clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Chris Jericho wins the IWGP Intercontinental Championship from Tetsuya Naito

NJPW World

Step aside, Miz, it’s official-- Chris Jericho is the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time after winning New Japan’s version of the title from Tetsuya Naito at Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-Jo Hall (for full results, click here) today.

The match itself was a brutal and excellent affair, with an extended beatdown sequence before the bell that saw Jericho powerbomb Naito through and DDT him on table before absolutely taking him pillar to post in the match proper until the Stardust Genius recovered and gave back as good as he’d got, including a piledriver through a table. A bit more back and forth from there, both men hitting all their signatures (including an absolutely crazy avalanche ganso bomb into the Walls of Jericho) until at last a ref bump gave Chris a chance to hit a low blow and a Codebreaker to win the title.

But Y2J wasn’t done there, unleashing a further beating on Naito before removing his belt and whipping him with it until Tetsuya’s fellow Los Ingobernables de Japon stablemate EVIL ran down and made the save.

So it doesn’t take a (Stardust) genius to predict that Jericho’s next move in New Japan is likely a title defense against EVIL, whether at the upcoming G1 Special in San Francisco, Kizuna Road, or maybe even as late as one of the Destruction shows in September, depending on his touring schedule with Fozzy.

And given his freedom to move between New Japan and WWE of late, could we see him on Raw or SmackDown while holding the title? The actual belt appearing on WWE TV is almost impossible, of course, and Vince McMahon may be souring on the idea of Chris as a free agent, but it’s 2018 in pro wrestling and anything feels possible.

In any case, Jericho leaning into his role as a grumpy, violent old man is a great move for a man who’s reinvented himself more times than almost anyone else in pro wrestling, it lead to great results here, and I very much look forward to his next match, whether it be against EVIL or anyone else on the NJPW roster.

There you have it, folks

Excited to see ol’ Y2J as IWGP Intercontinental Championship reign, 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