Why oh why would Chris Jericho, WWE stalwart for almost 20 years, sign with an unknown startup like AEW? It makes almost no sense, unless you’ve followed the career of Chris Jericho in-depth. Then it makes perfect sense.
First off, the title is a bit of a misnomer, since he hasn’t been WWE’s Chris Jericho for the last few years. Rather, he’s been NJPW’s Chris Jericho. Brought into New Japan Pro Wrestling to have excellent matches with their brightest stars, Christ Jericho made excellent money only having to wrestle a few matches every year.
Although he has signed with AEW in North America, he has said he plans to continue wrestling in Japan as well, so keep an eye on him there.
As for All Elite Wrestling, they seem to have offered him the richest contract he’s ever received in his career for the fewest amount of dates. Tony Khan is a billionaire and can afford to make a splash like that. If I were Jericho, making that choice would be pretty easy.
There are other factors, however. It’s not just all about the money.
Throughout his career, Jericho has enjoyed reinventing himself. From Lionheart to Conspiracy Victim or from Y2J to the only honest man in WWE. Even his most recent run with Kevin Owens and the List was a reinvention.
Jericho does not like to stagnate. He now has the opportunity to join a brand new well-funded promotion where he will likely have complete creative freedom. This is something that might have been absolutely impossible for him to refuse.
For the next three years, we’ll be seeing Christ Jericho in AEW. It will not be the sanitized Jericho from WWE. It could be that he’ll play the foul-mouthed psychopath we saw in New Japan. It could be that he does something completely different. Whatever it is, it is sure to be new and interesting.
You can use a lot of adjectives to describe Chris Jericho, but boring is not one of them.