Chris Jericho was recently a guest on the Geordie podcast, where he spoke about the beginning days of All Elite Wrestling.
“When we started AEW, it was solely on my back. I really believe that because if you look at the roster, unless you were a hardcore wrestling fan, no one f*cking knew any of those guys. There’s a perfect example, ‘Chris Jericho’s there? Really? Let’s check it out’ and then you see all the other great guys but I knew right out of the gate, I have three-to-six months to make as many stars as I can, because if not, I can’t — as great as I am and as great as I think I am, if I’m the only guy on the show for six months and the only star, it’s gonna die. It is. I can’t do it all. I’m not f*cking Michael Jackson or Elvis or somebody like that. So I knew very quickly I had to create stars right out of the gate and that’s why we concentrated on reinventing Cody [Rhodes]. Think about Cody when AEW started, he was not the Cody that he is now. Nobody knew who Kenny Omega was, Darby Allin, Scorpio Sky. [Jon] Moxley, he was not the guy that he is now when he came into our company. Jungle Boy, all of those guys I worked with early on in the process to let people know — Young Bucks, Inner Circle. The first night we created The Inner Circle to show here’s some new guys. Who’s Sammy Guevara? I didn’t know how Santana, Ortiz was. Jake Hager was not the guy he is now. He was a useless character in WWE. So we built these stars in three months and that’s when we got a television deal for $160 million for four years.”
On the Y2J nickname:
“‘Y2J’, I was pitching to him [Vince McMahon] as the name of my finish and he’s like, ‘No, no, no, no. That’s not the name of your finish. That’s your name’ and I was like, ‘Me!?’ Like, ‘Yeah, you’re Y2J.’ I was like, ‘Really?’ And f*ck man, and people still chant it ‘till this day. I thought of the idea and the term ‘Y2J’. He’s the one who saw the overall picture that’s much more valuable for the name of you to be that.”
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