Do AEW Still Need Chris Jericho?

Your work here is done, Mr. Jericho,

Source: AEW

When All Elite Wrestling first stepped into the wrestling market, they needed a major star attraction to show the world just how serious they were about being the next big thing. Enter: Chris Jericho.

One of the most iconic stars of the last two decades, Jericho entered the fray following a shocking transition into New Japan Pro Wrestling to face Kenny Omega at that year’s Wrestle Kingdom. Jericho/Omega opened the doors for so many other major talents to dip their toes into the independent scene, which was burgeoning on huge success.

Jericho’s love for pro wrestling was re-ignited by this match and naturally led to him wondering whether there were bigger opportunities out there than simply another run in WWE. With Cody Rhodes and The Elite dotting the final i’s on their start-up wrestling show, it seemed like the ideal place for Jericho to hang his hat for the foreseeable future. So when the first AEW branded press-conference came around in 2018, Chris Jericho made it official that he would be the first main-event star to be All Elite.

Fans were going wild and the wrestling world was suddenly invested in AEW, more so than they were anyway. Jericho had raised the calibre of the AEW roster from indie to mainstream and he easily added the aura of superstardom to the upcoming debut show ‘All In’.

When AEW finally debuted in Las Vegas, Jericho headlined against Kenny Omega in the rematch from their Wrestle Kingdom clash. It wasn’t exactly a great match but it did set the stage for what AEW was to become, giving way to Jon Moxley’s debut at the end of the show. Jericho would then go on to become the first AEW World Champion, putting together some marquee main-events with the likes of Cody Rhodes and Mox, giving that ‘WWE-style’ flair to the infant brand.

Source: AEW

After losing the title to Moxley and selling a metric F-ton of merch (namely champagne bottles), Jericho would start focusing on the future stars of AEW. As a veteran star, any wrestler should recognise that the star-power they possess needs to be shared amongst those that will one day take over the headlining spots. So Jericho got to work on elevating the likes of Orange Cassidy, Sammy Guevara and MJF. Building a stable around him along the way, Jericho’s spotlight would lead to some of AEW’s most talked-about feuds at the time and helped establish a solid roster of potential future champions.

As the years went by, Jericho would remain relevant on weekly programming, flitting between singles and tag feuds. Jericho hasn’t really had a bad match in AEW, but the later we get into AEW’s timeline, the less impactful his presence has been. Not to mention some allegations along the way, Jericho’s star is diminishing and perhaps it is time for everyone to admit that ‘Le Champion’ has had his day.

Chris Jericho is an attraction and he’s proven that time and time again in recent years. However, as previously mentioned, the MO of anyone of his level should be to establish the next generation of stars, now he’s done that, there’s little for him left to achieve. Jericho has achieved everything he can in AEW without verging on becoming a leech, sucking away TV time from others that are over enough to be bigger than they are on the card.

Perhaps it is time for Jericho to bring his AEW run to a close and consider jumping back to WWE. With Triple H now in charge, Jericho might find himself a more reasonable position on the card, getting to tick off a couple more dream matches whilst he can still go. It has been long enough since ‘Y2J’ last wrestled in WWE, and with the new legacy he has built for himself in AEW, fans would be willing to see him have a fresh, unique run on either RAW of SmackDown. Jericho will likely be treated better than simply being a returning legend, with a potential world championship match waiting for him upon his comeback.

Meanwhile, AEW can continue to capitalise on the stars that Jericho has made during his run and allow their roster to shine as the alternative from WWE. Granted you still have talent on the roster that are on the same level as Jericho, i.e. Edge, but his run still has enough life in it for it to remain interesting and purposeful. Jericho’s however, just seems like he’s there for the sake of it at this point.

Chris Jericho has done some phenomenal work in All Elite Wrestling but perhaps now his star has been eclipsed by the rest of the roster. Is a WWE return on the cards?

READ NEXT: 40 Best WrestleMania Matches of All Time (Following WrestleMania 40)

Some of the coverage you find on Cultured Vultures contains affiliate links, which provide us with small commissions based on purchases made from visiting our site. We cover gaming news, movie reviews, wrestling and much more.