Currently, in the world of All Elite Wrestling, The AEW World Champion Chris Jericho is the leader of a faction dubbed.”The Inner Circle” which consists of Sammy Guevara, Santana and Ortiz, and Jake Hager. On this week’s episode of AEW Dynamite, during Jericho’s World Championship match against Darby Allin Hager came out and blasted him a stiff right hand that gave his leader the victory.
Hager as a member of a dominant faction is fine for now but, eventually “The All-American” is going to get sick and tired of utilizing all of his efforts in keeping the world title on Jericho and want the gold for himself. As I watched Hager it made me think of where have I seen this before? It didn’t take long to answer that question: Evolution.
Back in “the other company” in 2003, a villainous faction burst onto the scene “Evolution” consisting of Triple H, Ric Flair, Randy Orton, and Batista. For nearly a year, all four members were riding high living the good life and holding all the gold on Monday Night Raw.
HHH sat atop the mountain as the World Heavyweight Champion, Flair and Batista as the Raw Tag Team Champions and Orton as the Intercontinental Champion. That little trip lasted for a while until “The Protege” Orton defeated Chris Benoit at the 2004 SummerSlam pay-per-view to become the new World Heavyweight Champion.
Twenty-four hours later on what was dubbed as “Orton’s Championship Coronation,” HHH orchestrated a vicious attack based on greed and jealousy that the younger less-experienced star was holding “his” World title.
Eventually, the teacher would outsmart the student and regain his coveted prize. A year later as “The Animal” was being petitioned to both the Raw and Smackdown brands since he was the Royal Rumble winner.
Batista was having to choose between facing the WWE Champion on the blue brand or facing his long-time friend and leader of Evolution HHH. “The Cerebral Assassin” once again orchestrated a masterplan to ensure the big man made the right choice but his plan backfired. Batista played the game and outsmarted him by signing the contract to stay on Raw and challenge HHH for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 21.
Everyone knows how the story goes so I won’t go into much detail but, could we see the same thing occur in AEW? In 2010 under his Jack Swagger moniker, he won the Money in the Bank Ladder Match to become Mr. Money in the Bank. On the March 30, 2010, episode of Smackdown, Swagger cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase to defeat what do you know…Jericho who had been taken out by Edge to become the new World Heavyweight Champion.
How ironic is it that the man that Hager once defeated to become the World champion is now the leader of The Inner Circle? We all know that one of the main reasons why Jericho is champion is to help bring more eyes to the product with a household name as big as his. In my opinion, what could be better than Jericho remaining World Champion until it’s time to put Hager “over” as a big player in AEW? I would love to hear your thoughts and theories on what AEW should do with Hager.