Chris Jericho: Why Wrestling Hiroshi Tanahashi Was Like Facing The Undertaker
The two faced each other at Wrestle Kingdom 14
Chris Jericho has spoken of his fondness for his match with Hiroshi Tanahashi in New Japan, revealing that their outing reminded him of his first match with The Undertaker.
Jericho and Tanahashi met in at Wrestle Kingdom 14 in January 2020 and the Demo God says Tanahashi was one of those names he'd heard of but didn't really know much about.
Upon getting in the ring with him, Jericho realised just how good Tanahashi was, saying he felt the same about The Undertaker the first time they worked together in WWE.
Speaking to Busted Open Radio, Jericho said: "The Tanahashi match is one of my top favourite matches in the honourable matches section. That one kind of came out of nowhere. Tana’s been working almost as long as I have, I think he’s been working twenty-five years. And I’ve always heard of Tanahashi, but I never really knew anything about him. And when I went to New Japan, I only did six matches there, but three of them were headlining the Tokyo Dome.
"18 was versus Kenny, 19 was versus Naito and 20 was versus Tanahashi. And each one, like, I think my Tanahashi match was even better than the Kenny match, which is the one that everybody talks about because I knew about Kenny. Kenny and I were obviously both from Winnipeg and there was a connection there. Plus we’re both Canadian. But with Tana, I really didn’t know.
“When you get in the ring with him, wow. He is so good, I’m smiling just thinking about it. What it actually reminded me of was the first time I ever worked with Undertaker, who I did not work with until I had been in the WWE for about ten, twelve years. We just never were on the same show and never really crossed paths. And to be in there with a guy like that was just unbelievable, like ‘oh my gosh it’s all true. It’s true! Everything you hear about The Undertaker is true! He’s really that good.’ And that was the same way I felt about Tanahashi.
"We just had so much fun being in there together and it was such a blast. He’s so smooth. People think that the Japanese style is dumping each other on each other’s heads and all that stuff, it’s not the case at all. It was really just a great match and like I said, it helped sell out the Tokyo Dome that year. When we did the two nights in Tokyo, it was the second night.
"My last match in New Japan, maybe ever. Who knows if we’ll ever go back. But if that’s the last one, what a way to go out.”
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