post-Wrestle Kingdom press conference

Okay, not really. But I have gotten a big kick of how Y2J’s worked with one of the storytelling tools that WWE doesn’t provide him with.

It’s just different enough from a standalone promo or backstage interview, and it really facilitates showing off different sides of a wrestler’s character and personality. Watching a legend like Jericho (and a modern master like his Wrestle Kingdom 12 opponent, Kenny Omega) use the format to build himself and his opponent, put over the importance of their match to the business and their fictional story, is a lot of fun.

Jericho clearly had a lot of fun with it, as we saw at a pre-event presser that ended in a brawl with Omega a few weeks back. In the immediate aftermath of his IWGP United States championship defeat at the Tokyo Dome on Jan. 4, he gives us more of the same, mixing praise for Kenny with excuses for why he lost:

“One of the greatest matches in the history of Japan, and I lose. I feel it’s bull$#!+. This is Kenny Omega’s house, it’s not a fair crowd, people booing Chris Jericho? People happy and cheering when I lose? This is one of the greatest matches they’ve ever seen in their lives and yet they boo Chris Jericho. You know what I have to say? This is what I think of Japan [gives middle finger]. Okay? Print that.”

My absolute favorite bit, though, is how he avoids questions he doesn’t want to answer - mostly because they don’t fit the narrative or how he wants to dance around being a (mostly) respectful villain.

“I’m only answering one question per reporter. He had his question. Next question.

Don’t be greedy.”

That he delivers that one after a LOOONG pause for the question to be asked and translated cracks me up every time.

Asked about the difference between WWE audiences and the New Japan crowd, Jericho tells the pool:

“None of your business.”

When his demeanor quiets the reporters for a moment, he calls out his old pal Fumi Saito, who asks when he’s coming back to Japan - which gets the same answer. After another uncomfortable silence, he gives a long unsolicited comment about how great the match was, and finally walks off by answering Saito’s question:

“And after losing this match, and hearing the reaction of the Japanese fans, I’m leaving tomorrow to go back to the United States and I’m never coming back to Japan again.”

Always working, that beautiful liar.

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