It’s been a question a lot of people have asked and speculated about this week - how did WWE, and in particular Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon, react to Chris Jericho signing with All Elite Wrestling?
During his talk with Dave LaGreca and Bully Ray on Busted Open Radio yesterday, Jericho addressed “the old man”, as he calls Vince. When LaGreca asked how weird it was to be just down the road from where SmackDown was taping when he was revealed as AEW’s big free agent signing, Jericho said he imagined McMahon was furious about the pyro at TIAA Bank Stadium, because it would have been loud enough to be heard in a pre-show meeting at Veterans Memorial Arena.
As part of that answer, he also dispelled a rumor that the AEW Rally just happened to be going on in the same area as WWE’s Jan. 8 show:
“Obviously no coincidence it was done the same day SmackDown was in Jacksonville, but it’s one of those things where if you’re gonna send a message, and you’re going to do things a certain way, do it the right way. And that was making a real, a real statement, not just to every other company, but to all the fans that were watching.”
But what about Y2J’s standing with McMahon? For years, Jericho has talked and written about their relationship, and even indicated he wouldn’t work for any other wrestling promoter in the United States other than Vince.
When Bully asked, and said he guessed VKM was pissed, Jericho said they’d spoken, but didn’t say much more beyond that:
“A lot of that stuff is private, but I did have a very amicable conversation with him. And, you know, he knew it - he knew what I was doing. It was not a surprise. I didn’t just show up in Jacksonville and that was it.”
It may have been civil, but business is business. Bridges probably weren’t burned, but Vince’s company has already taken steps to ensure they aren’t promoting AEW’s big acquisition.
Here’s Jericho’s entire chat with LaGreca and Bully (the WWE and Vince conversation starts at ~11:30):