The Chris Jericho feud with Eddie Kingston seemed to go on forever, lasting from before AEW Revolution and ended at Fyter Fest Night 2, in a brutal “Barbed Wire Everywhere” match. This is a match type that had never been done before, in AEW or otherwise, and has fans intrigued at the setup for the bout.
In Chris Jericho’s barbed wire match, the ring ropes were swapped out with razor sharp barbed wire and on the outside of the ring featured boards wrapped in the stuff, stopping either wrestler from escaping. To even the odds, Le Champion’s Jericho Appreciation Society teammates were suspended above the ring inside a giant shark cage, keeping them out of the action (spoiler: it didn’t).
The match was an all out brawl, with both men trying to inflict as much pain as possible onto each other. Blood was shed, weapons were used and a complete disregard for safety was exemplified in this match. It was a grudge match to end one of the longest rivalries in AEW history and should have been a satisfying conclusion to the Eddie Kingston vs Chris Jericho saga.
Sadly, it was not. Despite the group being locked inside the shark cage to stop interference, Tay Melo sneakily unlocked the door letting the men escape. They interfered in the match and helped Jericho to the win, making the whole match stipulation seem a tad superfluous.
However, the idea for the barbed wire everywhere match by Chris Jericho was a smart one. With a set of matches that raised the stakes with each subsequent bout, the logical conclusion for the Jericho-Kingston feud was an ultra-violent, no holds barred battle where they could test the limits of their pain threshold.
While Chris Jericho did win the match, the interference victory definitely hurt his credibility. For a feud which started with an incredible match (many people’s match of the night at AEW Revolution 2022), it ended with a whimper, with a match that was overbooked and way past anybody caring about seeing the two men face off.
However, there was a good reason for the match. Chris Jericho revealed his inspiration for the Barbed Wire Everywhere match during an interview with Absolute Geek Podcast at San Diego ComicCon, Chris Jericho discussed his history with barbed wire matches and how the story of the match fit the barbed wire match, and not the other way around.
I have stitches actually on my inner thigh, which I’ve never had before and is a little too close for comfort. It was pretty brutal, but that’s kind of what we do, it happens sometimes. I think everyone enjoyed it and those types of matches are good for the wrestling business because people get a little bit too ‘oh, it’s not real,’ and someone gets cut on barbed wire and it changes people’s perception.
It’s good to do that once in awhile. Will I ever have another barbed wire match? I’d like to say no. I’ve had two in my career, 30 years a part, maybe in another 30 years I’ll have another one.”
“It’s all about the storytelling, that’s the most important thing about wrestling, storytelling. It’s why people want to watch. If you can connect with the audience with a great story, people will watch, the same as a movie or anything like that. It fit the story of what we were doing. We didn’t just throw it out there and do a barbed wire match for the hell of it.
It really fit the character of Eddie Kingston, it fit the violence of the feud that we had for eight months and it was a great way to end this chapter of the story. I wouldn’t do it just for the hell of it, just to roll around in barbed wire, I don’t need to be doing that for fun. It was really a great way to culminate this awesome story. That’s the motivation.”
Chris Jericho’s Barbed Wire Matches
The former AEW Champion does not have commonly take part in barbed wire matches but Chris Jericho’s history with the match type does go back years and years. On January 23rd 1993, Chris Jericho had the first ever barbed wire match in Canadian history, when he battled Beef Wellington for the North American Heavyweight Championship in Rocky Mountain Pro Wrestling.
Beef Wellingston was a Canadian wrestler from Calgary, Albert, Canada and was trained, like Jericho, in the legendary Hart Dungeon (the training school ran by Bret Hart’s father Stu). He was a journeyman wrestler who had one-off appearances in places like ECW and WCW, plus wrestled on a tour of NJPW during his career.
Sadly, in 2007 he passed away due to numerous health issues, aged just 42. He wrestled Chris Jericho in Canada’s first ever barbed-wire match. According to The List of Jericho book, Le Champion won the match with a clothesline, and was paid $135 for wrestling in the match.
His match with Eddie Kingston was his second ever barbed wire match, making him currently undefeated in the match type over his 33 year career.
What did you think of Chris Jericho’s barbed wire matches? Let us know in the comments or click below to read about the rise and fall of Dolph Ziggler
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.