Chris Jericho has unquestionably achieved his greatest success in the WWE, and as far as most would guess, will likely continue to be a high profile part-time player in the company.
Still, today no other prominent WWE-associated wrestler – with the arguable exception of Cody Rhodes-is making more noise outside Vince McMahon’s company than Y2J.
Last year, Jericho popped up in New Japan Pro Wrestling to challenge NJPW megastar Kenny Omega to a match at Wrestle Kingdom 12 at the Tokyo Dome. In late October, his Rock n’ Wrestling Rager cruise will feature not only himself in the ring, but top stars from NJPW, Ring of Honor, Impact and Lucha Underground. Earlier this month at All In in Chicago, Jericho made a surprise appearance to attack Omega while disguised as red-hot lucha star Pentagon Jr.
Chris Jericho attacks Kenny Omega at ALL IN. pic.twitter.com/Gt69Ma0eCt
— World Wrestling News (@WWENewsMafia) September 2, 2018
Chris Jericho And The Indies
Jericho says the overwhelming success of all this non-WWE wrestling product is not only good for him but the business as a whole. Or as Jericho told TV Insider Wednesday, it’s a brave new wrestling world, where both fans and performers have more to choose from than ever. Jericho is glad that fans have more options than ever before.
“I think in a world where WWE is so dominant for such a long time, it’s cool to see other options.”
That’s what they are. Options. You’re not going to beat WWE at their own game, but you can carve out a pretty cool name for yourself and do pretty well as a result because of all the people getting involved and want to get involved in the business now looking for that alternative. It’s a good time for the wrestling business, for the fans and performers.”
Jericho makes an important point. Independent wrestling is hotter than it’s ever been. New Japan, ROH, Impact and Lucha Underground aren’t going to compete with WWE, but have loyal and substantial audiences.
NJPW’s ever-popular Bullet Club promote themselves through their YouTube “Being the Elite” series. The Billy Corgan-owned, Cody Rhodes-led, revitalized National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) does similar promotion through their excellent “Ten Pounds of Gold” series. Social media has become such an integral part of professional wrestling, from WWE to alternatives like NJPW, ROH, Impact, Lucha Underground, Progress, RevPro, Major League Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, Evolve, and every promotion in between.
It’s an exciting time for professional wrestling, in the sense that the business has headed towards new territory.
Today, it’s no longer just about the WWE. Fans and wrestlers have more options than ever.
And Chris Jericho continues to break the walls down in more ways than one.