Chris Jericho will face Hangman Adam Page at AEW’s All Out on Saturday, August 31 in Chicago. The winner of that match will become the first-ever AEW World champion and will reign over the new company, which will make its weekly TV debut on TNT in October.
This will not be the first time that Jericho has been in the main event spotlight of course and it will surely not be the last. However the same cannot be said of Page, who is being groomed for a top spot in the company. But while his time will come soon enough, Jericho’s time is now and he should win it all on August 31.
Chris has been to the mountaintop of the industry on six different occasions. All of those titles came in WWE of course, with the most notable one being the industry’s first ever Undisputed World Championship. Very few gave Jericho a chance during that time and it had nothing to do with his ability in the ring.
WWE was rife with Hall of Fame talent at that time, including Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. But Jericho went over on both men in the same night and was suddenly thrust into the spotlight as a result. The man that once called WCW home was on top of the world in Vince McMahon’s company.
Listen to Hangman Page’s words about Chris Jericho!
During his time in WWE, Jericho earned the respect of the locker room, as well as the fans. They believed in him and they marveled at just how good he was in the ring and on the mic. Chris understood the business and he knew how to work it to his advantage. More importantly, he knew how to stay current and he did so by constantly reinventing himself.
Like David Bowie, Chris Jericho kept changing his style in order to remain relevant. He never depended on past accolades to get himself over and he didn’t want to be the outdated legend who refused to adapt. For Jericho, it was a case of evolve or die. Chris definitely chose the former every time.
But when his full-time WWE career began to go part-time, fans knew he would eventually be on his way. They didn’t want to see it happen, as he always seemed to improve with every refresh. However, Chris had outside interests and those interests didn’t always coincide with WWE. Then there’s the fact that WWE wanted more of the same from him and Jericho was much more interested in doing something different.
Watch Jericho talk about transitioning from rockstar to wrestler!
He finally got the chance to do just that in New Japan Pro Wrestling, where he once again transformed himself into another unique character. Jericho wowed the Japanese fans and reminded the world of what he can do when he’s given a blank canvass. Chris is a creator and that was obvious when he entered the Land of the Rising Sun. But it was his ascension as the top force of AEW that truly has the wrestling world talking.
Chris is taking his position in the new company extremely seriously. He’s more focused than ever before and he’s determined to show WWE exactly what they missed by not giving him the creative input he’s earned. AEW has the benefit of a motivated Chris Jericho, which already puts that promotion above many others in the business today. So why wouldn’t AEW put its first World Championship around Jericho’s waist?
The fact is that anything is possible and there’s really no way to know what AEW Creative has planned. It could be that Hangman Page will be the man to go over at All Out and if he does, then his feud with Jericho could truly explode from that point on. But if Page does win the title, then what happens next?
Is there a positive outcome of Hangman Page defeating Chris Jericho on August 31? The Chicago crowd would surely be happy, especially since Page has won over so many fans thanks to his own work in New Japan. Page is a likable character and he does have a tremendous upside. Investing in him now is an investment for the future and he indeed looks ready to go.
Check out AEW’s Road to All Out, Episode 7!
But longtime fans know that there’s rarely any benefit of a babyface champion. The real drama of the title lies in the chase and it’s much more intriguing when a babyface is the one on the hunt. A devious heel working on top and ruling with an iron fist while calling his own shots is the formula that keeps fans tuning in. Chris Jericho is that heel and this is his time to shine.
In the process, he will shine up Adam Page as well. Chris will make him look better than he already does and Hangman will surely rise to the occasion. Page he will show that he’s ready for the next level and Chris will do his part on that journey. The only thing Adam needs is AEW’s full support to get there and if he gets it, the sky is the limit for him.
Chris Jericho brings a wealth of knowledge and a world of experience to AEW. He’s still very capable of delivering on the worldwide stage and he will do so once again on August 31. He is the top guy that AEW needs right now and he will most definitely be the champion that it deserves.
Tom Clark can regularly be seen on Wrestling Rumors. His podcast, Tom Clark’s Main Event, is available on iTunes,YouTube, iHeart Radio, boinkstudios.com and live every Friday at 12pm EST on Wrestling Rumors Facebook Live