One of the #1 contender’s for the AEW World Championship, Chris Jericho, recently gave his thoughts to Hollywoodlife.com about the upcoming Wednesday Night War between AEW and WWE NXT. As noted, the two programs will each begin airing Wednesday nights this fall in a head-to-head ratings competition.
“I am not at war with anyone at NXT,” Jericho said. “Why would you start a war with some minor leagues? I think we [AEW] are doing what we are doing on Wednesday night and WWE decided to counter-program with NXT. There is no war for me at all because there is not one guy on that show that I have ever heard of before, and that is not being snobby ? it’s just that I don’t watch NXT. So, if you want to watch NXT, that is fine. If you want to watch AEW, that is fine as well. But it is certainly not a war on our part, because we have been doing great on our own, selling out shows and selling 10,000 tickets in five minutes without any type of war or competition.”
Ultimately, “Y2J” believes that the constant press between the two sides going to battle on Wednesday nights will be a benefit to AEW’s ratings. Jericho, of course, has experience on the subject after being a part of both WCW and WWE when the two companies were battling for supremacy during the late 90s and early 2000s.
“I think this just adds more eyeballs onto us. The one thing I learned when I was in WCW is the worst thing you can do is worry about your competition; worry about what you are doing and clean your house and make sure your own s–t is going good,” Chris explained. “That is what we are doing, and we are not worrying about whatever anyone else is doing. I mean, you can put on a Happy Days reunion show on a Wednesday night ? you could put on anything, and to me, we are going to continue doing what we do and that is put on a great product and give an alternative to what people have expected, what the norm of what pro wrestling is. We are going to change that, and we are going to have to try to do something different. If we didn’t, there is no reason to get into it. You don’t want to be a copy of anything. You want to be your own entity and live in your own universe, and that is what we plan on doing!”
Jericho is convinced that his presence in AEW was pivotal for the company to gain the same exposure it did when it first debuted earlier this year. Now, he hopes to be a bridge that links fans of his work and the WWE product to the best performers AEW has to offer.
“It is great to be in this position and whether I win or I don’t, one of the reasons why it was so important and integral to sign Chris Jericho to AEW was to provide a face and a name that everyone knows,” Jericho said. “You got a lot of talented guys in that locker room but a lot of them don’t have the worldwide television name value that I have. So it was so important to get me involved, to kind of build a bridge between those fans that know who Jericho is but don’t really know what AEW is.
“Once you watch AEW, then you are going to know who Kenny Omega is, and Adam Page, and The Young Bucks, and MJF, and all these other guys,” Chris continued. “I think it will blow people’s minds because people will be like, ‘Who are these guys that no one heard of before?’ It is like they are ten-year overnight sensations because all of them have been big stars around the world, just not on a national basis in the United States. So, I am really looking forward to blowing people’s minds!”