We've heard from most of the big names since the official launch of All Elite Wrestling last week including the Khans, Cody and The Young Bucks. Now we get a chance to hear from arguably the biggest-named wrestler signed to the company - Chris Jericho.
As previously reported, Jericho discussed his process of joining AEW on his Talk is Jericho podcast and he described how he first heard of Tony Khan. Jericho's manager told him that Khan was interested in starting a new company and Jericho said he would listen to Khan's pitch and offer any advice.
"Who knows would could possibly happen," Jericho said when recalling Khan's idea. "I'm not gonna work there, but maybe I could use it for negotiations or give some advice. Because at the time I also called the family that owned Impact Wrestling and told them to hire Scott D'Amore and Don Callis and get out of the business…not because I wanted to go to Impact, but because I wanted the business to continue to thrive."
Jericho mentioned that when he did All In in Chicago, he had a concert with Fozzy right after and used a private jet to fly from Chicago to Kansas City. That wasn't just any old, private jet as it came courtesy of the Khans.
"I did the match [at All In] and then flew back to Kansas City to do the Fozzy gig at night on a private plane which was provided by Tony Khan," revealed Jericho. "That's something I never told anybody before – Tony Khan provided that jet."
He then said that he met with Khan after doing a Fozzy gig in Jacksonville before All In and they talked for four hours. The passion and experience with business, the sports business especially, got Jericho interested.
"That's when I realized, this guy really wants to do this," stated Jericho. "Does he have any previous experience running a wrestling company? No. Did the last two presidents of the United States have any experience in politics? No. But what all three of them had is passion and experience with business.
Jericho then mentions the Khans owning the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL and Fulham F.C. of the EPL, so they have experience within the sports and entertainment sector.
"They have a lot of elements and lot of acumen when it comes to running big businesses involved with athletics and entertainment," Jericho said of the Khans.
Jericho then talked about the original offer that AEW threw his way to join their company.
"The original offer that came in blew my mind… What? This is a real, almost like NHL-level offer which I'd never gotten before," said Jericho. "But I also know that with the money WWE has, they could probably match it if they wanted to."
Jericho said him working longer in New Japan, working All In and doing his cruise was kind of a message to WWE, saying that he's still relevant and making waves on his own terms.
"Do I really want to go back to WWE? If I go back, what am I going to be doing there? What kind of an angle would I have? How high up on the card would I be," Jericho asked.
Jericho said that suddenly his name value is maybe bigger than its ever been and so hooking up with AEW was the payoff of all of that.
Many are expecting AEW to come in and right away compete with WWE, which is unrealistic. Jericho discussed the main intent of AEW right off the bat and it's more to serve the wrestling fans rather than compete with the top wrestling promotion.
"WWE is the biggest wrestling company in the world – you're not going to beat it! We don't want to beat the WWE. We're not planning on that," admitted Jericho. "That's not the mindset of AEW. The mindset is to provide an option, an alternative for wrestling fans. It's something you haven't seen before and haven't seen in a while."
AEW launched in Jacksonville and their first show is in Las Vegas, but their plan is certainly to expand into global markets in the future.
"We could be going worldwide. We've already had inquiries from Australia, Germany, the UK. The Khan Family is based in London – you don't think we'll be in London working? You don't think we'll be back in Japan? Going to Germany? Australia? New Zealand? There's a lot of places for us to go and I'm excited," said Jericho.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Talk is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: Talk is Jericho