– Austin welcomes in Jericho, who jokes about being actually allowed to be here, worrying about snipers taking him out.
– Jericho said he owed Austin a call and decided to call Austin at 1 am after a couple drinks. They talked for about an hour and decided they wanted to do the show. Jericho wondered if he’d even been allowed to return to the WWE Network, but Austin did what he needed to do to clear it. Austin said he texted Vince McMahon about Jericho, Vince said “go ahead.” Austin double checked with Vince and he thought it was a great idea.
– Jericho says Austin was who initially got him into podcasting. Austin says Jericho has one of the greatest runs in wrestling of all-time.
– Jericho mentions AEW and Tony Khan as they talk about Jericho being in the business for 30 years. Jericho doesn’t see anyone having a career like his again. Jericho says he was one foot in the old school mentality, and it’s different now, he’s seen all over it, and worked pretty much everywhere. Jericho does think it was one of the greatest runs (evolution, diversity, longevity).
– Moving to the formation of AEW. Jericho talked about how Tony had the passion, the finances, and some top guys to build the company around (Cody Rhodes, Hangman Page, Young Bucks, etc). Ultimately, they had to have network TV to get off the ground, and TNT provided that. Jericho didn’t think there would be another national promotion again after WWE bought WCW.
– Austin asks about Jericho’s mindset moving on from WWE and going into other promotions. Jericho talks about doing big business for NJPW when he worked with them. He felt that help Tony Khan decide there is room for another big wrestling company with Jericho being the bridge to bring fans over. Jericho said he had a lot of faith in AEW, but there was always this “what if it doesn’t work?” He knew what would happen if he went to WWE, he felt like he’d become a second match guy (despite having an amazing story with Kevin Owens). He wanted to be “the guy.”
– Jericho said he felt a lot of pressure at first because it was very much on his shoulders to get eyes on the promotion, before other wrestlers came along. Jericho says he wanted to make sure the others who might not have had as much experience that this was a big deal, and this doesn’t come around very often.
– The two discuss how Jericho got into wrestling, who watched it with his grandma. Jericho said he wanted to be a wrestler and a rocker, and talked about how he got into training to become one. He eventually got into Hart Brothers Pro Wrestling for his training. Jericho is asked about going to Mexico early on in his career. Jericho talked about getting beat up a lot as a new wrestler, but over time he was able to get past that and just work in the ring. Jericho talks about really wanting to work in Japan though.
– Austin asked if Jericho was good in high school, Jericho said he was terrible. Austin asked because of Jericho keeping diligent notes on every single one of his matches, including how much he made, star rating, etc. Austin says he’s impressed because most wrestlers are very day-to-day, but Jericho had a plan.
– Jericho says he knew he’d never be the biggest guy in the ring, but if he could bring a rock ‘n roll persona in wrestling that could work with fans. Jericho says once the peso crashed in Mexico, his earnings dropped 60% and he felt it was time to look to other places to work, which was Japan.
– Moving to Jericho working in ECW. Jericho recalled a match with Ultimo Dragon, which got Mick Foley talking with Paul Heyman. Jericho says it took him one year to finally get in ECW. He finally got a hold of Heyman, says he had 22 matches there, but it was a bridge to get to WCW. Jericho says he was always hustling, and was working in Japan full-time (which was going there every month). A show in 1996 for Antonio Inoki featured WCW, NJPW, and other promotions. He was hoping to get some more eyes on him. Jericho decided to fly there and get involved. He was involved in a 3-way match with Konnan and Bam Bam Bigelow. Jericho said Bam Bam was mad about something and decided to give Jericho the win that night. Eric Bischoff was at the show and wanted a meeting with Jericho, although Eric apparently left the show in Japan before actually seeing Jericho’s bout.
– Footage of Chris Jericho in WCW is shown of his 1,004 holds (“armbar!”). Austin wondered how he got that cleared. Jericho pours a drink, and the two have a shot together. Jericho talks about the Cruiserweight division being one of the reasons why WCW was beating WWE in the ratings. Jericho asked Bischoff if he could slip in a quote before his promos, Bischoff would tell him to make it quick. For the 1,004 holds promo, he remembers starting it off, but as they went to commercial, Jericho just ripped on the local sports teams, then went back to the list (as the fans still booed him). Said he always want to standout in WCW and made the most of whatever time he was given.
– Austin asked about Jericho being labeled as a Cruiserweight and the worry of getting boxed in. Jericho says it was a concern, but Bischoff told Jericho he wanted to make him the Shawn Michaels of WCW. Jericho would then be put up against opening match guys, and there was a disconnect of where he was supposed to be in the company. Footage shown of Jericho mocking Goldberg’s entrance and getting lost in the backstage area. Jericho said it was his idea and he pitched it to Bischoff (who he said was cool about ideas given to him). Jericho says the segment was taken from Spinal Tap and the hair was from rock star Gene Simmons.
– Jericho said he always wanted to work for Vince McMahon, work MSG, be the WWE IC Champion. Jericho thought if he goes to WCW, maybe he can be a big star and get the eyes of WWE on him. Jericho noted Goldberg was angry with him about what he was doing, and they built towards a big match. It never happened though, Jericho said he wanted it to be the ultimate squash match with Goldberg winning. Didn’t happen though due to politics and everything else. He wanted it to be a big PPV match where people would pay to see Goldberg destroy Jericho. It was that moment when Jericho said he had to get out of there. Austin asked if the contract had expired? Jericho said he initially didn’t have a contract with them, but when he did Eric knew it was coming to an end and wanted a new contract. They had a verbal deal, but then nothing was done with an actual contract. Eric then told Jericho if he didn’t sign the new contract, he’d lose his title. Jericho didn’t sign it, lost the title, did house shows for the last couple months and wasn’t on TV. Jericho said it worked out because he could have been jobbed out (which he had ideas for in case they did) to make him look worse to WWE.
– Austin asks about WWE recruiting Jericho. Don Callis was working for WWE at the time and friends with Jericho. Callis had Vince Russo call Jericho to check in on his contract status. Jericho said he had a contract at the time, but once that was done, maybe then? “Let’s keep in touch” Jericho said. Jericho talks about WWE bringing him to Vince’s house while he was still under contract with WCW. Jericho said he was terrified and nervous. Jericho showed up, Shane answered the door. They are having a booking meeting for RAW. Jericho sits next down to Vince, and wonders what he’s doing here. Vince then asks Jericho what his opinion was on a match finish. Austin cracks up at the thought of that. Jericho says they stopped for lunch, and his maid brings in some homemade brownies. Jericho wondered if it was a test to see if he’d have a brownie while trying to look in shape. He ended up having one. Jericho talks about going down to another room and sees a painting of Vince. Vince told Jericho when his contract was done to let them know. Jericho asked years later why Vince had him over. Vince said he wanted to see if he could trust Jericho. Jericho didn’t tell anyone, which worked out for him.
– Jericho felt he had outgrown WCW and wanted to get to the “big leagues” (WWE). Jericho felt like WCW was the black and white world in Wizard of Oz, and WWE was the colorful world. Austin asks about the build-up for Jericho’s WWE debut (the countdown). Jericho said it was him and Vince working together. This was around 2000 when the new millennium coming up. Vince wanted Jericho to come out in the middle of the show to interrupt The Rock. Austin shows a photo of Jericho’s debut. Austin said it was a main event presentation and praised his look. Jericho says he never wore that outfit before, and did that on purpose coming to a new promotion. Austin asks what Jericho was thinking in the back. “Dude, this is sink or swim,” Austin says. Jericho had his promo written down two weeks prior, and only Russo and The Rock knew about the promo.
– We see the video of Jericho interrupting Rock in Chicago. Jericho feels like it stands up as one of the greatest debuts ever. Austin says “the greatest.” Jericho says he got a lot of heat in the back ripping on the people in the back. Jericho says the Monday Night Wars were real, and there was a division back then. Jericho says Rock was always great to giving his opponent in the ring and with promos. He could have easily balked at his promo. Jericho says he got his pose (back to the crowd) from Michael Jackson. Austin wonders how it was when he went to the back. Jericho says he remember backstage reports saying he was being too comical. He was trying to transition away from making too many faces like he did in WCW. Jericho says he was labeled as a “WCW guy.” Brings up how he and Triple H hated each other, but didn’t really know why.
– Footage shown of Chris Jericho wrestling Triple H on an episode of RAW. Jericho won the title and the crowd blew up. Jericho says once he came into WWE, he lost to a string of guys after having such a strong debut. Jericho remembers losing to Viscera, he wondered if this is it. Jericho says at one point he was going to tell Vince he’s out, but was then told he’s gonna win the World Title on a fast count. Jericho says it was test though as the match decision was rescinded and Triple H got back the title. Jericho recalls Triple H telling him to “slow down and listen to me.” Jericho said he hadn’t heard that term before, but believed in Triple H in the ring. Ultimately, the ending of the match got a great reaction. He remembered Vince telling him he’d get the title again. Jericho says this got him out of the funk of being a “WCW guy” and “doesn’t know how to be a main event.” Jericho recalls the next night he was in a lumberjack match, and got the win. Jericho remembers getting on the mic to send the crowd home happy. Jericho goes to the crowd “seriously, you’ve been a great f***ing crowd.” He stopped and looked at Lawler who was like “yeah, you said it.” Backstage, Vince McMahon went to give him a hug, and Jericho was like you didn’t hear what I said? He had to tell Vince, and Vince just responded, “Jericho…” and walked off.
– Moving 2001 and the Vengeance PPV where he beat The Rock and Steve Austin to win the titles. Jericho says he didn’t have any family at the show because he didn’t know he was winning the titles. Jericho says he was in catering, Vince was there, and talked loudly about how he’s going to put the title on Jericho. He recalls sitting on a carpet in the back and just taking in the moment. Jericho says he called up Dominos when he got back to the hotel that night. Jericho went down to get the pizza, got locked out of his room. He had to go to the lobby, said he needs a key, he’s asked for ID, but it’s in the room. The worker goes up to the room to make sure the room is his. Jericho tells him he’s the undisputed champion and there’s two titles in there! The guys finds out that’s the truth and lets him in. Jericho then puts his pizza on the table, it ends up flipping over on the floor.
– Footage of Jericho vs. HBK in 2003 at WrestleMania. We see them initially hug after the match, and then Jericho lowblow kicks him. Jericho talks about how smart Pat Patterson was when it came to the matches. He says the original idea was just for HBK to win, but Pat added in the lowblow afterwards. Jericho noted that HBK planned out the beginning of it, Jericho had the end figured out and it took them 10 minutes to lay it all out ahead of time.
– In 2005, Jericho said he wasn’t feeling the same fire anymore in wrestling, and was “just here” in WWE. When his contract was done, he wanted to move on. Jericho said he felt burned out, which Austin could relate to. Jericho offers up a Loser Leaves Town Match against John Cena at SummerSlam, but Vince said to just work the match and that’s it. Jericho says he and Vince went back and forth about a deal and they do an angle where he’s fired. Jericho recalls getting fired by Eric Bischoff and carried out the ringside area, crying and begging.
– Jericho talks about taking acting classes and looking to expand outside of wrestling.
– He then returns to wrestling in 2007. When he was away, he was done and didn’t watch anything at all. When he heard Cena vs. HBK was happening, he had to check it out. Said he felt jealous and wanted to come back. Jericho recalls being a watered down Y2J (short hair, etc). Jericho says it didn’t feel right and he started completely from scratch.
– Jericho says his ladder match against Shawn Michaels was one of his favorites. Jericho remembers taking down his gimmick and speaking quietly. He used that to stop the “What?” chants.
– Moving to 2016 and Jericho doing “The List of Jericho.” Jericho gives props to Jimmy Jacobs for coming up with The List. He remembers putting The New Day on the list, and asking them to making a huge deal out of it when they get put on the list. Jericho says having confidence allows wrestlers to get anything over. Jericho remembers being put randomly with Kevin Owens, and realizing they had great chemistry. Fast-forward to The Festival of Friendship. Jericho said he wanted it to be like a David Lee Roth music video. Jericho talks wanting a moment of reveal when he delivered the line just before Owens attacked him. Jericho says Vince wasn’t at the show for it, and the powers that be thought it was too comical and wanted to change things up. Jericho said no way. He texts Vince, and Vince says yeah the original plan was fine. Jericho shows the others the text and the plan stayed the same. The powers that be later said Jericho’s idea worked well.
– Jericho talks about being the second match of the night at WrestleMania against Kevin Owens after the split. Jericho says plans changed as the show drew closer with other bigger matches (Brock vs. Goldberg) filling in bigger spots. Jericho wasn’t happy with being in the second spot. He said being first would have been fine. Felt like their story was more important than the second spot. Jericho left in April of that year about a month after (again, knowing it was time to head out).
– Jericho recalls a story of drinking with Vince on the plane and listening to music. Vince tells him he’s going to the gym, Jericho is like I’m going to bed, I gotta get up at 7! Vince said he had to be up at 6:30 and sent him a photo the next day of him in the gym.
– Moving to Jericho going to NJPW. Don Callis offered up the idea of Jericho vs. Omega. Jericho loved the Winnipeg connection, but he didn’t want to work for anyone but Vince. Gedo from NJPW wanted it to happen, and a deal was cut. Jericho says he was super nervous, but had to call Vince. Vince said it was great that Jericho was flying the WWE flag in Japan. Jericho says star rating wise it was his best match. Jericho remembers asking Kenny about having to get approval for stuff, and Kenny told him that wasn’t necessary in NJPW. Jericho said this is when wrestling became fun again.
– Going forward to All In happening, then AEW coming along. Jericho recalls beating up Tetsuya Naito and NJPW wanting him to come back for this match. Jericho then gets called from WWE for a Casket Match with Undertaker in Saudi Arabia. Jericho then called Vince about his match with Naito. The Casket Match was then change to Taker vs. Rusev, which Jericho understood why.
– After that, he realized that more could happen. Austin talks about AEW and the pandemic over the past year. Jericho talks about it being such a different vibe to work in front of nobody, compared to thousands of fans. Jericho talks about being able to slowly bring in fans at Daily’s Place due to the outdoor amphitheater. Jericho says even having a couple hundred fans made it felt like MSG. Jericho calls Orange Cassidy a talented guy. Talks how it’s tough to judge how their doing when there’s nobody there to react. He has a lot of respect for wrestlers working through the pandemic. He notes AEW will do house shows (which they’ve already done earlier this week). Jericho says fans have been so loyal to stick with both AEW and WWE.
– Jericho thanks WWE, Austin, Vince, and Tony for giving them allowing him to be here. Jericho is then asked how long he’s gonna do it. Jericho says 15 years ago he thought he was done, 2018 he thought it was done, but he still feels good. As long as he doesn’t feel like a parody of himself, he’ll keep coming back. Maybe a year, maybe two, maybe he’ll “turn into a puff of dust.” Jericho says post-wrestling, he has Fozzy, his Talk is Jericho podcast, the Jericho cruise, acting, and whatever else comes along.
Thanks to Joshua Gagnon for the recap.
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