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Chris Jericho appears at NJPW New Year's Dash, brawls with Naito


It doesn't appear that Chris Jericho's time in New Japan Pro Wrestling is over just yet.

Jericho made a surprise appearance at the end of this morning's New Year's Dash show at Korakuen Hall, running in from behind and attacking Tetsuya Naito in a post-main event angle. Jericho was pulled away from Naito, with Naito then spitting in his face, attacking him, and taunting him. Jericho broke free and they briefly brawled again until being separated.

As Jericho was being taken to the back, he tried to grab anything he could (including an announce table) to throw at Naito in the ring. Naito faked like he was going to throw a chair at Jericho but instead sat on it.

Jericho and Naito had been going back and forth in the build to Wrestle Kingdom 12 as each tried to position their respective match as the real main event.

Naito, SANADA, EVIL, BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi had defeated Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI, Gedo & Will Ospreay at New Year's Dash before Jericho appeared. SANADA vs. IWGP Heavyweight Champion Okada, EVIL vs. NEVER Openweight Champion Goto, and Takahashi vs. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Ospreay were teased as possible directions for the future.

Minoru Suzuki vs. IWGP Intercontinental Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi and Roppongi 3K vs. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks were set up for future shows as well, and Jay White laid out IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega and refused his invitation to join Bullet Club after White had been teased as the group's newest member.

Omega invited White to join Bullet Club after an angle where Omega stopped Cody Rhodes from hitting Kota Ibushi with a chair. Omega and Cody argued and continued to tease dissension over which one of them is the leader of the group but didn't turn against each other on this show.

After NJPW's Fantastica Mania tour with CMLL, their next major events are the New Beginning in Sapporo on January 27th and 28th and the New Beginning in Osaka on February 10th.