Chris Jericho was on a recent episode of REINVENTED with Jen Eckhart just after Dynamite: Grand Slam in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Jericho spoke about the Bryan Danielson vs. Kenny Omega at AEW Dynamite: Grand Slam last month. Jericho described what it’s like to watch that match in the back and what it symbolizes for AEW.
“When you have a show to do, I mean, obviously, you want to watch other matches, but if you’re wrestling, too, you have your own things to worry about,” Jericho said. “So for me, I wanted to see that match because I’m big fans of both those guys, and once again, our style of wrestling is much more wide open, just go out there and be great. And I wanted to see it. I’d never seen the match before. As far as I know, they might have wrestled years and years and years ago, but basically, it was the first time that both of them faced each other. I was watching very proud.
“I was very proud of the match because I knew this is it man. This is, once again, another reason why we’re the best wrestling company in the world because we have matches like this that nobody can touch and 30 minutes of TV time to do this match. Once again, it’s the difference between Coke and Pepsi or the Beatles and The Stones or whatever it may be. Now there is another place you can go to get your fix for wrestling, and there wasn’t before and I think a lot of people really appreciate the fact that now there is this other world where you go, wow, this company does it this way and you can tell.
“This company does it this way and you can tell, and I really like that style. And I’m very proud of that because I was here from the start, and in a lot of ways, the first three months of AEW was on my shoulders to do this new company. What’s it going to be like? We had a TV deal, but it was an ad rev share was what had for a contract, which means, people buy ads and we get a piece of that.
“Three months later, after the show’s been doing super amazing in the ratings, the demos, we suddenly had a contract for $175 million over four years from TNT. That might not have happened if I wasn’t there. So the first three months are very important in the genesis of this company to get off the ground and very quickly make new stars and show people there’s something different going on here. And it worked right out of the gate, and here we are not even two years later, just exploding even bigger than we expected.”
AEW has brought in many stars from other promotions including Homicide and Minoru Suzuki at the Arthur Ashe shows. One top international star that has not yet wrestled in AEW is former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay. Jericho gave his thoughts on if he sees Ospreay in AEW.
“I’d love to see Will in AEW. I actually called him way, way back when we were first starting out to see what kind of interest he had, and I think there’s a lot of guys that want to work in Japan and spend time there,” Jericho noted. “I know, because I was one of them. Been to Japan over 60 times now at this point in my career and I think there will come a time where Will decides he wants to work in his own country. I know he’s English but America, that sort of an idea is much more similar to England than Japan is.
“There’s something to be said about being a worldwide television superstar, and you won’t get that working for New Japan Pro Wrestling. It’s great to be there, but the big leagues, the real big leagues kind of lie in America. So I would love to see Will working with AEW, and at some point, I think that will probably happen, but in the meantime, we are building the the talent that we have. MJF to Sammy Guevara to Darby Allin, Jungle Boy, Hangman Page, the list goes on and on of these guys that we built basically from scratch. Even Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks, they weren’t half as big then as they are now. So I think we’ve done a great job because you have to build from the bottom up.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit REINVENTED with Jen Eckhart with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.