On an episode of the Chris Van Vliet show, Jericho discussed the original plans for the Inner Circle. He said the one name he had considered was Fist, so each finger would represent a member.
[Tony Khan] wanted it to be a band. Like, Chris Jericho and The Conspirators or whatever it would be. I was like ‘Nah.’ My idea was fist. Like 1,2,3,4,5 and it’d be a fist. That’d be the merch. I was doing a BTE bit that Matt and Nick asked me to do and I was like, ‘My inner circle needs to be involved.’ They were like, ‘Inner Circle, that’s a cool name.’ Yeah that’s a really cool name.
Jericho adds that numerous people were supposed to be a part of the stable before they settled on the five we have now.
The idea at first was ‘who’s going to be in it?’ And I remember… let me think. It was always going to be a tag team, an up and comer, and a heater. One idea that was being passed around, maybe by me, was Pentagon and Fenix. Then I thought, ‘I don’t want gimmick guys – masked guys.’ Then Santana and Ortiz came up. I know them from the cruise. I didn’t really know much about them but the Bucks were saying how good they were.
Then I wanted MJF. But I think Cody [Rhodes] wanted to do something with him. So I went with Sammy Guevara. I scouted Sammy. I brought him to the table. I saw him at the AEW ppv and thought this guy was good. I saw him miscast as a babyface because this guy is an asshole.
As a heater, there was this guy named Anthony Ogogo. He’s a boxer. They were suggesting him but I don’t want that. I had that in WWE where my heaters were smaller than me or the same size as me. I want a big guy. I was at kickboxing training, at the same gym as Hager, and I asked him if he wanted to come back. He said, ‘I’d love to.’ And I pitched him to Tony. I wanted him as my heater in WWE but they just miscast him. They didn’t know what to do what a good looking 6’6 guy who can talk in the right instances. It’s like, ‘what the fuck?’ But it’s fine.
Jericho ends the segment by taking a shot at WWE’s method of breaking up teams too early.
We’ve never had any hints at dissension. No teases of breaking up. No cross words. And no reasons to. If this was WWE we would have broken up after three months. Now can we add someone else to it? Absolutely. They could always be part of the story – will be part of the story.
If you use any of these quotes, please credit WrestlingHeadlines.com for the transcription and Chris Van Vliet for the interview.