It Might Not Happen Each Week, But Chris Jericho Can See AEW Beating WWE RAW’s Ratings In The Next 4-6 Months
Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling
Chris Jericho says it won’t be as one-sided as the ‘Wednesday Night War,’ but he can see All Elite Wrestling beating WWE RAW in the ratings battle in the near future.
Chris Jericho was a guest on Busted Open Radio on Friday and was asked by Dave LaGreca about how NXT is rebranding after “losing” the war to AEW. Jericho explained how he absolutely saw the result as a victory for AEW, but they’ve said it on many occasions that they never worried about what NXT was doing. Jericho said the focus was always to get to the castle—or in this case, the flagship of WWE—and he laid out why he can see AEW start beating RAW in the ratings battle, possibly before year’s end.
“Obviously, it’s a victory. It’s a huge victory, the difference is, we weren’t obsessed with winning, losing, whatever it was. We were obsessed with putting on the best show that we could. We couldn’t worry about if WWE was going to put NXT on, or if NBC was going to resurrect The Beatles—whatever [WWE is] going to do, we can’t focus on that. We can’t worry about it because we’re too busy worrying about our own show. We’re too busy worrying about putting on great stories and great matches in the middle of a frickin’ pandemic,” he explained, “so when we ‘won’ the war and won handily, of course it was the end of NXT. That was part of the idea, put them against us and build them as a huge third brand and then move on. When we ‘beat them,’ they’re rebranding and reconfiguring because what else can they do? They’re number two when it comes to what they were trying to do in this battle.
“But here’s the best part—we were never worried about NXT and never really paid attention to what they were doing. We’re looking at what RAW is doing, what SmackDown is doing. If you want to talk about a war, that’s the real war. If this was Game Of Thrones, NXT was the first wave that we blew through. We’re storming the castle, we’re storming the fortress,” Jericho noted, “and I think that’s one of the things now too when you see ‘oh this week AEW beat SmackDown in the 18-49 demo’ or the 18-34 demo. Even just winning one or two of those demos, that’s a big deal.
“Sooner or later, we’re going to start beating RAW. It’s not going to be every week,” Jericho stated, “but I bet you over the next 2-4 months, maybe 4-6, we’re going to start beating RAW, and that’s my prediction that I’m saying to you guys right here. And the reason for that is we keep talking about the cool factor, but it’s the storytelling. We don’t panic, we don’t rush. We live in our own world and we book accordingly. We book smartly, if you watch our show it’s like watching the first three Star Wars episodes—one thing always leads to the next and sometimes you’ll see where the seeds were planted months earlier, but we always know what we want to do and where we want to go.”
Jericho noted how his storyline with MJF and The Pinnacle ran for over a year, and it didn’t start as the plan, but they knew it’d be at least six months to tell the story. Jericho said well-crafted storylines help keep people’s attention and AEW doesn’t rip up the script for shows an hour before they go on air, alluding to the numerous reports that Vince McMahon often re-writes the WWE RAW script on short notice.
“We don’t. We know what we’re doing next week, every single week and that’s what we basically tell you on Wednesday, what you’re going to see next Wednesday,” he said. “Except now we’re telling you what you’re going to see on Friday [on Rampage], and this week we’re telling you what you’ll see on Sunday [at All Out] too. So it’s very organized and planned out. People see that and they’re responding to that.”
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