Exclusive: AEW's Chris Jericho on Nick Gage deathmatch, original plans for labours and chemistry with Dan Lambert

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Photo credit: All Elite Wrestling (AEW)
Photo credit: All Elite Wrestling (AEW)

Chris Jericho and Jake Hager are facing the Men Of The Year (Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page) tonight (September 24) on AEW's huge Rampage Grand Slam show.

Dan Lambert and his American Top Team MMA fighters having been running down AEW, the roster and their fans for weeks, but on last week's Dynamite it was Jericho who answered his challenge.

Speaking exclusively to Digital Spy ahead of his match tonight, Jericho said he was attracted to doing the feud with Lambert because it was so different to the year he had just spent feuding with MJF.

Photo credit: All Elite Wrestling (AEW)
Photo credit: All Elite Wrestling (AEW)

"This gives me a chance to do something that's a little bit outside of the box, something that you wouldn't really expect," Jericho said.

"That's what I like about it, it's the fact that you wouldn't expect Jericho and Dan Lambert to be going at it but it really worked. I think the very first week we really showed that there's some chemistry there.

"It's a great heel and a great babyface going toe-to-toe on the mic and then, where is it going to lead? What's going to happen? We have ideas and thoughts for that too. Especially after the year that I spent with MJF, this is something completely different, which really intrigued me and attracted me to doing it."

Photo credit: All Elite Wrestling (AEW)
Photo credit: All Elite Wrestling (AEW)

During his feud with MJF he completed the Five Labours of Jericho, which included a deathmatch with Nick Gage.

"The original plan [for the Labours] was going to be the four guys from The Pinnacle," Jericho explained.

"But I think it was MJF who had the idea of lets use Nick Gage and I never heard of Nick Gage prior to Dark Side Of The Ring and that kind of intrigued me.

"It was never the plan to go through this memory lane of Jericho's friends, or opponents, or whatever. So, we thought the Nick Gage deathmatch would be cool and then we were trying to think of another guy and one of the ideas was Chris Hero."

Photo credit:  All Elite Wrestling
Photo credit: All Elite Wrestling

The match with Gage was as violent as you would expect from a deathmatch, something that had never been done on mainstream wrestling television before. But Jericho says he wasn't given any direction from Tony Khan on how far they could go on TV.

"I told [Tony] what was going to happen and I don't think we expected the amount of blood that we had, just sometimes that happens," Jericho said.

"But if you notice, Nick Gage never had any blood it was not a double blood situation, I had blood he did not.

"I didn't want it to be a bloodbath, it turned into one because of the glass and stuff, and I talked to [Tony] about the mist that I blew into Gage's face.

Photo credit: All Elite Wrestling
Photo credit: All Elite Wrestling

Related: AEW's Chris Jericho says WWE didn't edit Austin interview because it was all true

"It was something that we've never seen on Dynamite before, we'll probably never see it again but, in my opinion, it was a classic deathmatch. A classic match of that style and a very, very, big success as far as the number that we did, as far as the reaction that we got and as far as the story that we told."

While the match didn't cause problems for AEW with their network TNT, Jericho was once told off for something he did in the early days of Dynamite.

"For me, there's two times that I can recall that they said, 'Don't ever do that again.' One of them was when we beat up Dustin Rhodes. We beat him up in the parking lot and then as we left I lit up a cigar and they did not like that. No smoking allowed on the show.

"They were very adamant that they did not want any smoking on the show. I was like, 'Alright I don't need to be smoking.' I just did it because I thought it was an asshole thing to do and apparently, so did they."

Catch AEW Dynamite live every Thursday at 1am in the UK and Rampage every Saturday at 3am on FITE with an AEW Plus subscription. US customers can also watch both shows on TNT, and in the UK, Dynamite repeats air on ITV4.

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