Chris Jericho spoke with Scott Fishman of TV Insider this week for an interview. Featured below are some of the highlights.
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On the reason why AEW is coming straight out of the gate with his match against Kenny Omega as their first main event: “We’ve had this slow build, all of it done without TV. We’re doing it with social media and word of mouth, which is a real testament to the potential and excitement and the buzz surrounding AEW. Double or Nothing is the biggest show in AEW’s existence, probably forever. There will probably be bigger shows, but there is the old saying that you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
“That’s why we are going with Jericho versus Kenny as the first-ever main event. A lot of people are asking, ‘Why don’t you wait for that and build toward it?’ There is no waiting. There is no assumption there is going to be a second show. We have to come out of the gates with the best show possible to really catch everybody by surprise or to make everybody believe what they already know. That this is going to be a strong, solid, legit contender to be the greatest pro wrestling company in the world.”
On training with former UFC fighter Josh Rafferty in Tampa, Florida and working out for the last three months in preparation of proving he can still perform at the highest level in the “Alpha vs. Omega II” showdown on 5/25 in Las Vegas, Nevada: “It’s the best training I’ve done. To me it is always the cardio. No matter what the character: skinny, fat, muscular. You have to be able to have that wind and longevity in a match. It was to increase that. It’s funny because last year I’m going into New Japan matches with guys working 10-15 times a month and I’m doing matches every three or four months. Now in AEW the whole crew hasn’t worked in four or five months. I think we are all on the same level. Then again you can do as much cardio as you want, but it’s not the same as being in the ring and being in a match.”
On the reason why WWE Superstars getting pay raises should be credited to him, and how Vince McMahon doesn’t want any of his talent going to AEW: “I’m not surprised. I will say this…everyone in WWE owes Chris Jericho a thank you because the moment I signed with AEW, it became legit. That’s when everyone started getting these huge raises to not go. It was very similar to what happened to Bobby Hull in the early 1970s when he signed with the WHA (World Hockey Association) for a million dollars. Every other player got a huge raise to not jump with him. My dad [Ted Irvine] went from a $35,000 to a $100,000 a year because they didn’t want him going to the WHA. It’s the same thing for Vince [McMahon] is doing with WWE.
“You’re hearing about prelim guys getting $400,000, $500,000 a year deals. Everyone deserves the money they make, but they never would have gotten that before and wouldn’t get it somewhere else. They can be ones who will never draw a dime. It doesn’t matter. Vince doesn’t want anyone coming to AEW. Doesn’t want there to be a mass exodus whether you are an opening match jobber or a main event Roman Reigns. He doesn’t want anybody to go.”
Check out the complete Chris Jericho interview at TVInsider.com.
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