Chris Jericho has managed to stay relevant for decades due to his ability to continuously reinvent himself. The current AEW World Champion is arguably more popular than he’s ever been at the moment, despite being almost 50-years-old. During a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Jericho revealed that he has no interest in recycling his old gimmicks, though he does believe that he’d be forced to if he was still employed by WWE.
“I would still have to be doing ‘The List’ and it would feel so old. I love all the great stuff I did in the past, but to go out there and say ‘Raw is Jericho’ or ‘I’m the Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla’ would really feel like a rock and roll band that tours that never puts on a new record and tours every summer. I always appreciate when bands play new songs, because I’ve been playing new songs, too. Otherwise, for me, there’s no reason to continue on.”
During the interview, Jericho also took a shot at his former employers by noting how Shawn Michaels and Triple H reprised their D-Generation X gimmick last year, even though the stable hasn’t been a full-time unit since the early 2000s. According to Jericho, the team’s “Suck It” catchphrase is a “relic” in the modern age.
— WWE (@WWE) September 20, 2016
Jericho didn’t appear to be showing any ill will toward WWE, but he clearly disagrees with the company’s nostalgia-focused business model over coming up with new ideas. The company is regularly criticized for its underwhelming creative direction and refusal to let its performers develop their own ideas for their characters and storylines. Jericho, meanwhile, is a prime example of how letting certain superstars have some input can benefit all parties.
Since joining AEW in 2019, Jericho has been a permanent fixture in the company’s main event scene, and he’s been using his stature to elevate up-and-coming talent. He’s still as entertaining as he’s ever been, but the catchphrases that made him a household name during the Attitude Era are evidently a thing of the past.
As The Inquisitr previously documented, Vince McMahon was reportedly emotionally distraught when Jericho opted to join AEW over signing a new contract with WWE. The report states that McMahon regrets not offering Jericho more money, whereas Tony Khan was more than willing to give “Y2J” the best contract of his career, along with substantial creative freedom over his character.