Chris Jericho appeared on Busted Open Radio to discuss all things All Elite Wrestling. During the interview Jericho revealed there have been some backstage changes to AEW’s creative process.
“We have a production meeting now before the show that really wasn’t happening a lot,” Jericho said. “We have an agents meeting, a coaches meeting before the show that wasn’t happening before. The reason for those is to make sure we don’t have the same thing happening twice.
“We don’t want to have a beat down with, I don’t know, a coffee cup in segment two and then have a beat down with a coffee cup in segment three because no one coordinated that with anyone else. And I think you’ll see a lot of more that over the next little while.
“We all know what we’re doing, but sometimes we don’t really express that to each other and sometimes things are a little bit similar. So we’ve been really working on that and I think it’s really been paying off where we are kind of not stepping on each other’s toes, but still allowing everyone to be creative and have some awesome ideas.”
One thing Jericho is very happy about is AEW’s ability to create main event players. “Our goal from the start was to make new stars. Because that’s what wrestling’s all about. It always has been. If you look at last week’s show, where we had Jungle Boy vs. Darby Allin in the main event, we had Shida vs. Tay Conti in a main event. Those are two kind of fence post matches on our show and they both did a great number.
“We’ve made Darby Allin into a legit main event draw. I mean last night he’s in the main event with Ten for God’s sake and it will probably do a good number. I give us a full Barry Horowitz pat on the back for that because we set out to do it and we did it. It’s not hard to do; pick the right guy and just stick with them. We paired Darby with Sting, so he got that rub. And now Sting is almost, I’m not going to say lackey, but he’s almost Darby’s second at this point. And that’s probably exactly what he should be.
“If you look at what we’ve done with Jericho, MJF, Sammy Guevara, Santana and Ortiz, Wardlow, that’s another aspect. We are building these guys and girls because it just can’t be Jericho vs. Cody, vs. Kenny over and over again. Nor would we want it to be.
“Someone asked me last night ‘hey Jericho vs. Sting has never happened. What a dream match.’ Yeah it’s a dream match, it’s something we might do. It’s not something a priority for me because I think people would see that a different way than you would see Darby vs. Sting, or Jericho vs. Darby. That’s what excites me because we need to build these guys. And when you see the ratings we’re getting because of it, oh my gosh, it’s working. And there’s a whole shitload of guys and girls in the pipeline that we could talk about that are there and ready to go.”
One of the guys Jericho feels is ready is Jungle Boy. The two worked together briefly back in 2019 and Jericho seemed to indicate more was planned.
“I wanted to work with him last year,” Jericho said. “And then I’m like ‘I don’t want to do it in front of no people. Let’s wait a couple of months.’ Little did we know it be a year later. It’s time to pull the trigger on Jungle Boy, and when we put him in the main event and he draws this great number you see ‘man, people like this kid.’
“It’s something that we’re very cognizant of and we’re very serious about it. And we’re not afraid to pull the trigger, to put these guys on in big spots to see if they draw a rating. And bingo, nine times out of ten they do, which is great to see.”
AEW’s ability to create new stars was compared, by both Jericho and the Busted Open hosts, to WWE’s inability to do the same. According to Jericho, Vince has no one to blame but himself.
“When Vince goes to the investors (during the conference call) and says ‘the Raw ratings are down because we haven’t created any new stars, that’s completely on you guys!” Jericho stated. “We (AEW) knew from the start we had to make stars. A lot of the guys on our show, Bucks and Kenny included, Hangman Page; I said it on the Broken Skull Sessions, they weren’t known on a national level. On a national network television level. We’ve built them up, and then suddenly all these kind of the second wave of guys and girls are getting in there.
“And now AEW is dangerous because we have twelve people that you can put in the main event at any point in time. Next month it’ll be fourteen people you can do that. And to me that’s just smart booking. It’s what any professional sports team does. If you’re talking about the Rangers, you’re talking about the Knicks, you’re talking about the Giants, you want to build next year’s All Star team starting now. And that’s what we did.
“It’s really working. When you see those ratings coming through, I do take great pride in it. Because I feel, once again, because I was with AEW when it started and I was kind of the first face of the company. When there’s more faces now, that just shows we’re doing things right.
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