Two days removed from their highly anticipated debut, AEW stars Chris Jericho and Jon Moxely appeared on BUILD Series to talk about the new war in wrestling, WWE and AEW’s ratings.
The Wednesday night wars have begun between AEW’s Dynamite and WWE’s NXT. Coming on top for it’s debut episode, AEW ran away with this week with 1.5 million viewers compared to NXT’s 900,000 plus viewers.
Chris Jericho, AEW’s first and current World Champion, doesn’t look at it as a war, because to AEW it’s much bigger than that. “It’s not a war for us. We’re not in a war with anybody other than ourselves. I think the most important thing about the rating the other day that was we were number two on the demo for the whole night. And if you know about ratings, numbers are great, but the demo is more important. So, we’re not even talking about other wrestling shows, we’re talking about the entire evening.”
AEW came second to only MLB‘s wildcard playoff game between the A’s and the Rays. Rays won 5-1, for those who are wondering. “Other than that dastardly Major League baseball that beat us, but other than that it was a huge victory all across the board,” says the AEW World Champion, Chris Jericho.
One the reasons AEW has gained such momentum leading to their TNT premiere with Dynamite, is former WWE superstar Dean Ambrose aka Jon Moxley. For Moxley it was all about timing. “So much of this business is just timing. I made the decision months and months ago that I was going to leave where I was before. It’s funny because I attempted to throw everything away, as far as money, fame, could care whether or not I ever get recognized in the streets for the rest of my life. That’s not a part of why I do this. Wrestling in front of 15,000 people. Being on the top of the industry. I attempted to throw all that away and go back to wrestling in like VFW bingo halls or whatever.”
For Moxley that attitude and love for wrestling would repay him back in a big way. Just Like he stated, he didn’t find AEW, AEW found him. “I’m sitting here talking to you right now, and I’m wrestling in front of 15,000 people again. I t was all just crazy timing,” explains Moxley.
Aside from Moxley’s wife, Renee Young, the only other person who knew about his plan to exit the WWE, was ironically Chris Jericho. “We always kinda maintained contact,” says Moxley.
After telling Jericho that he was one hundred percent done with WWE, Chris introduced him to AEW. “I’m like I’m outta here. And he was like ‘Dude you need to come work with us’. I was like what? And it was maybe, minutes later I was on the phone with Cody, who I am friends with. And he starts explaining to me this stuff that people don’t know yet.”
Too good to be true at first for Moxley when hearing everything that AEW had planned. So good that his first appearance in AEW he didn’t have to even get on a plane because it was in his hometown of Nevada.
For wrestling fans all over the world, at times it does feel like it’s too good to be true. Fans can only hope that AEW can remain true to who they say they are. And that is an alternative to the norm which has been WWE for the past 20 plus years. So far week one of AEW’s ratings was a result of the potential.
Part of that alternative can also be felt for the wrestlers themselves. “Big difference too like backstage’s in the WWE, for insistence, it’s a lot of corporate speech, a lot of company line rah-rah speeches, and crap like that. And it’s all bull crap. We’re a team and it’s like really? This, there is none of that. There’s none of that whatsoever. But it really felt like a team effort the other night. There were high fives and slaps in the butts. It was real exciting to be a part of,” says Jon Moxley.