As a veteran in AEW, Chris Jericho has seen pro wrestling from all angles. He's wrestled superstars and talent waiting to get their moment. At times, he knows what works and what doesn't, hence why he's been around for so long.
AEW and NXT are currently in a Wednesday Night War. Jericho was around for the first war between WWE and WCW. Something that wasn't around during that time was Twitter, and we have seen stars like Seth Rollins and Kenny Omega debate on which company is the best. Speaking with Sportskeeda, Jericho discussed the idea of representatives from companies interacting with one another.
"Sure, anytime there's an option and it gives people a chance to take sides it's exciting," Jericho stated. "Am I going to be involved? I don't argue with people on Twitter, I just say what I mean to people's faces you know? The one or two things that I've said that are kind of anti-WWE weren't really planned at all, they just kind of happened due to what was going on and what I was doing in the ring. So, if those guys want to fight, or bicker as you said, then go for it. It just creates more passion, shall we say, and more relevance and more of a battle, I guess, more excitement. All of those sorts of things and if people want to get involved that way and get behind it 'ooh, did you hear what he said' then more power to them."
One of the verbal spats Omega had was when he called NXT talent "developmental", while also stating they would be on AEW dark matches, causing controversy with wrestlers and fans. It was one of the first times the representative of the organization stated something about the competition. While AEW does it in bits and pieces, there are moments where the comparing is broadcasted for the world to hear. Does Jericho, one of the best promo guys in the business when it comes to trash-talking, care about what the other side does?
"I don't really care, I mean that's up to you guys to decide," Jericho continued. "What AEW should focus on is putting on the best show possible and if people are talking s--- and you want to respond to it then that's fine too because so far the four weeks of television we've had have been great, the ratings have been awesome, the demo has been insanely great. So, whatever. For me it's like, you can analyze it and say you should do this or you should do that. All we should do is continue to do what we're doing to remain a very popular show that's in competition with nobody. We didn't start this war, if that's what you want to call it, we didn't start this competition, we're just doing our own thing. If there are contenders at the door knocking and trying to get into our world, that's fine."
AEW is less than a year old and already it is creating a buzz in the wrestling and entertainment industry. With a deal with TNT and talent looking to come in, there are plenty of ways to improve the product as time goes on.
"But to me the most important thing is what are we doing right as a company? What are we doing wrong as a company? What can we do better? Once again we've got four weeks of television under our belts, it's not like we've had ten years of experience, or eight years of experience or whatever, to get everybody on the same page," Jericho stated. "Of course, there's going to be some growing pains but so far the numbers tell the tale of what's going on. So, whether you want to say something about it or don't' say something about it, or concentrate on something else, or concentrate on this, either way we're doing really, really well and we're going to continue to do well, so say what you want to say, I don't give a s---."
AEW has several former WWE stars on their roster, from Jon Moxley to PAC to Cody Rhodes himself. With rumors of Randy Orton wanting to go to AEW, so much so that he teased it on Instagram, how possible is it to happen? Jericho had mixed feelings about what is actually possible.
"I can't say anything about it because I don't know anything about it, no one's calling me to tell me about these things," Jericho continued. "But I know this—nobody is getting out of WWE, especially Randy Orton, because unless he's very, very committed to saying 'I don't care if you pay me 20 gazillion dollars I'm leaving,' that's not what he's doing. I mean, obviously Vince is going to pay millions and millions of dollars to not have Randy Orton go."
Orton squashed those rumors as he just recently signed a multi-year deal to stay with WWE. Even if Orton or The Revival don't leave WWE, there are other stars who may want to jump ship. The one thing Jericho does not want AEW to become, however, is something that people will put a label on.
"There are some other guys but we're not trying to be old-school TNA where anybody that wants to leave WWE comes to AEW, that's not what we're looking to do," Jericho stated. "Obviously there's Jon Moxley that when they become available [we sign them]. And Moxley was one of those guys who said 'I'm out of here, I don't care what you pay me' and didn't even look at the offer they gave him. That's because he was done and ready to go. If you're using AEW to make more money off of Vince, go for it! That's great too but it's not like we're taking everybody that's going to leave WWE to come to AEW. Because those guys who are working WWE now, they got huge raises, and if they were on the Indy circuit they wouldn't be making 500 bucks a night."
When it comes to talent leaving, Jericho does see the rumors as a positive. They may not shell out the money Vince McMahon would normally give to wrestlers, but the opportunity to grow and connect is something that separates themselves from everyone else.
"The point is that Vince just doesn't want anybody to leave WWE because it looks like an exodus if they do and makes us look even cooler," Jericho stated. "We do things our way, we've got a great roster of guys and if somebody becomes available that really wants to be with us and we think that they fit our vibe then we'll take them. It doesn't mean that they're going to get millions and millions of dollars to come because once again, that's not what we're doing. I think we've assembled an awesome roster with at least ten to twelve potential main eventers and we have to build all those guys up first to build up all the mid-card guys, and then build up all the opening match guys to create stars. That's what we have to do, quickly, create stars. And once we do that we'll be even higher up the food chain than we are now."
Jericho will in action once again for AEW when he faces Cody Rhodes for the AEW World Title at Full Gear. The event will be on November 9 and will be held inside the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, Maryland.