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DDP on Chris Kanyon's death: "Mental illness is a real thing. I think we all know that now"



Chris Jericho welcomed Diamond Dallas Page, Rafael Morfi, and "Hurricane" Shame Helms to "Talk Is Jericho" so they could share stories of their good friend Chris Kanyon, who passed away 10 years ago due to suicide.

They shared stories of Kanyon from his days in WCW, WWE, his struggles with being bi-polar and his sexuality as a gay wrestler, and the final years of his life.

Here are some highlights:

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DDP remembering Chris Kanyon: “I didn’t know Chris had the bipolar thing until after. I think him finding that out was really detrimental to him. I deal with a lot of mental illness. I’ve done a lot and I’ve worked with a lot of people. I know there are certain people that fight it and work to try to have the best attitude they can have. Other people embrace it. I really felt like Chris was embracing. Now I know why. I went down and I felt like, and there were times I talked to him right up to when he killed himself. There was a point in time where I was waiting for the phone call that Chris had killed himself. I remember the last time I knew it was really close because he wasn’t going out. He wasn’t leaving his room. He tried twice and wasn’t successful. Mental illness is a real thing. I think we all know that now.”

DDP on the formation of the Jersey Triad: “I knew Bam Bam (Bigelow) since he was 16 at that time. Back in the day, he was legendary from the Jersey Shore. Back then, when he was 18, Bam, literally, when he was in high school, kids just forfeited. He had a crazy reputation. Then he started running with The Breed, which is a biker gang. He came in my club and we knew each other. I was like six years older than him. I came up and put my arm around him and said, 'Bam Bam, no trouble in here right?' He was like, 'No, c’mon. I wouldn’t do that to you Paige.' We became buddies. This was before he was ever in the ring. We talked about wrestling. Then I saw him in WCCW, then he came in WWF and he had a big push. Then I didn’t see him for a long time of course and I saw him again. I said you hit it and then he saw what I was doing. I’m the one who got him in. I called Bischoff and said 'We can get Bam Bam.' He said, 'How much does he want?' I said, 'Well talk to him. He’s not that expensive but he’s not cheap for sure.' He came in and they were doing something with him. Me and him started talking and we were like, let’s do something. Let’s tag up and then we will bring Chris in and we will do the Jersey Triad even though he was from New York. People from New York and New Jersey, they know you’re from New York or you're from New Jersey, but the rest of the world thinks everybody talks like that. We had fun with it. My vision was 2000 millennial Freebirds. Everybody goes to a guy who can talk, a big man, and a guy who is going to bump all over the place. We had that, but all of us could work. Together we had a lot of fun. We were doing the tag team champion thing. Then of course, kind of like what happens in wrestling, they kill it and disband it. We could have easily got a run. My whole thing is never to be with any group, but for those two guys, I would do it. First to help Chris get a leg up and because Bam Bam and I were from the same county and were friends forever.”

Shane Helms shared his thoughts on Kanyon: “I think if he could have survived all these problems, I think he would be in a good place. I think the environment today would be a lot gentler for him. I think he would be a lot more accepted. Everybody just wants to be accepted at the end of the day. He struggled with a lot of problems. It wasn’t just one big one. He had several. He had a lot going against him, especially toward the end. I think he was really disappointed in the way his career ended. He deserved better. He deserves so much better in terms of how many people he helped. He deserved better from the business. I think he was disappointed in that. The depression thing is such a huge monster. I think we are seeing a lot of that in this day in age with the whole Covid thing but, back then, you couldn’t hardly even talk about it. If you had depression, you were just a little b*tch. You were weak. Get over it kid. Find something to smile about. People would say stupid s**t like that, but it was very real for him. I would have some phone calls with him and man, he was the happiest guy on Earth. He was like he just won the lottery. Then you have a phone call with him a couple months later and even if he had won the lottery, he wasn’t going to be happy that day because whether it was the depression or the bipolar, which, that stuff has to be regulated by medicine. But, when he would take that medicine, it would put him in a funk. He wouldn’t have the energy to be the Chris Kanyon that we all knew and loved. It was such a tortuous mental battle. He was just tired of being here. He said that to me. He said to me, and I will never forget it because I always felt like suicide was a selfish thing. You are killing yourself and you are hurting all these other people around you. He was like, 'Yea, but I’m the one in pain. Why do you want me to be in pain?' I didn’t know what to say to that and still to this day, I don’t know how to properly reply to that. But, he was anguished. He was tormented. I don’t know what could have made it any better, but I wish he could have survived because I think he would have been thriving right now. I think he would have been a lot more accepted. He had a brilliant wrestling mind. He was so creative, so fun to be around, and man, I wish he was still here.”

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