WWE Legend & Current IWGP Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho recently spoke with New Japan Pro Wrestling about who he would rather face at Wrestle Kingdom 13 if given the choice, about whether he prefers working arenas or stadiums and if EVIL reminds him of any WWE Superstars. Below are the highlights from the interview:
On preferring an arena to a stadium: “The Tokyo Dome is such a giant animal, it’s hard to control because even if you have the crowd’s attention and they are responding how you want them to respond and doing what you want them to do; the sound travels up into the rafters. Whereas, last night in a venue like the EDION, the sound travels down. That makes a difference. You can feel the difference; the electricity is so much better. There’s pros and cons to wrestling in every venue, whether it’s the Tokyo Dome or Club Citta down in Tokyo. Every show has a different vibe, every show has a different crowd.”
On if EVIL reminds him of any WWE Superstars: “I don’t rate and think of performers that way, everyone is unique and different. If you say ‘Oh EVIL’s like this guy, or that guy’ then it’s usually not a good thing. I think he’s got a great character. Obviously, it’s a little bit of an Undertaker theme, but it’s an original take on that. In the ring, I don’t know … it’s hard to compare … He’s a very Strong-Style type of wrestler, but he’s fast. I just really think that if you put him in comparison with Okada, Kenny, or Tanahashi; he’s different from those guys and I think that’s one of the reasons he has a chance to be a real top guy in NJPW because he’s unique, but he’s very good. He’s a very skilled wrestler; he has an exciting Strong Style, he’s kind of a throwback to Nagata and Choshu, that sort of style. He’s not really a high-flyer, but he can do anything that he needs to do to stand out. He’s a unique performer.”
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On who he would rather face than going against Tetsuya Naito again at Wrestle Kingdom 13: “Why does Naito get a re-match? Why? What does he do? He beat Zack Sabre Jr. You know, ZSJ is a great technical wrestler, but I can break him in two like a branch. I beat Naito. I beat EVIL. To me, you don’t just get to have a re-match just because you say so. When I lost the WWE title to John Cena, I didn’t just come back the next day and say, ‘I want a re-match,’ it doesn’t work that way.
“I don’t care what NJPW says, I don’t care what the NJPW officials say, I don’t care what Harold Meij says – there’s not going to be a re-match! If they want to try to make the match, I’m not approving it and I’m not agreeing to it. Hey, Naito’s amazing, he’s one of the best wrestlers in NJPW but I already beat him, so now you have to think of other matches that Chris Jericho can have, maybe versus Suzuki or Ibushi or Okada. Tanahashi even. These are the guys I’m looking at.”
You can check out the entire interview of Chris Jericho at this link.