NJPW wrestler Hiroshi Tanahashi made an appearance on AEW Dynamite last night, giving a message of congratulations to Chris Jericho. Last night’s episode was focused on celebrating Chris Jericho’s 30-year career. Tanahashi was joined by names like Slash, Gene Simmons, Ultimo Dragon, Bully Ray and several others.
Dave Meltzer from WON stated that Tanahashi’s appearance was set up by Jericho. He explained on Wrestling Observer Radio that the two hit it off when they worked together for a match at Wrestle Kingdom earlier this year. Jericho wanted somebody to surprise the audience and thought Tanahashi (and Ultimo Dragon) were two people who could do that.
While NJPW doesn’t have any direct association with AEW, they have a huge level of love and respect toward Chris Jericho. With that being said, the company agreed to let Tanahashi appear on Dynamite.
There are no plans as of this time for both companies to be working together. Even if this were to happen, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic would prevent this working relationship from happening due to the ongoing travel ban.
NJPW was also mentioned when Lance Archer and Jon Moxley hyped their match next week, alluding to the Texas Death Match they had at Wrestle Kingdom. The reason NJPW had more mentions on Dynamite is because Dynamite doesn’t want to “insult their audience.”
The company has been acknowledging that other wrestling organizations exist. AAA championships have appeared on AEW PPVs and NWA Women’s champion Thunder Rosa had several matches, as two examples.