"When I first came here it wasn't safe"- Chris Jericho explains why joining AEW was "risky"

“When I first came here it wasn’t safe”- Chris Jericho explains why joining AEW was “risky”

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Chris Jericho was the first major ex-WWE talent to be unveiled by AEW, outside of Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes, of course. Le Champion opened up about the risks of joining the company in its infancy.

Since WWE crushed WCW in the early 2000s, Vince McMahon has established a monopoly on the industry. While TNA enjoyed a brief stint as an alternative, blunders at the executive level never allowed the company to fulfill its true potential. Once the idea of AEW was floated, it was always going to be a risk to compete against the global juggernaut known as WWE.

Jon Moxleys AEW debut (2019). What a moment this was. Moxley confronting Jericho and attacking Omega was a great way to start off his career resurgence https://t.co/lHUeO8UVWE

AEW needed established players who could still work inside the ring, and Chris Jericho was that big name. The company’s inaugural world champion, Chris Jericho, was instrumental in bringing eyes to the product owing to his mainstream appeal and legendary status.

Speaking to Newsweek, the Demo God spoke about the risk factors involved in AEW’s early days.

“There was a risk at first,” Chris Jericho said. “When I first came here it wasn’t safe. We didn’t know what to expect and I was the biggest name on the roster. I feel like the company very much was on my back to start. I knew right away that my mission was to make stars or at least get people to get to know some of these guys right out of the gate.”

Chris Jericho believes AEW is a safe place now

Andrade has a 3 year contract

“Now I have a three-year contract with the AEW, I’ve only been with them for half a year, I’m looking for the most important championships with them because I didn’t get that opportunity in WWE and, in this new company, I want those opportunities” https://t.co/Ccy6qKRVwU

Almost two and a half years since All Elite Wrestling started off hot, Tony Khan has ensured his company is the de facto number two wrestling company in the world. More importantly, WWE isn’t the only big company for wrestlers to aspire to reach.

“I’m very proud of it because I’ve been in the AEW since day one,” Jericho said. “Now the company is safe. People know they can come here, they can make money, they can get ratings and they can have great matches.”

The likes of Bryan Danielson and Adam Cole rejecting lucrative WWE contracts for AEW is further proof of how far the company has come in such a short span. They even managed to bring CM Punk out of retirement.

During the pandemic, AEW released nobody while offering independent wrestlers a chance to showcase their talent on AEW Dark and Dark: Elevation. This has led to AEW enhancing its reputation among the wrestling community as a people-friendly place to work.


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