When Chris Jericho took to the ring for an open challenge against any former Ring of Honor Champion – a challenge eventually answered by Colt Cabana – at the recent AEW show in Baltimore, Maryland, few could have expected that he would spark a feud with the most unlikeliest of people, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.
“So last week,” Jericho began during his in-ring promo. “After Claudio, that Jacka– took a tainted victory over ‘The Ocho,’ it made me mad. And now, like I said, I am ready for an open challenge tonight against any former Ring of Honor Champion. World Champion, Tag Team Champion, Pure Champion, Women’s Champion, I don’t care; I’ll even whip Lamar Jackson’s a–.”
While AEW didn’t go back to this impromptu feud later in the show or on Rampage, as, unfortunately, the Friday night show was going to be broadcast live from Atlantic City, New Jersey, with a special “All-Atlantic City Dream Match” booked between Orange Cassidy vs. NJPW’s Shibata with “Iron” Mike Tyson on commentary, the short sub-two minute segment garnered quite a bit of conversation online, with fans, sports outlets, and even the Ravens beat reporters getting in on the fun. When asked about Jericho on Thursday, Jackson admitted he was taken aback by the multi-time champion calling him out while he was just trying to catch a Wednesday night wrestling show.
“I got called out!” Jackson told reporters. “I wasn’t thinking he was going to call me out, you know, Chris Jericho called me out. I didn’t really hear what he said at first and then they told me and I started laughing, I’m like this man is crazy. I enjoyed it though because growing up I was a huge fan of wrestling. It was cool, though.”
So what gives? Is Jericho a straight-up Baltimore hater a la his fellow former champion – and noted Pittsburgh fan – Britt Baker, or did he have something else in mind? Well, as any long-time fan of wrestling surely knows, there isn’t a promotional opportunity alive that “The Ocho” takes for granted.
Tune in to TBS right now! pic.twitter.com/lNaWne5qRY
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) November 3, 2022
Chris Jericho has nothing but love for AEW’s MVP-winning fan.
Stopping by the Sedano & Kap show on ESPN Los Angeles, Jericho was asked about and discussed his interaction with Jackson, who is apparently a massive fan.
“The thing about Lamar Jackson that was great is, I know football, but I don’t live in Baltimore so I’m not very familiar with the Ravens,” Chris Jericho said. “Lamar was there earlier and asked to take a picture with me, he’s a big fan of wrestling and Chris Jericho. When I saw him in the crowd, I was like, ‘Oh, this is great, we’re friends now, we took a picture together. I can say this and he’ll get a little laugh, but no one else knows that we just spent 10 minutes prior (hanging out).’ They don’t think Jericho is going to call out Lamar Jackson. What it does is, it gets tons of mainstream publicity for AEW, tons of mainstream publicity for Lamar Jackson, everybody wins”
Welp, there you go; Jericho and Jackson are friends, and while they didn’t get into it on the show in the way many fans might have wanted to see, it sounds like the door could be open for some sort of spot in the future, maybe when AEW rolls through Baltimore at some point in the future during the football season. Based on recent in-ring performances of non-wrestlers like Logan Paul, Shaq, and Snoop Dogg, there’s little reason why Jackson couldn’t hit a spot and get a massive pop – assuming the Ravens are down with the idea.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) November 3, 2022