SHOW: The Main Event, Sunday Mornings from 10:30am-12:00pm on www.MainEventRadio.com and 1690AM in Montreal
HOST #1: Mr. Ryan Rider
HOST #2: Steve Rockamaniac
Audio Can Be Downloaded At: http://www.MainEventRadio.com
For the 3rd time on the Main Event, it was a pleasure to once again have Chris Jericho on the program. Always a great interviewee, he spoke on numerous topics including how he feels his return has been, his second book, thoughts on Jeff Hardy’s suspension, coming back to Canada, and more!
Q: The last time we had you on was right before your official return to World Wrestling Entertainment. At that time you were denying any involvement with the viral marketing campaign but at the same time hinted that you would be returning soon. So…Surprise, surprise…it did culminate in your return! So, Chris, How has this run been for you so far?
A: It’s been awesome. I’ve really enjoyed it. I always said I wouldn’t come back until I could come back and be better than ever. And I feel like I am, I feel like my stuff has been really good and it’s only getting better; I’m really excited to continue forward with whoever I work with and whatever I do I’m just really happy with how everything’s going.
Q: Let’s talk about some of the things you’ve done since you came back… The first night you returned where you did that promo against Randy Orton, it was kind of reminiscent of your original debut in the WWE where you did a similar promo to the Rock.
A: They wanted Y2J to come back with a splash and have enough of that old Y2J candor and of that old Y2J spirit. And it was great but in the last couple of months I have once again evolved and metamorphasized the Y2J character to be a little less bombastic and a little more introspective, a little more low-key. To this, low-key equals bombastic nowadays. I think the return and that promo was great, I think the stuff I’ve done like the Oscar award ceremony with [Shawn] Michaels last week is just as entertaining and just as much fun. I enjoy taking chances and doing things a little bit differently. That’s one of the reasons why I’ve been able to keep my head above water for the last 17 years.
Q: Looking back, would you have done your return a little earlier?
A: I think some fans just aren’t happy with anything you do to be honest with you, and anybody can be an armchair quarterback. This could have been done this way, this could have done better that way. That was the date [November 19th] that we both agreed on, both the company and myself. The fact that John [Cena] got injured, I think a lot of people just assumed that I would be back to replace him. That’s not the way that we planned it out, and that’s not the way we wanted to do things. I would never second guess anything like that. I think things worked out exactly the way they should have, I think they worked out great. To rush anything never thinks and is never a good idea. If you really think about it, the comeback as replacement for John wouldn’t have been the thing to do at the time.
Q: Earlier this year, you had a slew of matches with JBL, how is he like to work with in the ring?
A: He’s a tough, raw-boned individual. He has no problem throwing hands and throwing himself around out there. I enjoyed working with John and I think we could have worked together a little longer had the company wanted us to do so, but Vince wanted to go in a different direction. I’ve worked with him a bunch of times at some of the house shows over the last few weeks especially overseas and we had a great time, I hope to work with him more in the future.
Q: What are your thoughts on the Jeff Hardy situation? Of course you ended up winning the Intercontinental title for a record breaking eighth time because of it.
A: It was a drag that Jeff got hurt – or actually got suspended when he did. We had a lot of things planned, in the pipeline of what we were gonna do. Hopefully Jeff has learned his lesson, I can see into Jeff’s head to see exactly where he’s at. He’ll come back and hopefully when he comes back he’ll have his crap together. He’s a great talent, he’s a great performer. He’s got that X factor that connects with the crowd. I love working with him, he’s a great guy. He made a mistake and hopefully he learned his lesson. Also you can say that I won the title because of the suspension, but yeah it’s not why I won the title it’s just how you do it. I think our match was probably one of the best on Raw this year so far and whether he was suspended the next day or not, he wasn’t suspended that night. I think our match was a real show-stealer, a great performance from both guys. I’m looking forward to working with him more when he makes his return.
Q: Wrestlemania 24, a couple of weeks you were in the Money in the Bank ladder match which you actually thought of the concept originally, how did that bout compare to the others you’ve had at past Wrestlemanias?
A: I had one other, this one was much better than the first one. The first one was kind of like a trial run, the six of us had never done a match-up like this because it was the first time. Having a couple more to study and watch and having the one behind my belt, it was great, I really enjoyed it. It was what it was, it was kind of a stunt show, a breath taking spectacle. I what people want to see from that match, we gave them what they wanted to see and more. I think it was one of the best matches on the show, which is the only thing you can ask for at Wrestlemania.
Q: Well speaking of Wrestlemania, on one of the Raws prior to it you got punched in the face by the Big Show…that had to have hurt, didn’t it?
A: Of course it had to have hurt! What am I, an idiot? Damn straight it hurt. The guy is a giant and the fact that he’s also a trained boxer. I’m glad I’m still alive. Well it shows just how tough Y2J is, it’s Canadians baby, you just can’t knock us down!
Q: How does it feel to be back in Canada, on your home turf here?
A: Exciting. It’s funny because my home turf is thousands of miles away from where I grew up. If you’re from Canada, you’re instantly everybody’s every friend. Everybody in Canada is very proud of every other Canadian so if this was in California, people wouldn’t go he’s American, he’s American. But if you come back to Canada, Toronto; wherever you may me, anywhere from Victoria to the Maritimes, they say ‘yeah he’s Canadian!’ and they respond like I’m a hometown hero. That’s just kind of showing the pride of Canada.
Q: When we last had you on, your book was just coming out and it was well received by both fans and non-wrestling fans. We’ve heard of a sequel coming out, do you have any additional details on that? [“Undisputed Attitude”, out in Fall 2009]
A: I was actually working on it last night. The first one was very well received; it was a New York Times Bestseller. Before the first one was officially released, I got signed to do a deal for the second one which will focus on my WWE years. My dream to make it into the WWE was what was talked about in the first book, and now this one will dissect that dream. What I thought of the experience, was it more, was it less? It will talk about my experiences in Hollywood, what I did with the band, exploring the deaths of Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, some of that personal stuff as well. I’m excited, I was just looking through a lot of the memories from the mind bank. It was a lot of work to do a book It took a lot of time and a lot more than I expected to write the first one, I’m hoping the second one will be earlier but I’m really excited to get to work on it.
Q: Do you have any good road stories for us from over the years?
A: I enjoyed the earlier years, the time in Mexico, in Japan. All the crazy things that happened, being help up at gunpoint on the side of the road in Mexico by a chick who was supposed to be taking me to this party; she robs me on the side of the road, left me for dead. Being threatened by the Yakuza after breaking a vase in their town, threatening to cut up my finger if I didn’t clean up the vase. So many crazy things that happened not only in the wrestling but outside of the wrestling too. That was one of those interesting things about the Lion’s Tale, I wrote it almost as much for non-wrestling fans than for wrestling fans. I knew wrestling fans would love it but I had much more to tell as far as a travel log, stranger in a strange land, finding your dreams coming-of-age story. Then I give a hip toss, arm drag, body slam type of thing.
Q: Mentioning the book, I found it funny how you talked about your wrestling training class and how you and Lance [Storm] seemed like the only guys who looked like potential wrestlers.
A: When we first got there, I was expecting that I would be the smallest guy in the class and everyone would beat me up. I was only 195 pounds but I was actually the second biggest guy in the class aside from Lance and he was the only other guy who actually looked like he trained. I got a real awakening there about what people thought and what they saw in the mirror and what was actually there.
Q: On what to expect from his intercontinental title defence the following night in Montreal against Snitsky…
A: “Probably the greatest match of all-time. You can expect the same thing you can always expect from a Jericho match: you will be entertained; you’ll have a great time and you’ll get your monies worth. After not being in Montreal for such a long time, I’m excited to go back. It’s a great wrestling town, it’s a great Fozzy [Chris’ metal band] town, it’s a great Jericho town all the way around.”
Is there anything new on the Fozzy side of things?
A: I wrote all the new lyrics, we just need to get together and start writing the music and putting together a new record. We just re-released All That Remains with a special live bonus disc we did in England called “All That Remains Reloaded”, which is kind of a wetting of the appetite until the next Fozzy album comes around. There will be another Fozzy album, just a matter of when we can start writing it and putting it together.
What are your goals for the next year or so? Do you aspire to have a great run with the IC title, help build the younger guys, or do you aspire for one of the big championships once more?
A: All I aspire to do is just top my previous and be entertaining and like I said make sure people have a great time when I come on the screen. Whether that’s in the main event, the opening match, selling popcorn, cleaning the toilet, or driving cars in the valet area behind the arena. It doesn’t matter to me; just put me on TV, let me do my thing, and the rest will come into play. I’m just happy to do my thing. I’m just happy being Chris Jericho.
You can listen to the full interview with Chris Jericho on www.MainEventRadio.com (May 4th show).