The “Wednesday Night Wars” will begin in October when AEW on TNT debuts on October 2, which will be two weeks after WWE’s NXT brand moves to USA Network on September 18. It’s going to make Wednesday night one of the hottest nights in the wrestling business. Whether you’re on the WWE side or AEW side or simply a fan of professional wrestling, it’s going to be a very interesting time in October when both shows battle head to head.
Chris Jericho could be All Elite Wrestling’s first World Heavyweight Champion because he faces “Hangman” Adam Page for the vacant title at AEW’s All Out pay-per-view next weekend on August 31. Jericho also knows a lot about WWE and their boss Vince McMahon because he spent nearly 20 years there as one of their top guys. That’s why whenever Jericho speaks about AEW and WWE, he has a perspective unlike anybody else.
Recently, Jericho was a guest on Busted Open Radio on Sirius and he commented on WWE’s NXT moving to Wednesdays to compete against AEW on TNT. Thanks to WrestlingInc for the transcript of some of Jericho’s comments.
Jericho on why he thinks Vince McMahon will be more involved with NXT now that it’s on USA Network:
“If it’s another show on the USA Network – not on FS1, and not on the WWE Network. If it’s an official, legitimate, nationwide cable show on the USA Network, do you think Vince McMahon is going to be involved in it? Of course he is! It’s Vince McMahon; he is a genius. But here’s the thing – I think the appeal of it is that it’s its own little entity outside the WWE, and when Vince McMahon gets a hold of it and gets involved with it it is going to become another SmackDown and another RAW.”
“I think you are going to see all three of those shows interacting with one another. I think it’s going to be just another WWE show, so whatever the appeal is with NXT, whatever the specialness of it is is going to be changed to another RAW and another SmackDown. I think if you like RAW and SmackDown then you’re going to like NXT on Wednesday nights. If you don’t, then I don’t think you’re going to like NXT on Wednesday nights because there’s no way that Vince McMahon is going to stay home and not be involved with it. That is what he does, so, great. I think it’s another 2 hours of incredible WWE programming on Wednesday nights. If you love WWE then there’s more for you to love, and if you don’t, then I don’t think it’s going to make a difference.”
A lot of fans share that opinion with Jericho about McMahon being involved more with NXT. The early reports is that Vince will trust Triple H to continue to run NXT, but that might change if ratings are bad for NXT on USA Network. The other side of the argument is that with McMahon also spending a lot of time on the launch of the XFL next February, it may be hard for him to devote as much time to WWE shows. That’s why he has Paul Heyman as the Executive Director of Raw, Eric Bischoff as the Executive Director of Smackdown and Triple H has been running NXT for seven years now.
Jericho on why his signing with AEW may have started the “war” with WWE:
“You do have the cool factor in right now. Part of it is because we are brand new and it’s always cool to have brand new, but we never came into this trying to be in a war or go to battle anybody. Obviously, we are all grown-ups here. The very fact that we exist, the war begins. But I think the war started when Chris Jericho signed with AEW – I think that was the first real deal thing. I think that started a war in Vince McMahon’s mind. I think he likes it, I think he thrives on it which, of course, he does because this is what he has done his whole life, and he wins every war he has been in. I told the guys in AEW, ‘There is going to be a war’. Their response is that we don’t want a war but I told them that it doesn’t matter what you want, there’s going to be one. I said, ‘Let’s have some fun with this’.”
Jericho on why this is an exciting time for the wrestling business:
“I think it’s very exciting. It is exciting for the wrestling business, it’s exciting for the guys, and Lord knows it’s exciting for the WWE roster who all made huge raises as soon as I signed with AEW, which you’re welcome for that, guys. But I think it gives you an alternative – not competition but an alternative. And listen, if you are an NXT fan, you don’t have to go to the WWE Network to watch it. Now you can watch it every Wednesday night live, so what is the bad in this? We’ll see how it shakes out. I think it’s going to be a really cool year for the fans and the guys. I think it is going to be exciting just like it was in 1997 and 1998 in the height of the Monday Night Wars.”
TJR Thoughts: He makes a lot of good points as usual. I am excited about it too. More wrestling content and it’s not that expensive to consume it all. We are spoiled wrestling fans in 2019.
Here’s a clip from Jericho’s conversation with them.
🚨EXCLUSIVE🚨 In the wake of #NXT's potential move to a live Wednesday night show on the USA Network, @IAmJericho tells @davidlagreca1 & @bullyray5150 that @AEWrestling is just doing their thing and not trying to start a war 👇 pic.twitter.com/OsR8lYMnC3
— SiriusXM Busted Open (@BustedOpenRadio) August 19, 2019