It's time to call YOU out, wrestling fans. You deserve the FINGER OF SHAME for the way that you've treated the legendary great Chris Jericho during 2020. Unfortunately, I keep hearing comments that he's "too old", "way past his prime", and even "too fat" comments. Huh?
But at the same time, isn't he doing what is EXPECTED of a wrestler? Jericho joins All Elite Wrestling (AEW) as a major signing, as nobody thought he'd fully break away from Vince McMahon and the WWE. Chris then LEGITIMIZES AEW and helps bring mainstream attention to them by becoming their 1st ever AEW World Heavyweight Champion. Not only that, but Jericho makes media appearances on behalf of AEW and TNT to promote the company as champion. As champion, he forms his "Inner Circle" stable which helped put a few newer AEW regulars into the spotlight with him. Jericho loses cleanly to Jon Moxley at the AEW Revolution Pay Per View on February 29th and then followed that up by having the entire Inner Circle group lose at the Stadium Stampede match.
SINCE THEN - Jericho has become a company man and is DOING THE RIGHT THING by attempting to put younger talent over now that he's no longer in the Main Event scene. Isn't that what a veteran is supposed to do after their Main Event run? Certainly, we could debate WHO he is putting over, such as the case with Orange Cassidy, but Jericho is NOT the booker of AEW. Tony Khan and his 4 EVPs (Cody, Omega, Bucks) are... And if THEY want to push Orange Cassidy hard and utilize Jericho's star power to get him over, that is there call. DITTO with the dance routine that he pulled off recently with MJF. Jericho is doing what AEW's Creative Team wants him to do... In the end, the likely outcome is that Jericho will get booted out of the Inner Circle and then he'll put over MJF.
Isn't Chris Jericho doing EXACTLY what wrestling fans are expecting of him??? You claim that he's "fat", "too old", or "past his prime" yet he's done nothing but PUT WRESTLERS OVER throughout 2020.
The Internet has badmouthed so many other wrestlers for hanging on for dear life, even the great Undertaker. Anytime he wrestled above the age of 45, it was always questioned if he was hanging on for too long. Hulk Hogan went through the same thing. Yet, both guys had their moments that pleased fans and both guys went through multiple hip surgeries to keep performing FOR YOU.
And now, utter hypocrisy is seen by the same fans badmouthing Chris Jericho for being "too old" and "past his prime" while PRAISING AEW for signing a 61 year-old Sting to a multi-year contract. Sting has 11 years on Chris Jericho in age? He could almost be of age to be a father to Chris! Yet, Internet Wrestling fans want to throw a parade for the 61 year old Sting and they want Chris Jericho to retire already. The hypocrisy is stunning! Better yet, Jericho is in better physical condition than Sting. You can call him "too fat" all you want but at least Chris Jericho isn't suffering from Spinal Stenosis like Sting. If Chris Jericho wanted to wrestle for the WWE right now, he could. WWE's medical staff would NOT clear Sting to wrestle and hence why he "retired" from the WWE after the Seth Rollins match.
Let's get into that "Too Fat" thing... While he is obviously a little thicker than his younger age, he's not grossly overweight by a long shot. Look at the bodies of Kane and the Undertaker. Both old guys have those "spare tires" around the mid-section. As you get older, it's not as easy to keep working out as it once was particularly if you've had some back trauma. REMEMBER, Chris Jericho has repeatedly said that DDP Yoga quote "saved his life" as he had a herniated disc in his back that was found while he did the TV show Dancing with the Stars. While Yoga will keep your body limber and flexible, it doesn't heal arthritis or other long-term injuries. It's very likely that it physically hurts Chris Jericho to do push ups or sit-ups.
For all we know, too, he could be in physical pain right now and could cause some self-medication to be occurring. Maybe drink a little extra at night to soothe the pain... Alcoholic drinks are full of calories and drinking an excessive amount before bedtime will cause weight gain. On my end, for example, I refuse to eat any food or drink anything other than water after 6pm... Metabolism for most is shot after the age of 35.
THAT or the weight gain is strategic to absorb more punishment. Have you seen the wrestling style of All Elite Wrestling? Lots of weapons, lots of high spots, expectations of going through tables, etc. With more padding in place, he absorb more damage at a higher age. Jericho has also said that it's cosmetic to fit with his new heel character.
At the end of the day, we're calling a guy who is almost 6'0" and 230 pounds as "fat". Huh? Can most wrestlers bodyslam him easily? Yep...
Without Chris Jericho, yes, All Elite Wrestling would have still existed. The Khan family has deep pockets and they seem to be obsessed with being successful in the Sports arena right now with their Soccer team, their NFL football team, and now their AEW promotion. ANYONE who is willing to throw millions at something will get some kind of attention out there. See Vince McMahon and his XFL stuff, twice...
BUT Chris Jericho legitimized AEW from day one...
He was the FIRST former WWE wrestler to "jump ship" to help legitimize that promotion. It caused ALL wrestling fans to pay attention to what Cody, Omega, and the Bucks were trying to shape with Tony Khan. Then, Chris Jericho becomes their FIRST AEW Champion and suddenly, AEW can tout that they are a wrestling promotion with Hall of Fame legend Chris Jericho as their World Champ. He held it for 6 months and those 6 months saw more viewers of AEW Dynamite than the following 6 months without him as Champ. You can give me the COVID-19 excuse all you want, but everyone was FORCED to stay home thanks to quarantines and TNT is available in 85 million homes.
Would AEW Dynamite on TNT score 1.4 million viewers if Chris Jericho wasn't their World Champion on day one of that show? Probably not... Jericho being there caused many longtime wrestling fans, primarily WWE fans who watched him for years, to try AEW Dynamite as an alternative wrestling show.
And again, since Chris Jericho LOST that AEW Title to Jon Moxley during February 2020, he has done everything that (a) wrestling fans and (b) AEW management has ever asked any "aging" veteran to do after their last Main Event run. Chris Jericho has done nothing but put over OTHER wrestlers during 2020 and yet wrestling fans somehow have issue with that. If you have problems with Jericho putting over Orange Cassidy, BLAME Tony Khan and the 4 EVPs for that. Jericho has NO Creative say and he's doing exactly what management has asked him to do, just as he was told to brag about the 18-49 Demographic victories because that's what Tony Khan is pushing.
Come on, wrestling fans... You do need to do better. You need to look into the mirror and question YOUR body shape before questioning Jericho's. Let's see how you look at age 50 compared to him. I'd like to see how you'd feel at age 50 with the in-ring mileage that Jericho's body has endured. They recently celebrated 30 years of being a pro wrestler for Jericho... Do you think that was easy? It's a miracle that he can still work 30 years later and yet that is somehow a problem for you?
You're all a bunch of clowns. Shame on you.
What do you now personally have against Chris Jericho during 2020 that you didn't from 1996 through 2019 when you saw him on television previously? Do you disagree with him politically? So what that he has an opinion that could be conservative leaning or maybe that personal liberties are being possibly stomped on from COVID-19. It's just HIS opinion and he's NOT making that on AEW's television shows. Furthermore, everybody gets on him for the Fozzy Concert at the Sturgis Rally and how that motorcycle appears to have become a "super spreader" event for the Dakotas. Y'all act like Jericho organized that entire motorcycle rally when he was just 1 performer. At his concert, fans were socially distanced from each other! And so what if he has Donald Trump Jr. on his Podcast. Jericho has ALL POINTS OF VIEW on his Podcast. What, do you want him to appeal to only 1 political side? Get over it...
Listen, most wrestlers are non-union and are independent contractors. Meaning, they are paying their tax with holdings themselves. Do you honestly think that ONLY Chris Jericho is a supporter of the Republican Party and/or Donald Trump? The Undertaker has been donating to that Party for YEARS and yet none of you held that against him. Taker donated to Trump, too. Yet, this is only a liability and a strike against Chris Jericho for having political views or working outside of the AEW bubble. Many AEW wrestlers work side independent shows besides AEW and yet none of them are criticized for getting exposed to COVID.
And yes, I had heat with Chris Jericho regarding something that I said about him. During October 2019, I was strongly arguing that WWE or AEW should hire CM Punk in his early 40s because he still had his PERSONALITY and MIC SKILLS in place. I was making the argument that Wrestling adds longevity to careers because the build-up to a match is equally as important to the match itself. Jericho has made it to the age of 50 because he's not just a great worker but an amazing personality and talent. I made the comment that "Jericho keeps getting older and maybe his in-ring ability has deteriorated... But put a microphone in front of him, he's still every bit as great as his WWE debut 20 years ago." And of course, people dry snitched me to Chris and he called me out on Twitter for just that one word "deteriorated" and made sure to point out how many Stars that Dave Meltzer keeps giving him for his matches. Here is the Tweet history in question.
Folks, I have been writing columns since October 1998... When I was younger, I wrote DAILY columns... I used to write 3-4 hour marathon sessions. In addition, I used to have bad insomnia to ensure that I wrote and posted columns on time. I couldn't do that anymore in my late 30s and now early 40s. The insomnia caused some real health problems and I've had to completely remove caffeine from my daily diet. Now, if I'm writing late, my eyes are watering by 11pm and I can't go any longer. I just don't have the endurance to write extensively as I once did. I also can't tolerate to watch 10 hours a week of wrestling like I used to, either.
When I was younger, I played tennis, basketball, and roller hockey... I have to be careful playing tennis because my elbow will hurt badly after a match and I need to stretch so that my serving style won't tear my rotator cuff (also sore after playing a match). If I play a full court game of basketball with anyone, I'm physically hurting for days. I played Rollerhockey about 10 years ago with a bunch of younger players and every muscle in my legs were throbbing with pain for days.
POINT IS, as you get older, you're NOT as physically good as you once were. However, you have wisdom and experience that your younger self didn't have. Thus, through Smoke & Mirrors, you can keep selling to your audience that you're relevant. For me, it's safely writing 1 regular column per week and then writing 1 weekend column. I try to avoid going above that... For Chris Jericho, he purposely doesn't wrestle as much at age 48, 49, or 50 as he did working those WWE schedules. Jericho has been mostly part-time as a wrestler in his 40s and took extensive time off during his late 30s. It's physically tough to be a full-time wrestler and it gets harder with age.
YET - Chris Jericho STILL has something to offer the wrestling business. He can still talk and act like Chris Jericho. Thus, he's still relevant in some role with AEW. While he can't do certain things in the ring, he can put Orange Cassidy, Jon Moxley, and potentially MJF into match situations where they can look strong defeating him in a match.
And at age 61, Sting has something still to offer to Pro Wrestling as well. All he has to do is LOOK THE PART. Everybody marked out after Wednesday when Sting appeared. He literally did nothing! Just an entrance and then stared down the babyfaces remaining in the ring. Team Taz ran away from the ring so that Sting wouldn't have to do any physical activity! Gray hair and all, it didn't matter. That was a Crow looking Sting with the trench coat and baseball bat.
Did you hear about that Merchandise news? Sting's new AEW t-shirt set RECORDS at Pro Wrestling Tees for a 24 hour period.
Oh, you mean that older guys can still matter in the Pro Wrestling industry?
You're damn right they do.
Chris Jericho DESERVES your respect, wrestling fans... Stop it with the ludicrous "too old" or "too fat" comments and APPRECIATE that a childhood legend is still trying to entertain you. Furthermore, he's doing EXACTLY as you'd expect an "aging" veteran to do and that is to put over younger talent.
What else do you want from Jericho?
I'd love to see any wrestling fan who criticizes Jericho for being "too fat" to join him in a workout sometime. You'd last 15 seconds of what Jericho physically has to go through on a daily basis and I'm sure that you'd never want to feel his pain.
FINGER OF SHAME to you, "wrestling fans".
So just chill... Until the next episode!
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