According to Chris Jericho, AEW's war was never with NXT, but rather Raw and SmackDown.
Speaking with Dave LaGreca and Mark Henry on Busted Open Radio, Jericho commented on NXT moving from the WWE Network to USA, and how they (AEW) were never worried about it. Jericho says that their only concern has and always will be putting on the best show possible.
"Obviously, it's a victory, and it's a huge victory," he began by saying. "The difference is that we weren't obsessed with winning, losing, whatever it was. We were obsessed about was putting on the best show we could, and we couldn't worry if WWE was gonna put NXT on or if NBC was going to resurrect the Beatles. Whatever you're going to do, we can't focus on that. We can't worry about it because we're too busy worrying about our own show. We're too busy worrying about putting on great stories and great matches in the middle of a frickin pandemic so when we won the war and won handily, of course it was the end of NXT because that was kind of the whole idea was put them against us, build them as a huge third brand, and then move on."
From October 2019 through April 2021, NXT and AEW Dynamite went head-to-head on Wednesday nights with Dynamite winning 63 of the 75 weeks in terms of overall viewership and all but one week in the 18 to 49 demographic. NXT moved off Wednesday nights on April 7, finding a home on Tuesday.
Jericho continued on to say that who AEW does pay attention to is Raw and SmackDown. He says that every ratings and demo victory for them is a big deal and believes that sooner or later, they will start beating WWE's longtime flagship show, Raw. Here are his full remarks on the matter:
"When we, you know, beat them, that the word that you used, and now they're kind of rebranding and reconfiguring because what else can they do? They're number two when it comes to what they were trying to do in this battle. But here's the best part, we were never worried about NXT and never really paid attention to what they were doing. We were looking at what Raw is doing and what Smackdown is doing. If you want to talk about a war, that's the real war. If this was Game of Thrones, NXT was the first wave that we blew through. We're storming the castle. We're storming the fortress. I think that's one of the things that's going on now too when you see, oh this week AEW beat Smackdown and in the 18-49 demo or 18-34 demos. Even just winning one or two of those demos, that's a big deal. Sooner or later, we're going to start beating Raw.
It's not going to be every week, but I bet you over the next two to four months, maybe four to six, we're going to start beating Raw and that's my prediction that I'm saying to you guys right here. The reason for that is because, we keep talking about the cool factor, but it's the storytelling and it's that we don't panic. We're in no rush. We live in our own world, our AEW world. We book accordingly. We book smartly. If you watch our show, it's like watching the first three Star Wars episodes. One thing always leads the next and sometimes you'll see something where the seeds were planted months earlier, but we all know what we want to do and where we want to go."
NXT has been undergoing a retooling as of late, unveiling a new logo, while the September 14 edition of the show promises to showcase a whole new aesthetic and presentation.
Finishing up, Jericho emphasized the importance of storytelling and how much forethought goes into everything AEW does.
"Once again, when I talked about a year-long storyline with MJF and Jericho, The Inner Circle and The Pinnacle, did we start out thinking it was going to go a year? No. Did we start out thinking it was going to go about six months? Absolutely, right from day one. There's things that are happening in this story that we discussed eight months ago. So that helps because you could really keep people's attention with well-crafted and smart storylines. We don't rip up shows an hour before we go on the air. We don't. We know what we're doing next week, every single week. That's why we tell you on Wednesday what you're going to see next Wednesday. Now, we'll tell you what you can see on Friday, and this week we're telling you what you see on Sunday, too. So it's very organized and planned out and people can see that and they're responding to it," he said.
"Sooner or later, we're gonna start beating RAW." --@IAmJericho discusses how he believes the REAL war between @AEW & #WWE wasn't just about #WWENXT ... @davidlagreca1 @TheMarkHenry #AEWAllOut #AEWRampage #AEWDynamite pic.twitter.com/rQ7HiPPrNg— SiriusXM Busted Open (@BustedOpenRadio) September 3, 2021
AEW All Out takes place this evening, September 5, 2021. Chris Jericho will be facing MJF with his AEW in-ring career on the line. Fightful will have live coverage of the event beginning at 7 p.m. EST with a post-show review immediately following its conclusion.
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