Jericho puts over Jake Hager, Matt Hardy on being offered The Exalted One

Jun 4, 2022 - by James Walsh

– During the most special episode of Talk is Jericho, Chris Jericho had high praise for his long-time team mate, Jake Hager who he called one of the “most underrated” in stars in AEW. Check out the highlights below (per Wrestling Inc.):

On Hager:

Jake is one of the most underrated guys in our company. Only because whenever he’s given something to do, he always kills it. Always, every time, no matter what it is. If it’s a 1% thing, he’s there. If he has to main event a no people match against Moxley with only Jim Ross commentating, it’s there. So I was like, ‘We don’t need to get a new heater, I’ve got one.’”

Hager on Jericho’s new moniker, “The Wizard”:

“Honestly, when you first came out the week after the fireball with ‘The Wizard’, I didn’t know what you were talking about. Daddy Magic” Matt Menard laughed in the background. “I was like, ‘Is this pinball? What are we talking about here?’ And then you said that s**t in the promo, and I died. It was so awesome.”

– In the latest episode of his Extreme Life of Matt Hardy podcast (via Wrestling Inc), Matt Hardy confirmed that he was offered the role of the Dark Order’s “Exalted One”, a role that eventually went to Brodie Lee. Lee and Hardy debuted for AEW within weeks of each other, but Hardy showed up as Broken Matt.

Here are highlights:

On being offered The Exalted One:

“I actually had a couple options in the beginning. I know they had offered me ‘The Exalted One’ with The Dark Order. That had been offered to me by The Bucks actually, and I guess Tony was cool with that too and they were thinking that’d be a cool deal. They were definitely wanting to take those guys in a heel direction, but I felt like after that thing with Randy [in WWE], I should debut as a babyface … I had suggested Broken Matt and that’s what I wanted to do. The Bucks were cool with it and then Tony Khan was very open to working with it, and we were going to do whatever we could do to make Broken Matt work. Unfortunately, COVID came in and the world changed … and obviously, Broken Matt, which I feel like is a character that really depends on audience participation, debuts in the first-ever AEW empty arena pandemic era show. So, that was Broken Matt’s bad luck.”

On turning down the role:

“I did know if I didn’t decide to do ‘The Exalted One,’ I knew Brodie Lee would get it. And I was like, man, that’s a great spot for him. He’s going to kill it. Do it! I wanted Brodie to be The Exalted One, and I know I said this in the past already. He was super appreciative that I teased I was going to be The Exalted One. I did that all the way, you know, I was already doing it when I was doing stuff with WWE … I was doing all these teases to just to pop myself and just to keep people talking about me because that’s one of the most important things, I think, in this day and age. You have social media and if you can use that to keep fans and the consumers talking about you, keep you in the conversation. It’s a very important thing to promote yourself in this day and age.”

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