New Japan Pro Wrestling‘s Wrestle Kingdom 14 is set to take place on January 5, and Chris Jericho will face Hiroshi Tanahashi at the pay-per-view. In the lead up to the match, Tanahashi has been requesting a shot at Jericho’s AEW World Championship if he wins the match. Now “The Painmaker” has responded to the NJPW legend’s request in a video shared on the company’s Twitter account.
As quoted by Wrestling Inc, the stipulation has been accepted. If Tanahashi emerges from the match victorious, he will receive an opportunity to win Jericho’s title at a later date.
“You said if you can beat me that you would enter the forbidding portal and request a title shot for the AEW Championship. I thought it’s a great idea. So, ‘Le Champion’ asked the Chairman of the Board, the owner of AEW, Tony Khan, if it was okay to grant your request, and he said ‘yes.’ So, if you can beat me in the Tokyo Dome, I will give you a championship match for the AEW Title.”
While the result of the match has yet to be determined, the fact that AEW was mentioned during the promotion of an NJPW match suggests that both companies could be set to enter a working agreement with each other. The idea has been teased in the past, but reports claimed that NJPW had issues with the American promotion.
As documented by WrestleTalk, The Young Bucks told Chris Van Vliet that NJPW “hates” AEW. Prior to founding AEW, the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega were three of NJPW’s biggest stars, and it is believed that them leaving to form their own company caused some bad blood among the management team of their old promotion.
At the time of this writing, NJPW currently has a working relationship with Ring of Honor. Therefore, should the company decide to collaborate with AEW, both companies will have to wait until the ROH deal expires.
However, with NJPW set to launch a North American subsidiary, working with one of the country’s top promotions could be beneficial to their business plans. Furthermore, working with NJPW will expand AEW’s global reach, and both companies will undoubtedly appreciate sharing each other’s talent for their respective shows.
However, the fact that a wrestler of Tanahashi’s pedigree and reputation desires a shot at Jericho’s championship will only make the title more prestigious, which will only help the new company garner more respect within the industry.