Chris Jericho’s run has stifled the rise of many AEW favorites


Chris Jericho is a prominent name in professional wrestling but there’s a need to talk about whether he’s killing the momentum of others on the AEW roster. 

It’s time to have a conversation about Chris Jericho in All Elite Wrestling. Since the company’s inception, he’s been a key figure in the promotion. He’s remained near the top of the card and been a featured act. However, his presence hasn’t always received the love of fans – regardless of how many sing Judas. For many, this angle with Ricky Starks is another example that Jericho is becoming an albatross that quickly drains the momentum from acts that organically gain steam with the AEW fanbase.

When AEW started back in 2019, it made sense to book him as the company’s first champion. Jericho’s name comes with brand recognition and the potential to capture the attention of lapsed fans. And in that role, he did well – cementing the path for new champions to take over as the company continued to grow its footprint and book for the future.

Along the way, many wondered if Jericho would eventually take the proverbial “back seat” to the hotter stars that fans were clamoring to see. That has not been the case. Even more so, Jericho’s presence has stifled the rise of multiple names throughout the company, so much so, it is becoming a trend that is hard to ignore.

Fans were shocked when Jericho defeated Claudio Castagnoli for the Ring of Honor Championship back in September of 2022. Many were ready to defend the decision, pointing out that Jericho would be the name to help lead ROH to a television or streaming deal. That did not come. Castagnoli defeated Jericho for that championship, but outside of the Jay Briscoe tribute show, he has not appeared on AEW television in a match since December.

Remember how hot Daniel Garcia was? He picked up the ROH Pure Championship and many speculated that perhaps he could be the one to stop Jericho’s disrespect of the brand. That didn’t happen, and the fact that it didn’t allowed Starks to hit a nice one-liner during the early promos of this current angle.

Eddie Kingston had a lot of momentum heading into his angle with Jericho. Kingston even picked up a win over Jericho back at AEW Revolution 2022. Jericho quickly got that win back, and multiple others along the way as well. Now, he seems to have lost a lot of the momentum he once commanded, as the dream title run looks further out of grasp.

Remember when Scorpio Sky was the first man to pin Jericho while he was still AEW World Champion? Did Sky get a boost from that moment? Perhaps, as he reached AEW Tag Title and a brief run as TNT Champion. But he hasn’t been seen on television in months, as multiple reports have come out that AEW doesn’t have anything for him creatively.

Can Ricky Starks rise above the Trend of Jericho?

Perhaps Ricky Starks will be the one to buck this trend. Starks is coming out of a brief feud with MJF where he was defeated by the current champion and rolled into this angle which has kept him on television. He picked up a win over Jericho on the January 4 edition of AEW Dynamite, but he’s dropped two matches in the feud with the Jericho Appreciation Society since. Getting wrestlers over by having them lose has never been a sound strategy. In fact, there are multiple examples of those this has failed in WWE.

Thankfully, Starks is one of the hottest fan favorites in AEW, so maybe he’s one that can rise above the challenge. Even though he’s already defeated Jericho soundly.

Next. Darby Allin quickly elevated the AEW TNT Championship. dark

Still, there needs to be a discussion at some point about Jericho’s impact on the promotion. Is he a big name that garners attention? Maybe. But there’s a clear trend that he’s stifling many wrestlers that the fanbase of AEW wants to see pushed to the top. And at some point, that must become more important than singing a one-hit-wonder.