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Jerry Lynn on how he was signed by AEW, why he wore a mask in WCW as Mr. JL

Jerry Lynn is the guest on the latest episode of “AEW Unrestricted.”

Lynn shares the advice he gave Dr. Britt Baker and Thunder Rosa for their hardcore match on Dynamite. He also talks about how he’s learned from fellow coaches Dean Malenko, Arn Anderson and Jake “The Snake” Roberts. He explains how one call to the Young Bucks resulted in his signing with AEW, and what Tony Khan said to him the first time they met. Jerry also talks about his time in WCW as Mr. JL under a mask, ECW, X-Pac, and more.

Here are some highlights:

Lynn talked about the process of coming to AEW:

“The very first All In that the guys did as an indie show.  I worked with The Bucks only once.  It was The King of Trios Tournament for Chikara.  I worked with Kenny years ago in Winnipeg.  So, there’s a lot of guys I worked with on the show on the indies.  When I was thinking about it, when I first heard what they were doing, I really admired what they were doing because I thought, ‘You know, I’ve worked for every major company, but I was only with WCW for a year, WWF a year, and the rest of it, when I was with TNA, Ring of Honor, I could still work indies.’  So, the majority of my career was still on the indies, so I really admired what they were doing.  I called up the Bucks.  I told them, ‘I really admire what you guys are doing here.  Would you mind using me as a special guest referee?’  They said, ‘Sure’, so we did it.  After the show, I was talking with them.  They didn’t go into detail or anything, but they were kind of telling me, ‘Yeah, we might have some big plans, some big company starting up’, and I’ve heard that story a hundred times over the years.  I just sort of kept it on the back burner.  Then, I think after the announcement of AEW, I called them up and told them, or texted them and told them congratulations and all that.  When I saw Double or Nothing, I called them up again.  I said, ‘I really don’t want to be in front of the camera anymore, but would you be able to use me as an agent or something behind the scenes?’ and they said, ‘Sure.’  That’s when he said on the phone, he said, ‘By the way, did we send you a contract?’  I said, ‘No, this is the first I’ve heard of it.’  He said, ‘All right.  I’ll email you a contract.  Take a look at it and let us know.’  That’s how it all started.”

Lynn gave us the backstory on his Mr. J.L. story in WCW:

“The mask idea was my idea because it’s been 7 ½ years since I broke in the business.  I asked Brad, ‘What do I have to do to get a break?’  He said, ‘Well, the business has changed.  It’s all TV now.  So it’s all about capturing the viewer’s attention so they don’t change the channel.  It has to be something more visual.’  I had been going to Japan quite a bit and saw a lot of cool mask gimmicks.  I thought no one in the States is doing a mask right now.  I was working in a screen printing shop at the time, and I had a friend of mine in the art department help me come up with a design.  At the time, The Power Rangers were huge on TV.  I thought, let’s come up with something that’s sort of like Power Rangers and alien like, like a little crossover between those two.  He came up with that outfit.  It cost me $1250 to get the outfit made because there weren’t a lot of gear makers running around back then.  I found a company, I think they were called Satin Threads, and they did everything from choir gowns to wedding dresses, you name it, so the labor was very expensive. They made the actual first outfit.  I sent pictures and video footage of me in the outfit and WCW said that’s exactly what they’ve been looking for.  So the first night, this is only probably a couple hours before going live, and I’ve talked to Kevin about this and I don’t blame him at all.  It was Kevin Sullivan and a couple other people there.  They were saying, ‘What do you want to be called?’  I’m throwing out these names like The Phantasm or the Cyber Knight, just throwing names out there.  Kevin Sullivan said, ‘Well, we don’t want to just slap a name on you without researching any copyright infringements.’  This is two hours before the first show.  Kevin Sullivan was booking at the time.  He said, ‘Eh, what the f, call him Mr. J.L.’  I thought inside my head this is the beginning of the end, $1250 down the drain.  But I even told Kevin years later when we talked about it, and he apologized, and I said, ‘Kevin, it’s not your fault.’  I was just, I wouldn’t even say a fish in a big pond.  I was just like a guppy in the ocean because you had all the heavy hitters there.  You had the NWO, Sting, Macho Man, Giant, it was like, I was just glad to be signed, so I don’t blame Kevin.  He had a lot on his plate.  That’s how it all came about.”

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit AEW Unrestricted with a h/t to for the transcription

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