Vince McMahon’s name is synonymous with professional wrestling. He was the catalyst for wrestling moving away from the territories and becoming a global sensation. However, lately WWE has been criticized for their creative and for one surefire, first-ballot Hall of Famer, it was that vision that made it easy for him to leave WWE.
Chris Jericho joined SiriusXM’s Busted Open Radio with Dave LaGreca and Bully Ray this week. He spoke about why he Left WWE in 2017 and what it is like working with AEW President Tony Khan. Jericho was quick to talk about his 2017 departure and why he knew the time was right to leave
“When you work for Vince, he has a certain way of doing things,” said Jericho. “I realized it was the end of the road for me. In 2017 the best story was Kevin Owens versus Chris Jericho. The whole teaming up, the festival of friendship and breaking up. There was a time that the main event of WrestleMania was penciled in to be Jericho versus Owens for the Universal Title. I’m not going to blame Brock Lesnar or Goldberg, that Vince decided to change his mind and go with Goldberg versus Lesnar for the title. Now, you have the hottest story in the company without a title. It doesn’t matter, it should not have been the second match on the card.
“When I saw where we were slotted there, I didn’t realize it at the time, but in retrospect, I knew my time was over. Because if you have the best story on the show, everyone is excited, and we are second? There isn’t much more I can do to get higher on that card. So, it was time to leave.”
Before AEW came into play, there were not a lot of options for superstars to go and revitalize themselves. With the addition of AEW and renewed interest in Impact, ROH and NJPW, wrestlers have that opportunity, which Jericho feels is important.
“I left WWE and went to Japan, Mox left and came to AEW,” Jericho stated. “Look at what happens when a guy that was treading water in WWE, was in a creative slump, shows up in 10 seconds and becomes the hottest guy in the business. At the end of Double or Nothing, everyone was talking about Moxley, everyone was talking about Dustin Rhodes. That’s why it is good to have an alternative because it is a good opportunity to go and revitalize your career, in one night, in one minute. That’s what happened to both of those guys.”
Jericho’s new boss is Tony Khan, a self-professed wrestling fan who has a special connection to Jericho.
“The thing about Tony Khan, he knows everything about wrestling,” Jericho exclaimed. “He will say ‘Hey Chris, remember when you and Bubba worked in Omaha and you did this finish?’ He remembers all this stuff. When he says he has seen every wrestling Pay-Per-View, he has seen every wrestling Pay-Per-View. When he was 14 he did really good in school, his father said you can do anything you want or have anything you want. All he wanted to do was go see Chris Jericho last 2 ECW matches at the LuLu temple against Sabu and the ECW Arena versus 2 Cold Scorpio. He will tell me when people were yelling you sold out, he was screaming, ‘He didn’t sell out, he is going to be the biggest star in wrestling, you should be happy for him.’ Here we are twenty years later, he is my boss and he really went out of his way to lock me down and have a face for AEW.”
Jericho will face “Hangman” Adam Page for the AEW World Heavyweight Championship at the All Out pay-per-view on Saturday, August 31 outside of Chicago, IL.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Busted Open Radio with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.