It was recently announced that ROH World Champion Chris Jericho has signed a multi-year contract with AEW, putting him signed to the company through December 2025. The new contract also comes with increased responsibilities with Jericho serving as a Producer and Creative Advisor, in addition to continuing his role as a mentor to younger wrestlers. You can click here for AEW’s original announcement, with comments from Jericho and AEW President, CEO, General Manager & Head of Creative Tony Khan.
Jericho spoke with Variety’s Joe Otterson about the new contract, and was asked why he chose to stay with the company.
“I guess the simple answer is ‘Why not?'” Jericho said. “Things have been going so well in the company, and I really do feel that this is my company. It’s tattooed on my heart, so to speak. I’ve been here since day one, and there’s really no reason not to be here continuing forward.”
He continued, “When AEW first started, I think basically it was Chris Jericho and a group of very talented people that might not have been as well known. Within three months that changed and now within three years, we’ve got at least a dozen, maybe two dozen, of our own homegrown stars that came into their own on AEW television.”
Jericho continues to reinvent himself, and is currently using “The Ocho” as his nickname, a reference to how the ROH World Title marks his eighth world title reign in his storied career. He commented on the creative freedom he has in AEW, and working with Khan.
“I think evolving and always reinventing myself is what keeps me going,” he said. “And now I have this freedom to be creative, to just do anything that I think is going to work. I’ve never really had that before. I don’t have to worry about anybody else opinions. Obviously, Tony Khan weighs in from time to time, but it’s really just an open canvas to just paint whatever pictures that I want to paint and that makes it so much more fun.”
Regarding his role within AEW, Jericho compared himself to hockey great Gordie Howe, who played at the top levels of the sport into his 50s. Jericho also said he considers himself an “elder statesman” of the locker room, spending most of his time at AEW working with other, less-established talent on their matches, and offering advice on how they can improve.
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