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Chris Jericho on AEW Bringing Back Wrestling Fans, His Main Event Match & When He Knew It Was Time To Leave WWE
WWE 

Following last night’s monumental AEW Double or Nothing pay-per-view at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, six-time world champion Chris Jericho took some time to speak with members of the press, including ProWrestling.com’s own Doug Enriquez. Check out the video above.


How did you feel the main event went? 

“I think the show tonight really proved the point, from start to finish, that AEW is a legit contender for the alternative for every other wrestling company going on in the world today. It’s very fresh. I think the fact that we have a braintrust of people in their 30s, and people that think they’re in their 30s – it’s a whole fresh attitude here. and it’s not just me coming over from WWE. Dean Malenko, Jon Moxley, Jim Ross, Dustin Rhodes. All of us have the same attitude.”

“This is so exciting, and so much fun, because it’s what wrestling is supposed to be. We are artists. We are creative people, and I find that in the past there’s a lot of other people’s opinions that we shouldn’t have to deal with when putting together a show, or a match, or a character. Nobody knows what’s better for my character than me, and nobody has to write anything for me to say, because I know what to say.”

“Tonight really showed how exciting it can be when you have a bunch of people with similar mindsets, and a contingency of fans that are looking for something extra – an alternative. There’s nothing wrong with giving people a choice. We have now established that AEW gives you a choice as a wrestling fan.”

What did you think about Cody’s entrance, with the throne? 

“I’m not sure I saw it because I was getting ready for my match. For my entrance, I believe that was Cody’s idea as well. He took the lead and we kind of all worked on it together. It’s part of wrestling, and that’s something that Cody understands – and all of us do – that sometimes the pomp-and-circumstance of wrestling is sometimes the best part. Throw in some great matches and some great stories, like you saw tonight, and some athletes from another planet, it seems – we really have a diverse roster.”

“I really enjoyed the one match I did see, which was the six-woman joshi match. Never seen any of them before, and I probably couldn’t even tell you any of their names. There were no restraints on them – just go and be you. Who would watch six Japanese girls they’ve never heard of before? Well the crowd tonight seemed to like them, and I’m sure most people watching at home did. That’s just another example – if you’re good, and you have passion, and you know how to put on a show and have a great match, then give us a call and we’ll give you a shot.”

What is the process of trying to bring fans back that have become disenfranchised with wrestling?

“Once again, you have to show people that this is a different mindset. A lot of times when you think about wrestling, that’s WWE. Think about soda, that’s Coca-Cola. Think about rock, that’s the Rolling Stones. We have to let them know that we’re not saying you shouldn’t listen to the Stones, but if you want to listen to another band that’s got a different mindset, come give us a try.”

“I think that’s one of the main reasons why it was so important for me to sign with AEW. You’ve a got a guy who everyone who is a wrestling fan knows. The people that are watching now, 10 years ago, 20 years ago – when there was 14 million wrestling fans watching, Chris Jericho was on the TV. ‘I remember watching him – let’s give it a try.’ When they come and see Chris Jericho’s match, then they learn who Kenny Omega is, and the Young Bucks, and the Lucha Brothers, and everybody else that had such a great performance tonight. It happened with New Japan with Kenny as well. A lot of people went to check out that product because of me, and when they got there, they realized it was a lot of fun and a different style.”

How did you feel while your match with Kenny Omega was going on? 

“The secret of a great wrestling show – it’s like a great setlist from a band. You start out big, and you move through and through and through, and the last match, or the last song should be the biggest one that leaves people the most excited. I think we did that, but to follow the Lucha Bros. and Young Bucks is not easy an easy thing to do. That’s why we worked the match a completely different way; much more violent and brutal, hard-hitting. I think if you’re talking about the three ‘main events’, you had three different style of matches. I think the build of the show was great. I enjoyed the match – I don’t enjoy it sometimes while I’m doing it, because it hurts. At the end of the day you sit back and go, you know what, after four months of anticipation I think everybody got what they expected, and more.”

Have you thought about your schedule going forward in AEW? 

“I know what my schedule is going to be, because it’s in my contract. It’s going to be very – everything I do in AEW is going to be important. When I appear on the show it’s going to be for a reason, and it’s going to be something big. The next show I’m doing is the show in Jacksonville.”

How much pressure do you feel knowing you’re ‘The Guy’ bringing people to AEW? 

“I thrive on it. I want to make a difference. I don’t want to be just another number on a board somewhere, and I think if I would have gone back to WWE, that would have been the role that was there for me.”

“When I had the best angle in 2016, the best story with Kevin Owens, and we ended up second on WrestleMania, that’s when I knew ‘I have to get out of here’. We should have been the main event, or the semi-main event of the show. And that’s not being bitter, that’s just business. I get it.”

“For me to come here, I have a chance to make a difference and be at the level that a guy with 29 years of experience, and at 48 still having great matches, and no signs of slowing down. I think this is a great place for me to be, and it’s a lot of pressure, but I can take it. When you’ve main-evented at WrestleMania, you don’t really care about pressure anymore. You main-event the Tokyo Dome, like Kenny has, it’s the same thing. The pressure is a good thing, because we’re all working towards the same outcome, which is to have a great alternative for wrestling fans, and to be bring wrestling fans back to enjoy this sport that we all love.”

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