Ryan Rider passed along the following interview with Chris Jericho:
SHOW: The Main Event, Sunday Mornings from 10:30am-12:00pm on www.MainEventRadio.com and 1690AM in Montreal
HOST: “Reporter” Ryan Rider
CO-HOST #1: Steve Rockamaniac
CO-HOST #2: Gavin the Loose Cannon
Can Be Downloaded At: http://www.MainEventRadio.com (November 4th show)
Chris Jericho made an appearance on the Main Event wrestling radio show based in Montreal, Canada on Sunday, November 4th, 2007. We had a great in-person interview with Jericho back in November 2005 at a Fozzy concert (voted interview of the year at the time actually by you fans). Now, two years later, it was time for an encore to talk about the new book, wrestling, and music. So without further edue…here are the highlights of the interview for you wrestling fans…
Q: Hey Chris, like I said great to have you on the show for a second time. How have things been with you lately?
A: “I haven’t been doing anything for the last couple of weeks except for this book tour; I’ve got like two seconds of free time.”
Q: The last time we had you on was right after your departure from the WWE, and now with the Save_Us videos rumors are running rampant about a return to the company. So, can you tell us anything about these “Save_Us” videos and presumably, your upcoming return?
A: “I can tell you that I’ve seen a couple of them; they’re pretty wacky, they’re pretty cool. There’s a lot a of speculation and a lot of talking that I’m coming back and I’m always the last to know…no one has told me anything. I’m on this book tour right now; I’m going to be on this book tour for another 3 weeks, so until that happens I’m pretty much tied up. [Edit: Jericho may indirectly hinting that his WWE return will be in that time frame, possibly the Raw following Survivor Series]. People are starting to get mad at me, saying I was supposed to be on Raw on Monday. I never said I was going to be there…I’m innocent! I’m Innocent!”
Q: But the videos made people think you were going to be on Raw…it was saying dates like October the 28th, October the 29th, etc.
A: “It actually never said that though. It said SAVE_USX29. Everybody thought that’s what it meant but who knows. It’s one of those things that people were assuming things that they shouldn’t have been assuming.
Q: We’ve seen you teasing fans on returns the last couple of years on your website, do you enjoy doing that?
A: “When I was a kid, when I got into wrestling at a very young age in the 70’s… with my grandmother I didn’t know anything, nobody did. You knew what was happening on TV and that was cool. It was much more of a magical experience. I think now the fact that people find things out basically at their fingertips by looking at the internet or by listening to inside news and stuff…I think it takes away from a lot of the fun and the magic of wrestling. I’m a magician, I have many secrets and tricks and when people need to know things they’ll find out. It’s fun to see everybody speculating, getting mad.
If you actually watched the videos, it never said October 29th, never once. I just enjoy putting some suspense and anticipation back in the business where everybody knows everything weeks before. That’s not fun, I don’t like that. Even if I was coming back tonight… or a year from now, I wouldn’t tell anybody. When it happens, people will know and will be excited. You don’t want to know what presents you are getting for Christmas. You can go and find out, open them up beforehand, but the surprise is spoiled.
Q: Recently, you published a book entitled A Lion’s Tale: Around the World in Spandex, would you mind telling us a little bit about that?
A: “Well since you both read it, doing your homework, you’ll know that it’s one of the greatest books every written. Better than War and Peace, better than Lord of the Flies, better than Lord of the Rings! People are calling me the modern day Shakespeare. If Shakespeare were alive today they’ve said, he would be the modern day Chris Jericho. The book is basically the story of my journey of making it to the WWE. It’s a 9-year of all the trials and tribulations both in the ring and outside of the ring. All the situations I’ve faced, highs and lows, life-threatening, dangerous, all that sort of stuff. I had a dream when I was very young, that I wanted to wrestle in the WWE, I didn’t know how to get there but it was my dream. This is the story of all the places I went to from small time Canada, to Japan, Mexico, Germany, and all these other places until I finally made it into the WWE in 1999.
Q: In your book, you added in a foreword at the beginning to say how the Benoit in your biography is not the same man who killed his wife and son earlier this year. How did you feel when it happened? What do you think caused him to do the unthinkable?
A: “I never said exactly that in the foreword, what I said is this tale that happens from 1990-1999. This was a guy who I knew during that time who was very personal, professional relations, like a mentor, a big brother. And I wanted to address that because it’s a very humorous, comedic, positive, uplifting story. With all the events happening, I felt I had to address it somehow so there wouldn’t be a big black cloud hanging over it when people were reading it; wrestling fans and non-wrestling fans. I wanted to address it right off the bat. It was really quite irrelevant to my story. My story ends in 1999, but still Benoit is a pretty prominent character in the book and I felt I had to address it. How did I feel about it, how did you feel about it? It’s just one of those things where nobody knows what happened and nobody will ever know what happened.
Q: Exactly. He was one of my favorite professional wrestlers and I always say you got to remember him for what he did in the ring. Nobody knows, or at least I don’t know what happened in his personal life and it’s not for us to judge. [For more information and opinions on Benoit, check out our historic July 1st edition of the show available for download on our website].
Unfortunately this weekend, we have heard the news of the sad death of women’s wrestling legend the Fabulous Moolah. Do you have any memories about her? Maybe a funny story to tell?
A: “Her and Mae always would always come sporadically from time to time. Moolah was a very nice lady to me. I didn’t really have a lot of experiences with her, but whenever I saw her I always made sure to say hi. She always wanted to get a kiss and a hug, and talk about how handsome I was…she was right, I’m a sexy beast. She was really cool. I think it’s just one of those things that people in the modern era just know her as being the wacky sidekick to Mae Young or the wacky old lady that came but don’t really realize that she’s the most influential and ambiguous women’s wrestler of all-time and was for 30 or 40 years. She ran the entire women’s wrestling operation from the 50’s all the way to the 80’s…
There’s a huge history of Moolah. I’d love to read a real story of all the things that she did and went through. I’m sure there are a lot of deviant things since she was in charge of the entire wrestling world for women for so many years. In the 50’s and 60’s, women’s wrestling was much more prominent than it is now; much more serious than just a bunch of stripper chicks getting in the ring and rolling around and thinking they can wrestle. I mean these girls were actually fighting, actually working, and in some cases having better matches than the guys and drawing a lot of money too. I’d like to hear some of those real truthful stories about Moolah. Nice lady, I’m glad she was involved in the business until the end, I think Vince was very adamant about it, because he respected what she did.”
Q: I’ve been wondering about this for awhile now, how’s Ralphus doing these days?
A: “I’ve done like 12 days of autograph signings and appearances and that by far and ‘the Man of 1000 Holds’ are the questions that I get asked about the most. And it’s so funny because I think to this day if you ask Ralphus what happened he wouldn’t know. He didn’t have a clue what was going on, he didn’t have a clue why he was where he was, and I haven’t seen the guy in 10 years. I don’t know what he’s doing. All I know is that had WCW played their cards differently as they could have with hundreds of guys it seems, they could have made a huge star out of Ralphus. There could have been Ralphus dolls, there could have been Ralphus video games, Ralphus fake teeth, Jericho personal security Ralphus shirts, but they just decided not to and I don’t know he’s probably serving fries somewhere at a Burger King on Route 22.”
Q: You’re still rocking with Fozzy currently on tour around the world, how has the band been kicking and how come you didn’t make a stop here in Montreal this time around?
A: “First off, I’m always rocking. Second of all, well we did make the stop in Montreal that time that you saw us in November [of 2005] was kinda the start of the World Tour which went all the way through 2005 until the middle of 2006. So we were actually there but then what happened after that is we went over to the UK, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Australia, and we found a really big fan base there, especially in the UK. We toured there five times after I saw you in Montreal and we did really good there…now we’re just in the midst of working on some new stuff. I’ve written all the lyrics for it and now we just need to get together and put some tunes together and go from there. It’s a long process and it’s just at the early stages right now.”
Q: Have you had a chance to follow either the current products, whether it be WWE or TNA? What are your thoughts?
A: “I like the fact that there’s two companies going. It’s fun to watch both companies. Obviously TNA is the underdog and they have a lot of growing pains but on the other side of the coin they’ve been doing everything that they’ve wanted to do. They started out on Pay-Per-View, moved to Fox Sports and then moved over to prime-time on Spike and then got a two-hour show on Spike. They’ve got some great talent, and its fun. Its fun that there’s a different place for fans and for wrestlers themselves to go. Both shows have pros and cons but it’s great that there are a lot of different places to watch like when I was a kid.
For me, you know, I loved the AWA because that’s when I first started watching, then I watched the WWF, and when I saw Stampede that’s when I really knew I can wrestle and I wanted to wrestle. I discuss in my book that when I first saw Owen Hart because he wasn’t a giant, he was so acrobatic, so amazing, and plus he was in Calgary, a place that I knew about growing up in Winnipeg… I knew how to take a bus to get there and that is when I really decided that I can do this and it gave me a lot of inspiration when I first started to watch Stampede. It seems to be going that way again now too.”
Q: Theoretically, of course, let’s say you were returning to the ring in the near future. Would we be seeing a new Chris Jericho? What would you hang onto from the past and what would be different when it comes to moveset, persona, whatever?
A: “I’ve always changed things up over the years. I love the fact that I had so many different looks and so many different moves that I can draw back on. The moves that is because I spent so much time in these countries; trained in Calgary, worked in Germany, worked in Japan, worked in Mexico, and had all these different things that can draw back on. I mentioned it in A Lion’s Tale: Around the World in Spandex, available in fine bookstores around you. I mentioned that I was very lucky that I had many different colors to paint my pictures with due to the many different experiences that I had. I’ll always change things up. Lookwise, you’re on TV 52 weeks out of the year, you gotta be different man. You can’t look the same all the time, people get bored. It sounds kind of strange but I compared myself to Madonna; how she’s always had a different look, a different style. It’s always her but different variations of it. Basically I am the Madonna of wrestling.”
Q: Well, you did cut your signature long blonde hair recently, I did notice that.
A: “I just changed my wig; I took off the long blonde hair wig and put on a different one. That’s all part of it. It’s one of those things, you change things up, you look different, but you still keep the things that brought you to the dance. Wrestling is show business to me. Number one, first and foremost, is being entertaining, is being a showman, it’s being the party host, it’s putting on an appearance that people remember. Part of that is changing things up and keeping it going. I think that it’s easy to balance that. When you go see AC/DC in concert, they play some new songs and they play all the old hits that everyone loves and that’s the way that I always look at things, the way that a band does things. Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden cut his hair, but that doesn’t make him any less of an awesome, majesty king rocker and it’s the same for Jericho.”
Q: You are the Ayatollah of Rock N’ Rolla, or at least formerly known as that. Playing into that name, I recently viewed the RF Video shoot with the Iron Sheik. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but he freaked out on the DVD and accused you of stealing his gimmick and started yelling out random expletives. What is your reaction to this new character of his?
A: “I am always known as the Ayatollah of Rock N’ Rolla, that never changes! Well it’s quite obvious that I’ve stolen everything I’ve ever done from the Iron Sheik from the pointy boots to the Ayatollah to the bald head to the huge mustache to the unintelligible promos. So yes, I have stolen everything from the Iron Sheik and I will pay him royalties as a result. That’s just obvious. As far as this new character, that’s the old character. That’s the Iron Sheik that has been around for 20-30 years and it’s very funny but it’s also very sad because it’s a train wreck waiting to happen. There’s a reason why he talks that way and it’s just sad to see. No one is going to step in and help him, they just think it’s funny to watch him make a fool of himself; to be in a completely drug-induced, drunken haze. It would be nice if somebody can take him aside and try to help him out in someway. But that won’t happen, so g-d bless him.
Q: Alright Chris, thanks a lot for being on the show today, we’d love to have you on again anytime. A Lion’s Tale: Around the World in Spandex is available now at bookstores everywhere as well as online. I would recommend it to all wrestling fans. Any final words from yourself?
A: “Yeah, I’m a sexy beast and things are cool. Continue to watch and at some point you will see many tricks and secrets revealed…”
You can listen to the full interview with Chris Jericho on www.MainEventRadio.com (November 4th show), in what could become the first two-time Interview of the Year Award winner!