As a result of its close relationship with TNT, AEW sees a lot of upside to any potential crossover angles with former NBA stars like Shaquille O’Neal. In fact, the Young Bucks’ Nick Jackson recently told Fightful that an NBA crossover was “literally the first thing I thought of” when he signed with AEW.
Last night’s (Dec. 23) episode of AEW Dynamite immediately followed a thrilling NBA season opening game between the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics that went right down to the wire. Dynamite was displaced from its normal time slot, but there would surely be plenty of NBA fans getting their eyes on AEW’s product for the first time.
And what’s the primary thing those NBA fans saw when they tuned in to Tony Khan’s wrestling promotion? They saw former WWE star Chris Jericho, who is now 50 years old, kick off the show in a tag team match against two AEW rookies (Top Flight) who are closer to 21 years old.
Chris Jericho’s body has changed quite a bit from his glory days, and NBA fans took notice. NBA Twitter was ruthless in dragging Jericho over his physique, and his name trended on the platform as a result:
NBA Twitter clowning on Chris Jericho pic.twitter.com/JiJzSRhVd9— IBeast (@x_Beast17_x) December 24, 2020
To his credit, Jericho didn’t get in the mud with these folks. He instead retweeted Justin Credible telling the haters what he thinks of them:
In a promotion that brands itself as being elite, Jericho’s star power is among the very best, but seeing him mix it up in the ring with younger wrestlers often draws feedback like this. There’s no doubt that physique can be an important part of a pro wrestler’s presentation. Does this sort of thing matter to you when watching Chris Jericho perform in AEW?