Chris Jericho was a guest on The Rich Eisen Show, where he talked about the need for AEW to get creative and try different things in this bizarre era of empty arena wrestling:
“Rather than just having wrestling match after wrestling match in the ring, we’re doing some different stuff. We did a street fight last week where we just went and looked around what was available to us in this concourse of the Jacksonville Jaguars stadium, and put on a pretty fun show.
I think if you’re treating it more like a Hollywood stunt fight, like a Hollywood brawl that you would see in a movie, it’s much more entertaining than if you’re treating it just as a wrestling match [with] nobody there. We can see that nobody’s there, so why bother pretending?”
Jericho’s approach described above is also reflected in his promos, where he initially addressed an empty arena by declaring that he banned all the fans from showing up. Instead of pretending that everything was normal, he’s trying to find entertaining ways to incorporate or work around the lack of an audience.
Le Champion also talked about having lots of great matches with Triple H in the early 2000s in WWE, and how their personal animosity helped yield better results in the ring from both men:
“There were guys in the past that I had issues with. Triple H was one of them, he’ll tell you the same. In the early 2000s, we didn’t have much like for each other. But we always had great matches, and I think this might be one of the reasons why. We just had this professional rivalry, maybe a little bit of a personal dislike. But then fast forward four, five, six, seven years, you get to be a little bit older and wiser. You think back like, why did we have so many problems? Why did we hate each other? Why did we not like each other?’ And now we’re friends.”
He further explained this position:
“I think there’s always that little bit of animosity that drives you to become better, and if you have a case like let’s say Jericho and Triple H, our matches were always great, because there was a little bit of real-life animosity between us...I think that’s good in a certain way, and I would almost suggest that back in those days that Vince McMahon would subtly encourage that, because he knew you’re always going to get better results inside of the ring.”
Jericho can fondly look back on all the good matches he had (and lost) against Triple H, such as Hell in a Cell at Judgment Day 2002, or Last Man Standing at Fully Loaded 2000. But the biggest match they ever had together occurred at WrestleMania 18 in 2002. It’s a storyline that involved dog poop, and a match that was completely overshadowed by Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock. I don’t think there’s any amount of personal animosity between Triple H and Jericho that could have saved that one.
Do you agree that a little bit of personal animosity in the workplace can lead to better results? Or is that just a pro wrestling quirk?