Quick Takes: Chris Jericho on Broken Skull, Omega's Next Feud, NXT vs. AEW, More
All Elite Wrestling has sent shock waves throughout the wrestling world in recent months by working with a variety of promotions, including Impact, the NWA and New Japan Pro-Wrestling. But few fans ever expected WWE to be on that list.
Sure enough, WWE announced Friday that AEW's own Chris Jericho will be the next guest on Steve Austin's Broken Skull Sessions show immediately following Night 2 of WrestleMania 37 on April 11. It will mark the first time that a contracted AEW performer has appeared on WWE programming since the promotion's launch in January 2019.
Although it's merely a coincidence, the timing is incredibly interesting coming off the news that NXT will be making the move to Tuesday nights April 13. The Wednesday Night War, as fans know them, will officially be over, but both brands are bound to better off because of it.
On the subject of competition, Kenny Omega has been lacking challengers since successfully retaining the AEW World Championship against Jon Moxley at March's Revolution pay-per-view. He remains in a feud with Moxley, but there's no clear-cut contender ready to challenge him despite Double or Nothing fast approaching.
This installment of Quick Takes will tackle possible opponents for Omega, what Jericho's ground-breaking appearance on Broken Skull Sessions could mean and the NXT vs. AEW rivalry's conclusion. The Hurt Business' breakup and Edge's heel turn will also be discussed.
Will Chris Jericho on 'Broken Skull Sessions' Break the Forbidden Walls Down?
For someone who was known for breaking down the walls for the two decades he spent with WWE, Chris Jericho may have just knocked down his biggest door yet by managing to work his way on to Steve Austin's Broken Skull Sessions show on Peacock and WWE Network despite still being under contract to AEW.
Jericho has proudly waved the AEW flag over the past two years, and for good reason. He's proud of everything he, president Tony Khan, the rest of the roster and everyone else behind-the-scenes have built in what has become a true alternative to WWE.
Although he hasn't been shy about poking fun at his former employer from time to time on Twitter, he clearly has no ill will toward WWE if he agreed to do a podcast with Austin on its streaming service. Austin told Sports Illustrated's Justin Barrasso that it's been in the works for a while and that WWE CEO Vince McMahon gave him the green light to do it.
This by no means indicates that the companies will be working together on any other projects. However, it can't be overstated how big of a deal this is considering WWE rarely plays well with others, especially when it's a promotion it's in direct competition with.
Khan has gone on the record countless times saying that he's open to working with anyone if it makes sense. Triple H apparently shares that mindset if comments he made on a media call are to be believed, but getting Vince to sign off on any sort of crossover will be a different hurdle entirely.
Given almost anyone associated with AEW has been persona non grata to WWE in the past, though, this is a step in the right direction.
The Hurt Business' Breakup Was Premature and Unnecessary
The best thing going on Raw during the pandemic era is apparently no more.
After less than a year together, The Hurt Business broke up on Monday's edition of Raw when Bobby Lashley and MVP ousted Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander from the group. The split was solidified later in the night when Lashley dominated Benjamin in one-on-one competition and put to rest fan speculation that it was a swerve.
Regardless of the idea behind it, Hurt Business' members going their separate ways already is an awful idea. It had been teased for a few weeks, with Benjamin and Alexander losing the Raw Tag Team Championship and then being beaten by Drew McIntyre, but for Lashley to kick them to the curb was abrupt and unnecessary.
The timing couldn't be worse, with WrestleMania 37 coming up Saturday. It's possible WWE wanted to present Lashley as being more dominant by having him annihilate his former partners ahead of the event, but it will do more damage in the long run than anything else.
Lashley being surrounded by a stable is perfect for his character. It gives MVP more people to manage, not to mention that Alexander and Benjamin were doing the best work of their WWE careers while with The Hurt Business.
Even if MVP and Lashley recruit other members, there was nothing wrong with the original incarnation of the group. To disband them so soon is a waste of what could have been.
Both NXT and AEW Are Bound to Benefit from the End of the Wednesday Night War
After almost 18 months, the so-called Wednesday Night War between NXT and AEW Dynamite is set to end Wednesday, when the shows will go head-to-head for the final time before NXT moves to Tuesdays on April 13.
Other than Impact's brief run on Monday nights in 2010, two major wrestling companies hadn't aired opposite each other on a weekly basis since WWE and WCW were at odds in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It was fun while it lasted with NXT and AEW, but it never came close to reaching the heights of the Monday Night War because of it being a different time and wrestling on the whole not being as hot as it was.
Moreover, it was hard to consider it a real war when Dynamite beat out NXT in the ratings more often than not. Both brands produced some strong shows during that year-and-a-half period, but they will be better off on separate nights.
NXT should have moved to Tuesdays long ago, but at least it is finally happening. It seemed that NXT's sole purpose of being on Wednesdays was to hurt AEW's momentum, but after AEW re-upped with TNT in early 2020, it became clear WWE had failed in its mission.
AEW and NXT should worry about improving their own shows and not worry about what's airing on the other channel. Competition is always a good thing, but for a show such as NXT, which was struggling to feel like it was on the same level as Dynamite, there comes a point when accepting defeat and attempting to grow the audience on another night is simply the smarter option.
Edge's Heel Turn Bolsters the Main Event Scene on SmackDown
It wasn't what the WWE Universe was expecting, but Edge's heel turn has proved to be just what The Road to WrestleMania needed.
It's amazing how one can go from being a beloved babyface to a hated heel in a matter of months. Alas, that's what has happened with Edge, whose not-so-subtle character shift since returning at January's Royal Rumble has been beautifully done.
Roman Reigns vs. Edge would have been a marquee match no matter what, but there was concern of the crowd siding with Reigns over Edge, who would have been the intended hero of the match. Adding Daniel Bryan to the bout and turning Edge into a conflicted heel fixed that problem.
It also gave SmackDown another compelling character to work with coming out of WrestleMania 37. Edge can play either side of the coin and excel, Reigns has been killing it as the lead heel of the blue brand for several months and Bryan still has a lot left in the tank as a top face.
Beyond them, there's also Seth Rollins, who's attempting to make a star out of Cesaro in their program. Rollins is another high-profile heel on the roster, and hopefully post-'Mania, Cesaro can be among the elite babyfaces on the blue brand.
Kevin Owens is also waiting in the wings along with Big E. Shinsuke Nakamura can be plugged into that spot at any time, and even Apollo Crews could rise up in the ranks.
The main event picture on Friday nights looks to be in solid shape for the foreseeable future now that Edge has been cemented as an upper-echelon villain.
AEW Doesn't Have an Obvious World Title Match Set for Double or Nothing
Double or Nothing has been positioned as the AEW equivalent to WrestleMania for the past two years, yet there hasn't been even the slightest tease of what the AEW World Championship main event could be.
Kenny Omega has reigned as the champ for the past four months and has overcome a few challengers, including Jon Moxley. March's Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch felt like it would be the payoff to their program, but the fact that they are still feuding obviously indicates it wasn't.
Another Omega vs. Moxley match at the pay-per-view would be underwhelming, so the question turns to whom you put in there with Omega instead. Christian Cage was teased as a possible opponent for Omega following Revolution, but as excellent of a match as that would be, it's too soon for Cage to be contending for the top title.
Unfortunately, that doesn't leave many interesting options.
Adam Page would be perfect given his history with Omega and their unfinished business, but AEW would be wise to hold off on that for another few months. Cody Rhodes would also be ideal if there weren't a stipulation in place preventing him from ever again vying for the AEW World Championship.
Darby Allin is the TNT champion, Lance Archer might be busy with him, Pac is out injured and no one else has a reason for going after Omega. Unless AEW brings in a special opponent for him from another promotion (NJPW's Kota Ibushi or a rematch with Rich Swann from Impact perhaps), Omega needs to enter his next non-Moxley storyline and soon before Double or Nothing arrives May 29.
Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, has specialized in sports and entertainment writing since 2010. Visit his website, WrestleRant, and subscribe to his YouTube channel for more wrestling-related content.