Tyson and Jericho! Tyson and Jericho! Tyson and Jericho!
The sports world is abuzz today and for the first time ever, the focus of their attention is on AEW.
The reason for that is the show closing brawl between ‘Le Champion’ Chris Jericho and the man of the moment, ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson.
Tyson has been the name on everyone’s lips the last couple of weeks after footage of him sparring went viral and prompted him to announce his plans for a comeback with exhibition bouts against the likes of Evander Holyfield, Shannon Briggs and even Tyson Fury immediately mooted.
AEW captured the moment with Tyson’s appearance on the Double Or Nothing PPV last Saturday to present the TNT Championship to Cody after his tournament final win over Cody.
That was followed up last night as Tyson (With an entourage including former UFC champions Vitor Belfort and Henry Cejudo) marched to the ring to confront Jericho and the Inner Circle after AEW’s biggest heel stable chose to badmouth ‘The Baddest Man On The Planet’
The verbal jousting soon broke down into a mass brawl between Jericho and Tyson’s that prompted many of the roster to hit the ring to break it up.
It was a fun bit of television in and of itself and AEW will have known exactly what it was going to do for them in terms of media attention.
Tyson/Jericho wasn’t the only big news on last night’s episode of course. FTR (The team formerly known as The Revival in WWE) finally made their AEW debut last night in the opening segment of the show.
The question is, where does this go next? Tyson’s profile right now is as high as it has been since 1998, arguably. AEW have a real opportunity to ride the zeitgeist by moving this story on to the next level quickly.
Unlike the 90s, the nature of viral fame in 2020 means their window of opportunity is short. While Tyson is hot news now, the world will soon move on. It’s AEW’s challenge to maximise this angle while the wider world is still interested in Tyson.
Given their track record so far, you have to back them to pull it off.