Impact Wrestling was “very close” to signing deals with both Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho last year before AEW entered the picture, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
Don Callis, who is close to both Omega and Jericho, was the main person brokering the deal.
The expectation with Omega was that he would still work for NJPW and would do about 30 dates a year at Impact. When AEW became a thing, plans obviously changed.
With Jericho, he wanted to work another year in New Japan and would have also worked in Impact during that time. Jericho said last week that he was in negotiations with Impact until late last year and they made him a big offer and he “really, really thought about going there” until AEW came in with the biggest offer of Jericho’s career.