A top AEW has praised Vince McMahon as a “once in a generation genius” adding that the negative aspects of him leaving WWE won’t be felt for six months.
Although Chris Jericho was established as a star on the rise, and someone who could be set for big things, it wasn’t until he signed with WWE in 1999 that his ascension to the main event really took place.
Working alongside Vince McMahon, Jericho was crowned WWE’s ‘first-ever’ Undisputed Champion and became a perennial main event star. Although the former Y2J eventually left the company and joined AEW, he has often been full of praise for McMahon and his role in building his career.
Appearing on Swerve Strickland’s Swerve City Podcast, Jericho discussed McMahon’s recent departure from WWE and how the changes brought about by his exit will affect the product going forward.
“I can go back working for him for 17-18 years. Obviously, there are Vince-isms and Vince-foibles that don’t make sense, but I did learn a lot about the psychology of the business and how to be a star, how to conduct yourself, how to be a true main eventer and money draw. I think the pros, if that’s the right word, the pros of Vince leaving WWE will be seen very quickly.
There are a lot of changes right off the bat, very refreshing. Lots of in-ring time. The cons of Vince leaving won’t be felt for a few months, maybe more, six months, a year. There are a lot of things that Vince did, little things, and I know people bag on him for his recent booking, and obviously there was a habit he had, but the guys who are true main event stars are legit stars. Legit stars.
You can spot them from a mile away. Look at the difference between Drew McIntyre now, prior to the last run he had. Vince worked with him to make him a top guy and top star. Same with Roman (Reigns). Completely different now than it was before he turned heel. Brock as a babyface, I can tell Vince worked with him as being a babyface. You can spot it. I can see it. Tough guys usually don’t want to smile,”
Continuing on, Jericho praised McMahon, explaining that he had learned a lot from him and Pat Patterson earlier in his career. He added that McMahon would be useful to have on hand as a consultant, but acknowledges that the scenario is highly unlikely to play out.
“Triple H never really wanted to smile. Babyfaces smile. That’s part of being a badass, you open that door of personality. A lot of those guys are working in Vince’s image. Steph [Stephanie McMahon] has obviously been trained from day one. Hunter has been trained from day one.
All of Vince’s principals will probably still be used, but there is something to be said, I can be in a band with Eddie Van Halen and we’re in Van Halen, he’s the greatest guitar player in the world. He quits Van Halen, I bring in Steve Vai, who is just as good of a player, but he’s not Eddie Van Halen, he’s not a genius in the same way. Vince is a once in a generation genius.
People can watch this and say, ‘You’re standing up for him,’ I’m not saying anything outside the ring or whatever, I’m just saying, from what I learned about the business from him and Pat Patterson, another genius. Vince learned from Pat too. Learning in that era, it’s something that will end up hurting in the long run, by no fault of anybody’s own, just time moves on. That’s one of those guys that saw the business differently from anybody else.
It’d be great if he would still be able to be there to consult, but I don’t think Vince is going to consult anything. When he decided to leave or was asked to leave, whatever the story is, I don’t think he can be a guy that can hang around on the outskirts. He’s gonna have to go and find something else he loves to do.”
Prior to his retirement Vince McMahon had come under fire following a series of a serious allegations of sexual misconduct . The allegations include claims that McMahon made numerous payments of millions of dollars to former employees with whom he had sexual relationships. It has also been alleged that McMahon coerced one former wrestler into performing oral sex on him, before later demoting her and “buying” her silence.
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.