Steve Austin knows a thing or two about being the hottest act in professional wrestling. So when "The Texas Rattlesnake" praises somebody for their work, even if it's outside of WWE, people tend to listen. Austin recently spoke with actor/stuntman Paul Lazenby on an episode of The Steve Austin Show and the former WWF Champion revealed one of his favorite acts in wrestling today is Chris Jericho as the top heel over in AEW. Since the start of 2019 Jericho has once again reinvented himself as both "Le Champion" and "The Painmaker" changing up his look and adding the Judas Effect finisher to his arsenal. Since signing with the company he has won two pay-per-view main events, became the company's first world champion and consistently gets major fan reactions each week on AEW Dynamite.
"To me, right now he's about as entertaining as it gets," Austin said (h/t Wrestling Inc for transcription). "He's pushing the envelope. He's edgy. You don't know what he's going to do, so you have that factor of, 'what is he going to do?' because you just don't know right now. Now, it's levelheaded, it's all thought out. You just don't know what he's going to do. He's unpredictable, is what I'm saying. I like that feeling! He feels dangerous! He feels damn near unhinged, but he's very calculated, so what he's putting out right now, I'm digging."
Last week Jericho successfully retained his AEW World Championship in a bout with Cody Rhodes at the Full Gear pay-per-view. He then tried to win the AEW World Tag Team Championships on the following episode of AEW Dynamite, but came up short when Scorpio Sky managed to roll him up for the pin. Jericho closed out the episode by throwing a tantrum for suffering his first loss in an AEW ring.
On the night of Dynamite's TNT premiere, Jericho debuted his new faction The Inner Circle, comprised of himself, Sammy Guevara, Santana & Ortiz and Jake Hager. Together the group have feuded against Rhodes and the rest of The Elite, resulting in Dustin Rhodes getting his arm smashed in a limo door and Matt Jackson getting powerbombed through the entrance stage.
In an emotional promo leading up to their title match, Rhodes promised that The Elite and The Inner Circle would soon meet in a match, and that it would be "a match beyond." AEW recently filed the trademark for that phrase, possibly hinting at a WarGames match between the two factions.