Chris Jericho appeared on SiriusXM’s Busted Open Radio to talk about his new deal with All Elite Wrestling. In it, he discussed his impact on New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s huge upswing in 2018, and explained why he will be able to do the same for AEW. He described the move as being similar to when Hulk Hogan left WWF for WCW.
On how he impacted NJPW’s business:
I think I was the piece of the puzzle that they definitely needed at this point in time because what I do for that company is the same thing I did for New Japan last year. Now, I’m not going to say it’s 100% my work that led New Japan into [selling out Madison Square Garden], but it’s a big reason. New Japan has become very hot over the last year with a lot of people that never watched it before. A lot of executives and fans that never watched it before [became fans] because they checked it out last year at the Tokyo Dome. They might’ve heard of this New Japan, they might’ve known some of the guys that were in it, but they weren’t really paying attention to it. So when Jericho shows up there, it’s like, “Oh my gosh, Chris Jericho is there? Well let me check this out,” and then they watch the show and see, “Oh my gosh, you know, Jericho is great, but look there’s Kenny and we’ve got Okada and Tanahashi and The Young Bucks and Cody is there now, and Ibushi’s there.”
Why he’s going to do the same with AEW:
I think it’s the same with [AEW] and having a legit legend. The legendary guy, Chris Jericho, is there and still super relevant, and people were saying, “The hottest free agent in the business.” I don’t think there’s anybody else that could’ve gone there that had the same kind of effect. If you brought a Hulk Hogan there, people would be like, “Oh, this is just a retread.” Or if you brought Goldberg there it’s like, “Well OK, we haven’t seen him in a while. Maybe it’s a money thing.” But with Jericho, everyone was waiting to see where he’s going to go. I think most people would say, “Yeah, he’ll talk to other places, but he’s probably going to end up in WWE.” When I didn’t, it really is a modern-day version of Hulk Hogan in 1994 showing up in WCW, but it’s a much cooler, more contemporary version of that type of a name because I’ve been doing nothing, but once again, rebuilding my brand and making people wonder what’s Jericho going to do in 2019. So, when I showed up at the press conference, now everyone knows, and I think people take AEW a whole lot more seriously than they did before I was involved.
Listen to the full clip below:
EXCLUSIVE: @IAmJericho on why his insistence on continuing to reinvent himself lead him to sign with @AEWrestling: "I think I was the piece of the puzzle that they desperately needed at this point in time."#AEW pic.twitter.com/Wni7htEwWM
— SiriusXM Busted Open (@BustedOpenRadio) January 10, 2019