Chris Jericho Says AEW Is Changing the Wrestling Industry

Oct 10, 2019 - by James Walsh

Chris Jericho spoke with Still Real To Us at New York Comic Con about AEW Dynamite’s debut success and more. Highlights are below: 

On the wrestling ‘war’: “We’re not at war with anybody. I don’t care what you put against us. You can put on the Super Bowl. You can resurrect John and George, and put on a Beatles reunion. You can’t control that. All we can control is our own show, and worry about our own product. We didn’t start a war. We didn’t counterprogram. We just did our thing. As a result, the whole industry is completely shaken up just by us being in existence.” 

On beating NXT in the ratings last week: “Yeah, we won the Wednesday Wars. F**k that, we were second in the demo for the whole night, against every show…except for the dastardly Major League Baseball wildcard game. Other than that, we beat everybody. Who cares about NXT. We’re talking No. 2 in the entire business. That shows value. That’s going to change a lot of opinions about people who might not have known who AEW was; from advertisers to fans, to the people in the industry.” 

On the hype making a ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ effect: “It creates a FoMo effect. ‘Did you see AEW?’ ‘No.’ ‘Listen, you have to watch this. It’s great.’ ‘Really?’ ‘Go check it out. It’s on every Wednesday.’ That’s how you build your brand. We started off on the right foot. When I saw the ratings, I took a second and went, ‘Yes!’ And then, ‘Okay. How can we beat them next week?’ We have to really come strong next week.” 

On returning to TNT where he used to be on TV for WCW: “It might be more surreal for Cody, maybe. For me, I don’t think like that. If someone said, ‘Oh my God, Jericho is going home.’ Going home to where, Washington DC? ‘No, TNT!’ When was TNT ever my home? I don’t even remember that WCW was on TNT. [laughs] Having Tony involved is amazing because he’s got such a great voice. You remember it. You’re like, ‘F*ck, we’ve missed this guy in a wrestling organization.’ He brings a sense of legitimacy.” 

On Tony Schiavone doing commentary: “[Tony] is like JR, except Jim’s been calling wrestling for the last while. Not regularly, but he has. We haven’t heard Tony call wrestling in almost 20 years, or however long its been. That was a really cool moment; not from a nostalgia standpoint, but from the sense of ‘This guy is f*cking great. He needs to be doing this all of the time.’” 

On the company having a lasting impact on the industry: “As soon as I signed with AEW, everyone in the business got a big raise. Guys are finally starting to get paid what they deserve. That goes back to when Chris Jericho signed that AEW contact. Everything changed.”

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