Originally published at Chris Jericho on criticism of Blood & Guts ending, proud of the match
On Wednesday’s edition of Talk is Jericho, host Chris Jericho dedicated the entire show to the behind-the-scenes of the lead-up and execution of last week’s Blood & Guts match at Daily’s Place.
The concept, born out of a reference to AEW by Vince McMahon during a 2019 investors call, was initially slotted for a March 2020 introduction at the Prudential Center. The match was scrapped once the pandemic forced AEW to perform without fans in attendance and cancel the Dynamite taping in Newark, New Jersey. Jericho noted in the podcast that the match was first pitched for the February 19, 2020, episode of Dynamite at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta but was too close to the Revolution pay-per-view and it was moved to March.
Coming out of the match, a lot of focus was centered on the execution of the show-closing bump by Jericho where he was shoved off the cage and landed on a gym mat with empty cardboard boxes underneath. Criticism arose of the execution with the time it took to execute and production elements of the fall, which Jericho addressed along with his thoughts on the bump itself:
It felt great and, obviously it hurt, you’re paying the price but I could move my arms and legs and I wasn’t dead or knocked out and I was like, ‘this is great, what a perfect finish for this thing’ and it took the wind completely out of the sails of the crowd. They went completely silent and I just laid there until they basically took me away on a stretcher and when they took me away on the stretcher, they started clapping, like when someone gets hurt on the football field and they finally pick the guy up and take him off the field and they start clapping. The people were believing, buying into it and as was I. It was only later on, I started hearing, ‘oh people, thought the fall was on a crash pad and it didn’t look great’.
For me, I watched it back, I thought it looked amazing and the thing that was really scary is if you watch it back, I barely missed hitting my head on the lights on the back of the stage. I went so far that I almost overshot everything. So, once again everyone in the business knows how dangerous this can be, how terrifying it is, and just the margin for error is so slim. Like I mentioned before, there are some hardcore wrestling fans were bagging on it and that’s fine, you have the right to bag on it. And, of the 1.3 million that people watched it if 3,000 people didn’t like it, it’s a small percentage. Most people just thought it was crazy as did I. So much feedback, ‘oh my gosh, are you okay? It was insane’. Once again, I’ve got very thick skin and it really doesn’t bother me if people didn’t like something, because we move on to the next week. But once again, everybody has opinions and I appreciate that and I appreciate feedback but for me, I always go back to how did I feel about it? When I watched it back man, I thought this is absolutely insane, it’s terrifying, it’s a little bit exhilarating but it’s one of those things that I hope you enjoyed it because you’ll never me do it again (laughs) ever.
AEW brought in a stuntman to assist with the bump and performed it earlier in the day for Jericho, who spoke of the risk involved and how it weighed on him throughout the day:
I’m glad it turned out the way it did, but oh my gosh, it was weighing on my conscience all day long and when it finally happened it was cool and looked as great as it did, I wouldn’t change anything but the last thing I want is to demean this stunt bump that I took that so many people worked on to make sure I didn’t get hurt. I just think all across the board Blood & Guts was exactly what we wanted it to be and it was violent, it was brutal but it set the tone for future clashes between The Pinnacle and The Inner Circle and you know there will be plenty more to come. And I’m sure there will be more Blood & Guts to come and now guys in the future can go back and watch this first one and improve upon it.
I just want to say I’m really proud of everybody in our company. From Tony Khan to the director Tim Walbert, Keith Mitchell, and Darryl and all the guys that were involved, Eric the stunt coordinator, Max, Dax, Cash, Tully, Spears, MJF, Jericho, Santana, Ortiz, Sammy, Hager…Sammy Hager. Everyone did absolutely great in that cage, that Blood & Guts cage, and thanks to all of you guys watching making us the number one most-watched show on cable television, that’s something no one can ever take away from us and we’re just building from here and, oh my gosh, watch the demos and ratings from that match. Like I said, topping 1.3 million people for a huge chunk of that last segment. Everything happened the way we wanted it to and now we can continue to build upon the story. For me, my neck is kind of hurt and my arm is a mess. I don’t know if it’s a dislocation or what it may be, but we’ll get through it, we’ll continue forward. Just very, very proud of what we did that night at Blood & Guts.