Wrestling fans tune into WWE and AEW for an escape from their everyday lives. They watch the shows to be entertained, then to jump on social media and complain about it. What they don’t want to see is murder live on TV, and no one here means tossing Rey Mysterio and Aleister Black off a roof. No, the murder in question happened on AEW when Chris Jericho led the brutal killing of Vanguard 1. But Jericho has killed before. Will he kill again?
The feud between Vanguard 1 and Le Champion had been brewing for weeks. Matt Hardy’s drone and personal confidant had taunted Jericho several times. Recently, Vanguard 1 stole a coveted and priceless Inner Circle child’s t-shirt from the GOAT while he wore leather pants in a hot tub. Suffice to say, Jericho did not take the insults and affronts of Vanguard 1 well, hatching an evil plan that included a new member of the Inner Circle.
That new member was officially introduced on the May 13th episode of Dynamite. It proved to be something of a swerve, as it was Floyd the Baseball Bat, which Jericho has been carrying around with him for a while. He even took a swipe at Pineapple Pete with it a week earlier.
At the end of his match with the aforementioned fruit-based wrestler, Jericho laid down the gauntlet to whatever is left of The Elite at this point, challenging them to a “Stadium Stampede.” There was no explanation as to what a “Stadium Stampede” is, but Vanguard 1 arrived on the scene to accept the challenge on behalf of The Elite. One has to wonder if The Elite knew bringing in Matt Hardy would end with their spokesman becoming a drone.
That’s when everything went sideways. Jericho introduced Floyd, putting him to work immediately and knocking Vanguard 1 to the mat. The savage beating continued, with Jericho bashing the drone over and over. The rest of the Inner Circle got involved, stomping Vanguard 1. Ortiz even broke out the Madball and laid into the defenseless drone. It was a horrific sight, witnessed by a mortified crowd made up of wrestlers and a few fans.
In the aftermath of the brutal assassination, Matt Hardy came to the ring. The Inner Circle vacated the premises, leaving Hardy quite literally to pick up the pieces of his former friend. Whatever a “Stadium Stampede” match turns out to be, you can bet Matt Hardy and The Elite will visit this trauma back on the Inner Circle tenfold. Vanguard 1 will be avenged.
But this issue runs much deeper than that as Jericho has killed before. When both men were still in WWE, Jon Moxley, then Dean Ambrose, and Chris Jericho were feuding over their respective talk shows. Shane McMahon had canceled the Highlight Reel in favor of the Ambrose Asylum. Jericho took this incredibly poorly. One of the first casualties of their war was Mitch, the Potted Plant, who was killed by Jericho purely out of spite.
This was one act that did not go unpunished. Ambrose attacked Jericho, stole one of his precious jackets and destroyed it in the ring. It’s terrible for these wars to take such a toll on civilians, but Ambrose is an eye for an eye kind of guy.
A similar fate also befell Francesca, a former member of The New Day. Introduced after SummerSlam in 2015, Francesca was a trombone Xavier Woods would play while walking down to the ring and sometimes during matches. Seemingly on a mission to remove all joy from the world, Jericho destroyed Francesca in a fit of rage. Woods was inconsolable, leading the rest of The New Day to hold a funeral for their fallen ally to help Xavier work through the grief.
One can’t help but wonder how long Jericho’s reign of terror will continue. Hopefully, Matt Hardy and The Elite are the ones to step up and end the madness. If not, no inanimate object is safe as long as Chris Jericho is on the loose.
Vanguard 1 was not Chris Jericho's first victim. Wrestlers and fans want to know who is the person to step up and end the madness.