wrestling / Columns

Chris Jericho: Loses the AEW Championship Belt, Wins the Week

September 6, 2019 | Posted by Steve Cook
Chris Jericho AEW

There was only one real choice for the first All Elite Wrestling Champion.

You couldn’t give any of the Elite guys the title. Having Kenny Omega or Cody trot out there on October 2 with a title around their waist as AEW Champion wouldn’t be a good look for them. People would think that these guys formed a company just so they could be champion. I mean, people already think that Cody has some kind of complex about wanting to be Triple H, so there’s no need to add any more fuel to that fire.

You couldn’t make “Hangman” Adam Page the first AEW Champion and keep him as a babyface. People would think that Page got the title because he carries the Young Bucks’ bags. (For the record, I haven’t watched enough Being the Elite episodes to know if he has carried their bags at any given point.) Page may be the Elite’s golden boy and star of the future, but if he wins the title right away, the fans will reject it. He needs to earn it with good performances in & out of the ring on TNT & PPV.

If you’re going to be a worldwide wrestling company that people are meant to take seriously, you need a recognizable name as champion. At least at the beginning, in order to help establish your eventual standard-bearer. Heck, go back to 1963 & Vince McMahon Sr. knew he needed Buddy Rogers as the first WWWF Champion so he could put Bruno Sammartino over. That worked out pretty well.

That’s why Chris Jericho was the only viable choice for first AEW Champion.

With all due respect to everybody else on AEW’s roster, nobody has the in-ring resume, reputation or fame of Jericho. He can appeal to WWE fans, lapsed WCW fans, and rock music fans. Network executives have heard of him, and you know Jericho is part of how AEW got the TNT deal to begin with. It would take less time to list the major championships he hasn’t won than the ones he has. He’s one of those guys that can call himself the Greatest of All Time and actually kinda get away with it. At nearly forty-nine years of age, he manages to stay at the top of the wrestling business by constantly tweaking his character and keeping it fresh, while still staying true to his previous personas.

Maybe the next AEW Champion won’t be their Bruno, but Jericho can sure as heck be their Buddy. Much like Rogers and his fellow Nature Boy, Ric Flair, Jericho is a larger than life personality. He’s tremendous in the ring, and he’s the life of the party outside of the ring. If there’s a wrestler out there today who could have hung with the Freebirds outside the ring, it’s Chris Jericho.

Jericho is an attention-getter. He certainly got a ton of attention earlier this week when we found out that the AEW Championship belt was…MISSING?!?!?!?!?

There’s a ton to unpack concerning this whole story. For one thing, was he in Tallahassee due to hurricane concerns? Does he have friends there? Does he know the owner of the Tallahassee Longhorn Steakhouse?

Listen, I can speak on this as somebody that’s had a bit of the drink: If you’re going out to get hammered, you’re not going to Longhorn or another chain steakhouse. It’s too expensive for me, and too cheap for Jericho. I’m a little surprised the guy went to Longhorn in a limo, but when you’re AEW Champion you have to class it up a little bit. Maybe Jericho loves the Montana Mule or a little Sangria, but there’s better places you can get these things.

The real question I have here…who’s got the better steak: Longhorn or Omaha Steaks?

Another interesting point: the story was broken online by none other than Scott Keith, who if you’re old like me remember from this very website. Using “Drunkicho” in the headline led most of us to assume that Jericho had gotten trashed and lost the belt in a game of strip poker or something, so one could see why that resulted in Keith getting bounced from Jericho’s website. (Note to self: Don’t bring up Larry’s coke habit in a future column.)

We could have arrived at the “Jericho was drunk” conclusion without much assistance. Some of Jericho’s drunken escapades are public record due to his books & podcasts, and “Drunkicho” is a nickname he’s used for himself during these incidents. Also, add in Jericho’s new catchphrase: “a little bit of the bubbly”. I can see why Jericho’s starting to get a reputation, though it seems that he’s a bit more functional than Scott Hall & Jake Roberts were back in the day.

I’m not making any accusations of anything. All I know is that the prestigious AEW Championship was stolen, and Jericho put his best men on the case during an amazing promo from his pool where he poured some bubbly into a glass and drank from the bottle.

The way Jericho has managed to own the story and add it to his legend instead of sinking into a status of ridicule is quite amazing. It almost makes you wonder if there’s something a little fishy going on in Florida…there usually is, right?

Change the subject!

All Out didn’t really get the universal praise that All In did last year. This isn’t surprising. We’re nearing the end of AEW’s honeymoon period, and now people are going to be looking for the flaws. Coming out of All Out, there were two main things Wrestling Twitter was talking about regarding AEW:

1. Cody’s dog Pharoah getting spooked by fireworks during Cody’s kinda random Star Trek entrance
2. Kylie Rae leaving AEW, pro wrestling & social media behind with no real explanation

Don’t you think AEW would rather have us talking about that crazy Jericho losing his belt and having a little bit of the bubbly than those other topics? I’m not saying they totally set this thing up, but they definitely leaned into it.

And why not? I saw some old heads talking about how embarrassing this was for AEW, but it feels like it’s impossible to be embarrassed by too much in 2019. If you try to own it and put your own spin on it, people will go with it. If AEW had tried to sweep it under the rug and act like nothing happened, they would have got clowned.

Chris Jericho doesn’t get clowned. He gets memed, but not clowned.

Amazing. A “thank you” isn’t enough at this point. People should be on their knees bowing at the majesty that is Chris Jericho. It’s his world and we’re just living in it. The belt was eventually found by the Tallahassee PD on the side of a road. Hopefully the story is just beginning…we need something to talk about until the TV show starts, right?

article topics :

AEW, Chris Jericho, Steve Cook