On a recent episode of Rasslin’ with Brandon F. Walker, AEW star Chris Jericho appeared. In reference to the name of the show, Jericho revealed who hates the word “rasslin'”
“You know who hates the word ‘rasslin’? Vince McMahon,” Jericho stated. “That’s how he’ll equate something if it’s a bad idea. He’ll go, ‘Oh, that’s such a rasslin’ idea. That’s just rasslin’.'”
Jericho then praised AEW’s use of long-term storytelling. He also talked about if his storyline with MJF was intended to be as long as it has been.
“Well, one of the things about AEW that I love is that we pride ourselves in long-term storylines,” Jericho expressed. “Even when you go back to the start of Dynamite back in October of ’19, I think one of the main angles was Cody and Jericho. We told a great two – three month story there. Then I went to [Jon] Moxley which is another few months, then over the summer, Orange Cassidy and I did, I think, three months together.
“And then when it came to this idea with MJF, I thought well, there’s a long way we can go here and there’s a lot of twists and turns, and I kind of had a little bit of a template for what I wanted to do and so did Max because he’s very creative as well. I kind of laid things out for the first few months, and then he embellished a bit. Of course, Tony Khan has his say in it as well, but it was always meant to go long. Was it meant to go this long?
“I don’t think we planned that, but to me, there’s never any rush. We’re on TV every week. Everybody’s got storylines, and this is the one that I can carve out for myself knowing what the beginning is going to be, knowing kind of what the middle is going to be and knowing what the end result is. And once you have that, you can kind of fill in what you have to fill in, make the changes that you need to make a change of.”
Chris Jericho has shared much praise for MJF, and he compared MJF to a WWE Hall of Famer in his earlier years. He also revealed that there are times where they have to hold MJF back from going too far.
“You can say he’s like a Roddy Piper, or he’s like a young Jericho. The point is he’s none of those things and all of those things,” Jericho noted. “He reminds me a lot of Kurt Angle, and what I mean by that is he’s a guy that picked up wrestling so quick not just in the ring but character-wise. A lot of guys at 24 years old, which is I believe how old he is, doesn’t understand that character is the most important thing in wrestling. It’s more important than any move you can do and any match you can have, and Max gets that. Combine that with the fact I think he was a child actor. He was in musicals.
“All the sort of things that you need to really expand on that character and he also doesn’t give a s**t. I mean, he will do anything to where we have to pull him back. You can’t yell at the five-year-old kid at the signing and make him cry. That’s not what you need to do. He comes up with a lot of ideas, and sometimes he’ll put ideas in my face where I’m like, ‘Dude, this isn’t good. The answer is no, but the answer is yes for this, this and this.’ I’m trying to kind of teach him more about storytelling, but all of the attributes he has at such a young age and that’s also why I was trying to say you’re not as good as you think you are because in a year from now, he’s going to be even better. Two years, he’s going to be even better.
“He’s one of the most natural talents I’ve seen also at just being a total a**hole. We were just talking the other day how weird it is that throughout this whole thing, yes, we’ve had fans but it hasn’t been full sold out arenas where both of our schtick has just been 90% bagging on the fans or having the fans cheer for you or boo for you, whatever it may be. So we’ve been really working just on our own hoping that it’s good, knowing that it’s good, but we don’t have those people chanting, ‘You suck! You suck or whatever it may be.’ It takes a little bit more to make sure that you’re doing the right thing, but yeah, the guy’s definitely one in a million for sure.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Rasslin’ with Brandon F. Walker with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.