All Elite Wrestling has dominated Wednesday nights for a good while now, but that doesn’t mean their shows are not without their ups and downs.
AEW has promoted themselves as a brand of transparency, allowing their talent to cut unscripted promos and speak freely about the company. Speaking on Keeping it 100 with Konnan, Chris Jericho praised his current run with AEW, but recognized the promotion is still experiencing minor growing pains.
“Everything isn’t always good,” Jericho said. “We have a lot of details slip through the cracks. We still have quite a few times when very similar angles happen right after one another. Example of that was a few weeks ago, when the big question was ‘Will MJF join the Inner Circle?’ We had this big long thing about whether or not MJF was going to join, I think it was a town hall, that’s where Bischoff was there asking questions. And as soon as we were done, we went to like a package, where Taz was asking Will Hobbs if he’s going to join Taz’s team.
“And I went to the production team and I was like, ‘Guys, how can that happen? How can that even be?’ Like, it’s the exact same thing, and nobody even noticed that. Maybe we should move that package somewhere else. In the future, let’s not use to word ‘join’ for Will and Taz. [Instead,] are you going to come with us? Are you going to work with us? Are you going to be apart of our team? ‘Will MJF join the Inner Circle’ was the tagline for our PPV match! Therefore, any other joinings should be suspended for this duration. And that’s just common sense, but sometimes those things just fall through the cracks. I’d like to see a little bit more attention to those kind of details.”
Tony Khan and company have emphasized that AEW is very much unscripted, and they’ve held true to that promise.
“We don’t have writers, and we’re very proud of that,” Jericho said. “I think that we could use an organizer.”
Speaking on how shows come together, Y2J says Tony has the bulk of the work, but a certain AEW star is also integral to that process.
“QT Marshall takes all of the ideas for the week, and he kind of formats them all,” Jericho said. “Tony will say it’s always about the opening quarter, the crossover quarter, and the final quarter. So I think Tony decides where he wants that, and QT shakes up the rest, and then Tony says, ‘Oh, this is good,’ or, ‘We need a package here.’ So it’s a weekly kind of collaborative process for sure.”
Jericho is currently deep into a layered storyline with MJF. This time last year, Jericho and MJF shared the ring and teased the latter potentially joining the Inner Circle. While the two went their separate ways after that one-off promo, their paths intersected once again this fall. Leading up to a singles match between the two at Full Gear 2020, MJF and Jericho took part in numerous comedic and polarizing segments. While the comedy is an integral part to the storyline, Jericho ensured that the two get serious when it calls for it.
“A couple weeks ago when I was on commentary, MJF attacked me. We let them know it wasn’t going to be a finger poke of doom,” Jericho said. “And then when we had the match, it was very serious until the finish, which you kind of have to do, that sort of Eddie Guerrero finish for where we’re going. My feuds always have heat. They always have a beginning, middle, and end, and it’s always planned out accordingly. Sometimes you might just have to wait, but isn’t that what good storytelling is?”
The comedic elements, such as Le Dinner Debonaire, may not always be universal hits with the fans, but Jericho stressed that the highs and lows are essential to a strong angle.
“In order to encapsulate and have a story, there has to be ups and downs,” Jericho said. “And the original idea, the original connection with MJF, is the comedic element because we’re very similar characters. But don’t think this is going to be a Doink and Dink finish. There’s a lot more to it behind that.”
Comedy has always been a polarizing aspect of professional wrestling. Jericho says his comedic visions have always been consistent and unintentional, which he believes other promotions are lacking.
“My view of comedy is you always play it straight,” Jericho said. “WWE comedy is d–k and fart jokes. That’s why a lot of it doesn’t work well. Don’t try to be funny. Because when you try to be funny it’s never funny. And that’s been my attitude with all these segments.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Keeping it 100 with Konnan with an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.