Chris Jericho says that he started to panic when Claudio Castagnoli was swinging him on top of the cage in the Blood & Guts Match on AEW Dynamite, but in hindsight, he knows that he was safe the whole time.
During an Inside The Ropes Live show, Jericho explained how the swing was his idea because he realized that AEW had the opportunity to quickly build Castagnoli into a star.
“Well it sounds like a broken record, but that was my idea. The reason for it is, okay Claudio came in, and I actually went and stood in the arena at Forbidden Door just to hear the reaction. Because I knew people would go nuts for him, but they went fucking nuts for him. And I was like, ‘They really, really like this guy.’ And once again we have a chance to build another main-event star very quickly. What’s the best way to do that? Focus on his strengths. And one of his strengths is his strength. He is so strong, it’s unbelievable how strong he is. And I said, 'We’ll have him start, have him start with Sammy because Sammy’s very dynamic. He can make him look good. And then let’s continue through.' And I had the idea of going on top of the cage. Now I wouldn’t have thought of that again, except for last year’s Blood & Guts, we still only had 1,000 people in the crowd. And if you remember, because the way we shot at Daily’s Place, what you saw was the cage and then basically just the wall behind it, the big tron, the stage. You couldn’t really get a sense of the massiveness of this cage, and it looked cool, but it was almost like, to me, it was like, 'Good job guys, aw, good job. Is that Hell in a Cell? Aw, good job, good job.’ So when I got there, I said we need to do something on top of the cage because in just envisioning this shot from the hard camera I’d the cage with 6,000 people, there’s 12 there, but 6,000 people on this side, with Eddie Kingston standing on top of the cage, just standing there, and people just [cheering]. And that was my vision, and people were like, 'We shouldn’t go on top again.' I said, 'Next year, no. This year, we have to because it’s essentially the debut of Blood & Guts. It’s the first time people are seeing how big this is with this giant crowd in Detroit, one of our biggest that we’ve had. We need to really, this puts us on a different level. This makes AEW look every bit as big as any other wrestling company in the world today. Let’s go onto the top,'" said Jericho.
Jericho continued by recalling how Sammy Guevara wanted to take a bump off the top of the cage, so they started planning spots. From there, the former AEW World Champion detailed how Castagnoli was reluctant to do the swing due to the chains that lift the cage, so they moved closer to the edge of the structure.
"Sammy texts me a couple days [before], ‘Hey, I wanna take a bump off the top.’ I’m like of course you do, you wanted to take a bump off the last year, and I was like well I’m already taking it.’ So what could we do? How could we? Maybe Eddie throws him off. Great. And then maybe I put Eddie into the Walls and then maybe Claudio comes up and saves the day. And then Tony had the idea of two submissions and Claudio gets the tap-out first, which robs Eddie Kingston of his submission, which causes a little bit of animosity between those two. Story, story, story. So I just said fuck it, man. When he comes up there, you gotta give me the swing because people love it. He gave ‘Cool Hand Ang’ 20 spins. At Forbidden Door, people were going bananas for it. So I was like yeah, you gotta give me the spin on top of the cage. And when I got there, he said I can’t do it. I said why? He said because everywhere that I spin, the chain that lifts the cage is in the way. And I was like we could do it on the edge. He goes you can’t do it on the edge, that’s insane. I said why? I said you’re the strongest guy. I would not have done that with anybody else, anybody else on the planet, but with him, I took that spin many, many times. I said dude, you’re in total control. We could do it. We’re not that close to the edge," Jericho recalled.
Jericho went on to describe how he felt when he was swinging on top of the cage. He noted that while he was cool with it at first, he practically started to panic after a few seconds. In hindsight, he stated that he was completely safe because Castagnoli was in complete control.
“So we talked about the area we’re gonna do it, and then here it comes. I’ll tell you what, I was scared about falling off the cage. When I got into position for this spot, I was like, Oh my fucking god.' And then he started spinning. There were seven rotations, which seemed like a thousand hours to do those seven. It was ten seconds. The first three, I was cool. Then I started to lose my mind. Because all I could see was the little people sitting in the crowd like this, [mimes spinning motion], little people, little people, little people. I’m like, 'Oh my gosh. How high up are we? This is terrible'. I remember looking at him in the eyes because that’s the secret, you gotta look him in the eyes. I was like, ‘Stop, stop, stop, stop!’ And he put me down. Here’s the thing. Watching it back on TV, he was so in control, and he didn’t move out of this one little semi-circle. And we were probably [stands up to show distance], so there’s really no way I could fall unless he loses his balance. He wouldn’t lose his balance. Watching it back, I could have taken it 15 times because I was completely safe. Doing it, I was losing my mind, like, 'Oh my god, I’m gonna fall off the edge.’ It’s so funny because I knew that people would respond to that spot. I didn’t realize just how insane it was until I watched it back, and people were telling me how insane they thought it was, and I was like, you know what? That is pretty crazy. Because all anybody’s thinking is one false step, and you’re done," said Jericho.
Jericho concluded by saying, “I think it worked out really, really well, and I think we really put Blood & Guts on the map and took it to the next level to where it’s as impressive as anything you’ll see in pro wrestling at any point in time.”
Castagnoli and his team, which included the Blackpool Combat Club, Ortiz, Santana, and Eddie Kingston, ultimately picked up the win over the Jericho Appreciation Society. He made Matt Menard tap out to clinch the victory.
Castagnoli will challenge for the ROH World Championship at ROH Death Before Dishonor. More information is available here.
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