AEW superstar and former world champion Chris Jericho recently spoke to TSN to hype tomorrow’s Double or Nothing pay per view, where the Demo God leads his Inner Circle faction in the second-ever Stadium Stampede matchup against the Pinnacle. Highlights from Jericho’s interview can be found below.
How last year’s Stadium Stampede was a success during a time of uncertainty:
I think you have to remember what was going on in the world last May. Stadium Stampede was a direct result of the lockdown. We had that pay-per-view that we ran last year in front of no people and it was a very uncertain time. It was a little bit scary and I think Stadium Stampede was created specifically to make people smile and give them something entertaining that we’d never done before. I’ll never forget showing up at the stadium last year and thinking ‘What the hell are we gonna do?’ There’s nothing here. There’s just one big, empty field and then we create this magical world with some comedy, some intensity, some amazing stunts and everything in between. But most importantly, I think it was very entertaining and I think it was exactly what people needed to take their minds off of what was going on in the world.
Says this year’s matchup against the Pinnacle will be much more intense:
Stadium Stampede as a concept is just as valid [as it was last year], but the story that we’ve told is different. And people will think ‘Oh, watch out – it’s going to be all comedy.’ Well, of course it’s not going to be all comedy. It’s a different story that we’re telling. It’s more violent and intense. I think it’s going to be much more like an action movie. There might be moments of comedy like you’d see in any great action movie, but I think it’s going to be much more intense, much more about the fight and the creativity of what we can do. That’s the thing I loved about the Stadium Stampede last year, when we first walked into that building and [thought] there’s nothing but a giant, empty stadium and there’s nothing to do there, but then we realized there’s a lot we can do there. When we started thinking about this year’s version, there’s a lot of stuff we can do that wasn’t done last year.
How he is embracing his current babyface run:
I always say that it’s easier to make people hate you than it is to make people like you. Once they start hating you, then they start liking you. There’s always a way to play heel, but sometimes it just can’t go as long [as it used to]. For example, 10 years ago, I was a heel for two and a half years. I don’t think that can ever happen again at this point. But it is kind of fun to be a babyface and working this style and really embracing these kind of intense babyface promos. That’s something that I haven’t really done before. It’s very exciting and it’s a lot of fun because if you know my career, I’m all about evolving and changing and moving and never doing the same thing. I’ve done kind of the super entertaining babyface thing before, but there’s almost an early ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin intensity [now] and it’s believable. And then having The Pinnacle as these perfect foils, there’s nothing better as a babyface than having a great heel. I think we’ve been able to play off each other very well. The two teams are very well matched.
How this feud with the Pinnacle is very planned out:
I love when people always [say stuff like] ‘Well, they’re starting with Blood and Guts, where are they going to go from here?’ or ‘Stadium Stampede? How’s that going to be?’ as if we haven’t thought of all of those things and had it all planned out. I know what I’m doing for the next three months and I’ve known what I’m doing up until now three months ago. It’s all very planned out because that’s how you tell a story. We have very much put a lot of time into making sure that the story is told right, that the story is told properly and, as a result, I think we have the hottest angle, feud, whatever you want to call it in AEW today – and it’s really, in a lot of ways, just beginning.