The Ocho, Chris Jericho, just keeps doing it! What is “IT,” you ask? “IT,” is not only continuing to perform at a top level. “IT,” is not only being highly entertaining. “IT,” is also continuing to develop new talent into top stars. And Chris has been doing this for years!
We all know that Jericho is constantly evolving and reinventing himself and I love his new gimmick, The Ocho! Which isn’t a gimmick, he has been a world champion eight times! Today, I want to highlight the contributions he’s specifically made to AEW by helping to develop new talent.
Chris is an original member of AEW. He joined AEW in January 2019 and immediately brought further name recognition to the brand. Jericho has stated several times that he wants to help the next generation of wrestlers and that is very apparent especially now, during the latter part of his career. Let’s focus on a few of the newer talents in All Elite Wrestling and I think you’ll see, if you haven’t already, just what I am talking about!
Let’s first take a look at Sammy Guevara. Sammy signed with AEW in February 2019. He faced Cody Rhodes on October 2, 2019. Sammy shook hands with Cody after the match and that gave The Ocho the opportunity to cheap shot Cody from behind. Classic!
Shortly after, Chris, Sammy, Jake, Santana, and Ortiz formed the group called The Inner Circle. If you are not familiar with this group they are worth checking out. The Inner Circle had some great feuds with The Elite, Jon Moxley, and others. Since then Sammy has been at the top of the card regularly and is a record 3 time TNT Champion! Not too bad!
Another wrestler that Chris has helped mentor and is currently a part of the Jericho Appreciation Society is Daniel Garcia. Garcia debuted on a Dark episode in September 2020 and signed with AEW in October 2021.
The Jericho Appreciation Society was formed in March 2022 and has been a headliner for AEW ever since. Jericho worked a great angle with Daniel Garcia and Bryan Danielson recently that helped propel Garcia’s career. Daniel beat Wheeler Yuta in September to become the ROH Pure World Champion! Nice job! He has a bright future in front of him!
Finally, let’s look at a superstar that Jericho helped mentor. Let’s take a look at the red-hot and current All-Atlantic Champion, Freshly Squeezed, Orange Cassidy! Orange debuted with AEW on May 25, 2019, and later signed with them on August 12, 2019. As stated previously he currently holds the All-Atlantic Championship Belt.
Before becoming the champ, Orange had some high-level matches against Pac and also competed in the Casino Royal Ladder Match which Brian Cage won.
I think his career started to take off when he wrestled Jericho at Fyter Fest. Orange lost that match but it set up more matches with Chris. Shortly after that match Jericho and Cassidy had a rematch on Dynamite that Orange won. The rubber match would take place at All Out in a Mimosa Mayhem Match and Orange was victorious in that one too!
I truly believe that this trilogy with The Ocho is what really put Cassidy on the map and further cemented his already growing popularity. Currently Orange is undoubtedly one of the most popular wrestlers on the AEW roster and I see him as AEW Word Champion one day sooner rather than later!
And as for Jericho, he truly is The Ocho! Chris defeated Claudio Castagnoli for the ROH World Championship making him an eight-time world champion! The Ocho is also the leader of the Jericho Appreciation Society, who is the epitome of sports entertainment….