Chris Jericho On AEW Creating Main Event Level Stars, His Love For Long-Term Stories

In a recent interview with Inside The Ropes that was recorded before AEW's All Out PPV, Chris Jericho reflected on his AEW World Championship feud against Jon Moxley, talking about how Moxley is a completely different person than Dean Ambrose. He also discussed how his feud with Moxley was completely different than their WWE feud.

"Well, I mean, that wasn't even the same guy. I mean Dean Ambrose doesn't even exist anymore," Jericho stated. "To me, that's almost a job guy from the past. Jon Moxley is not that guy. So yeah, I had a pretty good feud with Dean Ambrose. Wasn't even close – not the same guy, not the same situation. So, when Moxley came to AEW is when he really became Moxley, when he really became what he had the potential to be, which is why I recruited him to bring him into AEW to begin with.

"I think we started that [story] in mid-December and that culminated at the end of February. Once again, two and a half months. The story that Cody and I had started basically on October 2 on our very first Dynamite show and went to November. So, I pride myself on long stories that always have a great payoff.

"Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. As the hell, most of the time you lose. That's OK, but with Mox, I really enjoyed it because we basically – what happens with WWE, you get complacent. People are going to book stories for you, and all my best stuff, I always had major input in WWE. Whether it be Shawn Michaels in 2008, Rey Mysterio in 2009, [and] Kevin Owens in 2016, all of those storylines were months, and months, and months. Now, obviously, I have input, but so do the writers, and you're working together."

Jericho continued speaking on the creative freedom everyone has in AEW because there is no writing staff. Jericho reiterated his love for long-term storytelling and how that was a goal when coming up with his feud with Orange Cassidy.

"In AEW, they're basically is no writer," Jericho revealed. "It's up to me and I embraced that. From the moment that I started here, I've planned out big chunks of, 'OK, who's available for me to work with?' Because everybody's got their own storylines and things that are going on, and what can I do with this? So when I see a guy like Orange Cassidy, it's like, 'is anyone else working with Orange Cassidy?' I know the answer is no, so let me. Like I said, I find something that we can really sink our teeth into to make Orange as big of a name as Moxley is, as big of a name is Cody is.

"And to an extent, we've done that, and we've done that in front of basically no people. Orange is very much a crowd favorite. So take the crowd away, it makes it a little harder, but it's the cards that we've been dealt. So I enjoy the long-term storytelling. I enjoy the fact that I have major input in it, and I enjoy the fact that everybody in AEW is basically on the same team working together to make stars and to make make money basically.

Jericho was asked about Moxley and MJF's AEW World Title match, and he spoke on how far Moxley has come from his time in WWE to becoming a main event star in AEW. He also praised MJF for becoming a main event star at such a young age. Jericho asserted that the show would do a good buy rate because of the main event, and early estimates showed that All Out did around 100,000 – 110,000 PPV buys.

"The time is always now for me," Jericho said. "If Moxley wins, that's the way to go. If Max wins, that's the way to go. All that matters is, once again, we're building stars, and that's two guys. We're building Moxley as well. Who would have thought a year ago that goofy Dean Ambrose wearing a f–king mask before we had to wear masks because of the corona is now going to be a completely different guy? New name, new character, new attitude, new fan base, and that he's going to be our main event player, he's going to be our champion. Nobody would have guessed that. And then MJF, who I believe is 23 years old, maybe 24.

"When I was 23 or 24, I was working flea markets in Calgary in front of 50 people just trying to make a name for myself. He's already made a name for himself at a main event level. The fact that MJF is in the main event already makes him a champion because this show is going to do a great buy rate. And listen, we're all contributing, but I'm smart enough to know, and also have been in the business long enough, that the main event is the money draw. If we draw 100,000 views or a 150,000 views, that's because people wanted to see the main event. If we draw 20,000 views, that's because people didn't want to see main event.

"Obviously, Mimosa Mayhem is a big part of it. Kenny [Omega] and Hangman [Page] vs. FTR is big part of that. Sammy [Guevara] and Matt [Hardy] and Shida and Thunder Rosa, there's a great list of warm-up acts. But the main event, the headlining is MJF vs. Moxley, and the fact we've put him in that position, MJF, means we have a lot of belief in him and we're expecting him to draw money. And I think he will at 23 years old."

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Inside The Ropes with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.