AEW superstar and Inner Circle leader Chris Jericho recently spoke with Sportskeeda to discuss all things pro-wrestling, including his epic feud with Orange Cassidy which will culminate in a Mimosa Mayhem matchup at this Saturday’s ALL OUT pay per view. Highlights are below.
On his feud with Orange Cassidy:
It’s coming up to 14 weeks that we’ve been feuding, which is kind of my specialty. I like the long-term storylines and all the best feuds that I’ve done, if you look over the years, has been over months, not over weeks and I think the reason why this might have taken a lot of people by surprise was a lot of people didn’t really know what Orange was capable of – including Orange. I’ve had the opportunity to put him in some positions that he’s never really been before, or maybe not a lot, including the debate, showing a lot of violence and fire and intensity. But this all stemmed from the fact that, when I first saw Orange, I didn’t like him, I didn’t like his gimmick, and then I started understanding it and started realizing, “This is really genius” and the reason why people like him is because he’s very unique and original. And that’s what the whole concept of “getting over” in wrestling is and once I “pulled my head out of my a**e” as you would say in Scotland, and realized that over is over and it doesn’t matter why he’s over, he just is. So now that he is, let me just kind of dissect this guy and figure out what it is that makes people like him so much and what is it that they haven’t seen from him. 14 weeks later, we’ve created a legit, main-event drawing card for AEW, which is one of the missions that I sought out to do when I had the idea to work with Orange in the first place.
How AEW has maintained solid ratings throughout the COVID-19 pandemic:
Well, I don’t think I have to say anything. I think you just have to look at the results that we’ve got, the ratings that we’ve been able to keep during the pandemic, and the demos. I mean, people think it’s a joke, and obviously, I’m milking it for all it’s worth with the Demo God and everything, but it’s a real legit factor in that television networks and advertisers are over-the-top overjoyed with the demos that we’ve been able to accrue and the numbers we’ve been able to accrue in these very important groups.
Most importantly, our show every week… Every show isn’t great, but every show is good, more shows are great but they all make sense 90% of the time which is very rare in wrestling. And everything – at least for my stuff – everything always leads to the next part of the story. There’s no wasted moments in a Chris Jericho storyline. If somebody walks through the background, that’s because there’s going to be a reason for that later on. We are very proud of the storylines that we’ve created and the great moments we’ve created considering I think probably we’ve had more time as a company during the pandemic with no people in the crowd then we did WITH people in the crowd. And the fact we’re still able to create new stars, classic matches, classic moments, compelling storylines – fun! That’s the most important thing, we’re having fun with this and it shows as well. Now that we have, you know, 10% capacity, 15% capacity of paying fans back in our venue, that’s huge.
On being called the Demo God:
It’s funny because we’re not in competition, but, of course, you’re in competition and there was a few weeks that went by where our competitor was beating us in actual viewers and of course you don’t want that but they never beat us in the demo. And to me, I wanted to show that to kind of the naysayers who were saying, “The AEW experiment is over. It’s not over because if one company draws a million viewers and they only do 200,000 in this money-making demo and another company draws 500,000 viewers, but draws 400,000 of those in that demo, we win. Like I wanted to… As a heel, I’m the one that can point that out and so I just thought, “OK, well. I’m going to start arguing with the demos. I think it was the week that Sasha Banks’ match beat mine. She didn’t beat mine. My demo crushed them, my demo still crushed Keith Lee’s match with Adam Cole, so I take great pride in that and so I just started saying “demo this, demo that” and, of course, being an old Dungeons and Dragons and heavy metal fan, we all know what demigods are and this was the Demo God so it just kind of rolls off the tongue. Like any catchphrase, you say it once, you see how it goes over, people respond, people write about it, and then you’re off and running. Let’s make a t-shirt and cement it.