Not since 2001 has the wrestling industry had such a wide array of genuine options available for the talented men and women looking for an opportunity. With All Elite Wrestling (AEW) willing to invest in their product and talent at an unprecedented degree since WCW, WWE may no longer be the only major player in town.
One big money contract they offered helped them to secure a major talent: Chris Jericho.
Details regarding Jericho’s AEW contract reportedly leaked backstage amongst the WWE locker room last week. The amount apparently “stunned” and “freaked” WWE personnel, depending on their position.
Speaking on the Wrestling Observer Forum, Dave Meltzer stated that “Last week it went around WWE locker room the Jericho $ amount, it was a huge shock.”
He would extrapolate this point further via Wrestling Observer Radio: “One of the things that happened, I was actually told this a couple of days ago, Jericho’s contract number went around the WWE locker room and a lot of people were stunned, freaked, depending on your viewpoint.”
Meltzer clarified that it “[…] wouldn’t be a John Cena number and it’s not a Brock number and I don’t think it’s a Ronda Rousey number — maybe it is, I don’t know, but it’s a pretty high number. It’s one of the higher numbers. It would be near the top in WWE. [Wrestlers are] all of a sudden like ‘Woah.’ Something out there is real.”
This knowledge comes in the wake of numerous talent asking for and receiving, their release. In recent weeks, rumors have circulated Mike and Maria Kanellis and The Revival. Just this week, news broke that Dean Ambrose would not be resigning with WWE after his contract expires post-WrestleMania. Hideo Itami will also be leaving, most probably returning to Japan to wrestle.
H/T to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription.