Chris Jericho Reveals Early Meetings With Tony Khan, What Led To AEW Signing

Chris Jericho AEW
Chris Jericho arrives in All Elite Wrestling (Photo: Ryan Mulligan)

On the latest episode of the Talk is Jericho podcast, Chris Jericho went in-depth about what led to him signing with All Elite Wrestling.

Evidently, the first rumbling of All Elite Wrestling first occurred in a group text chat that had been created for the Chris Jericho Rock N Rager at Sea. The group included Cody, the Young Bucks, Jericho, and Kenny Omega. Tony Khan’s name started coming up even before All In in the summer of 2018.

Chris Jericho On Meeting With Tony Khan

“We’re group texting, we’re becoming friends, making jokes, laughing, talking about the cruise, all this different stuff,” Jericho said. “Then I started hearing about this guy Tony Khan. This was brought to my attention by my manager, Barry Bloom. ‘There’s a guy who wants to start a new company, his family is very wealthy, he’s the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars and he wants to talk to you.'”

Jericho said at first he didn’t think much of it because people want to start promotions all the time. He was then contacted by Cody for All In, however. At first, Jericho didn’t think he’d be able to do it as he was on tour with Fozzy. Nick Jackson made the pitch for him to dress up as Pentagon, however, and Tony Khan’s private jet flew him to the event to be there on time.

Not long after All In, Jericho met with Tony Khan in Florida.

“We happened to have a Fozzy gig in Jacksonville, FL around that same time (September 26th),” Jericho continued. “That was when I had a meeting with Tony Khan for four hours and really had a chance to get to know this guy.”

“That’s when I realized this guy really wants to do this,” Jericho continued. He then said he respected his passion and respected what his family has done in business. When his original offer from AEW came in, Jericho said it blew his mind.

Chris Jericho On Receiving An Offer From AEW

“The original offer that came in, was like, it blew my mind,” Jericho said. “This is like a real almost NHL-level offer.”

After the cruise, Jericho said he was really enjoying what he was doing and who he was working with. The idea of not going back to WWE was looking less appealing to him.

Ultimately, however, Jericho concluded he signed with AEW for the challenge and to do something different.

Chris Jericho On Working For A Promotion Other Than WWE

Jericho addressed his previous statement that he would never work for another wrestling promotion in the United States other than WWE early in his podcast.

“That was the case,” Jericho said. “That was very much the truth when all of this started. Basically, what happened was I finished up with the WWE, I believe it was in May of 2017. That’s when I ended up losing the US title to Kevin Owens.”

Jericho explained that he did an injury angle and he left WWE then. He then went on tour with Fozzy after they released Judas. Jericho said Fozzy was on tour for about 19 months and he didn’t have a lot of time for WWE or wrestling in general. He did get a call from Don Callis that summer, however, asking if he would be interested in wrestling Kenny Omega in NJPW.

Chris Jericho On Wrestling With NJPW

The original plan had been for Jericho to just wrestle the one match in the Tokyo Dome. Jericho says he told Vince McMahon and the WWE chairman was very accommodating.

Once in Japan, Jericho said he really enjoyed working with New Japan Pro Wrestling. In particular, Jericho said he enjoyed the freedom NJPW gives its talent to run their own angles. Jericho continued to say it was his idea to continue his relationship with NJPW the next night at New Year’s Dash 2018 when he attacked Tetsuya Naito. He then signed a 3-match deal with NJPW.

Back In WWE, Greatest Royal Rumble

Jericho said he then received a very large payoff to do the Greatest Royal Rumble show in Saudi Arabia, one of the biggest of his career. He had been booked to wrestle the Undertaker on the show but after he told Vince he signed a 3-match deal with NJPW, Rusev was put back in that match. Jericho then asked Vince why he was taken out of the match and was told it was because the Saudi Prince wanted Rusev vs Taker. This is not why Jericho believes he was pulled from the match, however. He feels his relationship with NJPW is what led to the change.

After winning the IWGP Intercontinental Championship in NJPW, Jericho says he pitched Vince on a match for SummerSlam. Jericho pitched an IC champ vs IC champ match versus Seth Rollins but evidently, Vince was not interested.

Wanting To Wrestle In Impact Wrestling

Jericho said he’s really been enjoying Impact Wrestling lately and received a good offer from the promotion.

“They were going to spend some money on Chris Jericho,” he said of Impact Wrestling. “I did honestly talk to Impact and really really thought about going there.”