Chris Jericho sounds pretty pumped to be part of a pro wrestling promotional war again.
In the 90s, Jericho is one of the few wrestlers to work on both WCW’s Monday Nitro as well as WWF’s Monday Night Raw during each program’s ratings heyday. Nearly 20 years later Jericho is still an active competitor, and count him in as one of the many people excited to watch AEW and WWE go against one another.
In a new interview with TV Insider, Jericho was asked about AEW’s impact on the pro wrestling business and if WWE is watching what the upstart promotion is doing.
“I’m not surprised. I will say this…everyone in WWE owes Chris Jericho a thank you because the moment I signed with AEW, it became legit. That’s when everyone started getting these huge raises to not go. It was very similar to what happened to Bobby Hull in the early 1970s when he signed with the WHA (World Hockey Association) for a million dollars. Every other player got a huge raise to not jump with him. My dad [Ted Irvine] went from a $35,000 to a $100,000 a year because they didn’t want him going to the WHA. It’s the same thing for Vince [McMahon] is doing with WWE.”
Shocking how Jericho found a way to thank himself during that answer. Never change Y2J.
Jericho also added a note about enjoying the thrill of competition.
“This is a war. Even if you don’t want it to be, it just is. There hasn’t been any competition for WWE on a national basis for 20 years or more. I think this is something they didn’t really want, but it’s great for the fans and great for the guys. I think in the long run it’s going to make a difference because it gives people a choice. And it’s always good to have a choice.”
Like in any industry, competition is usually good for the workers and the end product.
With a major cable television deal to call their own, whether you love or loathe them, AEW is off to a great start. Considering they have a grand total of zero live events or pay-per-views under their belt, AEW will probably not be able to go heads up with WWE anytime soon, but even the small threat of competition should in theory be better for the wrestling business as a whole.
In the end, does anyone suffer if AEW forces WWE to get their stuff together and improve the product fans watch week in and week out?
Chris Jericho is excited. Shouldn’t we all be?