Jericho welcomes Kenny Omega to the show.
Omega informs that he’s still pretty banged up from their match, but he’s proud of that because all the bumps and bruises are like badges of honour. Jericho agrees and points out that waking up feeling validated after months of hard work is the best feeling in the world.
Jericho informs that it was never their intention to do a No DQ, hardcore match. Their press and promotion for the match got so vicious and violent that they felt like that’s where the match needed to go. Their initial plan was to have a traditional match, similar to Okada/Naito, but after reading the fans’ reaction they knew they needed to go all the way and make the match “No DQ”.
He points out that the decision to make the match “No DQ” had nothing to do with the fact that he’s 47, or that he was afraid that he wouldn’t be able to keep up with Omega in the ring, as many people have speculated. Omega laughs and says that wasn’t the case at all. They just realized that they needed to add that stipulation after seeing how vicious the build had become.
Omega informs that although wrestling matches are show business, in the heat of the moment things can get pretty physical. Omega recalls a specific moment in the match when he and Jericho were just improvising on the spot and trading punches back and forth. Jericho points out that some people might criticize him for having Omega as a guest on his podcast just a week after this match, but they definitely can’t criticize the physicality they showed in that match.
Omega informs that he couldn’t believe it when Don Callis approached him and asked him for his thoughts on working a match with Jericho. He was very excited about the opportunity, but didn’t think Callis was being serious. Once he realized that this match could be a possibility he reached out to Jericho and they both started to put a plan in place.
Omega approached Gedo, who books the shows for NJPW, and he was thrilled about the idea. NJPW didn’t really have a plan for Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 12, and they probably would have just booked an Omega/Ibushi match. Omega knows he would have been able to have another great match with Ibushi, but after having a bunch of great matches over the last couple of years he wanted to do something different this time by focusing on storytelling.
Jericho knew NJPW was interested in having him appear when four of the top officials flew to the United States to talk to him about it. There were a few hurdles along the way but they ultimately reached a deal. Now they just needed to plan out how they wanted to promote it.
Omega informs that he would have been happy with promoting the fight through videos and social media interaction, but once Jericho informed that he wanted to go to Japan and have some face-to-face interaction Omega knew that they had a chance to do something special.
Omega points out that the backstage reaction was incredible after the initial video of Jericho played during the NJPW show in Osaka. Nobody knew about it other than Don Callis and The Young Bucks, and everyone he spoke to backstage after the show were acting like fans who couldn’t believe what they watched on that video.
Jericho points out that they made the match “No DQ” because they wanted the freedom of having no rules. When he trapped Omega in the Walls of Jericho early on in the match the referee started counting for Jericho to break the hold. Jericho quickly turned around and screamed, “It’s No DQ Jackass!”
Omega points out that they had a general plan in mind for the match before going out, but they had to change a couple of spots at the last minute. They had to follow seven matches by the time their match started, and Will Ospreay did something in his match that was identical to something that he and Jericho had planned. Omega was frustrated, but he knew that he and Jericho could react on the fly and come up with something different.
The spot when Omega jumped from the scaffolding onto a table which was placed on top of Jericho was completely improvised. This replaced a Summersault idea that they had that was already done by other performers earlier in the show. Omega informs that all the work they did on the outside of the ring was basically on the fly, and that was his favourite part of the match.
Jericho points out that the furniture that NJPW uses is quite different than what he’s accustomed to in WWE. In WWE, the tables are very thin and break rather easily but in Japan, they’re about two inches think and are significantly harder to break. He was quite concerned about having to bump through one of the tables in the event that the table wouldn’t break, but luckily it broke and everything was fine.
Omega informs that he had an elaborate idea planned for his entrance which would have included video and new music to accompany his costume. Unfortunately, hours before the show he received an email saying the company did not have to time make the video/music for him which really angered him. Jericho says that you can criticize WWE all you want, but something that would never happen in WWE.
Jericho informs that Vince McMahon didn’t like the “Alpha vs. Omega” tagline. McMahon felt that nobody would know what Alpha meant, or how that related to Jericho. Jericho couldn’t help but laugh when weeks later McMahon announced his new venture, “Alpha Entertainment”.
That sums up today’s episode of Talk is Jericho. You can listen to the show yourself anytime here, and I’ll catch ya next week for another recap!