AEW boss Tony Khan teases they’re almost ‘full strength’ and hails Chris Jericho

All Elite Wrestling chief Tony Khan has said fans are set to see an ‘AEW at full strength’ and insists veteran Chris Jericho remains at the heart of it.

Canadian Jericho, one of the most accomplished and dedicated stars in wrestling history, has been a top-tier performer in AEW since its launch in 2019.

In the years that have followed, Khan has signed many of wrestling’s biggest names to his growing empire – with CM Punk, Bryan Danielson and Kenny Omega to name just a few.

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But 51-year-old Jericho remains as important as he ever was, with Khan telling Daily Star the multi-time former world champion helped make AEW into the success it is today.

He explained: "I believe Chris has been one of the most important people in AEW from the very beginning of the company.

"I think it would have been very challenging to launch without Chris – it was already challenging with everything we had.

"It was difficult for us to push and fight it to get where we are now, but without Chris I don't know how it would have been possible."

Jericho’s run hasn’t been without its challenges – in addition of course to memorable matches against the likes of Omega, upstart MJF and Eddie Kingston.

In fact, the former WWE star suffered with a potentially deadly illness whilst in the UK – something Khan said Jericho used as a tool to return back to the States in incredible physical condition.

"The really cool thing is, at the end of 2021, Chris had some health complications,” Khan continued.

“He had a blot clot and was actually in the UK for an extended period of time and couldn't travel back to America and wrestle in AEW.

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"During that period, he took his health very seriously and was forced to examine his health. He made really great choices and worked so hard. He's lost over 30 pounds and looks better than he has in years.

"Now, for the first time in AEW, I think we have this new Chris Jericho that's [in] the best shape we've seen him in since before he went to Japan and wrestled Kenny Omega."

It might well have been easy for Jericho, having been with AEW since its inception, to get lost in the shuffle of a flurry of new signees.

Samoa Joe, Miro, Adam Cole, Jon Moxley, FTR, Shawn Spears, Pac, Andrade El Idolo, Christian Cage and Claudio Castagnoli are all names who’ve been added to the roster there since 2019, and plenty more besides.

But Jericho remains a master of reinvention and, as such, always stays relevant.

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That was never more apparent than when Danielson, Cole and Punk were all sidelined through injury.

The trio had all enjoyed high-profile runs at the top of the AEW card – Punk indeed remains AEW World Champion despite the crowning of an interim titleholder, ironically in Moxley.

It was with some poetic beauty, then, that Jericho and fellow AEW long-timers in Omega and Moxley have helped steady the ship.

Discussing that arc of sorts, Khan explained: "Chris Jericho was the first champion in AEW's history and the first pay-per-view was built around Chris Jericho versus Kenny Omega, and at the end of that Jon Moxley debuted.

"They were the first three champions in the history of AEW and, for the first couple of years of AEW, it was all built around [them] as champions.

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"So quickly, at the end of 2021 all three of them were out for extended periods, for very different reasons.

"We had three new stars step in last year and really carried us in 2022 with the fights they were in… CM Punk versus MJF, Adam Cole versus Orange Cassidy and Hangman Page versus Bryan Danielson.

"Those three new faces all figured hugely and now all three of them have been out, and it has been Jericho and Mox who've been a huge part in carrying the company through and weathering the storm.

"We've had such a great summer thanks to all the great wrestlers we have in AEW, but those two certainly have been a huge part of it."

As it is, there are signs that AEW’s injury nightmare might now be coming to an end.

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Danielson, for instance, is set to return to screens on this week’s episode of AEW Dynamite, with Khan purring at the prospect of soon having all of AEW’s big hitters at his disposal.

"With Bryan Danielson back on Wednesday night, we're getting closer to an AEW at full strength,” he insisted.

"Seeing AEW with all of our top stars finally back at the same time would be really exciting and I think that's where we're heading towards.

"The shows are getting stronger, and the roster is getting stronger and healthier every week.

Catch All Elite Wrestling in the UK each week with Dynamite and Rampage airing on ITV4. Visit for more.


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