Before they defeated Bryan Danielson, Eddie Kingston, Jon Moxley, Ortiz, and Santana in a wild Anarchy in the Arena match at AEW Double or Nothing, Chris Jericho, “Cool Hand” Angelo Parker, Daniel Garcia, Jake Hager, and “Daddy Magic” Matt Menard of the Jericho Appreciation Society sat down on Talk is Jericho to discuss the origins of the group. And like any good origin story, it began in Bridgeport, Connecticut, during an in-ring promo segment between Jericho and Eddie Kingston.”

“I would never cut a promo like Eddie Kingston,” Jericho said. “He throws up so many red flags in my mind of what a promo is, but it’s brilliant. He’s so good at it. I could never do what he does because I’m like ‘No one would ever say that.’ But he does, and he gets over. And he was like ‘I don’t even know why I’m here. I don’t want to be here. This is pro wrestling. If you want sports entertainment, go down the street.'”

Kingston was referring to Stamford, Connecticut, home of the corporate headquarters of WWE, which famously classifies itself as sports entertainment rather than wrestling. He was objecting to the very idea of standing in the ring and talking as opposed to fighting, but when he associated Jericho with sports entertainment, Jericho noticed something.

“The people started booing and I was like ‘Oh, that’s interesting. Sports entertainer gets heat in our fan base.’ I called up [attorney] Mike Dockins. ‘Hey dude, is sports entertainer trademarked?’ I’m sure it is. It’s not. ‘Oh my god.’ Now I’ve got another phone call to Tony. I go ‘When are you available? I’ve got something to tell you.’ I’m waiting for like three days. I’m like ‘Dude, I’ve got this thing. It’s pretty crazy. What do you think?’ And he loved it. And it was like ‘We’ve got it.'”

“Sports Entertainer” might have been locked down as Jericho’s new nickname, but his new stable went through a couple of drafts before it got its official moniker.

“The original idea for this whole plan, the name of it was going to be The Citadel,” Jericho said. “I thought ‘The Citadel is great.’ And then I said it to Tony, and there was no pop whatsoever. I was like ‘The Citadel sucks. I need something better’ … He didn’t say anything, but I know him.”

Once the original name was rejected, Jericho was inspired for the group’s eventual name by the most unlikely of sources.

“I was looking at the Art Appreciation Society, or something like that. Some weird email that I got of ‘If you like this, then maybe you should check out the Art Appreciation Society in downtown Detroit, February 6 at 3 p.m.,'” Jericho said. “I’m like ‘what the f--k is that?’ But then, the Jericho Appreciation Society!. I was like ‘Oh. That’s just cheesy enough … It’s pretentious. And now the Inner Circle is based around five guys, these personalities. What if I do one where I’m so sick of the Inner Circle, everyone having their own opinions, that I just put together the Jericho Appreciation Society? And everyone appreciates me. Everyone f*cking loves me, cause I’m Jericho.’ So that’s kind of the whole genesis of this thing.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription

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