As the inaugural AEW World Champion, Chris Jericho found himself as one of the key cornerstones of AEW Dynamite’s premiere episode. With good reason, of course, as he’s easily the most recognizable and popular name on the roster.

He makes an impact early on, jumping Cody after the first match on the show. This happens as Sammy Guevara distracts Cody with a handshake. It’s not apparent at first but this is a clear foreshadowing of things to come later in the show. It’s a small booking choice here but one of those great building blocks that makes AEW television so satisfying to watch as a week to week piece of wrestling television.

The match itself functions much more as an effective television segment more than it does as a bell to bell wrestling contest. The opening five minutes is some very impressive babyface shine from The Elite that gets interrupted by the awesome debut of Jon Moxley. Moxley and Omega take up a big chunk of television time with their brawl which ends with a Paradigm Shift through a glass table. Good stuff there but Jericho’s not involved.

Jericho’s best chance to shine comes in the heat segment where he plays your standard cocky heel. He works the TV crowd, getting some mic time, having some fun in the ring. It’s house show Chris Jericho and honestly, that’s actually good enough for a TV main event like this. It’s only when The Young Bucks get into their comeback that you can tell how truly outshined Jericho really is in the ring. Both Jackson brothers bring so much speed and energy to their comeback that it does a lot to win back the crowd after a pretty standard and bland heat segment.

As for Santana & Ortiz? They’re just kind of there. Not really offensive but there’s not much to write about either.

Jericho gets one final great spot in however, nailing a Codebreaker to interrupt an incoming Meltzer Driver. Good stuff and it leads straight into the finish with Jericho hitting the Judas Effect for the wind. All in all, a breezy ten minutes that played out to its maximum effect. Can’t say that Jericho really added or detracted too much from it. He’s in there pretty much for name value alone but that’s not so bad for a company as fresh as AEW.

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