Last night on AEW Dynamite, the impossible happened. Chris Jericho entered the ring in a “tune up match” (as he called it in a backstage promo prior to the match) against local jobber Action Andretti. The match was simply a warm up for Jericho, who had aspirations of challenging Claudio Castagnoli in a rematch for the Ring of Honor Championship.
However, the match did not go the way Le Champion would have expected. Jericho and Andretti battled for nearly 10 minutes, with Andretti hitting a wide variety of impressive aerial offensive moves that wowed the crowed and got them firmly on his side.
He kicked out of a codebreaker and, with the crowd rabid to see Jericho eat another loss, hit a running shooting star press and pinned The Ocho for the three count, picking up the most shocking victory in AEW history. The win evoked 123 Kid’s win over Razor Ramon nearly 30 years on Monday Night Raw and looked to have built a new star in AEW after just one match.
But who is Action Andretti?
Who Is Action Andretti?
Action Andretti is a professional wrestler from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is the currently MCW Wrestling Champion. He is a homegrown star for MCW, having been trained at the MCW Pro Wrestling training school and has been wrestling since 2019. He is a high-flying wrestler, which he showed off during his match with Chris Jericho at AEW Winter Is Coming 2022.
Andretti is 24 years old and viewed as “one to watch” in the future. His in-ring skills are some of the best of his age, and one MCW fan has labelled his promo skills as being “on the level of someone like Daniel Garcia or Wheeler Yuta“. He’s wrestled for a number of promotions in the past like GCW, CZW and WrestlePro, where he caught the eye of AEW President Tony Khan.
Recently, Action Andretti has wrestled on AEW Dark in a number of matches to show off his talent to AEW management. He has wrestled five matches in All Elite Wrestling, although his bout with Chris Jericho was his first win since his debut in January 2022. The wrestlers he has faced in AEW so far are:
- Dante Martin
- Private Party
- Josh Woods & Tony Nese
- QT Marshall
- Chris Jericho
Action Andretti recently wrestled on AEW Dark where he lost in an effort against QT Marshall. He later pledged that he would be back for another match in AEW, although not even he could have imagined what would happen when he made his AEW Dynamite debut against a future Hall of Famer in Chris Jericho.
He has been compared to the 123 Kid (also known as X-Pac, or Sean Waltman) when he worked as a jobber in the WWF. On May 17, 1993, he hit a moonsault and rolled up WWE Superstar Razor Ramon (WWE Hall of Famer Scott Hall), stealing a three count and winning the match against the former Intercontinental Champion. 123 Kid later went on to become X-Pac, a key member of the NWO and DX and eventually was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame twice.
Action Andretti will be hoping he can achieve just some of the success that Sean Waltman did and will be hoping that this win pushes him further up the card in AEW. Things are looking good for the 24 year old, as Tony Khan took to twitter after the match to announce that Action Andretti is now ALL ELITE!
On the latest episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer revealed that Chris Jericho saw Action Andretty wrestling against QT Marshall on AEW Dark and decided then to put him over and book the match with him on Winter is Coming. However, it wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction and was planned weeks in advance.
“The story behind this is that Action Andretti had a match on one of the streaming shows (Dark) against QT Marshall, and Chris Jericho was watching the match, and decided at that moment, ‘This guy’s gonna be a star’.
“And so he decided that he was going to make him a star.
“This was way back, he had all this stuff to do, the Claudio feud, these other matches… This match on this date, this was not something where it was decided like yesterday. This was weeks and weeks and weeks ago.
Action Andretti On His Match With Chris Jericho
Speaking to Busted Open radio after his huge win over Chris Jericho, Action Andretti revealed that he was “grateful” to have the opportunity not just to wrestle a legend like Jericho, but to beat him in his first match on AEW Dynamite. He revealed he was “super ready” for it, seemingly confirming the claim that Meltzer made of the match being planned for weeks, if not months, in advance.
I just felt grateful. I couldn’t believe that was the situation I was going to be in and to have that many eyes on me. Chris, right now, is doing excellent things in AEW, and has been for the past couple of years. The fact that I had the opportunity to go up against the former World Champion, just lost the Ring of Honor Championship, coming off the great run he had with that title. It was a lot, but I was super ready for it and I knew I had to show up and show out, and I feel like that’s what I did. It was a really cool opportunity, I’m super grateful I got that opportunity and made the most of it, even for the victory over Chris Jericho.
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.