He called himself a ratings “God” when AEW outperformed NXT on Wednesdays, particularly when his segments on Dynamite do particularly well. Just this week on Broken Skull Sessions, he also said AEW isn’t competing with WWE, just providing an alternative.
In a new interview with Forbes’ Alfred Konuwa, Chris Jericho does both!
“We’ve never really worried about what NXT was doing.
“I know WWE NXT was watching our stuff during their show, but this was not a war that we were ever asking for, we were kind of thrust into it by proxy. The reason why we won it and won it so handily, is we never worried about what anybody else was doing, we just worried about our own show.
“I think the best thing about being unopposed is there’s been a lot of shows that we’ve done with some great segments and some great moments that might have been missed because people were switching back and forth.
“Of course we’re competitive. Yes, we wanted to beat NXT. Yes, we wanted to drive them screaming and yelling away from Wednesdays and we did that.”
To be clear, I am not knocking Jericho for this approach. I believe most of what he’s saying here. I don’t think anyone at AEW has any illusions about taking WWE down, at least not in anything but the longest of terms. Some folks in their braintrust were surely paying attention to what Triple H & team were doing, but for the most part they focus on their own product and didn’t seem to change their booking based on NXT’s (or Raw’s, or SmackDown’s).
And they’re human. They’re going to be motivated by outperforming something else doing the same thing at the same time they are.
But throwing a quote like “we wanted to drive them screaming and yelling away from Wednesdays and we did that” is designed to rile up the AEW faithful, a portion of which are committed to trashing WWE, no matter how much their faves talk about just wanting to be another option in the marketplace.
So well played, Jericho. Not that we expected anything less from one of the savvier players in the game.
Check out Chris’ entire interview with Forbes here.