Chris Jericho is returning to the WWE Network.
Jericho, who is one of the driving forces of All Elite Wrestling, will be the guest on Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions on the network following the second night of WrestleMania 37 on Sunday.
“Having someone from there on a WWE show, especially the caliber of Chris Jericho, is pretty damn cool,” Austin says. “Chris spent almost 20 years in WWE. When you talk about best runs in the history of the business, Chris Jericho’s name is going to come up.”
It is a coup for the WWE Network to feature Jericho. He remains one of the most charismatic stars in the industry, and he will draw attention to the Network, which just moved to Peacock. Combining him with Austin is appointment viewing, especially right after the end of a two-night WrestleMania.
Naturally, the immediate question is, how did this come together?
“I was having a beer one night after my Broken Skull Sessions interview with The Undertaker aired, and out of the blue, Chris Jericho reached out and said, ‘Man, that was a great interview,’ ” Austin says. “I sent him back a couple of those emojis, one of a beer mug and the other of an eagle, and then he called me right then and there.
“We got to talking. I’ve always respected the hell out of his career, and I’m glad they’re around—it gives the guys and girls in professional wrestling more places to work. I said, ‘I’d love to have you on the show.’ And he said he’d love to do it, so I checked with Vince [McMahon] about it.”
Austin made a career out of cutting-edge content, and this session of the Broken Skull Sessions certainly fits that description. Since the interview airs on a WWE-owned platform, Austin addressed whether McMahon was hesitant to give his approval for Jericho to appear on the show.
“I texted Vince and said we had this badass idea about Jericho coming on the show,” Austin says. “Vince goes, ‘It’s cool. Go ahead.’ But me and Vince don’t always do well with phones and texts and all that, so I texted one more time, ‘Are you sure it’s O.K. to have Chris Jericho on the show?’ Vince gave me the thumbs up, and Chris came out to do the show.”
Jericho ranks among the most important figures in WWE, working with fellow legends like Austin, The Rock, and The Undertaker, as well as impacting the current roster with his more recent run with the company. He also plays a critical role in WrestleMania history, and his match against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XIX is one of the greatest in the history of the storied event.
Sports Illustrated confirmed that AEW president Tony Khan also gave his approval to Jericho, which is not surprising considering to the amount of respect and trust he has for both Austin and Jericho. Yet it is rare to see an active talent from a different promotion featured on WWE programming. Austin added that this interview was a priority because he needed to break down and analyze Jericho’s legendary—and still active—body of work.
“Jericho’s one of the most influential wrestlers over the last 30 years and he’s still going strong,” Austin says. “The guy has gotten over in every territory he’s ever been in. Chris has always been able to reinvent himself and do something new and fresh.
“He’s a worker’s worker and a student of the game. Think about all the holy s--- moments he’s had in his matches, or how he can light up a place on the microphone. Chris is one of the biggest personalities in the world, he’s the real deal.”
In addition to being one of the most intensely compelling interviews in wrestling history, Austin has taken immense pride in becoming an outstanding interviewer. He puts a tremendous amount of prep into his podcasts, and his comfort level and skill in the art of free-flowing conversation was also visible on his Straight Up Steve Austin television show, which just wrapped its second season on the USA network. Austin shared that no topic will be off-limits with Jericho, and he is looking forward to keeping everyone on their toes, ranging from viewers to WWE executives.
“We go into everything,” Austin says. “Jericho is one of the all-time greats, and it’s going to be cool to have someone from AEW on a WWE show. To bottom line it, I’m excited for people to watch this show.”