AEW’s “Demo God” Chris Jericho returned to his Saturday Night Special this past weekend to discuss all things pro wrestling and rock n’ roll, per usual. The former AEW champion took some time early on in the stream to congratulate the new AEW TNT Champion, Brodie Lee. He revealed that he first contacted Lee about reuniting after hearing news that Brodie requested his release from WWE.
“I was a big fan of his from the start. The moment that he asked for his release from the WWE, about a year and a half ago, I contacted him,” Jericho noted. “And of course they never gave him his release, so, he went on his merry way. And then the moment he actually did get his release, we made sure that he came to work for us. There’s a lot of pluses for him – we love him, he’s great.
“In 2015, I worked only house shows,” he continued. “I didn’t want to do TV, and I remember asking Michael Hayes, ‘Am I only able to be working house shows?’ He’s like, ‘No, no way.’ And then I went to ask Vince and Vince was like, ‘Yes, any Jericho is good Jericho. We’re excited to have you in any capacity.’ So, I think I worked like 50 or 60 shows that year just for the live events, and the majority of the matches that I had were against Cesaro or Luke Harper, who is of course now the new Brodie Lee. So, great to have him with us.”
Chris gave listeners a sneak peak about what to expect in his upcoming “Mimosa Mayhem” match against Orange Cassidy. He says that he was originally inspired by exploding, barbed wire deathmatches that once took place in Japan.
“It’s something we came up with where you can only win by pinfall, submission, or by throwing someone into a vat of mimosa, so, I can’t wait for you guys to see what we have come up with,” Jericho said. “I got the idea kind of coming from those old Atsushi Onita exploding, barbed wire deathmatch sort of things. [There should be] a lot of suspense, like a battle royal when you get thrown out, holding onto the ropes, and that sort of thing. Of course, is someone is able to throw the other in the pit, the vat, the container of mimosa, then they’re the winner. So of course it makes perfect sense for this storyline, this feud with Orange Cassidy. Obviously he’s Orange Juice and I am ‘A little bit of the bubbly’, the champagne. So we were trying to think of some cool ideas and that popped into my head, and I thought it could be a fun match with a lot of twists, and turns, and false finishes, and that sort of thing.
“There’s going to be two vats of orange juice on each side of the ring, and one open side if someone is going to do a dive. The great AEW production crew is working on that right now, putting together this amazing design,” Chris continued. “We’ve got such a great group of guys and girls on the team that can create all this stuff and do all this great work, so I’m really excited to see what they come up with. We’ve had a few sketches and few designs and all that, but if I showed you my original sketch, you’d probably be laughing at how basic it was.”
When asked about his favorite matches he’s been a part of, Jericho picked one from WWE, New Japan, and AEW. In the process, Chris noted that his classic feud with Shawn Michaels in 2008 was originally planned to be a one-off match between the superstars.
“In WWE, probably my favorite is still Jericho vs. Shawn for the World Title in the ladder match. It was in 2009 maybe, 2008 or 2009, and the reason why is – and I’ve said it before, but Shawn vs. Jericho, the famous feud that went for basically 7 or 8 months, was just supposed to be a one-night thing,” Chris revealed. “Because Shawn and I had nothing else to do as far as nobody else to work with, I thought, ‘Why don’t we try and make this longer, and see how long we can make this go?’ That’s what we did, and it turned into this one night only feud, throwaway thing, to the hottest angle possibly ever.
“… In New Japan, I love my match with Tanahashi. As great as the match with Kenny was, the Tanahashi one just blew me away,” he continued. “I did not know what to expect. I really, really loved it; I thought he was just a great performer. He really was just a master at doing a lot of little things that are big things. If anyone knows anything about wrestling, it’s the little things that make you great, and Tanahashi is definitely one of the best. So, that was cool.
“In AEW, it’s probably the match I just had with Moxley where he won the title from me back in February, back before the world went crazy,” Chris explained. “I just really like that match. I like the whole storyline behind it. I’m really enjoying the storyline with Orange Cassidy and I’m excited to show you guys the Mimosa Mayhem match and see what you think about that.”
Continuing with the theme of his “favorites”, Jericho talked about the championship reigns that have meant the most to him during his career. The former AEW world champion admits that his first WWE undisputed title reign in the early 2000s may have been mostly for the shock factor.
“Winning the undisputed championship was cool, but looking back in retrospect, I don’t think I was really ready. I think Vince chose me just because I was kind of the one that no one expected, so, to pull a swerve,” Chris said. “And they continued my ascent, but if you look what happen when I got the title, I was not the world champion as far as angles, or I wasn’t the top guy in the company or even close. So, that’s a good one more for the monumental occasion. I think that if you’re looking at some of my later years, winning the world title from the Undertaker in the Elimination Chamber, that was the last time I won the WWE world championship, that was huge because Undertaker is Undertaker. Duh!
“I’ve got to be honest with you, winning the AEW world championship and being the first AEW world champion was an amazing moment for me for so many reasons,” Jericho stated. “I mean, we had started this company from scratch, off the ground. And to kind of see how big it was growing, and to kind of be the face of that right off the bat, was a pretty cool vibe. So, I really enjoyed that and really enjoy everything we’re doing now in AEW.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Saturday Night Special with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.