Christopher Daniels is over two decades in, but he still has things to check off his list.
He's been a Ring of Honor Champion, helped spearhead TNA's X-Division and tag team division. He's appeared in WCW, NJPW, WWF, ECW, ROH, TNA, PWG, AAA, NWA, and virtually any other major promotion that has existed as long as his career has. But he's never faced Chris Jericho, and he wants that to change.
"I feel like Chris Jericho, if he’s not the greatest of all time, he’s certainly in the discussion," said Daniels. "Certainly top five. Everybody’s said this, so this isn’t news, the man is incredible at reinventing himself and keeping himself relevant. It’s something I’ve always sort of tried to emulate in my career. Just the opportunity to get in the ring with someone like him would be a great honor. You know, we… [audio cuts out] …plenty of times, him 30 years, I’m on 27 years now, and the just fact that it hasn’t happened yet, but now it’s becoming a possibility is something that’s really interesting. Really interesting. I’m not looking to hang it up any time soon; I’m sure neither is he. So I’m sure at some point we’re going to run into each other, I think."
Fightful actually spoke with Daniels on the record about the Jericho dream match in late 2018 when Daniels was with ROH, and Jericho was virtually wherever he wanted. Just a few months later, both were a part of the All Elite Wrestling roster.
Still, even though they've nearly crossed paths -- Daniels' partner Scorpio Sky briefly feuded with Jericho - "The Fallen Angel" and "Le Champion" have never touched.
Not a singles match, not a tag match, not even a battle royal. Nothing.
"I missed him," Daniels said. "I was in WCW literally right, maybe, a year after he left. Then the entire time he was in WWE, I was Ring of Honor or TNA, and so, yeah, we’ve never even been in the same company at the same time until beginning of last year. So, now here we are."
Daniels is a respected veteran in the wrestling world, credited with helping bring several names to both All Elite Wrestling and Ring of Honor. Despite that, Daniels is still learning, and learning from Jericho himself.
"I will say this, man, one of the great things about being around Chris is he’s got such a mind for the business and it’s really refreshing to be around someone like him, and hearing his thoughts and how he puts together ideas and matches and things like that," said Daniels to FIghtful. "It’s really cool. As much experience as I have I still feel like I’m trying to learn stuff, and he’s definitely is someone I’m learning from every week that I have any sort of interaction with him behind the scenes. It’s something I’m really am happy that I’m getting that opportunity."
Categorically different careers, though their tenures in the business have paralleled one another. Still, Daniels isn't as outspoken backstage as that of the AEW World Champion. He's not afraid to give his input, but readily states that Jericho is a little more hands-on in that regard.
"I feel like Chris is at the level of success that he’s sustained over his career, I feel like he’s definitely got more right to put his foot down," Daniels said. "I’m more of the mentality, especially since I’m not really one of the guys in terms of creative that has that final say, so I certainly don’t mind putting my ideas forward and saying, “Well, this is what I think.” But, I also realize that it’s not my fight to fight and all I can really do is offer my point of view. But, in the end, it’s not my decision and I sort of have to bow to the decisions that are made by the guys that are in the decision making position. So, I’m cool with that, too. Sometimes the decisions aren’t what I would have done, but at the same time, like I said, I don’t have the right to really put my foot down. But, I feel like Chris definitely does have that right. Certainly is very outspoken about what he feels is the right direction for his stuff and you can’t fault him. You look at his track record and you feel like this guy definitely deserves to have a say in how it all goes down.
You can see our full interview with Christopher Daniels at the top of the page, and you can check him out every Wednesday night on AEW Dynamite, 8 PM EST on TNT.