As the AEW World Champion, Chris Jericho is the focal point of AEW television. But in the nine weeks AEW has been on TNT with AEW Dynamite, Jericho has helped build newer stars in the company.
He's aligned himself with Sammy Guevara and Santana & Ortiz to form The Inner Circle alongside Jake Hager. He went toe-to-toe on the microphone with MJF. And he's headlined two shows against Darby Allin and Scorpio Sky. Aside from Hager, none of the men listed have spent time in WWE, and while Santana, Ortiz, and Sky have had platforms in IMPACT and ROH, TNT has been their largest platform to date.
Speaking to Sports Illustrated, Jericho revealed that his mission statement in AEW is to help build new talent.
“Sky is a guy we’ve built up really well, and I was happy with it,” said Jericho. “In retrospect, I would’ve liked to have seen some video packages throughout the show really building up how big it was for Sky to have this championship match. We could have given him a little promo time in that respect, but those are things we noticed afterward," said Jericho. "That being said, I thought the match was great. Guys like MJF, Darby Allin and Scorpio Sky have been in main event matches. We’ve made those guys into stars very quickly. It’s only been nine weeks of TV, so imagine where we’ll be after nine months? One of my mission statements in AEW is to build new talent. People complain, ‘We don’t have any idea who this people are!’ It’s only been nine weeks, and we’re focusing on one person every couple of weeks. Building new stars will make this promotion successful. This past week gave Sammy Guevara some spotlight, as well as Ortiz, Santana, and SCU.”
While Jericho wants to help build new stars, the latest episode of AEW Dynamite ended with "Le Champion" having a long-distance staredown with Jon Moxley. The two men know each other well from their days in WWE.
"That feud in WWE was really damn good, but we’re both so different now,” said Jericho. “It won’t be the same. Moxley was never this confident or this good in WWE. As Moxley said in our ‘Talk is Jericho’ podcast interview, he didn’t know who he was in WWE. He was constantly at odds with the creative and at odds with himself. This is a completely new guy. Dean Ambrose was only a portion of his career. To me, Moxley is the real guy. And there is a new-look Chris Jericho with all this creative freedom in AEW, so it’s going to be very intense and it’s going to be a lot of fun. I know a lot of people have already said, ‘This is happening too quickly.’ Everybody needs to sit back, relax, and watch the story unfold. Trust me, we are not rushing anything. I wouldn’t allow it.”
Jericho and Moxley feuded in WWE during the spring of 2016. It is unknown when the two men will step in an AEW ring against each other. Moxley is scheduled to take on Joey Janela on the Dec. 4 episode of AEW Dynamite.