Chris Jericho was interview by Chris Van Vliet this week. Jericho talked about almost leaving wrestling for good in 2005, his favorite match, thoughts and original plans for The Inner Circle, MJF, his signing with AEW and much more.
Check out the transcribed highlights below and scroll down to watch the full interview.
Chris Jericho was asked if there was a point he wanted to step away from wrestling: “Yes, in 2005, SummerSlam with John Cena, I wasn’t done, done, but I was mentally burned out. I walked away. My contract was up. There were no contract negotiations. I said don’t even give me a figure because I felt they were going to give me a downgrade because of the way my career was at the time. I knew it was time to get away. I left the business for two and a half years. When I came back in 2007, it was with a completely different mindset because I had done a lot of acting and a lot of training. That’s when the whole suit and tie Jericho came in where I was completely committed to this character. That’s when I think I finally reached my full potential in the ring as a worker and a character and that was 18 years in. Ever since then, I’ve been top level.”
Jericho talked about the creation of his debate with Orange Cassidy: “I’ve never seen a debate in wrestling. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a debate at all so I watched Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump in 2016 and saw the moderator was Lester Holt who played everything straight. I told Eric Bischoff this is what we are doing and you are Lester Holt. I want you to be the straight man and he said, got it. We never heard Orange Cassidy talk. Of course, he can talk. I didn’t know that, he didn’t know that. We didn't know what we were going to discuss. Cody came up with the idea of doing some ridiculous scientific stuff on climate change. I wrote down some stuff that I Googled about what climate change was. I gave that to Orange and we made it up 3 or 4 hours before the show. We gave some questions to Eric. This is how we do it. It is a bunch of talented people. You don’t need a script. You don’t need to pour over it for hours and hours. That doesn’t make it better. It makes it worse.”
Jericho gave his opinion on MJF: “He is way more advanced than I was at his age. He just turned 24 years old. He’s definitely what you would call an old soul in that I can’t believe how good he is with the experience he has. What blows my mind is how much better is he going to be with experience over the next couple years and what he is going to learn from me and learn from Cody and Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard in his ear. It’s amazing to me just how good he is. There are certain guys you see and say we can do something together. It’s just the natural progression.”
Jericho told us the backstory of the Inner Circle: “Tony (Khan) wanted me to come in and be a part of a faction. He wanted it to be a band like Chris Jericho and the Conspirators or whatever it would be. I said no. My idea was Fist, like one, two, three, four, five and that would be the merch. Then I was doing a BTE bit that Matt and Nick asked me to do and said something like the Inner Circle is involved in this and I thought Inner Circle is a cool name. The idea at first was who is going to be in it? There was always going to be the idea of a tag-team, an up and comer and a heater so to speak. The original idea bandied around for a tag team, and it might have even been by me was Phoenix and Pentagon. I thought, I don’t want gimmick guys or masked guys. Santana and Ortiz came up and I knew them from the first Cruise but I don’t know much about them. The Bucks were saying how good they were. I thought, let’s throw those guys in there. I wanted MJF but I think Cody wanted to do something with him so I said Sammy Guevara. I scouted Sammy Guevara and brought him to the table. I’ve never met him before in my life. I watched him on an NWA PPV. I said this guy is good. He looks like an assh*le.”