Having spent almost 20 years in WWE, Chris Jericho joining All Elite Wrestling earlier this year was a shock to the system. His personal friendship with Vince McMahon, coupled with his loyalty to the company throughout the years, made him seem like a WWE lifer. However, when AEW came along, “Y2J” couldn’t resist the fresh challenge.
As quoted by Wrestling Inc., Jericho recently spoke with Ariel Helwani from the MMA Show, where he revealed how not hearing back from McMahon about his decision to wrestle matches for New Japan Pro Wrestling led to his decision to permanently part ways with WWE.
“I told him I was going to go to Japan […] The first time with Kenny, he was super excited. When I said I was going to stay a little bit longer (with Japan) he was a little more tentative. And then when this Tony Khan thing came up, I had a little bit of a runaround from the powers that be. I had no idea why. I was like well if they don’t have the time to call me and it’s been a week, maybe, I should talk more with Tony Khan.”
Jericho confirmed that he bears no hard feelings towards McMahon or WWE, but he gave the company the option to keep him around and they didn’t take advantage of it. When AEW came to fruition, they approached him to be a part of the new company and the rest is history.
Jericho’s AEW is also off to a flying start, as he was crowned the inaugural World Heavyweight Champion. Since then, he’s also formed a heel stable with Jake Hager, Sammy Guevara, Santino, and Ortiz to feud with The Elite.
During the interview, Jericho also discussed the so-called Wednesday Night War between AEW Dynamite and NXT. He revealed that he’s unsurprised by WWE’s decision to go up against the new company’s flagship show because McMahon thrives on competition.
— All Elite Wrestling on TNT (@AEWonTNT) October 3, 2019
As reported by The Inquisitr, Jericho said WWE was “embarrassed” after being beaten by AEW Dynamite in the ratings battle this past Wednesday.
His statement was in response to WWE congratulating AEW on their success, while also reminding the new company that how they perform in the “marathon” is what really matters.
According to many within the wrestling industry — including Jericho — WWE released their congratulatory statement as a PR stunt after learning that they’d lost Wednesday’s ratings war by a significant margin.
AEW’s show drew 1.4 million viewers, while NXT only attracted 891,000. The war is on, and AEW will be looking to continue attracting a large audience moving forward.