Originally published at Frank Thomas threatened to sue AEW's Jake Hager for $5 million for using 'Big Hurt' nickname
Jake Hager received a lawsuit threat from National Baseball Hall of Famer Frank Thomas.
The latest edition of Chris Jericho’s Talk Is Jericho podcast was centered around the formation of The Jericho Appreciation Society which includes Daniel Garcia, Jake Hager, Matt Menard and Angelo Parker. The group broke down how they got together, discussed pitches they made, what they were doing prior to the group and more background was covered.
A side conversation occurred between Jericho and Hager during which Hager mentioned that he received a lawsuit threat from National Baseball Hall of Famer Frank Thomas for $5 million. Hager was being referred to as ‘Big Hurt’ on AEW programming which is Frank’s nickname.
Hager: Little side pass, I think your dad gave us the jerseys, the New York Rangers had ‘Big Hurt’ on the back of it.
Jericho: It was Le Celebration for Le Champion in Chicago.
Hager: I posted like a caption on the ‘Gram and said, ‘The Big Hurt’. I was doing the splash, Chris texted me, said, ‘I like this.’ I texted Chris back, was like, ‘Thanks. Can you help me get it over?’ And then next thing you know, we’re getting sued by Frank Thomas for five million dollars because… well it was a threat to sue for five million dollars.
Jericho: Cease and desist basically.
Hager: But we hadn’t done any merchandise. We had just talked about it.
Jericho: We called you ‘Big Hurt’. What’s up Big Hurt. So Frank Thomas is a baseball player.
Hager: Yeah, Hall of Fame first baseman for the Sox, Chicago actually.
Jericho: His nickname was ‘Big Hurt’.
Hager: And we even said, ‘Well why don’t you come on Dynamite and wrestle me for it?’ You know?
Jericho: And you’re also a baseball player. You’re not hurting anybody.
Prior to going by Matt Menard and Angelo Parker in AEW, they were known as ‘Jeff Parker’ and ‘Matt Lee’. Jericho recalled going to Tony Khan and expressing that he was going to change their names. Jericho then shared that he feels there are too many wrestlers with the last name ‘Lee’ and even tried to encourage the late Jon Huber to drop the ‘Lee’ from his ring name.
Jericho: So the number one thing that I said to Tony , I said, ‘I’m changing their names.’ I said, ‘They have the most generic jobber names of all time,’ Matt Lee and Jeff Parker and said, ‘Listen –’ I said, ‘I am so sick of the f*cking last name of Lee.’ We’ve got Brodie Lee, we’ve got Keith Lee, we’ve got Trevor Lee, we’ve got Matt Lee and we’ve got f*cking — there’s 30 of ‘em more. Even when Brodie came, I said, ‘Dude, get rid of the Lee. We’ve got too many Lee’s.’ He was like, ‘Oh, it’s just kind of my thing’ and I was like, whatever, I’m not gonna fight it but you know, there’s so many Lee’s and Jeff Parker, that sounds like a second string shortstop from the Seattle Mariners.
And Tony, I think Tony came up with ‘2point0’ because he did not want to get rid of ‘2point0’. I said, ‘We need to get rid of 2point0.’
In regard to his heel turn, Jericho felt that it was time when he had a promo segment with Eddie Kingston during which Kingston said Jericho was holding Santana and Ortiz back.
Initially, Jericho’s first reaction was that comment was not accurate, but he soon realized that people reacted to it. He added that he checked social media and saw that viewers were becoming fed up with him so he went to Tony Khan and pitched the idea of turning heel again.
Jericho: For me, the best thing that I can do is I’m really good at reading the room shall we say and I was just listening and people really responded to Eddie , I said, ‘Dude, it’s time for me to turn heel again. I gotta read the room. People are sick of me, they’re done.’ ‘Okay.’ Great.
As the conversation circled back around to Hager, he said he was not a fan of ‘The Jericho Appreciation Society’ name initially. He had a hard time letting go of The Inner Circle group but when he heard Jericho say they’ve been together since day one of Dynamite, he was okay with the change.
Hager: Definitely not nervous . I’d follow you anywhere. Just, you know, letting go and moving on to something new, it was a little bit like, huh? And I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t love Jericho Appreciation Society at first and just the title.
So I had a little bit of a hard time letting go of it but then you said I’ve been with you since day one and I gotta come so I was like, okay, bye guys. So I was like, I’m with Chris.
The Jericho Appreciation Society are scheduled for Double or Nothing on May 29th. They’ll be taking on Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley, Eddie Kingston, Santana and Ortiz in an Anarchy in the Arena match.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit Talk Is Jericho with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.