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Chris Jericho Comments On Recent Backstage Drama in AEW, Talks About AEW’s ‘Exciting’ Reset

September 23, 2022 | Posted by Joseph Lee
AEW Dynamite Chris Jericho Jon Moxley Image Credit: AEW

In an interview with GQ, Chris Jericho spoke about the backstage situation in AEW, saying the company has recently reset from that and he’s excited about it. Here are highlights:

On the rumors of backstage drama in AEW: “Without getting into specifics, it happens all the time. That’s one of the things about being around as long as I have: You just recalibrate and you focus on the positives and realize we got a great locker room, a great group of guys and girls. I think we re-established that [on TV the last few weeks]. We know that this is a pretty special place, and we’re gonna go out there and we’re gonna kill it. That’s what we did. It’s a reset and that’s exciting for everybody involved, including me. We’re just gonna keep building upon it. That’s what you do. That’s how you have longevity. I bet you the Edmonton Oilers were terrified when Wayne Gretzky left, and they won a Stanley Cup that year. That’s just how it goes when somebody leaves—somebody else steps up. That’s the best thing about wrestling, or pro sports, or even SNL. Adam Sandler leaves and suddenly Jason Sudeikis is the big name or whatever. So absolutely we’re not gonna miss a beat. We’re gonna go on and become bigger and better and stronger than ever.”

On his return to Dynamite after dramatic weight loss: “Well, I wasn’t able to wrestle for a couple of months [after the blood clots]. I was still on the show doing commentary and backstage stuff, but nobody saw me with my shirt off. So once I was able to wrestle again, that’s when people saw the big transformation. And it all tied in together with the debut of the [new wrestling faction] Jericho Appreciation Society, so it really was a reinvention. And I was smart about it, because I wasn’t going online and posting, like, “Working on my diet!” with a mirror shot. I was like, “I’m just gonna do all of this, and then when the time is right, people will notice.” And when the time was right, it was like, “Holy shit, what did you do?” I’m thinking to myself, “I’ve been doing it the whole time. I just didn’t post thirst trap pictures to get pats on the back.” I just went, boom—suddenly it’s a whole new guy.”

On his weight gain after leaving WWE: “In 2018, I left WWE and I went back to New Japan [Pro Wrestling] for the first time in 20 years to headline the Tokyo Dome. While I was over there, I realized that the Japanese appreciate bigger, more blockier physiques. To them, it equates to a more powerful main-event presence. So when I came back the next year to headline again, I pulled a De Niro in Raging Bull, and I gained some weight just to be blockier—and it worked. When AEW started in 2019, I was still in that mindset [of getting bigger]. I didn’t even realize that I was creeping up. I went to the doctor towards the end of 2019, and it was the first time I’d been on a scale for a while. It said I was 240. I was like, “240? That can’t be right!” I remember saying to the guy, “Do I look like I’m 240?” And the guy’s like, [awkward shrug] “I don’t know.” That was the first time I had to realize, ‘Holy shit, I’m 240 pounds. That’s big.’ So I started to go back down, but then the pandemic happened and threw everything off. AEW was still on the air—we were still working in Jacksonville every Wednesday in an empty arena, just trying to do whatever we could to keep the ball rolling. I wasn’t really thinking too much about staying up to all hours of the morning and eating and drinking. The world was all kinds of fucked up. So that’s when I got even bigger—just not as good shape as I wanted to be. I got caught in a rut.”

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Chris Jericho, Joseph Lee