Eight-time World Champion and an anticipated inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame, Chris Jericho, recently responded to critics who accuse him of overshadowing younger talent in All Elite Wrestling (AEW). In his defense, Jericho contends that these critics "don't understand what I'm doing." Jericho, the first-ever AEW World Champion, has been with the company since its inception.
His tenure has seen him working with many significant personalities, such as former AEW World Champions Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley, and current World Champion, Maxwell Jacob Friedman (MJF). He has also had long-standing rivalries with upcoming stars like Orange Cassidy and Ricky Starks, with Starks defeating him at the Revolution pay-per-view event last March.
Chris Jericho Loss and Talent Visibility
In addition to his rivalry with established champions, Jericho notably lost to newcomer Action Andretti in a live Dynamite match, a stunning upset that AEW heralded as one of the company's most surprising moments.
Despite this, critics often point out that Andretti is rarely featured on AEW TV, and others who have feuded with Jericho sometimes lose visibility after their rivalries conclude. Speaking ahead of the upcoming AEW Double or Nothing event this Sunday, which features MJF, Darby Allin, Sammy Guevara, and "Jungle Boy" Jack Perry contending for MJF's World Title, Jericho expressed his pride in all four participants.
He elaborated on his commitment to their growth, saying, "That's why I worked with Max for a year, and I've had Sammy with me pretty much since he came into the company, except for a few months. Those guys were always earmarked to be stars." Jericho also noted his early collaborations with Darby and Jungle Boy during the first few months of AEW's inception, recognizing their exceptional talent.
Responding to the criticism that he hinders younger talent, Jericho countered, "It's funny when I get buried online for 'burying' the young guys; it's like you really don't understand what I'm doing and don't even really watch the show because it's been the exact opposite of that." He argued that AEW has succeeded in cultivating these emerging stars and is particularly gratified to see them develop not just as wrestlers but as characters and speakers—skills he regards as crucial to the profession.