In an interview with Busted Open Radio this week, AEW star Chris Jericho discussed the difference between AEW and WWE’s creative process. The biggest one; a lot less migraines.
“Just think about working on WWE, it’s a great place and a great time, but there is a lot of mental pressure that goes on you,” Jericho said. “And you’re fighting a war every time you’re there because you have to go wait to talk to Vince [McMahon] if something needs to be changed. Sometimes he’s busy and you will wait outside of that office, I don’t care who you are, for an hour, two hours. That’s one of the things I really enjoy about AEW, because that kind of mental stress is gone. We really do work together a lot better.
“It’s two different systems. WWE is huge and they’re a billionaire TV company for a reason. But there’s also a reason I really enjoy working with AEW, even more than WWE at this point in time. And that’s one of the reasons.”
Jericho was then asked about AEW’s victory in the Wednesday Night Wars. As he’s alluded elsewhere, Jericho isn’t surprised and credits AEW for following their own path as opposed to paying too much attention to NXT.
“We didn’t pop a little bit of the bubbly and have a celebration backstage, have cake or whatever,” Jericho stated. “But this war was decided months ago. And this wasn’t a war we asked for or a war we created. That was WWE doing what they do. And they lost! They lost handedly. They got beaten bad. And yes it’s good they had to move because of the NHL but it’s just good for them to move anyways. They’ll do better not worrying about what our ratings are and we’ll probably do better not having them.
“But it’s not like we ever really worried about it. We never had NXT on during the show, we never knew what segments we were going up against next or what was going on. We just did our show. And I know how WWE is and I’m sure the guys had our show running on one of their TV screens while we were doing that. We never had that. Because we have enough to worry about on our own. Now is it great that we beat NXT? Absolutely. But the best part is just having the night to ourselves. We don’t have to worry. And whether it’s an extra, I don’t know, hundred thousand, two hundred thousand, whether it’s all five hundred thousand people or whatever they were drawing that come to watch our show, that’s great.
“If nobody shows up that’s great too. Because we can just continue to do what we’ve been doing, which is put on the best possible show we can. And we don’t care what’s on; if it’s NXT or if there’s politics going on or if it’s the Grammys or whatever the hell it is. We can’t change that. All we can change and work on is our own show and putting on the best program that we can put on to draw more fans and increase our name value and our brand as much as we can.”
Bully Ray then asked Jericho if the younger talent in the AEW locker room had taken advantage of having so many veteran mentors at their disposal. Jericho believes that they have.
“Absolutely,” Jericho admitted. “I can only speak from my experience, but there’s a line outside of my door sometimes. I feel like Vince or Tony Khan where everybody wants to come and ask questions. That’s great. I have time for everybody that wants to come and talk to me. I feel almost like the bartender sometimes who has to alleviate the problems of people who have issues. We talk creative things, we talk about the typical story. ‘I feel like I’m spinning my wheels, what can I do to do better?’
“We have such a big roster. And we do have so many shows. I always explain Dynamite is huge, but so is Dark, so is Elevation. I think Elevation has drawn a million people for every episode so far. There is a lot of that.”
Jericho discussed the diversity in styles between the veterans in the back.
“The thing I love about the veterans on our show is you have guys with more experience than me,” Jericho said. “You mentioned Tully Blanchard or Jake Roberts or those type of guys. But then there’s guys at my level. Then there’s guys like Don Callis and Luther that have thirty years. Then someone like Kenny; he’s got twenty years. There’s a lot of veterans at different levels and different mindsets. So I think you can kind of go to everybody and get different perspectives. Go talk to Dustin and then go talk to whoever else might be there that’s been around for awhile and kind of pick and choose how you want to expand your character and make it better for you.
“And if you want some old school advice you can get that. If you want some advice from guys who are kind of perceived as newer, like Kenny Omega who have still been doing it for decades, you can get that as well. So we really do have a buffet of styles in AEW and a buffet of experience levels in all different countries, which is important as well.
Jericho then made a not so subtle reference to AEW’s difference from the Performance Center.
“It’s not a factory for us where everybody kind of works the same and talks the same because they came from the same system. Our guys have come from around the world, which all of that is relevant, and you can use all of that to piece together when you’re working on national TV basically with AEW now.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Busted Open Radio and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription