Chris Jericho recently appeared as a guest on WWE Hall Of Famer Jim Ross' weekly podcast, "The Ross Report," to discuss the build up to his "Alpha vs. Omega" match at Wrestle Kingdom 12 in January.
During the interview, Jericho spoke about getting enjoyment out of surprising pro wrestling fans with his level of involvement in the NJPW angle building to his match against the IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Champion.
"I think when this match was made, Alpha vs. Omega, Jericho vs. Omega, a month-and-a-half ago in Osaka [Japan] or wherever it was, it makes me laugh that people think, 'Jericho announces a match, here we go, it's going to be a big match, we'll see you in Tokyo [Japan] in a few months on January 4 ," said Jericho. "As if I wouldn't do something to build an angle. I'm too much of a disciple of Vince McMahon/Bill Watts/Stu Hart. Any great promoter would do an angle to build the match, to sell the tickets. So once again, in Fukuoka, Japan and I attacked Kenny Omega from behind, nobody saw that coming. And I love that! To me, that's what [pro] wrestling's all about. When you can surprise the fans and the 'smart marks' that think they know everything, but they don't know anything, it makes me laugh because even you, Jim, would understand as an old school guy, of course I'm going to build an angle! Of course I'm going to do that. That's what wrestling is!"
Jericho continued, "Honestly, yeah, the match is important. We want to have a good match. I love good matches, but who cares? The most important thing is the story and the angle building towards that match and selling the biggest amount of tickets we can, okay?"
The longtime WWE veteran went on to talk with Jim Ross about Omega's talent and ability as a performer.
"He's a great performer," Jericho said. "He's a great worker. And once again, it was pretty heavy stuff. And [Ross] know[s] this, in 2017, for some reason, if you get busted open, your mentor Gordon Solie, 'his face is a crimson mask' and that's what it was. And we don't see that a lot. For me, I think it has been 10 years since someone has been busted open in a match that I was involved with and it felt good. There [are] certain rules and regulations that we have to abide by in the United States, in the WWE at this point in time, so to come into New Japan and have no rule, but there [are] still rules, I mean, listen, I understand the concept of [pro] wrestling, so I know what to do, but to have Kenny Omega busted open and to feel that, maybe, power, vibe, or energy, there's nothing like it. And in the right circumstances, when you can bust somebody open, when you can get some color, as we used to say, it means the world because people understand that more than anything. This is the real deal. After 10 years to have a guy I've never been in the ring with, to see the reaction of the people, the reaction of the worldwide audience, and to see those pictures that were taken of Kenny Omega with the aforementioned crimson mask, wow, that sells tickets!"
Check out the complete Chris Jericho interview at PodcastOne.com.