Chris Jericho was a vital piece to AEW’s early success, but that time has long passed and he must stop draining the momentum of younger performers.
Chris Jericho is recognized as one of the top professional wrestlers to step into a ring. His ability to recreate himself and remain relevant throughout the years is a lesson that many should learn. But there comes a time when that ability isn’t as strong as it once was, and Jericho has hit that point. He was an important part of the establishment of AEW, but he’s now drained the momentum of multiple performers that fans want to see over him.
Jericho and Kenny Omega engaged in a back-and-forth with AEW World Tag Team Champions, Ricky Starks, and Big Bill. This was the low point of the December 13 episode of AEW Dynamite and is another example of what has become a trend with Jericho. While he’s a legend in many regards, he’s continuing to suck the life and momentum out of other, often younger performers on the roster.
Scorpio Sky. Daniel Garcia. Action Andretti. Konosuke Takeshita. Ricky Starks. Even Sammy Guevara in many ways. Each one of those individuals had big “moments” with Jericho, just to be lost in the shuffle once their time was over. 2.0 is a beloved tag team, and after the JAS split their momentum was immediately over, even though they have the capabilities to be an intriguing feature in the tag team division.
Garcia and Takeshita are perhaps the biggest transgressions on this list. Garcia was headed toward a feud with Jericho that many expected to end with him holding the Ring of Honor World Championship. Not only did Garcia quickly return to the ranks of the JAS, but he became nothing more than a background character, not doing much value as a main character since then. Takeshita picked up multiple wins over Kenny Omega, just to get submitted by Jericho and be forgotten about. He was on his way to what looked like an individual title run of his own, but just like the others on this list, he’s an afterthought in AEW today.
As mentioned, Jericho has a keen ability to reinvent himself when the time comes. But the time has passed even for his reinventions. If AEW is going to regain the momentum that made them such a hot ticket early in the company’s inception, it’s time to leave Jericho in the past – or at least not leverage him in such a prominent position. There are several other stars that fans of AEW are ready to focus on and pay to see, but Jericho isn’t one of them any longer. Putting the spotlight on some of the names mentioned above and the women’s division would go a long way. Chris Jericho is a Hall-of-Famer, but the time has come to see less of him week-to-week.