What a WONDERFUL guest Chris Jericho had on his podcast this week as Matt Hardy joined Talk Is Jericho to talk his signing with All Elite Wrestling. In the first part of the hour-long chat, Matt and Chris talk about what makes AEW special and how it allows talent to be themselves.
“That’s where the magic happens,” said Matt. “When the talent knows their strengths and their weaknesses and you really gravitate towards your strengths and I think basically the whole framework of AEW from what I’ve seen so far is there’s like an outline: ‘This is where we want to go. This kind of what we’d like to do to get there, how do you suggest we get there?’ And then the talent fills in the blanks. That’s magic. That’s the beauty of this business.”
Chris was amazed that it’s been three years since he himself had his last WrestleMania which happened to be the same one The Hardy Boyz returned at. Jericho asked Matt about what motivated him to move on from wrestling’s biggest corporation and the massive accruing of talent happened to be part of his reasoning. Matt also notes that WWE tried very hard to re-sign him, but felt like he would have been one of the many stars just making the machine go.
“I just think got to the point where WWE has so many talents under contract and the reason they have all these talents under contract is because they don’t want anyone else having people that could move the needle or like make a difference or like cut into their business at all. So it’s just like you’re trying to scoop up all the talent across the globe right as far as monopolizing the business. Once AEW started, it was another place that had a great TV show on TNT – star power. I mean, you’re the guy that really kicked it off and were the man that like really established AEW in many, many ways cause you had the greatest name value and once this was going and it allowed other options and to me, I could’ve stayed at WWE. They tried very hard to sign me, they offered very good money, but I know my role would’ve been minimized. And it was just like for me, more important than money right now is just like to totally utilize my creativity and these last three, four years, whatever I might have to do this, I want to enjoy it. I want to like be driven and be fueled by the passion I have for this. I want to be creative and I want to have fun. And in WWE, a lot of the times they sucked the fun out of things because it becomes such a business and you become such a cog in the machine and to me, it wasn’t about being a cog in the machine and making ‘X’ amount of dollars. To me it was about enjoying what I was doing and really like, enjoying every single second I have left doing this, and AEW just turned out to be the best case scenario for me.”
(Transcription credit should go to @DominicDeAngelo of WrestleZone)
Chris and Matt have plenty more to talk about and you can hear it all below, junior: