All Elite Wrestling (AEW) has made a name for itself over the last three years, and Chris Jericho is a big reason why. The former WCW and WWE star joined the company when it launched in 2019 and became the first AEW World Champion. PopCulture.com recently spoke to Jericho who explained why AEW has been on the upward trend.
"I think the biggest thing with AEW is we started from scratch and took a chance to really see if we could make it work," Jericho told PopCulture. "And it did. Less than, or just over two years later, we're now the hottest wrestling company in the world today, with a huge, massive television deal. That's just going to grow as we grow. And I think that's the biggest change is this was really on my back at first, to get at this up and running off the ground.
"And I knew it was taking a chance, but I knew if it was a success, it's another feather in Jericho's legacy and helping change the wrestling business forever for the better as well." AEW is was founded by Tony Khan, the son of Jacksonville Jaguars' owner Shad Khan. Jericho was brought in as one of the original stars along with "Hangman" Adam Page, Kenny Omega, Dr. Britt Baker, Nick Jackson, Luke Jackson, Cody Rhodes, and Brandi Rhodes who are executives in the company. Like WWE, AEW has a flagship show — AEW Dynamite that airs on TBS. It also has a show on TNT called AEW Rampage and several shows stream on YouTube.
With WWE learning about AEW Dynamite airing on Wednesday, the promotion began airing NXT at the same time on the USA Network, leading to the "Wednesday Night Wars." And after nearly two years, WWE announced it was moving NXT to Tuesday night, meaning that AEW won the war and established itself as one of the top promotions in the world.
And over the last couple of years, AEW added some big names to the roster, including former WWE Superstars CM Punk, Sting, Adam Cole and Bryan Danielson. But the question is can AEW surpass WWE as the top wrestling company in the world? "Well, in my opinion, what is the top wrestling promotion?" Jericho asked. "To me, I think we already are, as far as in-ring product and entertaining shows, storylines, characters, et cetera. If you're looking at like will AEW overtake WWE as the wrestling brand in North America? I don't know. But that's not something that we ever really think about or worry about. All we're worried about is continuing to grow our fan base, which we are, grow and continue to improve and create amazing stories, which we do."
Jericho continued: "We really are killing it in the demos, which equals higher television contracts when this current one expires in a few years. So ask me in a couple [of] years, if we're going to be the most dominant promotion. I know we'll be making a hell of a lot more money than we are right now, which will enable us to continue to put on the best wrestling product in the world today, which is what we're already doing."