Chris Jericho was recently interviewed by Screengeek. During the discussion, Le Champion discusses the freedom in the booking structure of AEW, his longevity in wrestling, and more. Below are some highlights.
Chris Jericho Talks Freedom In AEW:
There’s kind of an infrastructure, you’ve heard of the EVP’s, Cody, and obviously Tony Khan is the boss. So there’s a little bit of a committee, I guess you’d say. But, for me, I pretty much write all my own stuff. That’s not to say I’m not gonna take suggestions, but definitely when it comes to a final approval, and not from a dickish standpoint, from knowing what’s gonna work and what’s not gonna work after doing this for 29 years. So, it’s going to be interesting. It’s great to be able to book a show and then have two months til the next one, which has been our schedule. But now, you have every week. Wednesday after Wednesday after Wednesday.
When I was in the WWE, I used to say to those guys all the time, ‘How do you this week after week, 7 hours of TV, 8 hours of TV? How do you do it?’. And I think it’s something… Live TV is a different animal. I have a lot of experience in it, as do some other guys, Moxley, Cody, and Dustin. Other than that, you’ve got a group of guys that have never been on live TV before. It’s a whole different world. They’ll adapt, they’ll get it. But, that’s just not in the ring, but outside as well. I think there’s going to have to be a little bit more of a booker standpoint, but we’ll see. It’s all uncharted water for everybody, which makes it so exciting.
Chris Jericho On AEW’s Importance To His Evolution As A Performer
Well, like I said, this is a challenge. In a good way. And that’s one of the reasons why I’m here [in AEW]. I could have went back to the WWE and stayed there until the sunset years, coming out to wave to the crowd. But, I didn’t want that. I’ve always reinvented myself and evolved, and I thought, ‘What’s left for me?’. I went to Japan, conquered that world, again. So, going to a new company that had never had a show before, that had the three things I felt it needed to have for a legit competitive alternate to WWE: A, money, which the Khans have, and passion. B, you need to have a TV deal, which we got with TNT. And C, the reason we got the TV deal is we needed to have 6-8 legitimate main event superstars that are fresh. We have that. You’ve got Moxley and Jericho, who reinvented themselves. Then you’ve got Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson, Kenny Omega, Cody, Hangman Page, MJF. You can build a whole company around those guys. I have matches for the next 2 years just with those guys and the guys that are on the roster currently.
We’re not looking to hire anybody else right now. If someone comes along that makes sense, we will, but we have so much talent that people don’t even know, they don’t even know the Young Bucks yet! That’s what I’m saying, you have to understand, this is our first show, you can’t assume that everyone knows who these guys are. I haven’t been on TV for two years. What’s the first line I ever said on AEW TV? ‘My name is Chris Jericho, and I am the champion of AEW’. That pretty much tells the tale. ‘Oh, who is that guy? Oh, he’s the champion?’ Boom. Done. It’s like a good movie poster that tells you what it is.
I think it’s really important to establish who these guys are so that when people see them they’ll freak out as to why they’ve never heard of them before and just how good they are because they’ve been doing this for years and chose NOT to go to WWE. The secret to AEW is that we all have passion to be here because we want to be.
Catch Jericho every Wednesday on AEW Dynamite on TNT.
Chris Jericho On AEW Differentiating Itself From Other Promotions