Chris Jericho Says Having Mike Tyson On AEW Dynamite Is A ‘Coup’

May 31, 2020 - by James Walsh

In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Chris Jericho spoke about the popularity of Mike Tyson right now and how getting him is a coup for All Elite Wrestling. The two had an altercation on the most recent episode of AEW Dynamite, which resulted in a huge brawl. Here are highlights:

On how big it was for AEW to get Tyson: “Tyson is so hot and popular right now, having him on our show is very much a coup. It just goes to show timing is everything. Had we done this a year ago, it wouldn’t have been the same. It was very much a timely decision that paid off hugely with press coverage worldwide, with headlines from Chili to Portugal to Mexico to Italy to France, all about Mike Tyson appearing in AEW with Chris Jericho. It’s great for our company, it’s great for me and it’s great for Mike. It puts him right back in the spotlight, right where he wants to be.”

On the announcement of his third cruise: “The second cruise was such a hit, we knew we had to do a third. Then the pandemic hit, and ‘cruise’ became a dirty word for a while. But we never wavered, and this isn’t a fool-hearty decision where we said we’d do this no matter what. Norwegian Cruise knows that their business is in trouble if they don’t do things properly and do them right. After much research and deliberation to make sure the boat is as safe as it can be, times a zillion, we decided to move forward. When I say ‘we,’ I’m just a cog in the Norwegian Cruise lines, but I’m all for it. This is February, nine months from now. I think we’ll have a lot of things resolved by then. If not, then we’ll just postpone and do it later. But we have to at least plan for it. If October or November come around and everything’s cool, then it would be too late if we hadn’t planned. We’re going in optimistically, but also smartly. And the reaction that we got is just off the charts. Our pre-sales are the same now that they were the last time, and we’re in the middle of a pandemic, so that’s insane to me. There are also a lot of people that don’t like the idea, and that’s fine, too. If you don’t like it, don’t come. If you like the idea, we’re going to make it the best vacation, like we have for the past two cruises. It’s completely safe, I’m taking my family, and putting together the lineup now is one of my favorite things to do. We’ve been working on this since the week after our last cruise ended, and we can’t wait to surprise people with all the talent we have coming on board.”

On Stadium Stampede: “That wasn’t so much a match as it was a short film. We wanted to make a spectacle. We knew that, and we wanted to go all the way with that. In terms of criticism, I heard what Jim Cornette said and it really disappointed me. I’ve known Jim for 25 years, and now he doesn’t want to be friends with me because he didn’t like my match? That’s a very myopic statement. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. It’s that simple. Don’t say you to don’t want to be my friend anymore because you didn’t like it. I was really disappointed to hear that. Wrestling has always had this element of humor to it. When I was growing up, I loved Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant, but I also loved Corporal Kirchner taking his zipline down into the middle of a pool and dropping into it. It’s entertainment all across the board, and that’s what we wanted to do with the Stadium Stampede match. When we walked out on the field that Thursday, we had a completely empty football field with tens of thousands of empty seats, and that was it. We needed to be creative about what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go. We found the pool, the bar, then we asked for a mascot and cheerleaders. When we were filming, there was a huge thunderstorm at 3 a.m. that stopped us from filming for an hour. That’s when we watched the rough edit, and I said, ‘Holy s—, this is great.’ When I walked out of there, after 30 years of being in the business, I said that was one of the best things I’d ever been involved in. And when we played it back and tightened it up with commentating, I was right. If you didn’t like it, that’s cool. But there are hundreds of thousands of people watching that loved it, and all of us in the match all felt the same. If you weren’t entertained by that, you have a problem. You might not like it for hardcore wrestling, and that’s fine. To me, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.”

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