Jericho says WWE talent are not guaranteed a spot in AEW if they leave

Apr 20, 2019 - by James Walsh

Chris Jericho spoke with Sportskeeda for a new interview and discussed his work with AEW, the second iteration of his cruise, how much longer he’ll compete and more. Highlights are below:

On if he’s doing anything different for his second Rock ‘N’ Wrestling cruise: “Well, any time you do something for the first time, it’s going to be a learning experience and I think my goal with the first cruise was just to make it a franchise – an annual destination vacation that would create its own community on-board the ship that would meet up and do it every year. I saw it on the KISS Kruise – people that see each other once a year like a summer camp type of thing and I wanted to build that kind of atmosphere, and make sure that people had the best vacation ever, and I think that’s basically what happened from the moment we set sail until the moment we docked. The reaction after, there were so many people who didn’t go the first time who said they wished they’d gone. Now here we are at 82% sold out after six weeks of tickets going on sale. Last year, it took us nine months to get to 82%. We’ll sell out over the next two months and we don’t even go to January 2020. The things we needed to learn, we did more on a clerical side and a business side. In terms of the activity, atmosphere and the vibe, it’s going to be the same pretty much as it was the first year.”

On what kind of personas we’ll see from him going forward: “I think the idea is that I don’t know how many other personas there’ll be because I never know what I’ll do. What feels right to me as far as constantly evolving, changing. I think that’s one of the reasons why I’m still where I’m at today, at the top of the industry, because people never know what to expect, you never get the same thing twice. When it comes to The List, I know it was a huge success but I’ll never do it again. Whether I ever work with WWE or not. It’s probably one of the reasons I didn’t go back there because The List was a product of its time. In 2016-17, it was so organic. If I was still doing that no, it would be very cliche and a little bit boring. It’s one of those things. You do it, you live it, people get so excited about it, and then you’ve got to move on if you don’t feel it as much anymore. I’m not ashamed to say David Bowie is a big influence on me because he always kept his appearance and his character, and his music very contemporary, changing and evolving it. I always liked that. If you look at a David Bowie album, he never looks the same and that’s how this business should be if you want any type of longevity at all. I’ve been in the business almost 30 years. If I did the same thing over and over, it would just be nostalgia and I’m not interested in doing that at all.”

On how much longer he’ll compete in the ring: “I’ll know when I know. All I can say is the last match I had at the Tokyo Dome was one of the best matches on the show. As long as I can keep delivering, that’s all that matters to me. The days of wrestling 100 times a year are done. I don’t want to do that, I’m not interested in that. The way that I feel right now, I want to continue having great matches that mean something. Nothing against the fine people of, you know, Poughkeepsie, New York, or Kirriemuir, Scotland, or wherever, those days of going to those towns are done. Do I have ten more matches in me? 100 matches? 500? I don’t know! I do know that when I finish this contract, I’ll still be younger than The Undertaker, and he just signed a new contract, so it all depends on how I feel and I never wanted to be less than what I considered to be my best. The reason I’m still able to do it is because I really limit my matches and pick my spots. I think that was a smart move to be able to continue at a high level because I’m not cashing in all my chips on a yearly basis – and it’s been working!”

On if his cruise could become a staple of AEW’s calendar: “At this point, I don’t see why it can’t! If you saw the cruise last year, the pay-per-view we did on Fite TV, being on that cruise ship made it look different from any other, it made it special. It reminds me of the old WCW when they used to do Road Wild and go to the middle of the parking lot in the black hills of South Dakota surrounded by bikers on their Harleys. I work for AEW now, so it wouldn’t make sense for me to do something with Ring Of Honor or NXT, but who’s to say? I’m open to anything. The cruise is mine, it’s not AEW’s, so whatever I decide to do is the way it’s going to be in the future.”

On what he’d say to people who wanted to jump from AEW to WWE: “It’s different. We’re not doing it that way where anyone who doesn’t like what they’re doing in WWE is automatically guaranteed a job in AEW. We will look at every talent on an indiividual basis.There’s some guys we’d love to have in WWE, and there’s some guys we probably wouldn’t take. Obviously we haven’t even had a show yet and our roster is already very deep. When you talk about the Double or Nothing show, how many people can you book on that show? If you have 60-70 guys, you end up with the same problem as WWE.”


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