Chris Jericho Credits Young WWE And AEW Talent With Helping Him Avoid 'Seniors Tour'

Chris Jericho has surrounded himself with young and upcoming talents over the past few years in AEW, a conscious decision on his part that has garnered him the reputation of a "clout vampire."

In a recent interview with ET Canada, Jericho was asked if had picked up "one lesson" from any of the younger talents he's worked with.

"I don't want to single out just one wrestler," Jericho began. "When I came back to WWE, in 2016, I had no interest in working with Shawn Michaels or Triple H because I had done that already. I didn't want Chris Jericho to turn into like a seniors tour. I thought it would be really smart to work with younger guys, so they get the rub from me, and in return, I get the rub from them. That's why I had a run where I worked with Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Roman Reigns, and Seth Rollins — all the guys who are on top now but were bubbling under the surface at the time. But working with me helped them get to the next step. Plus, it helped me learn the old dog and new tricks analogy.

"A lot of guys say, 'In the 1990s we never did this.' Guess what? Those days are gone. It's 2023, and you have to wrestle the style people want to see now but also incorporate the experience you have."

In the same vein as his WWE run, which included several feuds with younger wrestlers, Jericho admitted that working with the likes of Sammy Guevera, Daniel Garcia, Orange Cassidy and MJF in AEW has helped "keep him in the mix at the top level" while also not hindering the development of the younger stars.

'I could have stayed in WWE and been comfortable'

To further illustrate his point, Jericho highlighted a recent trios bout pitting himself, Guevera & Garcia against Top Flight & AR Fox.

"The amount of athleticism was off the charts," Jericho stressed. "But what I brought to the table was where and when to place the spots, and how we could make the most impact. That's a great example of combining youth and experience. I don't want to work with Matt Hardy or Christian. Let's work with the younger guys and see where it takes us."

Later in the interview, Jericho was asked to single out the "most creatively satisfying moment" of his pro wrestling career spanning over 30 years. The question prompted Jericho to point out that he was the first former WWE Champion to make the jump to AEW in 2019, a move that he admits was a "bit of a risk" at the time.

"I could have stayed in WWE and been comfortable for the rest of my career," Jericho admitted. "If I had done that, I'm not sure I'd still be wrestling today. AEW reignited my passion and creativity...took things to the next level all across the board. As a result, I think 2022 was a career year for me."

Jericho then listed off all his memorable moments in AEW over the past four years, giving a special shout to his feud with Cassidy during AEW's pandemic era.

"That was one of the greatest feuds nobody ever saw live because there were no people [at the arenas]," Jericho said. "Some people think it was corny, but it was perfect at the time. He's orange juice and I'm bubbly, you put it together and it's almost like an FMW exploding landmine match." 

"The lockdown gave you two choices: either curl up and die or get creative," Jericho continued. "I think we were able to do a lot of creative stuff at the time."