AEW could be using Jon Moxley’s time as interim World Champion to build new stars. Instead, fans are being treated to more main event Chris Jericho.
AEW could be using all of Jon Moxley’s time with the interim World Championship to build up younger talent, but instead, it’s giving fans more main event Chris Jericho. After he beat Rush in an absolute banger to open the July 27 episode of Wednesday Night Dynamite, Moxley had his celebration cut short by the JAS. The 51-year-old Jericho challenged Moxley for the title, saying that he never got his rematch after losing it two years ago. So the fight is set: Moxley vs. Jericho for the most important belt in AEW at Quake By The Lake on August 10.
There’s no denying that Jericho is one of the best professional wrestlers of all time, but him being involved in the main event scene so heavily at this stage of his career seems misguided and short-sighted. The argument could be made that he’s elevating Daniel Garcia, Angelo Parker, Matt Menard, and Sammy Guevara, and that’d be fair to a certain extent. But those performers are getting onto television, by and large, because they are Chris Jericho’s lackeys and not because of anything they’re doing individually. AEW has oversaturated its programming with JAS, as multiple members of the stable are involved in so many storylines that sometimes Dynamite feels like an infomercial for Fozzy’s “Judas” track instead of an actual wrestling show.
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Since winning the interim championship at AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door, Moxley has put on strong matches with a handful of underutilized wrestlers. Brody King and Konosuke Takeshita were both given elevated positions on the card due to their matches with Jon, but only for one night. It’s not like either of them was given the opportunity to work through a whole program with The Death Rider, though. Stars are made through memorable feuds and strong matches. Not just one 14-minute main event match on Dynamite. AEW could be using CM Punk’s prolonged absence as an opening to really boost one or two younger talents via feuds with Moxley, but instead, audiences are getting another layer of the ongoing Jericho Appreciation Society vs Blackpool Combat Club beef.
To his credit, Moxley cut one of the better promos he’s had in a long time on Wednesday night and he seemed to be frustrated by the same things that a section of AEW’s fan base is. That doesn’t mean that a match between these two will be able to deliver at a particularly high level, however. Jericho’s days as a main eventer should be in the rearview. Instead, he’s frequently featured at the tippy top of the card while the likes of Wardlow, MJF, HOOK, Thunder Rosa, and, at least until recently Ricky Starks can’t buy air time. Not to mention the wealth of ROH talent that AEW has access to.
Jericho has frequently stated that one of WCW’s major issues was not pushing younger talent over older ex-WWE guys who couldn’t work at a high rate. Funny that it doesn’t seem to bother him now that he’s the aging veteran who is still getting main event matches. Is it the end of the World that Tony Khan is giving fans Moxley vs. Jericho on free television? No, but it seems like they could be building someone else up besides The Wizard, who gets more screentime than just about anything involved with All Elite Wrestling besides the AEW logo itself.
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An industry professional with more than a decade of publishing and editing experience, Franklin has amassed over 4,000 bylines and eight million page views while writing for sites such as Bleacher Report and FanSided. He’s a senior wrestling writer for ScreenRant.com and simply wants to enjoy all wrestling companies for what they are. He can be reached with questions or comments at Franklin.Steele.Writes (@) gmail.com.
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