Chris Jericho has set the bar high, especially with creating the formation of the Inner Circle. Even though he couldn’t recruit Jon Moxley last week on AEW Dynamite, his faction still has five of the most talented superstars on the AEW roster.
Reporter Jim Varsallone asked Jericho to describe the Inner Circle and why he believes they’re the best faction in AEW.
“I think it’s a group of five guys, who were all chosen for their specific personalities and their specific wrestling styles,” Jericho began. “Everyone has become a much bigger star because of the Inner Circle, including me, because you have a very exciting faction that there’s a reason for. You’ve got a great tag team of street thugs. Sammy Guevara, who’s got that quality about him that people don’t like. He’s also a great looking guy that the girls like-he’s the bad boy, super talented in the ring. He’s become my co-pilot when it comes to promos and stuff. Then you got Jake Hager, who’s an undefeated MMA fighter at this point. We’ve pushed them that way.”
Jericho also adds that AEW is all about building new stars. Whether the men and women are part of a faction or not, there is a lot of talent with different in-ring styles that excite fans.
“We have guys that people have already seen, but we have to build other ones, which is what we’ve done very quickly,” Jericho added. “If you look at Sammy Guevara, MJF, Darby Allin, Scorpio Sky, Jungle Boy, and others, these are our homegrown stars. That’s what you have to do to really make it as an alternative company. It’s great to have a couple of guys from WWE, if we can get them, if we don’t, we’re not focused on that. We’re focused on building our own guys that we can make out of scratch.”
Coming from experience, Jericho knows the in’s and out’s on character dynamics and how to change them in time. He revealed in his interview what his secret is to staying relevant as a pro wrestler in this day and age.
“I think it’s commitment,” Jericho started off saying. “When I started feeling burnt out, I left. When I started feeling creatively unfilled, I made changes-constant reinventions but not forced. Every kind of aspect of my character through the years has been something that I just thought felt right. You couldn’t say “Le Champion” unless you had total commitment to it to get it over. If not, it’s just a fake French word that sounds kind of dumb. But if you say it with conviction, suddenly everyone’s calling out ‘Le Champion.’
“All those phases of Jericho (Pain Maker, The List, Y2J) they were where I was at the time. I can’t go back and play Y2J the same way Robert Plant doesn’t want to go sing Led Zeppelin songs anymore, he just doesn’t feel it. That’s why I went to AEW because I knew if I went back to WWE, the first thing they’re going to want me to do is put somebody on The List and I just don’t feel that anymore. I just have to recreate, rediscover, and be something new. If you like what I’m doing, enjoy it, because once I’m finished with it, I’m not going to come back to it.”
Jericho admitted this is the first time in his 30 year career that he is leading a faction, as well as the first time he’s been considered a top guy in any promotion.
“Yeah, it’s the first time I’m leading a stable and it’s also the first time I’ve been kind of the top guy-well, in New Japan, I was the top, top guy,” Jericho recalled. “I call myself the George Harrison of the Attitude Era. What I mean by that is, George Harrison is one of the greatest songwriters of all time. The problem is, he’s in a band with John Lennon and Paul McCartney, the two greatest, ever. I was a babyface in the Attitude Era. I was huge and super popular, but I was a babyface along with The Rock and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. So, I would never be the top guy there. I could be the top heel, which I was for many years, but here it’s more about what Chris Jericho is doing for AEW to continue to get this company on the map to get it to grow.
“It’s also the first time I’ve ever been in a faction. There’s a reason for that, I don’t play well with others. I never really wanted that. I remember back in ’98, one of the suggestions was for me to be in nWo and I was like absolutely not. There’s 15 guys in the nWo. They don’t need me and I don’t need them. For the Inner Circle, it enhances my character, our storylines, and gave five very talented individuals a much bigger platform and got them over to a much bigger degree as well.”
You can view Chris Jericho’s full interview above. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Jim Varsallone (jimmyv3 channel) with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Have a news tip or correction? Send it to [email protected]restlinginc.com