This week’s episode of Dynamite featured an angle that sure looked like AEW borrowing a page from the WWE playbook: bringing in Mike Tyson for a spot with the biggest star in the company. That meant Tyson squaring up with Chris Jericho, a shoving match ensuing, and ultimately a pull apart that fell just short of an all out brawl.
It was good TV! There’s a reason it worked in 1998 for the then World Wrestling Federation.
In an interview with ESPN, Jericho dismissed criticism that they ripped WWE off here, saying it’s his story and therefore can’t be. He also made clear they’re trying to ensure this ultimately leads to something:
“Obviously, the idea is to do something more. That’s the thought process, I think between both parties. What that is at this moment, we’re thinking and discussing. Look, Chris Jericho versus Mike Tyson in a wrestling match, in a street fight, in a boxing match, would be big. I’m not Mike Tyson. I’m not 1/1,000th of Mike Tyson, but I’ve been boxing for six years. I know how to box. I could win fights on my own against people of my skill level. So if that’s what he wants to do, that works too. Whatever he feels comfortable with, I can make it good. That’s what I do for a living. That’s what I’ve been doing for 30 years.
“But to me it’s the buildup and the angle and all the things we can do. That’s what wrestling is all about — the storyline. The match is the cherry on top. But it’s the build that’s really the most entertaining part, and the part that gets people really involved. So whatever it is that we decide to do as we move forward, it’ll be great. You have one of the most iconic boxers — and most iconic personalities — of all time against one of the greatest pro wrestlers and personalities of all time. It writes itself.”
Tyson isn’t the mainstream star he used to be but he’s still absolutely a mainstream star who is getting AEW publicity the promotion wouldn’t receive otherwise. A match featuring Tyson squaring off with Jericho would get the kind of coverage a budding pro wrestling company needs to really take off.
Assuming such a thing is possible in today’s landscape.
Big things ahead, it seems.