All Elite Wrestling has made waves since being officially announced earlier this month for several reasons, one of which being a high profile signing: Six time WWE world champion Chris Jericho. After saying for years that he’d never work for another wrestling promoter besides Vince McMahon, Y2J has been on a soul searching journey as of late, wrestling for New Japan Pro Wrestling, appearing at ALL IN, and giving consideration to working with Impact Wrestling. But it appears as if for now, AEW will be the Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla’s home.
In the latest edition of Talk is Jericho, Jericho gave some in depth reasons for why he chose to go with AEW over any other wrestling promotion. “It’s a little bit hard because I worked for WWE for 19 years. I love the WWE. But I put myself into Chris Jericho’s shoes back in 1998 back when I was contemplating leaving WCW and thinking, ‘how much further can I go in WCW under these rules, under these conditions?’ And I realized I probably can’t go much further. So I put myself in those shoes. Could I walk away from WWE and go to All Elite Wrestling? A brand new company that doesn’t even own a wrestling ring at this point, as far as I know? And after some introspection, the answer was ‘yes, I can do this’.
Jericho did note that he talked to Vince McMahon, and even gave WWE the chance to counter AEW’s offer. However, apparently, WWE didn’t really offer one. “I still kind of gave WWE the benefit of, hey listen guys, the train is leaving the station, are we gonna work together or not? And to their credit, we talked and all the way up to a few days before the rally, but there was never really an offer given.”
As for why Chris Jericho sees AEW as an exciting opportunity, he sees it as a chance to be an integral part of a potentially big movement in pro wrestling from the ground level, instead of being a cog in the ever-turning machine that is WWE. “The cart is on my back and I have to do great work, and I have to go the extra mile to help make this work. In WWE, it doesn’t matter what I do. It’s still gonna be WWE. In AEW, it does matter what I do, and I have to be my best, and I have to really use my 30 years, or my 29 years of experience to help build this company. And that was exciting to me.”
Jericho also mentioned he’s exclusive to AEW under this contract, with the exception of NJPW, which “I still intend to work with.”
You can listen to Talk is Jericho on the Westwood One Podcast Network, or wherever you listen to podcasts.