Chris Jericho Compares Signing with AEW to When He Left WCW

Jan 22, 2019 - by Steve Gerweck

As previously reported, Chris Jericho discussed his recent signing with AEW on the latest episode of his Talk Is Jericho podcast. Below are some additional highlights that are now available (transcript via WrestlingInc).

Jericho on the AEW announcement: “I knew it would be something that would make a lot of people turn their heads. No more WWE. I still get a lot of people asking if I’ll be in the Royal Rumble. No, I will not be in the Royal Rumble as a surprise entrant which I wouldn’t be anyways [because I had already done it before].”

His thoughts on the rally: “There were over 1,000 people there. There was a couple of problems with the rally online when it was broadcast. Obviously we didn’t have great sound as far as the crowd being mic’ed and didn’t show a lot of the overall crowd shots.”

Jericho on looking back at when he signed with WWE in the late 90s: “I put myself into Chris Jericho’s shoes back in 1998 when I was contemplating leaving WCW and thinking, ‘How much further could I go in WCW under these rules and conditions?’ I realized I couldn’t go much further. With WWE coming in and putting their money where their mouth was, in addition to their ideas, attitude and excitement, it wasn’t hard to step away from WCW and go to WWE.”

Jericho on opting to leave WWE for AEW: “Yes, I can do this. What AEW is doing is showing me respect and showing me they have a lot of expectations for me. The cart is on my back. I have to do great work and go the extra mile to make this work….I have to use my 30 years of experience to help build this company. And that’s exciting to me.”

His thoughts on what AEW has going for it: “We’ve got the money. We’ve got the talent. We’ve got the momentum. We’ve got the creativity. Now we need the television to match it. Everybody knows it. I believe there will be a very big television deal that’s gonna be announced very soon and the roster is going to expand as well. We’ve already started with a great roster, but now it’s time to build it. But we don’t want to give all of our ducks away and surprises away right off the bat. We have a long way to go.”

His thoughts on what AEW will do in terms of signing talent: “I don’t think the idea for AEW is to sign 50 guys to exclusive contracts. I think the idea is to use the guys that we want to use that are available in the right positions at the right time. It’s January…our first show isn’t until May 25. That’s a long time to get more ducks in a row. There’s a lot of guys out there that haven’t signed yet that I guarantee will be signed. Most importantly, we’ve got a brand new venture, a brand new company – All Elite Wrestling. It’s exciting for the first time since WWE bought WCW, you have a company that has more money than Vince McMahon…”

“You need to spend money to make money – that’s been my verdict since I started… That’s what the Khans are going to have to do. That’s what AEW is going to have to do. We’re gonna start and go through some money at first. But if we can continue the momentum started by All In and the [launch] rally, if we can take that to Vegas and sell out within 10 minutes – now we’ve got some steam. Now we’ve got some thunder! So it’s exciting for me.”

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