The following interview recap was written by the folks at Monday Night Mayhem:
Here are some of the highlights from the much talked-about Y2J interview, provided by The Mayhem’s Co-Host, John “The Big Mosh” Masiulionis.
The Big Mosh & Blade welcomed Chris back to the program — his first appearance since last August, when The Mayhem gave away an all-expenses paid trip for a lucky Jericho-holic to fly into Toronto, Ontario, Canada to have a special VIP Meet & Greet w/Y2J after a performance of Chris’ theater debut, “Opening Night.”
Blade & Mosh got right down to business, and asked Chris what stands to have a better chance of happening: Chris returning to the WWE @ Cyber Sunday or the Survivor Series or Guns ‘N’ Roses releasing their long-awaited album, “Chinese Democracy.” Now fans around the world know that Chris is known for dropping hints of certain things in the past. His appearance on The Mayhem was no different. “People have a better chance of seeing the Led Zepplin Reunion Tour including John Bonham.” He went on to say that “he is always caught in the middle” a good majority of the time, and that’s “he’s the last one to know about certain things,” and that Mosh & Blade probably know more about what is going on than he does (“with their secret spies in the major wrestling companies”). For an interesting analysis of Jericho’s take on the Led Zepplin Reunion Tour and how it ties in to his comeback, check out Chris’ official message board, located at www.ChrisJericho.com.
Chris is very pleased and proud of the reviews for his new book, and the comparisons it is drawing to Mick Foley’s “Have A Nice Day” (which he describes as “the benchmark” for wrestling-themed books), as well as books/autobiographies penned by Eric Bischoff, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and many others. When he left the WWE in 2005, this is “something he always wanted to do,” but was simply never asked to do it beforehand. Within one month of him parting ways with World Wrestling Entertainment, he had a book agent and Warner Brothers (now Grand Central Publishing) brought him aboard to tell his story. “It was a long time coming,” Chris went on to say: a two-year and two-month journey to get this to the finished product. “This is very unique story — one that you will probably never see again.”
The book focuses on Chris’ life growing up in Canada and his dream of becoming a WWE superstar — with the start of his professional career in 1990 all the way through walking out to the crowd at The Allstate Arena in Chicago, IL back in August 1999 for an edition of Monday Night RAW to challenge The Rock. He is very proud, looking back on his career, that he never gave up, and that he kept working hard towards that very dream to achieve that.
When he started in the business back almost twenty years ago, Chris said that the proto-type superstars and wrestlers were the 6’8, 300-pound guys (such as Hulk Hogan), and he was nowhere near that size at all. He was not going to let that deter him in any way, shape, or form. “In this day and age when all you need to do is start up a blog or address, or put yourself on You Tube crying about Britney Spears and you’ll be famous,” he did not have that luxury back in 1990. To get himself out there to keep the lines of communication open, he was unable to use the internet — He had to contact people by sending letters, pictures of himself, and a tape of his work to promoters around the world.
He wanted “A Lion’s Tale” to not only be for the wrestling fans, but for the non-wrestling fans as well, to show how a dreamer can achieve what he wants if he puts his mind to it: “a feel-good, coming-of-age story, with wrestling as the background.” In addition, Chris was very close to this project from beginning to end, and he thinks all of the Jericho-holics around the world will appreciate the fact that he did not want to give the reigns to his book to anyone else: He had to do it himself.
Chris also sees the newly-released Dave Batista book as “no competition for the Chris Jericho book,” (no knock on Dave personally) based on his fifteen-plus years of worldwide experience to a little over five-plus years, mainly in the United States. Jericho sees the new Bret “Hitman” Hart book as more of a healthy competition for him, and that his and Bret’s books will be some of the last ones to come out from a wrestlers’ perspective and stand-point of traveling around the world and wrestling in many different areas (small territories, foreign countries, etc) to achieve the success they have had. “That is something you will not see much of anymore,” Chris added in — especially how talents today sign a developmental deal, and within six months-one year, they are on television, learning as they go along.
With regards to the unfortunate Benoit tragedy from this past June and the media’s vast coverage of what happened afterwards, Chris felt he had no responsibilities to defend the wrestling business. When he did interviews with Greta Van Susteren and Nancy Grace, he made it clear that he did not want to have any other wrestlers along with him (besides Bret Hart), simply because he was not interested in getting into arguments with anybody or debating anybody. Chris went on by saying that he was one of the very few guys who really knew Chris, and that “he was sick of guys going on television just to promote themselves and not knowing who Chris Benoit really was.” Jericho said that he did not have an agenda, a vendetta, or “an ax to grind,” like some of the former wrestling might have had. “I basically did it to try and get some clarity for myself, and if people agreed with me, great, and if they didn’t, I could have really cared less. The mainstream media does not give a rat’s-ass about wrestling, unless something bad happens like this. That’s why I did not do any Geraldo Rivera’s, Bill O’ Reilly’s, or anything for Dateline NBC.”
Changing gears, Chris made a very clear statement about his return to the business (coming off the heels of taking two-plus years off, and being able to work on various acting projects, touring with Fozzy, & more): “If I go back to wrestling, it is going to be on my terms, but I would not want to give up the stuff I have been working on over the past several years.” He feels that after he wrote the book especially, that now “could” be the time to go back, and he continued on by saying “It would be a big step. I’d love to go back to have some fun and do my thing. For better or for worse, fifteen-plus years of experience…you can’t teach experience, you can’t teach his style of wrestling that I do, you can’t teach the style of promos I do…It’s something that I do out of instinct at this point in time. A lot of guys today are waiting for the writing, the creative team, Vince, or Dixie to make them into stars, and wrestling has never been that way…It’s about the individual taking the ball & running with it. It’s not about how big you are, or how many moves you can do, it’s about simply connecting with the crowd. Chris goes on into further detail and comments on this topic that EVERYONE around the world wants to know about — only which you can hear on The Mayhem, so check out this must-listen interview, as words are only words guys, a recap is a recap. Take the time to hear Chris’ honest comments on this…
When it comes to current talents in the business he might interested in working with: Chris would love to work with The Boogeyman (“he is one of the best characters I have seen in years”), Abyss, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Marafuji, John Cena, Mr. Kennedy, & MVP (the latter two he thinks need some work because they are still very young and green, but if they have some guys they can spar with, they will end up turning out okay in the end), Edge (“who is coming into his own”), Randy Orton (“who is getting better”). Chris has no problems working with anyone in particular, no matter what their work-rate is, or how big they are — which is one of the things, he feels, has kept him around for so long.
Chris claims to have not seen any of the “Save Us 222” promos that have been running currently on RAW, ECW, & SmackDown for the past few weeks, so he is “not sure what they are.” He just heard about them, but does describe them as very “cryptic.” Jericho went on to say that he is “not smart enough to read clues…he needs to be banged over the head with clues.” He does love, however, how people have instantaneously associated him with these promos — continuing to get/keep his name out. This, in addition to TNA using his name in a text message contest on their programming a few months back (along with Brock Lesnar & Goldberg), which he had no problems with. He encourages the fans to keep using his name as a spoiler and a teaser.
With “total self-confidence and arrogance,” Chris knows without a shadow of a doubt that he can “save” the wrestling business and once again turn the world on its ear. “There’s only a certain amount of people who can do what I do.” Jericho described two years away from the wrestling business is a “lifetime,” and that some fans might not think he will ever come back. “If and when I do, it will throw people for a loop. When the time is right, I will be back.” Until that time comes, he is happy doing what he is doing right now.
Before Chris left from the WWE, he requested to Vince to have John Cena be the one that “fired him.” Jericho said it was a shame that Cena got hurt, especially with the recent roll he was on, but it does leave the opportunity for him to reclaim his belt, an at the same time, get Randy Orton over in the process. Chris looks forward to seeing John back in the company.
Chris calls Shawn Michaels “his favorite wrestler of all time,” and would welcome the opportunity to work with Shawn again in the future. And “whether Shawn works one or one hundred matches in a month (with the rumors of him working a reduced schedule), they will be great matches.”
Jericho described the competition between the WWE & TNA as a “dogfight slowly starting again,” which is great for the business, the talent, and the fans.
Mosh & Blade also asked Chris if he had thoughts about writing a follow-up to “A Lion’s Tale” down the road. Jericho said he would be open to the idea, and compared a possible sequel to that of Halloween 2, which picks up seconds after Halloween ended.
Chris ended the interview with several mentions of upcoming movie projects that he has completed and that are also in the works, a “Lemonade stand” on his street, and a “Salvation Army clothing drive” (which he encourages people to give him their dirty socks) — plus, a special shout-out to his loyal Jericho-holics around the world (who he describes as “the best in the world”).
The 45+ minute interview with Y2J, one of the most-requested Mayhem programs ever, also includes his uncensored thoughts & takes on Kurt Angle’s recent issues outside of the ring (and why he thinks Angle going to TNA was one of the best things for the wrestling business), why the wrestling fans take certain talents for granted (that are always there week in & week out), why performers of today need to keep updating their personas on a regular basis, why it was vital & important to his career to span the globe & work in multiple continents & countries, more on how the business has changed since he first broke in, the wrestling media, & why he is so pumped about how well “A Lion’s Tale” is doing on Amazon.com prior to its actual release date of October 25th.
Click here to listen to the interview in streaming audio or click here to download the podcast.
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