When All Elite Wrestling formally launched in January, a number of former WWE superstars, including Chris Jericho, were announced as part of the fledgling promotion’s roster. In the months that followed, more WWE alumni joined the fold, with the likes of Shawn Spears (formerly Tye Dillinger) and Jon Moxley (formerly Dean Ambrose) signing AEW contracts and getting booked to appear at its events. And with many expecting a ratings war between WWE and AEW once the latter company’s weekly primetime show premieres on TNT in October, Jericho recently said that he doesn’t expect WWE to grant any more wrestler release requests for the immediate foreseeable future.
According to WrestlingNews.co, Jericho made these comments on a recent episode of Busted Open Radio, when the topic of Spears’ move from WWE to AEW was brought up. The record nine-time Intercontinental Champion pointed out how Spears was barely used by WWE during his last eight months with the promotion before signing with AEW and getting a meaningful role.
“Thankfully, Shawn got his release,” Jericho continued.
“He’s the last one that will. Nobody will ever get their release from WWE again. Nobody. He got his release, [AEW co-executive vice president] Cody [Rhodes] and him are friends. Cody knew what he was capable of. I knew what he was capable of. I championed to get him. The guy is a tremendous heel. He’s an old school heel. He looks the part.”
Jericho continued putting over Spears by saying that it was a “good idea” for AEW to pair him up with legendary Four Horsemen member and WWE Hall of Famer Tully Blanchard as he prepares to face Rhodes at the company’s next pay-per-view, All Out, on August 31. He expressed confidence in the possibility that AEW would make the 38-year-old former WWE lower- and mid-card talent “into a star” through his ongoing rivalry with Rhodes.
Chris Jericho ( @IamJericho ) will be in action when @AEWonTNT comes to Charleston Coliseum ( @CCCWVA ) on Wed, October 30th 7:30pm Showtime— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) August 21, 2019
Tix on sale this Friday, Aug, 23rd at Noon ET - https://t.co/UN1cNj1kQq pic.twitter.com/h5LBbnZQh6
Although Spears was indeed granted his release from WWE when he asked for it in February, he was far from the only wrestler rumored at the time to be wanting out of the company due to creative issues. Per Cultaholic, wrestlers such as The Revival, Luke Harper, and Sasha Banks reportedly asked to be released from WWE in recent months, only for the promotion to refuse their requests.
While Harper hasn’t been seen on television since April, The Revival is regularly featured as part of Monday Night Raw’s tag team division, where they have since enjoyed two brief Tag Team Championship reigns. As for Banks, she returned to Raw earlier in August after a four-month absence and, as previously reported by The Inquisitr, referenced her real-life issues with the company in a worked-shoot promo on this week’s episode of Raw.