Vince McMahon was very close to Chris Jericho, who left WWE several years ago and joined AEW, so Road Dogg has provided some insight into how that happened.
When All Elite Wrestling started in 2019, one of the biggest names they signed to an official contract was the former WWE World Champion Chris Jericho. After spending nearly twenty years in WWE (with a few breaks), Jericho was officially a part of another wrestling company.
Things have gone so well for Jericho in AEW as the first World Champion in that company and the current ROH World Champion that the 52-year-old Jericho re-signed with AEW for three more years until December 2025.
Earlier this year when Jericho was on the Kurt Angle Show, he explained why he left WWE in 2017 in part because he was frustrated that his WrestleMania 33 match with Kevin Owens went on second instead of getting a better spot on the card. Jericho would go on to wrestle in New Japan, which would eventually lead to AEW in 2019.
“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 (Owens) 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.”
On a new episode of WWE Hall of Famer Road Dogg’s Oh You Didn’t Know podcast, he spoke about Jericho leaving WWE since Road Dogg was a WWE writer at the time when Jericho told Vince McMahon that he was going to appear on a New Japan show.
“I remember hearing that Jericho said he told Vince he was going to do this and whatever, and so I can imagine that happening. I don’t see why, I don’t have a reason to think Chris didn’t do that. So I don’t know if he was surprised by it. Or if or if he just thought, ‘Oh, well, Chris is going there now.’ You know what I mean? Like, I don’t know. I don’t know exactly the inner workings of [it all].”
Road Dogg went on to talk about how Vince had a special relationship with Jericho where they likely had a lot of private conversations that nobody else was privy to because of their nearly 20-year working relationship.
“Chris was one of those guys that has a special like Brock, like, like a lot of top stars that had a very special relationship with Vince. And so you didn’t always know what went on behind closed doors that you weren’t privy to. So you kind of had to go like okay, well, let me let me ask Vince if we can do this to you. But so that was, you know, it was what it was. I don’t think it shocked [Vince]. It shocked the wrestling world more than it shocked Vince McMahon. I can tell you that for 100%.”