In a surprise move, multi-time WWE champion and surefire Hall of Famer Chris Jericho has signed with new upstart promotion All Elite Wrestling. Canadian superstar Jericho first entered the radar of most American wrestling fans while working for Paul Heyman's now-defunct ECW in the mid-1990s. Before too long, Jericho was signed away to Ted Turner's WCW, where a stint as a cocky heel character really got his star on the rise. In 1999, Jericho jumped to the then-WWF, making perhaps the most spectacular debut in company history, and immediately having a war of words with The Rock.
Jericho would go on to become a top star for the WWE, winning six different world championships during his storied career. In fact, Jericho has held almost every title there is to hold in WWE, and holds the record for number of Intercontinental Championship reigns with nine. In recent years, Jericho's appearances for WWE have become more sporadic, as he focuses on outside ventures like fronting his metal band Fozzy, and trying his hand at acting in movies and TV shows. Jericho is one of the biggest wrestling names in recent memory, and when he talks, wrestling fans listen.
Jericho's most recent WWE appearance took place at April 2018's Greatest Royal Rumble event in Saudi Arabia. "Y2J" entered the titular match last, at #50. Jericho proceeded to eliminate Shelton Benjamin, before ultimately being tossed out by eventual winner "The Monster Among Men" Braun Strowman. Since then, Jericho has worked several high profile matches with New Japan Pro Wrestling. Now, Jericho has officially signed a contract with All Elite Wrestling, a new promotion formed by wrestlers Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks. Jericho showed up unannounced at today's All Elite Wrestling rally in Jacksonville, FL, and confirmed that he was "all in with All Elite Wrestling." Below is a clip of his entrance at the rally, and him signing on the dotted line.
While All Elite Wrestling announced multiple signings today, most were of indie darlings that diehard wrestling fans are likely to know, but who won't carry weight with the casual viewer. Signing Jericho is a coup for AEW, and a real shot across the bow aimed at WWE. Jericho hasn't wrestled for any other U.S.-based wrestling company in two decades, and one assumes Vince McMahon won't be too happy about this development. Jericho signing with AEW didn't entirely come out of the blue though, as the famously spontaneous "Ayatollah of Rock 'n Rollah" made a quick appearance at last year's All In pay-per-view, the show which led to the creation of All Elite Wrestling.
In addition to Jericho, All Elite Wrestling also announced the signing of Pac, better known to WWE fans as Neville. A former NXT champion, Neville made his mark in the WWE developmental brand, before moving up to the main roster. Unfortunately, he largely floundered, and spent a lot of the time on the injured list. Neville seemed rejuvenated after a heel turn and long reign as cruiserweight champion, but ended up leaving WWE due to frustration with their handling of his character. Since heading back to the indies, Pac has been running roughshod over the competition, and is another great signing for AEW.
All Elite Wrestling doesn't yet have a weekly TV deal, but plans to hold the pay-per-view All In: Double or Nothing on May 25.
Source: All Elite Wrestling