Following AEW’s Double or Nothing, Chris Jericho appeared before the media to answer questions. Jericho talked about how important differentiating the Stadium Stampede from last year’s iteration was and how important it was to have fans in Daily’s Place.
“I just think because, just the fact that we did in front of our first full house in, sixteen months, fourteen months, whatever it’s been, that made it very monumental for everybody,” Jericho said. “So I think it was a victory, no matter what the stats and the matches were. I think for us, putting together Stadium Stampede to challenge last year’s, which so so critically acclaimed, so well done. But the difference is last year we were kind of in an uncertain world. We didn’t know what to expect and everybody was kind of really nervous and scared. So we wanted to do something that was more fun for people to have a diversion from all the weird stuff that was going on. This year was a little bit more of an action movie, because it was much more serious of an angle and a story.
“So I think for me, after spending the last four days filming it and doing a lot of editing and production work on it, just watching it from behind the curtain and hearing everybody’s reaction to it, that’s when you know that it’s good. And then also too, the element that we ended up doing it live, finishing it live, I don’t think anybody expected that. And that was really a cool moment too, where you see kind of the ripple effect of people looking up and then everyone starts looking and seeing that reaction. Hearing those reactions was something that was sorely missed, and I think we forgot how important those reactions are. But now that they’re back, it’s like ‘man this is what wrestling’s all about.'”
Jericho also talked about when he first realized he wanted to work with Pinnacle leader MJF (Maxwell Jacob Friedman). The inspiration came from the first time they worked together, early on AEW Dynamite’s run.
“We had a segment in Nashville which was probably week four or five (of Dynamite),” Jericho recalled. “We weren’t working together, I think I had just done something with Cody and he was just about to. And we kind of had a little interaction, and we had this great promo and I was like ‘oh this (is good).’ It was the same thing I felt with Kevin Owens. This guy gets it, he’s good and he understands what wrestling is. And I don’t care if he’s 25 or 45, you either get it or you don’t. And that’s when I knew I could do something with him.
“I kind of put it in the back of my mind, and then we did the thing with Orange Cassidy last year which was fourteen weeks. When that was done ‘well who could we do with next? I think MJF is the guy.’ And he wanted the idea, the Pinnacle was already being floated, let’s wait and do it properly. And if you look, we started the thing September 9 when our limos pulled up, we got out of the car and then Tony Schiavone (interviewed us). That’s a long time for a program and an angle and a feud, especially when it’s been as good as this one. In my opinion it’s the top story on AEW, and that was proven the fact that the Stadium Stampede was on last.”
Jericho also detailed the build up leading to Stadium Stampede, which dates back to when his program with MJF started. He revealed that they didn’t want to deviate into the usual tropes of a stable breakup angle.
“We’ve been planning all this stuff for almost a year, since September of last year,” Jericho said. “There were some twists and turns, things change. But we knew we wanted to have Max turn on the Inner Circle and then do this very intricate quadruple swerve where he turned on us. Remember first it was Sammy coming out, then it was like the Inner Circle was going to turn on me, then we found out Max was the snake in the grass and then he formed the Pinnacle and beat the crap out of us.
“The idea was always for us to turn together. I didn’t want to do, you know, Sammy or Jake turn on the three of us. I don’t think that’s really ever happened before. Usually it’s the wrestling trope that they turn on each other in a faction. We try to stay away from all that stuff. So the five way turn was set up perfectly, I made sure to keep us off TV long enough to sell it. But I knew when we came back it had to be something very cool, and that’s why I came up with the idea of hiding in the dressing room, then doing the Fast and the Furious thing the next week, which is all based around Back in Black. We come back in black it’s a different attitude, it’s not this funny, bubbly bunch. ”
Along with the Back in Black attitude came the idea to try and license the famous rock song of the same name. According to Jericho, the idea never came to fruition due to AEW never hearing back from rock icons AC/DC.
“We actually even tried to license “Back in Black” by AC/DC, but they wouldn’t call us back,” Jericho revealed. “Next day I saw it on Applebees. So I guess Applebees is more AC/DC friendly than we are. But that was the idea and Back in Black is the attitude, Back in Black is the look. And if you watch our show, we still almost completely dress in black, because people relate to that and they suddenly understand this is different. Every time you turn heel or babyface you should turn heel or babyface you should do something different. A different look so people understand ‘oh this is a different guy. This is a different Inner Circle.’ And then having a great heel faction like the Pinnacle has just been magic, it’s just been so much fun. And it’s not over yet.”
You can watch the full scrum below.