Former AEW World Champion Chris Jericho sat down for a recent interview with Stephanie Chase. During the interview he discussed his infamous deathmatch on AEW Dynamite: Fight For the Fallen with . Jericho also answered whether or not Tony Khan gave him any warnings or limits on how much blood could be shed on live television.
“No, [Tony Khan never gave me any warnings],” Jericho shares. “I told him what was going to happen, and I don’t think we expected the amount of blood that we had. You know, sometimes that happens. If you notice, Nick Gage didn’t have any blood. It was not a double blood situation. I had blood, he did not. There might have been some cuts form the glass and stuff. As far as actually bleeding, Nick did not. I did not want it to be a bloodbath. It turned into one because of the glass and that sort of stuff. I talked to him about the mist, when I blew the mist into Gage’s face. We discussed that.”
Jericho noted that they changed a few things to help protect themselves a little bit more. But he also noted that there is only so much you can do to protect yourself in something like a deathmatch.
“We had the idea to use some light tubes,” remembers Jericho. “We actually adjusted those light tubes so there was [none] of that fluorescent powder in there, that dangerous [powder], was not in there. So, we kind of lessened the blow for a few of those things. But when you’re taking bumps into pieces of glass, there’s really no way to make that safe. You either do it, or you don’t.
“So, [it’s] something we’ve never seen on Dynamite before, and something we’ll probably never see it again. But in my opinion it was a classic deathmatch. A classic match of that style. Very, very big success. As far as the number we did, as far as the reaction we got, as far as the story that we told with the Five Labors of Jericho and that specific chapter.”
Jericho then gave his rating of the deathmatch he had with Nick Gage. He noted that while other people and fans usually do it for him, he would give it five stars.
“I haven’t [given it a rating] because I don’t keep the list now because other people do that for me and you can just find it online,” states Jericho. “I mean with that style of a match it’s as good as it gets. I’d give that a five-star rating for me, as far as it being a classic in my career. Because like I said, you don’t get a better deathmatch than that. With the psychology that we had and the way that we built it. It wasn’t fifteen light tubes getting broken, there was just [three] light tubes getting broken at the right time. I just think we told a great story and I was really, really proud of that match.”
During the interview Jericho also discussed AEW working with TNT, nothing that it has been relatively smooth sailing thus far. He also commented on whether he is surprised the network has been so supportive of AEW and its ideas.
“No,” Jericho quickly answered. “I think TNT is rolling with it because the ratings have been so great and the demos have been so high. Obviously, there’s certain things we’ve been reprimanded for, there’s a few I can tell you. But I think we’re not stupid. If something goes on that the parent company doesn’t like, then we don’t do it anymore.
“I think that’s one of the reasons AEW is as successful as we are, because we’re not afraid to take a few chances. We’re not worried about taking some chances and not worried about getting slapped on the wrist if we do something we shouldn’t do, we just won’t do it again. But it hasn’t been that many times.”
Jericho then goes on to recount an instance where TNT took a particularly strong stance. Surprisingly, it was not for the Nick Gage match but a relatively small incident during a segment to end an episode of Dynamite near the start of the company.
“For me, there’s two times that I can recall where they said ‘Don’t ever do that again’ and I was like ‘Okay, won’t happen again’,” tells Jericho. “One of them actually was when we beat up Dustin Rhodes when I was feuding with Cody way back in the beginning. We beat him up in the parking lot and then as we left, I lit up a cigar. And [TNT] did not like that. No smoking allowed on the show.
“They were super, super angry about it. No smoking allowed. I was like, ‘Really?’ Of all the things to be mad about. But they were adamant that they did not want any smoking on the show. And [they said] ‘If you do this again…’ I don’t know if this was actually ever used, but the way this was told to me was [TNT said] ‘We’ll pull the show if you guys do this again.’ I was like ‘Alright, I don’t need to be smoking’. I just did it because I thought it was an a**hole thing to do. Apparently, so did they.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Stephanie Chase with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.