Chris Jericho recently told Ariel Helwani from the MMA Show how elated he was about AEW's television premiere on Wednesday night. He couldn't help but give the show an A+ rating.
"I give our show an A+," Jericho said ecstatically. "The crowd was off the charts amazing, and that always makes the difference. You could have a great show or a great performance, but if the crowd isn't over-the-top hot, it hurts it. If you have a great crowd and a subpar performance, it doesn't matter. Because to me, all that matters is how the crowd is reacting to it. The reaction, the performances, everything I saw, was amazing."
On Wednesday, the ratings war between WWE NXT and AEW Dynamite took full effect. Jericho stated that he is not annoyed that WWE purposely deiced to go head-to-head with AEW. Even though AEW swept the television ratings enormously, Jericho believes that the WWE will find a way to make a comeback.
"[On if he is annoyed that NXT is going head-to-head with AEW] Not at all," Jericho stated. "It's Vince McMahon, it's the WWE. I told them from the start. It's not even begun yet. There's going to be so many other tricks and traps coming up. It's what he (McMahon) does. He thrives on the competition. I don't care. I'm not in competition with him or NXT."
Going back to the statement Jericho made earlier about giving AEW an A+ rating, one of the reasons he gave it such a high grade is because of how the roaster composed themselves during the premiere. Regardless of if they knew how to wrestle on live TV, or were new to the concept, he believed that each member did their part to make the show as great as it was.
"Live TV is a different animal," Jericho said. "There's guys on our roster with some of the biggest names that have never wrestled on live TV. Kenny Omega for example never wrestled on live TV. I'm not sure The Young Bucks have – maybe a little bit on Impact Wrestling when Impact was live. We have a whole roster of guys that have never experienced this. And the top, top, top half like Jericho, Jon Moxley, Cody and Dustin Rhodes, and Jake Hager have wrestled on live TV before.
"The only thing I was worried about was if everyone would be able to adapt and understand. For the most part, all across the board, everybody did that (working well with time on live TV). I was pretty proud of our roster. Everyone did a great job."
Now that Jericho is officially an All Elite guy, he wanted to clarify that he has no hard feelings towards McMahon. When he did leave the WWE, Jericho did so on his own terms, like several others who finished up their contracts with the company. During the interview, Jericho recalls a time when he tried to speak to McMahon about his decision to leave to go to New Japan Pro Wrestling, and how he never got a phone call from McMahon to verify that it was OK for him to do so.
"I gave him the option to not let this happen (leaving the WWE)," Jericho mentions. "I told him I was going to go to Japan. I told him I was resigning for some shows on the phone. The first time with Kenny, he was super excited. When I said I was going to stay a little bit longer (with Japan) he was a little more tentative. And then when this Tony Khan thing came up, I had a little bit of a runaround from the powers that be. I had no idea why. I was like well if they don't have the time to call me and it's been a week, maybe, I should talk more with Tony Khan."
Once Jericho took the deal from Khan, he noticed that the majority of the WWE talent received pay raises to stay in the company, if they decided to re-sign. This wasn't the only shocking story that Jericho told on the MMA Show. Another story he told had to do with him winning the WWE Championship. Jericho said that he was not informed that he was going to win the title until that afternoon before his match. While they were in catering, Jericho overheard McMahon telling The Undertaker that the WWE was going to go "down the toilet" the moment the title was strapped around Jericho's waist.
"We were at catering and that was when Vince used to eat with the guys. He was standing right where I could hear him and he was talking to The Undertaker. He said 'Taker. You know how you know the business is going down the toilet?' Taker said 'How?' McMahon then said 'When you put the title on Jericho.'"
You can listen to Chris Jericho's full interview here. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Ariel Helwani's MMA Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.