2020 was a huge year for All Elite Wrestling as the promotion firmly established itself as the opposition and the alternate choice to the WWE.
One of the big reasons why AEW was so successful in 2020 was due to the popular faction known as The Inner Circle. Led by Chris Jericho, this group has run roughshod in the company including winning gold along the way.
As the year closes, the success of this group has shifted towards its most recent member MJF. However, the recent addition of MJF and Wardlow has created tension, humor and rumors of a potential implosion that sees The Inner Circle fall apart and disband in 2021.
With that in mind, pro wrestling betting sites have released odds on the future of The Inner Circle. Let’s step inside the squared circle, take off our Ric Flair style robe, examine the future of this faction, and jump all over these betting odds before the bell can ring to start the match.
Quick History of The Inner Circle
Chris Jericho will go down as one of the greatest pro wrestlers of all-time. His longevity of 30 years in the business, as of this writing, combined with his uncanny ability to remake himself and stay trendy is unparalleled in the business today.
That’s a big reason why AEW decided to make Jericho their inaugural champ at the All Out event in August 2019. At that same show, Santana and Ortiz also debuted and attacked The Young Bucks.
A little over a month later, these occurrences at All Out would come into focus at the debut show of Dynamite on October 2nd, 2019.
On the debut of AEW’s weekly TV show, Chris Jericho teamed up with Santana and Ortiz to take on Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks in the main event. Jericho’s team won the match, but it was what happened after the match that sent AEW on the path it went for the next year.
Following the match, Sammy Guevara came out and helped Jericho’s team. Then the surprise arrival of Jake Hager really put a nice touch on the formation of this faction, which got its official name the next week on Dynamite as Jericho said they were to be called The Inner Circle.
For the next few months, The Inner Circle was the top act in AEW until John Moxley defeated Jericho at the Revolution PPV on February 29, 2020, to win the AEW world championship.
Although they didn’t have the world title anymore, The Inner Circle remained at the top of the promotion’s singles and tag team rankings, storylines, and TV time.
With many notable feuds like Jericho vs Orange Cassidy and the tag team rivalry between Santana & Ortiz vs The Best Friends, The Inner Circle continued to create memorable moments in AEW and on TV.
However, arguably the most memorable moment of The Inner Circle in 2020 was the “dinner debonair” where Jericho and MJF did a musical that sent even the mainstream media into a frenzy.
Ultimately, the dinner and a town hall meeting led Jericho to wrestle MJF at Full Gear on November 7th, 2020, to see if MJF and Wardlow could join the group. MJF won the match and his entrance, along with Wardlow, into The Inner Circle.
Now, MJF’s inclusion is the catalyst for many rumors and conspiracy theories that he will be the reason why The Inner Circle implodes and disbands in 2021. We’ve already seen cracks in the foundation of this group in the last month, and these cracks are expected to “break the walls down.”
With that in mind, we have some prop bets that look at potential wrestling matches that could come from the growing dysfunction within the group.
Let’s take a closer look at these betting odds, pick some winners, and touch on a few ways that The Inner Circle could come to an end in 2021.
Chris Jericho vs MJF
- Chris Jericho (-125)
- MJF (-110)
As mentioned, these two stars have already wrestled against each other in order for MJF to get into The Inner Circle. He won in heel fashion and cemented his spot with the faction. This came after a month or so of MJF lobbying for his inclusion along with Wardlow.
From gifts to the incredible dinner musical, MJF had taken his talents to another level in order to win his way into the group.
The duo of MJF and Jericho are comedy gold in AEW along with being two of the top heels that can sell a match with their mic work and deliver on their trash talking via their in-ring work.
With that said, this duo won’t be the crux of why The Inner Circle implodes. It will start with another feud and eventually be settled by Jericho and MJF.
Now, when they eventually do face off, it’s hard to imagine that Jericho will win the bout. If anything, he will put over MJF in order to cement him as one of the top stars in the company.
Thanks to you amazing #AEW fans, we are Live on TNT with #AEWDynamite now! Chris Jericho is inducting MJF into the Inner Circle now, the first time he’s ever added new blood to the group in over a year since Dynamite first began! There’s a lot still to come tonight, stay tuned! pic.twitter.com/153XsDeRGB
— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) November 12, 2020
Furthermore, it would make no sense to have Jericho win when they took a slow burn approach to having MJF destroy the group. That long term storyline serves to build up MJF and a few other stars that break out of the faction to go their own way like Sammy Guevara.
This prop bet has Jericho listed as the favorite, but the value and the logic is with MJF to win whatever match they end up having following the group’s implosion.
Chris Jericho vs MJF –MJF (-110)
Jake Hager vs Wardlow
- Jake Hager (+175)
- Wardlow (-250)
These two powerhouses are the muscle of The Inner Circle, yet they seem to be on a collision course to fight each other at some point.
If AEW was smart, they would put them as a tag team instead and have them win the gold. In fact, have them beat up everyone else with the stipulation that once they’ve cleared out the tag division then they would end up fighting each other.
Since neither man appears to be destined for a huge singles push in the near future, putting them together as a tag team makes a lot of sense. And, it could really get over with the AEW fans.
I could see Jericho and MJF arguing over which one is the manager or the brains behind this duo as well.
As to this prop bet, I have a hard time seeing how Hager could be such a sizable underdog. Wardlow definitely has some talent for a big man, but Hager is a mauler inside the ring with his wrestling and MMA background.
Of the two, it would seem that Hager could become a singles star quicker than Wardlow due to his experience in the business.
I am taking Hager to win the match between these two wrestlers. I doubt it will happen as the first match following the inevitable implosion. Yet, it definitely would be an entertaining heavyweight bout and one that’s worthy of a main event spot on Dynamite.
Jake Hager vs Wardlow –Hager (+175)
MJF vs Sammy Guevara
- MJF (-300)
- Sammy Guevara (+200)
So, if any match were to take place before, during, or after the implosion of The Inner Circle it would be this one. In fact, the seeds have already been sewn for this match.
A few weeks ago on AEW, Chris Jericho had all the members come into the ring as he forced them all to squash their internal beef and complaints. Namely, it was Guevara’s issues with MJF. Sammy said that if MJF did one more thing then he was quitting the group.
It’s only a matter of time before MJF does something else to drive Guevara out of the group and into an eventual match against each other.
How we get to that point, and when, could be escalated over the next few months as AEW’s Revolution PPV is in February and that could be a good time to kick off the year with an Inner Circle meltdown.
Will the Inner Circle Operate as One Unit After the Ultimatum? | AEW Dynamite, 12/9/20
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) December 14, 2020
As for who wins, I think it’s clear that MJF would get the victory in a one-off match. However, I do see this angle having the potential to be a great feud between two young stars that are the present and the future of this company.
Like Jericho vs Orange Cassidy and Cody vs Brodie Lee, MJF vs Sammy Guevara could be one of the best feuds of 2021 if given enough time.
It’s the type of feud that could make stars out of both wrestlers while elevating anyone else associated with them.
You have to figure that Wardlow will still be alongside MJF. I could see Guevara still being associated with Santana and Ortiz or with Hager if he doesn’t stay next to Jericho.
Either way, MJF is the wager for this prop bet.
MJF vs Sammy Guevara –MJF (-300)
MJF and Wardlow vs Jericho and Hager
- MJF and Wardlow (+100)
- Jericho and Hager (-138)
All of the angles mentioned in the bets above could lead us to a tag team match between these four wrestlers. In fact, it makes a lot of sense for it to breakdown this way as Hager and Wardlow are the muscle for Jericho and MJF respectively.
So, a tag team match between the foursome would be a great way to punctuate the destruction of The Inner Circle.
Getting to that point could involve all of the other matches listed above. Additionally, there’s another way this could happen before the prop bets listed above.
AEW recently did a tag team tournament that saw The Young Bucks win the tournament and go on to beat FTR for the tag team titles.
This years Christmas card! 🎄 pic.twitter.com/Nnk8jUMP2T
— sammy guevara (@sammyguevara) December 20, 2020
This time around, Jericho and Hager could form a team and MJF and Wardlow could form a team. It could be a competition between the two teams as to who will win the tournament. In this regard, I would put my money on MJF and Wardlow to win a tournament.
The longer that AEW can keep MJF away from a singles match with Jericho, the better off AEW will be. We all know that these two will eventually feud because of the faction’s disbanding, but that needs to be held off until there are fans back in the stands and at a major PPV.
It would make sense to wait until next summer for something like that to happen. But, that doesn’t mean that AEW can’t do a tag-team tournament again and have these teams face each other.
If this ends up as a non-tournament match then I am leaning towards Jericho and Hager winning. Yes, MJF is the future franchise player for AEW, but you can’t have every scenario leading to Jericho and Hager losing to MJF and Wardlow whether it’s in a singles match or a tag team match.
Furthermore, it would be best to have Jericho and Hager win a tag-team match, in a non-tournament storyline, because it could eventually build towards the individual showdown between MJF and Chris Jericho.
MJF & Wardlow vs Jericho & Hager –Jericho and Hager (-138)
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed “King of the Blog” in his first year with the site. …