Chris Jericho has taken credit for a spectacular moment involving him and Claudio Castagnoli from the second Blood & Guts match.
Although AEW officially introduced the Blood & Guts match in 2021, featuring The Inner Circle and The Pinnacle, this occurred when AEW was still operating under crowd limitations. When they brought the match back in 2022 with a full crowd in Detroit, it felt like the inaugural bout under the stipulation’s banner.
This year saw The Jericho Appreciation face Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli, Wheeler YUTA, Eddie Kingston, Santana, and Ortiz. Claudio lead his team to victory with a Sharpshooter to Matt Menard, but ‘The Swiss Superman’ was first involved in a magnificent Giant Swing on Chris Jericho atop the cage moments before.
During his recent Jericho Chronicles UK tour with Inside The Ropes, Chris Jericho spoke of being in the United Center for Claudio Castagnoli’s debut, stating how the crowd “went f*cking nuts for him” and viewing it as a chance to “build another main event star very quickly”, before he divulged how the spot was put together:
“I said, ‘Well we will have him start and start with Sammy [Guevara]’, because Sammy is very dynamic and can make him look good, and then let’s continue through. I had the idea of going on top of the cage, and I wouldn’t have thought of it again, except for last year’s Blood and Guts, which we only had a thousand people in the crowd. And if you remember, because of the way that we shot it at Daily’s Place, what we saw was the cage and then basically just a wall behind it, a big tron and then the stage.
You couldn’t really get a sense of the massiveness of this cage, and it’s just, it looked cool, but it looked like, ‘Oh, this is your version of Hell in a Cell? [Makes head patting motion] Good job, good job.’ So when I got there, I said that we need to do something on top of the cage, because I am envisioning this shot from the hard cam on the top of the cage. There’s 6,000 people, 12,000 there, but 6,000 people on this side with Eddie Kingston on top of the cage and people just going, ‘Ahhh!’ That was my vision.”
Chris Jericho continued, explaining how there was some initial criticism about going to the top of the cage again:
“People were like, ‘We shouldn’t go on top again.’ Well next year no, but this year we had to, because it is essentially the debut of Blood & Guts. It is the first time people have seen how big this is with this giant crowd in Detroit, one of the biggest that we have ever had. We need to, this puts us on a different level. This makes AEW as big as any wrestling company in the world today. Let’s go on the top.
Sammy text me a couple of days before and said, ‘Hey, I want to go off a bump off of the top.’ Of course you do, you wanted to take it last year, but I am already taking it. So what can we do? Maybe Eddie throws him off? Great. And then maybe I put Eddie into the Walls [of Jericho] and then Claudio comes up [and] saves the day.
And then Tony [Khan] had the idea of two submissions and Claudio gets the tapout first, which causes a little bit of animosity between those two, story, story, story. So I just said, ‘F*ck it man, when he [Claudio] comes up there, you got to give me the swing, because people love it.’ Because when he gave ‘Cool Hand Ange’ twenty at Forbidden Door, people were bananas for it. So I’m like, ‘Dude, you got to give me the spin on the top of the cage’.”
‘The Demo God’ admitted that the former Cesaro had some initial fears about performing the spot due to the chains that lift the cage being in the way. Chris Jericho, too, was startled by the spot when the time came to take it:
“So, we talk about the area that we are going to do it and here it comes. And dude, I will tell you what, I was scared about falling off of the cage. When I got into this position for this spot, I was like, ‘Oh my f*cking Gosh.’ And then he starts spinning. Now there was seven rotations, which seemed like 1,000 hours to do those seven, it was ten seconds. The first three, I was cool.
Then I started to lose my mind, because all I could see was these little people sitting in the crowd like this [makes spinning hand motion with hand] Little people, little people, little people… And I am like, ‘Oh my Gosh, how high up are we?! This is terrible!’ I remember looking him in the eyes because that is the secret, you’ve got to look him in the eyes. And I was like, ‘Stop! Stop! Stop!’ And then he put me down.
Here’s the thing, watching it back on TV, he was so in control and he did not move out of this little semicircle. And we were probably this far from the edge [Jericho stands away from the stage] So there is no way that I can fall unless he loses his balance, he wouldn’t lose his balance. Watching it back I could have taken it fifteen times, because I was completely safe. Doing it, I was losing my mind like, ‘Oh my God, I am going to fall off of the edge!’
It’s so funny, I knew that people would respond to that spot, but I didn’t realise just how insane it was until I watched it back and people were telling me how insane it was. And that was pretty crazy, because all anybody is thinking is that one false step and you are done. The other thing about it too was there was all the thumbtacks. So I took a picture and posted it on Instagram, the bottom of my boot was completely covered with thumbtacks.”
Chris Jericho concluded by stating how difficult it was for him to even climb the cage due to the myriad of thumbtacks stuck in his boot. Describing it as “walking on ice”, the inaugural AEW World Champion explained that this was the reason for his and Eddie Kingston’s prolonged brawling spot on their knees. In conclusion, the match was deemed a success by Jericho:
“But I think that it worked out really, really well, and we put Blood & Guts on the map and took it to the next level where it is as impressive as anything you will see in pro-wrestling at any point in time.”
Chris Jericho formed The Jericho Appreciation Society following the Revolution pay-per-view this past March. Initially consisting of Jake Hager, Daniel Garcia, Matt Menard, and Angelo Parker, he’s since added Tay Conti and ex-Inner Circle partner Sammy Guevara to the ranks.
The second Blood & Guts match marked the latest stipulation match for ‘Le Champion’ in AEW, having previously participated in Stadium Stampede, Mimosa Mayhem, and Anarchy In The Arena matches.
If you use any quotes from this article please provide a link back to the original source and a H/T to Inside The Ropes.