Chris Jericho has discussed WWE’s issues with creating new stars and contrasted that with AEW’s approach to building stars after they debuted on TV.
Speaking to former WWE writer and Hollywood icon Freddie Prinze Jr. on his Wrestling with Freddie podcast, Chris Jericho commented on the company’s difficulty in building new stars – a common criticism in recent years:
“From day one in AEW, Freddie, this is not a WWE bash, I worked there for almost twenty years, I loved working for WWE, but one thing they still have an issue with, and you can see it if you watch the show, is building new stars. They really have a problem with that, and I don’t know why, but once again, it doesn’t matter to me what they do.”
Jericho then went on to explain what the early days of AEW on TNT looked like and how he felt responsible for helping the company make new TV-ready stars as quickly as possible:
“From day one in AEW, we showed up on October 2nd, even before that. When we showed for the first couple of pay-per-views, we had no television deal, then when we got one on TNT it was an ad-revenue share. Now what that means for people who don’t know, is you make the money based on advertising.”
“I realized early on, as being kind of the face of the company, and the one guy that the national audience knew, besides Jim Ross, but the one guy that was in the ring. They knew Cody maybe, not really. Kenny and The Bucks were kind of more independent, or popular in other countries.”
“I need to make new stars as quickly as I can. Cody being one of them. Kenny Omega being another one. Then you move, and look at my first few programs, match-three at AEW was with Darby Allin, and Jungle Boy was around about that time.”
“And then Jon Moxley, who had to be rehabbed when he came from WWE. Mox was not Mox when he first showed up. He was still Dean Ambrose, kind of the goofy guy that wasn’t funny, doing all that sh*t they made him do. We had to make him into a star right out of the bat.”