Chris Jericho pays attention to his former employer, and he knows WWE’s tricks. This was apparent when he saw that so many high dollar contracts started getting handed out once AEW started.
Le Champion recently spoke to Busted Open Radio where he brought up WWE’s quest to stop AEW’s momentum. He said that WWE doesn’t even care about NXT because they’re just using the black and gold brand to get in AEW’s way as they creep toward RAW’s weekly numbers.
“It’s hard to say this without sounding egotistical. I’m not saying this from a place of ego. I’m talking from a place of fact. It really did change the business. When I signed with AEW, it was the equivalent of when Bobby Hull signed with the WHA in 1972. He was the biggest star in the NHL and when he left to go to this new upstart league, everybody in the NHL got a raise including my dad, Ted Irvine, and a big one because they didn’t want to lose any other players. That’s what happened with me.”
“The day I signed with AEW, everybody in the WWE got a raise. Finally, the guys were making money, but still not what they should get in some cases, but still more than they got a whole lot more than what they were getting. I think if those guys think about it, they all owe me a steak dinner because they are all making double what they were making all because Vince didn’t want them to go to AEW. He didn’t give a sh*t about their talent level or what they were doing or who they were.”
“It became a real war at that point more than there has ever been. But all this could have been avoided by Vince if you think about it, but he was the one that kind of allowed me to go and now look where we are a year later. We are kicking their ass and if there wasn’t NXT on a Wednesday, and it’s only there to stop our momentum. They don’t care about their own show. They care only about stopping our momentum. We would be getting close to RAW ratings on certain nights.”
NXT was on Wednesday nights prior to AEW Dynamite, but WWE moving the black and gold brand from their Network to the USA Network was a pretty apparent move. They even rushed to debut two weeks ahead of Dynamite, but Suits hadn’t wrapped up their series so WWE had to air the second hour on their Network anyway.
Thanks to Wrestling News for the quote