Ahead of the pair’s tag team championship opportunity at Revolution, former AEW World Champion Chris Jericho has opened up about how he originally chose MJF to be a member of Inner Circle, before revealing how it’s worked out the better.
Speaking with Inside The Ropes‘ very own Kenny McIntosh for Issue 3 of Inside The Ropes Magazine, The Demo God would note how “any Chris Jericho fan knows he’s the best at long-term storytelling” and divulged that his storyline with MJF has undoubtedly benefited from that.
“What a great talent, an old soul, much better than he has any right to be. That’s what a natural is. He’s only 23 years old but he works and talks like he’s been doing it for 15 years. He’s got such poise. So, you look into it, and the guy’s a child prodigy; he was singing and dancing at the age of four. Of course – it makes perfect sense.”
Jericho noted how he had actually wanted MJF in the Inner Circle, doing what they’re doing now, but that the longer route ended up being the better route.
“He was actually one of my original choices to be in the Inner Circle, to basically do what we’re doing now. And of course, it worked out even better that he was not in the Inner Circle. It was a different route that we took, but Jericho and MJF was always on the cards. I’m not going to say he’s a young me, because when I was 23 I wasn’t half as good as he is on the mic. But I also wasn’t on national TV either.”
The former AEW Champion then gave what seemed like am insult to his counterpart, saying he isn’t as good as he thinks he is – before clarifying that it ultimately means MJF has the potential to be huge and the confidence to get him there.
“He’s one of those guys that is not as good as he thinks he is, which is not a put down, because he doesn’t know how good he’s going to be yet – he’s just always been good. I think when you have always been good, you don’t quite understand what potential you have beyond the kind of excellence that you’ve already achieved.”
Speaking of taking the long route to get to the originally planned destination, Jericho would recall his iconic storylines in WWE, as well as those with Jon Moxley, Cody Rhodes and Orange Cassidy in AEW – claiming there’s “no reason” to rush.
“Any fan of Chris Jericho will know that I’m best with long-term storylines. Going back to Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho in 2008, that was six or seven months. The Rey Mysterio angle was five months. Big Show and Jericho was long, Jericho and Kevin Owens was a long one too, the same with Moxley and Cody in AEW, and we just did 14 weeks with Orange Cassidy. That’s kind of what the idea is for the MJF-Jericho- Inner Circle thing, where there’s going to be a lot of twists and turns. We don’t rush anything – there’s no reason to.”
The 50-year-old would open up about how he wants to “take his time” rather than blowing through a story in four weeks.
“We’ve got 52 weeks a year of live TV and I want to take my time with it. Why would I want to blow through working with MJF in four weeks when a) who are you going to work with next? and b) there’s a story that can be told here that goes for an indefinite amount of time, depending on what the crowd is reacting to. I think we’ve hooked them right off the bat. We did a promo in Nashville last year – the first time we were together – and we’ve continued that. After the Mimosa Mayhem match, Max and I met each other in the parking lot, called each other a loser, and suddenly we’re off and running. And here we go every week, just adding a little bit to the storyline.”
Chris Jericho and MJF challenge the Young Bucks for the AEW World Tag Team Championships at AEW Revolution on March 7th, which is available via Fite TV for viewers outside the United States.