Speaking with Forbes, the first-ever AEW World Champion explained why it’s the right time for him and The Inner Circle to turn face during their ongoing rivalry with The Pinnacle, who’s led by Jericho’s former stable-mate, MJF.
“I love being a heel, but I also love being a babyface,” Jericho said. “I haven’t been a full-time babyface in a really long time when you think about it. There was a very short time after the Festival Of Friendship when I was a babyface for a couple months, in Japan I was a heel the whole time and from the start of AEW I was a heel as well.”
“The little things that Chris Jericho does as a heel that a lot of guys don’t do are the same little nuances that I do as a babyface that a lot of guys don’t do. I’m not afraid to connect with the audience, I’m not afraid to ask people how they’re doing, I’m not afraid to open up and do a little shameless pandering to the crowd.”
Jericho also said fans should know that the “Blood And Guts” match between The Inner Circle and The Pinnacle isn’t the end of their feud, but the start of the story between the two factions.
“It’s not going to be the culmination of the story, I’ll tell you that much right now, but it sure is a huge way to kick this off in the biggest way possible,” said Jericho.
Chris Jericho recently spoke with WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard about the rock documentary he produced, I’m Too Old For This Sh*t: A Heavy Metal Fairy Tale, available now on Amazon and various streaming platforms. During the conversation, Jericho was asked about the longevity of the Inner Circle stable, and he explained why it’s exciting from a storytelling perspective to watch it unfold each week, and how he takes pride in telling such a grand story week after week.
“Nobody ever knows for sure. I mean, people always say, ‘Oh yeah, we knew this or that.’ No, you don’t. You don’t know anything until it happens. If you look back from October 2, 2019, the Inner Circle stories have always been one of the best on the show every single week. It’s even to the point where the only story is that we ever had that really kind of took a turn is when we smashed Nick Jackson’s head under the garage door on March 11  in Salt Lake City, and then that was our last live show and everything else got canceled. We were building up towards Rochester on the 18th and then Blood ‘n’ Guts in New Jersey—that got taken away, so we had to regroup. But had we not had the pandemic take that away, there probably wouldn’t have been a Stadium Stampede, which to me still, one of the greatest moments in pro wrestling history.”
“So, you take what you’re given and morph and work your way around it and continue to build. And that’s one thing I think AEW has done in spite of the pandemic. Thank goodness we’re in front of crowds now—even though they’re smaller ones—for six months, we had no crowd, but we still put on great programming. The stories we’ve told, from Jericho/Cody to Jericho/Moxley to Inner Circle vs. The Elite then going to Jericho vs. Orange Cassidy and now Jericho/MJF and the Inner Circle, it always makes sense and it always leads to the next thing and always intertwines and I take great pride in that.”
Check out the full interview with Chris Jericho below: