Former AEW World Champion and Inner Circle leader Chris Jericho has revealed some other names who were considered for his ‘Five Labors’.
The ‘Five Labors’ was a series of matches that Jericho had to win to eventually earn a match against MJF as the fifth labor. The four matches he won en route were against Shawn Spears, Nick Gage, Juventud Guerrera and Wardlow.
Speaking with Alex McCarthy, Chris Jericho has revealed some of the other names that were considered for his opponents, and explained some of the thought processes behind the choices.
“The original idea for Max was for me to go through the Pinnacle to get to MJF, and then we kinda thought, ‘What if we switch it up a bit?’.
“So we started with Shawn Spears, which, if you go back and look through the story, it all kind of tied in together. Spears was the one who lost the Stadium Stampede and there was a lot of little Spears seeds planted.
“And then, I’m not sure if it was MJF, or whoever, said we should do Nick Gage. And I had just done the Dark Side of the Ring narration of Nick Gage, never heard of him before in my life, did the narration, and got really fascinated by this guy’s story, and thought that would be really cool to do like a deathmatch.
“And then if we’re gonna do a Nick Gage, well let’s do another (opponent from outside of AEW)… because the idea was always Wardlow would be last. Because Wardlow was always built up as the bodyguard of the Pinnacle and the tough guy, and if you remember, Wardlow’s the guy who powerbombed me off the stage when the Pinnacle first became a thing. That was the seed that was planted then months prior. I think of everything long-term. So Wardlow was always going to be last.
“So once we did Gage, well who else? We had some ideas of (it) being Chris Hero (Kassius Ohno), one of the ideas was maybe one of the Inner Circle like Sammy (Guevara) or Jake (Hager). I thought, ‘That’s so lame’. There’s no way… we had never turned on each other ever, and suddenly MJF is gonna manipulate us to turn on each other for what? Like there’s no way that would happen. I just didn’t feel that at all.
“And then somebody suggested Juvented (Guerrera) and I thought, ‘That may be kind of fun’, like I haven’t worked with Juve in years, it was a big rivalry 20 years earlier in WCW, so let’s do… I’m not really much of a nostalgia guy – I don’t like wrestling guys from my generation usually because we’ve seen it before. I’ve never wrestled Matt Hardy (in AEW), I’ve never wrestled Christian Cage in AEW, and I never will. But I thought Juve would be good because we haven’t seen him for a while, and it could draw a good number – on the main stage, Juve’s back.
“So as soon as we announced Juve, then suddenly (people are) like, ‘Oh it’s Jericho’s retirement tour. Next week it’s gonna be Lance Storm, or next week it’s gonna be Shawn Michaels, and next week it’s gonna be whoever’. And it’s like, it’s not a retirement tour. Like that’s so stupid and so obvious.”
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After moving on from MJF and the Pinnacle after All Out, Chris Jericho and the Inner Circle are now embroiled in a feud with the Men of the Year and American Top Team, which looks to be building to a five-on-five tag team match at Full Gear.