AEW presents their "Bash at the Beach" edition of AEW Dynamite tonight on TNT. Chris Jericho sat down with Jim Varsallone of The Miami Herald about his thoughts on the AEW fan base and why he believes that they have the biggest fan base in pro wrestling.
"I think one of the reasons why AEW has such a big fan base, a loyal fan base, is because they got to be part of it from the beginning," Jericho stated.
Jericho mentions that he can relate to AEW fans and their loyalty because he was the same way when Metallica first began their musical career and how they became overnight sensations.
"I got into them (Metallica) in 1985 right after their first record came out and I grew up with Metallica," Jericho noted. " I saw them build and grow and become who they are, and I felt great pride in that. It's like seeing our very first show (AEW). Like I mentioned, you haven't seen that before and or from another wrestling company to start that big right out of the gate."
While some may or may not agree with how influential social media can be in regards to exposure and popularity, Jericho believes that social media has played a major role in AEW's exposure to the fans. He also believes that social media is the foundation for AEW's success, even before they had a television deal.
"It's a different world now, you know," Jericho began. "This whole company basically started on social media. If you look at All In, Double or Nothing, and All Out, these are shows that sold out in an hour with zero television exposure. All it was, was word-of-mouth, some well-placed vignettes, movies, and vlogs. Suddenly, everybody's talking about it. It was really interesting to see that reaction and to know there are fans out who have money that want to spend it in wrestling on something new."
Going back to comparing AEW to WWE, Jericho noted that he's noticed how both companies are night-and-day when it comes to their creative process and how they handle things like promos, for example
"The whole creative vibe in AEW is so much different from the WWE," Jericho informed. "There's not a team of writers who are following you along and are giving you your promo and say read this, it's approved by whoever. I like that there's no approval. I have to approve it myself and do it myself. It's a little bit scary live without a net, but it really shows who's got the chops. You have to get over on your own-the way wrestling always was up until 10-15 years ago, when writers became a real part of the game."
On tonight's episode of AEW Dynamite, Diamond Dallas Page will step in the ring in a six-man tag team match. Jericho weighs in on his thoughts about his in-ring return and how AEW properly uses legends like DDP in their storylines.
"I think it's something we do really well in AEW. We use the legends in the right way," Jericho declared. "I think using DDP is very smart because he has a really close relationship with the Rhodes family, with Dustin. Cody has always been his young apprentice, shall we say. So when we have him come in, it means something.
"We don't have him just them in only to get beat up by whoever the flavor of the month is, which is something that other companies do. Let's bring in a legend and embarrass them. Yeah he's 63, but he's in great shape and he could probably, cardio-wise, outlast most people 20-30 years less than him. I think people will be excited to see him have that match because DDP is a very big star. We're not hitching the cart to him, but I think it's cool if you use someone in the right casting, it always works out well."
You can view Chris Jericho's full interview above. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Jim Varsallone with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.