Jericho decides to use this show to talk about the hottest news in the industry; the fact that he has signed with AEW.
Jericho points out that a lot of people have used his quote from a few years ago against him. A couple of years ago Jericho said he’d never work for competition of Vince McMahon in the United States. He says that was the truth back then, but things have obviously changed.
After leaving WWE a couple of years ago to tour with Fozzy, Jericho found himself to be too busy to wrestle at all. The band’s new album did better than they ever anticipated and that meant their tour would be longer than they thought. They toured for 19 months and he was simply too busy to return to WWE at any point during that tour.
In 2017 he received a call from Don Callis, who suggested to him that he should consider working a match against Kenny Omega for NJPW. Jericho was hesitant but the idea quickly grew on him. He signed off on a deal and then called Vince McMahon with the news, who was very accommodating of Jericho’s decision, and there were no issues at all.
The match with Omega went off without a hitch and they drew new fans to the product which was very important to Jericho. He started to enjoy the NJPW way of doing things, which was more of a “wild, wild west” situation compared to WWE where Vince McMahon basically runs everything.
He called McMahon several months later and told him he was preparing to sign another 3 match deal in NJPW. McMahon wasn’t as friendly this time around because he considered NJPW competition, and Jericho’s original “one-off” match has now turned into 4 matches. Regardless, this was something Jericho wanted to do.
Around the same time, McMahon called Jericho to work RAW25 and the Greatest Royal Rumble. Even though Jericho wasn’t fond of working the Greatest Royal Rumble, McMahon made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.
Initially Jericho was supposed to work a Casket Match against The Undertaker, but after telling McMahon about his new NJPW contract Rusev was put into that match. Jericho understood the move to pull him from the match, but notes that he and Undertaker would have had one of the best matches of the night.
In the months that followed, Jericho began promoting his cruise. He made an offer to NXT to join the cruise but they passed, so he offered it to ROH and they accepted. He started to become close with The Young Bucks trough this connection, and he had developed a great friendship with Kenny Omega from their match in 2017.
Around this time Jericho began hearing about Tony Khan, a billionaire who wanted to start a wrestling company. Jericho had heard so many stories like that before so he didn’t think much about it, but if a new start-up could bring more entertaining content to the industry and to the fans, he’d love that.
He eventually took a meeting with Khan. He had no intention of ever working for the upstart company, but thought he could offer some advice and knew he’d also be able to use any potential offer in his new negotiations with WWE.
After defeating Naito to become NJPW’s Intercontinental Champion, he called McMahon and suggested a bout between Intercontinental Champions; him versus Seth Rollins at SummerSlam. McMahon never called him back about it.
Vince McMahon soon called him again about working the Crown Jewel show. Jericho pointed out that he had a Fozzy show that night and would have to take a private jet in order to make both appearances. McMahon said he’d call him back but never did.
When Cody called Jericho about appearing at All In, he initially refused but then started to think about it more and more. Tony Khan actually provided the private jet that allowed Jericho to make the appearance that night and then flew him across the country to a Fozzy show. He says he appeared that night to send a message to WWE, that he was still out there making waves in the industry.
After meeting with Khan, Jericho quickly realized that he was smart and focused and really wanted to do something special here. Jericho started to seriously think about joining AEW, adding that the contract offer was incredible; the biggest offer he’s ever been made in his career.
Jericho informs that Impact Wrestling made him a great offer as well. He thinks that company is doing great things right now and he’s really enjoyed the product lately. They almost reached an agreement for him to have a few matches there, against opponents like Johnny Impact and Sami Callahan.
He admits that it was hard to make the jump to sign with AEW because he worked for WWE for so long. He made the decision to sign with AEW because he knows he’ll be a top guy and he has to do everything in his power to help build this company. In WWE it didn’t really matter what he did, and at this point in his career he’s looking for a challenge.
He informs that he talked to Vince McMahon right up until a few days before the AEW rally. He never really received a formal offer from WWE, and he left on amicable terms. He says Vince McMahon is his friend and they’ve made each other a lot of money over the years.
Jericho knows it’s not going to be easy, and they’re going to have to spend a lot of money at first as they all hope to grow this thing from the ground up. AEW has lots of hungry, fresh, creative talent, and with the financial backing of the Khan family there’s a legitimate reason to believe that they can find success.
He admits it’s weird to see pictures of himself at the rally with an AEW banner behind him. He’ll miss working for WWE and Vince McMahon, and he’ll miss his friends there. However, he thinks we’ll see some WWE talent in AEW sooner than later.
That sums up today’s episode of Talk is Jericho. You can listen to the show yourself anytime here, and I’ll catch ya next week for another recap!