AEW’s Chris Jericho has accomplished many things in his career, from world championships, to wrestling firsts, but he has never wrestled in a Blood and Guts/WarGames match.
Ahead of his bow in the stipulation on May 5, Jericho spoke to the New York Post about Blood and Guts being a match almost two years in the making, saying the following:
“It’s one of those things we’ve kind of had in our back pocket for a while, because I’m a big believer in you don’t do an angle because of a match, you do a match because of an angle. We had it built up perfectly last year before the pandemic locked us down. We didn’t want to rush the match because once the time passed, then we were locked down and then we came up with the Stadium Stampede, so what do you do to finally put this match on and that’s when we started this giant feud with MJF and Jericho and The Pinnacle and The Inner Circle that we basically started in September. With sort of the blood feud that came out of it, we thought it would be the perfect time to do Blood and Guts, 14, 15 months later because the story demands it.”
Of course you can’t talk about Blood and Guts without referring to its original name; ‘WarGames: The Match Beyond’, the first half of that name currently owned and used by WWE. But it wasn’t just copyright reasons that led to AEW’s rechristening of the infamous stipulation: “Our version of kind of the WarGames is why we called it Blood and Guts, it’s just not a copyright thing,” said Jericho, “There are some differences and we wanted to kind of make it our own version of this classic match, which we obviously have a direct legacy to with Dustin and Cody [Rhodes] being with the company and obviously [president] Tony Khan is a massive fan of that era of wrestling. So, I think he didn’t want to mess with those classic rules. He grew up loving that style of WarGames.
“I’ve never been in a WarGames before in my life. A matter of fact, I’ve never even seen one. I watched a couple now to just kind of look at them. The reason why I don’t need to go back and watch any is (because) I’ve been in a lot of first-ever matches that are now kind of mainstream, if you talk about Money in the Bank, if you talk about the Elimination Chamber or Stadium Stampede. We didn’t go back and watch other ones, because there weren’t any. I’m treating Blood and Guts kind of the same way. Yes, there are ideas you can pull, but this isn’t a typical WarGames or a typical cage match. Also, our angle seems to be a lot more serious than some of those teams that were kind of put together and a lot more of a blood feud. I think those rules fit what we’re doing here in that you don’t want to do a bunch of pins and eliminations. It really is submit or surrender because of the story that we’ve been telling between these two factions.”
As well as the stipulation and name tweaks, the structure of the AEW Blood and Guts cage is a literal different too:
“Our apparatus, if you will, is different. We are putting it in Daily’s Place so there were some configurations you kind of had to switch around a bit just out of space restrictions, which kind of adds to the originality of our match and our structure. If you watched WarGames back in 1992, it’s a little different from that and if you saw kind of WWE’s bastardized version, it’s different from that. We kind of have a little bit of a different thing. Some of it is by design, some of it is from necessity.”