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NewsAEWChris Jericho Recalls Vince McMahon Putting His WrestleMania 33 Match On The...

Chris Jericho Recalls Vince McMahon Putting His WrestleMania 33 Match On The Midcard

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AEW star Chris Jericho has mentioned many times that his WrestleMania 33 match against Kevin Owens was originally planned to be very important before ending up in the midcard spot. He talked about it once again on The Kurt Angle Show.

Le Champion described how he started to work with Owens and using GOAT as his nickname: “Yes and I’ll tell you the reason why, I was working with Kevin Owens, who is another guy like Shawn and Eddie Kingston where we just had a brief promo in London. I remember thinking this guy’s pretty funny, he has a good sense of humor, he doesn’t look like much because I didn’t really know him but he gets it. Then I saw him work and I was like he’s a f*cking great worker too. We did something in London where it was a random pairing and just as I got to the top of the ramp I said ‘I’m the GOAT.’ I used GOAT before anybody else by the way, I put GOAT on the back of my trunks because I heard it in a rap song and Vince asked me what does that mean? I said it means ‘Greatest of all time,’ and he said ‘that’s terrible. Goat?’ I said ‘I know, I wish it was Rhino or Moose or something. It’s a street thing, can I just use it?’ And he said ‘Fine, but don’t ever say greatest of all time, say GOAT and leave it at that.’ I said ‘I’m the GOAT’ and Kevin just kind of faintly said ‘and I’m the Donkey,’ and he had that French accent, I said that’s f*cking funny that he came up with that like that. We started this amazing angle where we became aligned, this was in August and I remember saying to Vince ‘I think we can take this to Mania’ and he said that was a long time Chris.”

Jericho expressed frustration over being promised that the match would be a featured main event, only for it to be placed second: “Lone and behold we made it to Mania but it bummed me out because we had a great story and one of the greatest turns of all time in the Festival of Friendship that nobody saw coming and Vince was so into it, he said we’re going to put you on as the main event. This was still only one night of WrestleMania, you guys will be the main event of WrestleMania, Kevin was the champ and you’re going to win the title. The reasons I thought it was cool was because the story was there and it was the right thing to do. When he changed it to Brock and Goldberg, I was disappointed but once again, what am I going to do? It is what it is but what really bummed me out is they put us on second. Kurt will tell you, second, is a death spot. You don’t want to be there, you couldn’t put us on first? You couldn’t put us in a semi-main event? If you want us to do the World Title match, then give us the spot.”

The demotion made Jericho feel like there was nothing else he could accomplish in WWE, much like he felt before leaving WCW: “If you can’t go on last, the next best place is to go first, and if you can’t go first then semi-main event. Those are your three spots. And to go on second is a real slap in the face, it really is. If you look at any card, second is the worst spot to be in and more importantly, he sent me a message. I don’t see what else I could do, I felt the same when I left WCW. I had this great story with Goldberg, everybody was into it and Bischoff didn’t want to do it, Goldberg didn’t want to do it and if they’re not going to go with this, they’re probably not going to go with anything else I can think of. I felt the same with the Kevin thing, I can’t go any higher than this and if Vince sees me as a second match guy, that’s where I’ll be my entire career so I need to split and that’s what I did. Not bitter, not angry, no problems but it was disappointing. But, as I’ve always done, if I don’t feel it’s the right place to be, I leave. That’s the way to do it and that’s what I did.”

He then gave some advice for the young wrestlers in AEW, who sometimes overthink things: “Overthinking is the worst enemy, I see it all the time in AEW. It’s usually the younger guys, they haven’t quite found themselves yet. Stop thinking, I am thinking for you and I’m telling you, this is better.”

Jericho ended up losing to Kevin Owens in a match for the United States Championship that he won against Roman Reigns in a handicap match at the beginning of the year. After he cost Owens the Universal Championship against Goldberg at Fastlane, Owens famously never received a rematch for the title.

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