Did Chris Jericho nearly sign for TNA in 2006?
Ring of Honor Champion Chris Jericho is one of the biggest stars in the history of wrestling. His career spanned from the 1990s and continues into the 2020s, with some saying he is still on the top of his game despite having wrestled for over 30 years and counting.
He wrestled for all the world’s top companies in his career. In the United States alone he was seen grappling with the best in the world in companies like ECW, WCW and WWE before landing in AEW in 2019. It was in All Elite Wrestling where he would become the first ever AEW World Champion, when he defeated Adam Page at All Out 2019.
He has long been a man of mystery and has been known to pop up in unusual places. In 2017 he made his NJPW debut, challenging Kenny Omega for a huge Wrestle Kingdom 12 clash that helped launch New Japan as a viable competitor in the United States. Kenny Omega vs Chris Jericho also earned the company a huge amount of money based on the match, with reports of $300,000 a month off the back of the bout being reported by Dave Meltzer.
Despite wrestling all the world’s top promotions, from Canada to the United States and from Mexico to Japan, one company that has eluded Le Champion is the infamous Total Nonstop Action, now known as Impact Wrestling.
Chris Jericho in TNA
While a Chris Jericho to TNA move never managed to materialise, the ROH Champion has confirmed that he was in talks with the promotion to join them in the mid 2000s. The company had already signed a number of former WWE stars and were building a viable competitor to the WWE.
Huge stars like Kurt Angle, Christian Cage and The Dudley Boys had already made the leap from WWE to TNA when Chris Jericho was contacted by former TNA President Dixie Carter. Jericho had been released from WWE in 2005, feeling burned out with the business and wanting to focus on his band, Fozzy.
In his second book, “Undisputed – How to Become World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps“, Chris Jericho wrote about his meeting with TNA Executive’s Dixie Carter and Jeff Jarrett and their interest in signing the former WWE Champion. He did reveal that he was never really interested in signing for the promotion and instead used them for leverage to get a better deal from WWE, which he managed as he re-joined the company in later 2007.
Chris Jericho said about negotiating with TNA;
“Dixie Carter, the president of TNA Wrestling, had been calling me ever since I left the WWE. She made it quite clear that her rival company was interested in bringing me in and wanted to have (take) a meeting with me at my leisure. I had no intention of working anywhere but the WWE, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to have a meeting. It also wouldn’t hurt to use TNA’s interest to give me a bit of leverage with Vince.”
“So I agreed to meet Dixie and her right-hand man, Jeff Jarrett, for lunch in Tampa. We had a good meeting, but it didn’t dissuade me from going back to the WWE even though I was excited for them and their organization. After all, the better TNA did, the better it was for the whole business. For the first time since Vince bought WCW, he had some competition.”
“Barry Bloom and I had been negotiating with the WWE for weeks and couldn’t come to an agreement. I had a certain dollar figure in mind that I wanted in order to come back, and they were hesitant to give it to me. So after my meeting with Dixie, I had Chad type up an email asking if Chris Jericho was going to TNA since he had just seen him eating lunch with Jeff Jarrett and Dixie Carter in Tampa. He signed it Ralph Molina (the drummer of Neil Young’s Crazy Horse), and wisely sent it off to a few prominent wrestling websites.”
“The news spread quickly, and suddenly the magic number was soon agreed upon. That meant everything to me, as it proved that Vince saw me as a major player, something I hadn’t felt for the last few years I worked for him.”
Chris Jericho may not have signed for TNA, but he did make an appearance of sorts of a TNA pay per view around this time. At TNA Bound for Glory 2006, the company decided to use the Fozzy song “Enemy” as the official song for the pay per view.
Chris Jericho is the frontman and singer for the band, and at the time wrote a lot of the music for the group. His voice could be heard during various points of the pay per view and parts of the music video were shown on screen during the show. Chris Jericho even added the TNA logo to his website, trolling the fans and wrestling journalists into thinking he was joining the promotion
Eventually he returned to WWE and wrestled there until he left for NJPW in 2017, eventually joining AEW two years later. With TNA, now called Impact Wrestling, going steadily downhill over the last few years and releasing most of their top stars, who went on to sign for various top promotions across the world, there is little-to-no chance of Chris Jericho signing for TNA at any point going forward.
You can read about Chris Jericho’s negotiating with TNA and his eventual return to WWE in his second book, entitled “Undisputed: How to Become World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps“. It’s an incredible book that you can tell was written by the main himself, and gives you inside look on his career inside the WWE, alongside the likes of Steve Austin, The Rock and Triple H. Check out the link below!
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Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.