On January 1, 2019, the world of professional wrestling changed when the cast of Being The Elite officially announced the creation of All Elite Wrestling.
On the same episode, AEW’s inaugural pay-per-view event, Double or Nothing was also confirmed as the official follow-up to All In.
However, according to the inaugural AEW World Heavyweight Champion, ‘Le Champion’ Chris Jericho he was the one partly responsible for Tony Khan’s decision to invest and begin a new wrestling promotion in the first place.
On the latest edition of his Saturday Night Special podcast, the All Elite Wrestling Superstar spoke on the creation of the company and his bout against Kenny Omega at New Japan Pro Wrestling Wrestle Kingdom 12 in January 2018 which, according to Jericho, went a long way to helping the birth of AEW one year later.
“That made Tony Khan go, ‘Holy smokes, I think I can start my own wrestling company’, because my match with Omega at Tokyo Dome did such good business worldwide.”
While no one doubts that the business Jericho vs. Omega did as well as their stellar in-ring on the night helped to sway Tony Khan on taking that huge leap, Chris Jericho cannot take all the credit for the creation of AEW.
The ideas, drive and passion of Cody, The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega also have to play a huge part in Khan’s final decision when the history of AEW is eventually written.
However, Jericho is eminently proud of his accomplishments in AEW thus far and spoke about how helping to establish the company is one of the greatest things he’s done in his career.
“Right now [is the proudest moment of my career]. To have AEW built up, and the stuff we’ve done in just a year, just makes me feel incredibly proud,”
Finally, the former ‘Y2J’, ‘Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla’ and ‘Lionheart’ opened up about his place in professional wrestling following his departure from WWE and how he would have retired from the industry had it not been for the project that was AEW.
“There was a certain time in 2015 [in WWE] when I just did house shows. I was not on TV. And then the feud with Kevin Owens really reinvigorated me, and then the match with Kenny in Japan made me go, ‘Oh my god, this is wrestling.’ I would have probably quit wrestling if not for AEW, and now I have no plans to stop.”
On October 7, Chris Jericho will celebrate three decades in the wrestling industry with a special edition of AEW Dynamite. During that time, Jericho has held over forty championships including the ECW World Television Championship, WCW World Television and Cruiserweight Championship – the latter five times – WWE Championship, WWE World Heavyweight Championship and is a former nine time WWE Intercontinental Champion.
Everyone at Inside the Ropes congratulates Chris Jericho on such an amazing milestone.
Credit to Chris Jericho’s Saturday Night Special for the quotes.
Credit to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.