Nobody’s playing coy any more.
Especially since his buddy Don Callis joined the management team, Chris Jericho’s turned up the teases of maybe, possibly showing up on Impact Wrestling someday. As a part-time presence in New Japan this year, the concept of Y2J working for someone other than Vince McMahon and WWE was no longer out of the question. But doing business with another promotion with a longstanding presence on U.S. cable television, and who once tried to compete against Raw on Monday nights, still seemed pretty implausible.
But the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling cruise event Jericho is putting on this fall presented another opportunity. Ring of Honor (ROH) was already a sponsoring partner, and New Japan stars like Kenny Omega were booked. So when Impact’s Sami Callihan started working an angle online trying to get a spot on the boat, it was seen as a sign things were being coordinated behind the scenes for Y2J and Impact to finally do some business.
The week started with some troll-ish Twitter responses directing Callihan and Impact President Ed Nordholm to the cruise’s ticketing site. But Jericho made it official in an Instagram video yesterday (June 5).
“I’m out here in Los Angeles and I just had an extensive meeting with Impact management and as a result, I am proud to say that Impact Wrestling will be a part of the Jericho cruise. That’s right, Impact will be on board - October 27 leaving from Miami to the Bahamas and you can be a part of it too, book your cabin now at ChrisJerichoCruise.com. Impact Wrestling is coming aboard and things just got a little bit more interesting.”
Impact’s social media is now asking fans which of their wrestlers should get on the boat, and that’s not the only interesting move the Anthem-owned promotion’s made this week. They also announced their former X-Division Champion Taiji Ishimori for their July Slammiversary pay-per-view (PPV). That’s noteworthy as Ishimori returned to New Japan after leaving Impact earlier this year and redebuted as Bullet Club’s Bone Soldier. He’ll appear in Toronto for Impact on the heels of a breakout performance in this year’s Best of The Super Juniors tourney, where he was runner-up to Hiromu Takahashi in a much buzzed about finals performance.
Callis is also the English language color commentator for NJPWWorld, New Japan’s streaming service, and as such he’s been openly hoping to work more with the company in the future. This week’s news appears to put Impact in the mix with New Japan and ROH - where Impact World Champ Austin Aries has appeared multiple times recently.
Add in New Japan’s longstanding relationship with Mexico’s CMLL and Impact’s ties to their rival AAA, and this week’s sign those two rivals might be willing to co-exist more than ever before... are we looking at an anti-WWE super-alliance between the biggest non-McMahon controlled wrestling companies in the world?
With Chris Jericho in the mix for them?
“A little bit more interesting” indeed.