The Inner Circle has been a runaway success as the bad guy focal point of AEW. Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, Santana & Ortiz, and Jake Hager are a perfect fit together. Surprisingly, those five were not the original choices to be grouped as one.
In a recent episode of Talk is Jericho with guest Guevara, Jericho went over the ideas of who was supposed to fill the faction.
“One of the ideas was originally the Lucha Brothers. And I thought, well they’re too much superheroes. I want like killers and Santana & Ortiz perfect. Then I suggested MJF. It was like we should keep him on his own. And then your name was mentioned. Perfect. Sammy’s great. Now we need a big guy. Who’s it going to be? And they wanted to use a, they just signed a boxer from the UK. And I was like he’s not big enough. I said Hager’s the guy. So, we got him. So that’s kind of how the whole thing got together. It was very much each guy plays a role and has a certain part within the system of the circle.”
The Inner Circle could have very easily been the Lucha Bros, MJF, and boxer Anthony Ogogo. As to Jericho’s point about size, Ogogo is 5’11”. At first glance on paper, that crew is immensely talented and probably would have been successful in their own way. However, I think the Inner Circle with Guevara, Santana & Ortiz, and Hager compliment Jericho much better.
Fenix, Pentagon, and MJF are all capable of breaking out into the main event whenever AEW decides to give them the ball. For that reason, there would always be a cloud in fans’ minds about a breakup angle, much like how fans were just waiting for MJF to turn on Cody Rhodes. Everyone knew it would happen. It was only a matter of when.
With the current Inner Circle, Jericho is clearly the leader. Each guy has their certain part in the system. The idea of them breaking up never gets bandied about in fan discussion. That helps us sit back and enjoy the ride.
Jericho also mentioned his first idea for the group’s name was something about a fist. “Five fingers form a fist.” Tony Kahn wasn’t keen on that idea. The Young Bucks liked a line in Being the Elite where Jericho mentioned his inner circle. Thus, the Inner Circle moniker was born.
Speaking of a throwaway line, Jericho referring to Guevara as a Spanish god was also something of an off-the-cuff moment on live TV. Guevara immediately took a shine to the nickname when he heard it.
Once again, Jericho shows why he is Le Champion of the wrestling world. Even random ramblings of his can be plucked out and molded for greatness. Jericho’s reasoning for picking each member of the Inner Circle was spot on as well. Killers, muscle, and sex.
Thank you, Chris Jericho.
Which group of five do you prefer: Jericho, MJF, Lucha Bros, Ogogo or Jericho, Guevara, Santana & Ortiz, Hager? Did Jericho and AEW make the right call going with the current members of the Inner Circle? How would the AEW timeline have been altered if they went with the original choices?