Chris Jericho was on a recent episode of REINVENTED with Jen Eckhart just after Dynamite: Grand Slam in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Jericho spoke on AEW’s growth over these past two years and noted the factors towards the company’s growth.
“The last three weeks (from when the interview was conducted), we have done bigger demo numbers than WWE RAW has done, which is the flagship show. I think our company came out of nowhere, basically, and really exploded because of a different attitude, and you can see that when you watch our shows,” Jericho noted. “And you were there when we had the show at Arthur Ashe for 20,000 people in New York City, which is basically WWE’s backyard. So to draw a crowd like that and get the reception that we had, it seems to me that we are the hottest wrestling company in the world, and more importantly, we have the cool factor.
“And when you have the cool factor in any form of show business, whether it’s wrestling, whether it’s music, whether it’s a TV show, people jump aboard quickly because they want to figure out what’s everyone talking about here. What is all this about? AEW has that. We have changed the industry just by being in existence and focusing on something that was different from every other wrestling company, and I think that’s also the reasons why we had such a great fan base that exploded to where we are right now.”
Jericho described what it was like to work in Arthur Ashe Stadium. He also explained why it was a great move to perform in that arena as opposed to the traditional Madison Square Garden.
“It was unbelievable, and there’s a little bit of genius in Tony Khan’s part because everyone was talking about The Garden in New York City, Madison Square Garden, and what people don’t understand is to play The Garden is very expensive, for one,” Jericho pointed out. “You don’t really make money when you’re at The Garden. You just do it because it’s Madison Square Garden, and I think the idea was everyone was saying AEW’s got to go to The Garden.
“That’s gonna really be your coming out party in New York, and Tony was like, what if I don’t want to do The Garden? There must be somewhere else and found this Arthur Ashe Stadium, a tennis stadium, and the moment I went in there, I was like, oh my gosh, this place is amazing. It’s better than The Garden because the seats go straight up in the air so all the noise comes right down into the ring. People are just kind of overtop of you, and it was just really cool to see this place. I was going, this atmosphere is off the charts crazy.
“We don’t need to go to The Garden now because we’ve created a new place for us because there’s never been a wrestling show at Arthur Ashe, which, once again, we kind of were the debut for that. And what an amazing venue and an amazing building. So once again, we do things outside of the box. Let’s do a show in New York. Well, if you really want to be big in New York, you got to go to The Garden. Eh, I disagree. What if we find our own place and make it an AEW kind of home base in New York and turn that into the place to be, and once again, I’ll bet you they’ll be other wrestling companies in that Arthur Ashe stadium. They’re probably already negotiating it now. We get it first, and it’s ours.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit REINVENTED with Jen Eckhart with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.