Chris Jericho is now in the 30th year of his pro wrestling career, and it’s safe to say he has done it all.
He has competed for pretty much every major wrestling promotion out there, from New Japan Pro Wrestling, ECW, WCW, WWE and of course, is currently signed to All Elite Wrestling where he became their first-ever world champion. But to the surprise of many, he has never passed through the doors of TNA/IMPACT Wrestling. So what If Y2J had made an IMPACT?
As I’m sure many wrestling historians are aware, Jericho did make an appearance at Bound for Glory 2006 but not as part of the show’s card. Along with his Fozzy bandmates, Jericho provided the official theme for the show which they performed live to open it up. That was Jericho’s one and only Impact appearance so what If Jericho had joined the ranks of TNA?
Well, TNA would have had arguably three of their greatest ever signees along with Christian Cage and Kurt Angle, both completely changed the landscape of TNA and helped make the company the success it was. But add Y2J to that mix, Total Nonstop Action could have been unstoppable and there is no doubt that he would have been a multi-time champion.
But, of course, with Jericho being as creative and adaptable as he is he could have fit in with any era from TNA’s past. There’s no doubt he could have put on some instant classics with the likes of Kurt Angle, Christian and AJ Styles because of course, he has already in the WWE but in front of a very riled up Impact zone, those matches could have had a little more added to them. Now, we can’t forget that Jericho is from Winnipeg (idiot) so of course, he would have been a great fit in a certain all Canadian faction known as Team Canada which many people deem to be the greatest faction in TNA history.
The dream of Chris Jericho joining Impact Wrestling nearly became a reality back in 2018, as Jericho once again became one of the hottest free agents in the industry after making his return to NJPW and challenging Kenny Omega to a match at the Wrestle Kingdom 12 for the IWGP United States Championship.
Then, after the announcement of the Jericho cruise, Impact Wrestling talent and fans felt overlooked and left out. This lead to Sami Callihan calling out Jericho several times on social media for excluding Impact from the Rock and Wrestling Rager. After weeks of incredible promos from Callihan, Y2J and Impact management finally came to an agreement allowing the Impact roster to be a part of the cruise.
This lead to many people speculating that Jericho could be making an appearance in IMPACT. The IMPACT fans would even start chants of “We Want Jericho” during tapings leading up to that year’s Bound For Glory. This is where many people felt the location of Chris Jericho’s official debut for Impact Wrestling would be, as Eli Drake was issuing an open challenge. The anticipation was building as people in attendance were hoping for Jericho, but it seemed everyone was disappointed with who actually answered the challenge. Go back on the Impact+ app to BFG 2018 and see who it was and how everyone reacted.
Impact management did attempt to sign Jericho to a contract to bring him on board with IMPACT.
They reportedly offered him a sizeable deal, which he really considered, and had meetings with Scott D’amore, Don Callis and Ed Nordholm. They also discussed some potential matches with names like Sami Callihan, Brian Cage and Rich Swann, with Jericho reportedly saying that he would love to work with Rich Swann.
There is arguably no doubt that if Chris Jericho had joined the ranks of TNA or Impact Wrestling the landscape of both the company and the wrestling world would look completely different from how it is now. We can’t forget about the incredible dream matches we could have seen, with Jericho facing TNA originals like Elix Skipper, Abyss, Monty Brown and Petey Williams or even the current crop of Impact stars like Moose, Eddie Edwards, Eric Young or Chris Bey. It would have been simply incredible, but in wrestling, you can never say never so maybe one day Le Champion will show up in Impact Wrestling.
Congratulations to Chris Jericho on 30 incredible years entertaining all of us as one of the best wrestlers to ever step into the squared circle. Let’s all drink a little bit of the bubbly and wish Lé Champion many more years.