clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Chris Jericho returns to New Japan Pro Wrestling to beat EVIL up

NJPW World

Tonight at New Japan Pro Wrestling King of Pro Wrestling 2018 (for full results, check here), EVIL and Zack Sabre, Jr. were set to have a special challenge match that was widely seen as having implications for who would be Chris Jericho’s first challenger for his IWGP Intercontinental Championship.

Entrances proceeded as normal, including TAKA Michinoku’s wonderful introduction for Sabre, before a masked member of the King of Darkness’ entourage suddenly turned on him and started beating him down as he made his way to the ring! It was almost immediately obvious that the culprit was in fact Y2J as the white leather of his title belt peeked out from under his jacket.

Jericho beat EVIL up at length before unmasking and clobbering him with the IWGP Intercontinental Championship title belt, doing enough damage that referee Tiger Hattori had no choice but to call the match off entirely as a no contest.

ZSJ didn’t take too kindly to this and attacked Hattori, stretching him with a double wristlock before going to work on EVIL himself in similar fashion until Tetsuya Naito made the save. He and Zack brawled a bit before things calmed down and we moved on at least.

It’s rare for a match to be turned into an angle like this in New Japan without even the pretense of carrying through with the match itself, and I’m inclined to wonder if maybe this doesn’t tie into recent talk of regime change within NJPW. As bummed as I am to not get a proper Zack Sabre, Jr. match today, I’m not mad about this particular angle in the moment, though, as Jericho’s appearances still feel relatively fresh and exciting and the Naito/Sabre brawl was pretty hype in and of itself.

The only thing that potentially bugs me is right now it feels like we have a LOT of wrestlers on the NJPW roster that like to disrupt matches, from the Firing Squad to Suzuki-gun, and if throwing matches out entirely becomes part of the playbook on every show, well, all the DQs got old in the G1 Climax pretty fast and I can’t imagine no contests being any better.

There you have it, folks

Chris Jericho’s out here beating up dudes in disguise, as is the natural order of things. Excited to see him wrestle EVIL whenever it finally happens, Cagesiders?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats