Chris Jericho just wants a "thank you."
We're just over a week away from AEW Double or Nothing, the first event under the All Elite Wrestling banner. The event will be headlined by Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega in a rematch of their Wrestle Kingdom 12 bout. Jericho has taken credit for multiple things in AEW, first for Double or Nothing selling out and more recently for AEW landing a multi-platform deal with Turner Media/TNT. Jericho's obsession with being credited for AEW's success was turned into a storyline on a recent episode of Road to AEW Double or Nothing.
And now, he wants credit for WWE superstars getting raises to not leave the promotion.
"I’m not surprised. I will say this…everyone in WWE owes Chris Jericho a thank you because the moment I signed with AEW, it became legit,” Jericho told Scott Fishman of TV Insider. “That’s when everyone started getting these huge raises to not go. It was very similar to what happened to Bobby Hull in the early 1970s when he signed with the WHA (World Hockey Association) for a million dollars. Every other player got a huge raise to not jump with him. My dad [Ted Irvine] went from a $35,000 to a $100,000 a year because they didn’t want him going to the WHA. It’s the same thing for Vince [McMahon] is doing with WWE. You’re hearing about prelim guys getting $400,000, $500,000 a year deals. Everyone deserves the money they make, but they never would have gotten that before and wouldn’t get it somewhere else. They can be ones who will never draw a dime. It doesn’t matter. Vince doesn’t want anyone coming to AEW. Doesn’t want there to be a mass exodus whether you are an opening match jobber or a main event Roman Reigns. He doesn’t want anybody to go."
Jim Ross stated in a recent interview that WWE paid an undercard talent $500,000 per year to keep him away from AEW. The Revival were reportedly offered $500,000 per year to remain with the company. Tye Dillinger recently said WWE was prepared to offer him "a substantial raise" prior to him asking for his release.
With AEW starting on TNT later this year, many have drawn parallels to the Monday Night Wars when WCW Nitro on TNT challenged WWE Raw. While some in AEW are quick to point out that there is no war between them and WWE, Jericho isn't taking that approach.
“This is a war,” he said. “Even if you don’t want it to be, it just is. There hasn’t been any competition for WWE on a national basis for 20 years or more. I think this is something they didn’t really want, but it’s great for the fans and great for the guys. I think in the long run it’s going to make a difference because it gives people a choice. And it’s always good to have a choice.”
It is unknown when AEW will debut on TNT, only that the company will produce a live, weekly wrestling event. You can find the full press release on AEW signing with Turner Media/TNT by clicking here.