Chris Jericho has revealed that former NXT star and independent wrestling legend Chris Hero was nearly brought into AEW as a Labour of Jericho.
Jericho was set Five Labours by rival MJF as The Demo-God looked to finally get his hands once again in a one-on-one match with the leader of The Pinnacle. The first of those labours was MJF’s Pinnacle partner Shawn Spears before the Labours took a turn for the ultra-violent as Jericho had to endure a match with Nick Gage.
With Chris Jericho overcoming those challenges, he then faced a name from his past as he took on Juventud Guerrera. With MJF’s Labours so far being defeated by Jericho, he looked to his own personal War Dog Wardlow to try and stop the first-ever AEW Champion but to no avail. Eventually, Chris Jericho got his one-on-one encounter with MJF but The Salt Of The Earth managed to overcome Jericho, tapping him out for the win.
Speaking to Stephanie Chase, Chris Jericho discussed the thought process behind the five labours and says a former NXT Superstar was under consideration to be part of the challenges:
“The original plan was going to be the four guys from The Pinnacle. That’s what we had kind of done with Moxley when he beat me for the title where he had to go through the whole Inner Circle. It was MJF who had the idea for us to use Nick Gage. I had never heard of Nick Gage prior to Dark Side of the Ring. It intrigued me that maybe he brings in some bounty hunters. I still wanted it to start and end with Pinnacle because that was the story. Start with Spears, end with Wardlow. That was always the plan. It was never the plan to go through this memory lane of Jericho’s friends or opponents.”
“We thought the Nick Gage deathmatch would be cool. We were trying to think of another guy and one idea was Chris Hero. A couple of other names were thrown around. I thought Juventud Guerrera would be a good idea because he seemed to fit. It seemed like a good idea to have one guy from my past in there. I didn’t want to make it a bunch of guys from my past. ‘It’s gotta be Lance Storm.'”
Chris Hero competed in NXT as Kassius Ohno for two different spells. He made his name in CZW and Ring Of Honor. He won the ROH Tag Team Championship as one half of The Kings Of Wrestling alongside Claudio Castagnoli, now better known as Cesaro.
Jericho also revealed that there was another plan to have some of the Inner Circle forced to fight Jericho but that didn’t work for The Painmaker:
“I just wanted Pinnacle to start and end, the deathmatch was a cool idea, and then someone from my past, and I thought Juventud was best for that. We worked on that for a few months, to get his visa and that. That was always the idea, those four guys. There was an idea to face maybe Hager or have Sammy come in, but I didn’t like that idea. Why would they fight me? ‘Well they have to or else we would quit.’ We don’t turn on each other. I thought it was the idea, ‘Fine, go f*ck yourself, we’re out.’ That didn’t work for me.”