By Neal Jones
IYH Chris Jericho Interview Recap
Chris Jericho was the guest on the October 31st edition of the In Your Head Wrestling Online show, hosted by Jack, One Inch Biceps and Barbie Richards at http://www.inyourheadonline.com
Chris Jericho was here to talk about his book “A Lion’s Tale: Around the World in Spandex” which is available now. For more information on upcoming book signings please visit http://www.chrisjericho.com
Chris gives Jack a hard time about his intro, and goes into a spiel about all his accomplishments in wrestling and out.
Jack asks if any of Chris’s former characters like Jack Action could be his “Mick Foley’s Dude Love”. Chris says the difference is all of Mick’s personas were over. Chris explains that Jack Action was the name he wanted to use originally until Lance Storm told him it sucked, all of which is in the book “A Lion’s Tale”.
A caller asks what advice Chris would give for an independent promotion. Chris says you have to spend money to make money, but start small and work yourself up. Don’t spend all your savings right away, he knows stories of people promoting so many stars on one show only to run out of money. Chris says one big name will probably bring in as many fans as 5 big names. You also want to cultivate your own stars. Jack compares what Chris mentioned to the Cow Palace Fan-Fest that had 100 stars.
Jack says all the hosts were fans of the book, and put it right up with Foley’s Have a Nice Day. Chris says he has gotten the same feedback pretty much all across the board. He thinks it’s not just a great wrestling story but a story about achieving your dreams. One of his goals when he was writing the book was to make it as good if not better than Have a Nice Day, and like Mick he also wrote it himself.
Chris talks about the book ending at debuting in WWF, and the book is a story of how he got there. His working from Mexico to Germany to Japan to OVW, ECW etc. He has 15 years of experience to write about. Chris says it’s a long book but it goes by so fast because it’s a smooth story with one ultimate goal. Chris doesn’t think anyone will be disappointed that it ends when he enters WWE.
Caller Brian asks if Chris has a favorite Helloween song, and if Fozzy would ever cover them. Chris says he got the name Jericho from the band, a comic book and the Bible story. Chris says Fozzy really doesn’t do covers anymore. Brian mentions the infamous angle with Dean Malenko where Chris goes to congress to protest the win. Chris says he really went to Washington DC. He says he tried to get into the White House, but they were kicked out. So they taped some stuff at the Library of Congress. Chris says it was great stuff that was all done on the fly.
Jack follows up with asking Chris about scripted promos and vignettes taking away from putting yourself into it. Chris says absolutely, some people have a knack for going with the flow. It comes off robotic when everything is scripted, some things should be but wrestling is about personalities and shouldn’t be so scripted.
Incher says you find out how close Chris and Lance were/are in the book. Chris says they have been long time friends since the Hart Training Camp, which is hard to believe since they are such opposites. Chris says if they weren’t in camp together neither would have finished, since the other guys weren’t superstar material.
Jack follows up asking if it also helped since they competed with each other since people thought Lance was better. Chris says it drove him to work harder, he could never beat Lance athletically but he could beat him personality wise. Jack asks if it’s the same thing with WWE and WCW. Chris says exactly, the worst thing ever was WCW going out of business. Chris says TNA is great because it gives people another place to go.
Caller Kronus asks what Chris’s thoughts on Smokey Mountain. Chris says he goes really in depth in the book, he learned a lot about promos from Cornette, Tracey Smothers, Candido and Ricky Morton. It was a slower paced style but he learned a lot while there, and to slow it down and tell a story. He says he might as well moved to Mars coming there from Canada. Chris tells a quick story of the Rock N Roll Express selling gimmicks at shows, and Ricky Morton reselling a gift a fan had given him moments earlier. Jack plugs IYH’s Ricky Morton interviews at http://www.inyourheadonline.com
Caller Santo asks if Chris keeps up with Mexican wrestler. Chris says he doesn’t but he lived and worked there for 2 years. Chris goes over many guys he worked with like Negro Casas, Doctor Wagner, Silver King and Dandy. He says Rey Bucanero and Shocker were just starting out when he was there and now are main eventing. Chris says Lucha Libre is such a part of the culture there it will never go away, and it’s going through a resurgence now.
Jack asks Chris’s opinion was on Tough Enough. Chris says it showed people how hard it was, and it was a decent concept. Chris thinks WWE should have done a lot more with Maven because he had the people behind him and that’s what it’s about. Chris says some people were taking the “company line” of these guys didn’t pay their dues. Chris says you have to start somewhere, and Maven was always respectful, and they could have done more with the show. Chris says the point of wrestling is to mask the deficiencies, if he was over then go with it and hide his weaknesses. Have him wrestle house shows or shorter TV matches.
Chris talks about when he started he went all over the world to learn to wrestle, now guys come out of developmental and are on TV. He says developmental is very important because there aren’t a lot of places left to learn to work. You shouldn’t learn your craft in the big leagues, you should already have perfected it by the time you are there.
Jack asks if Chris’s path to WWE is lost, working from Canada to Mexico to Germany to Japan etc. Chris says he doesn’t think you will ever see anyone get to WWE that way again, and that’s what makes his book so interesting. He is basically the last of the Mohicans.
Chris says Keith never tried to get his 10% of his earnings.
Caller Flea asks if Chris has any good Ralphus story. Chris says there isn’t any such thing as a good Ralphus story. Chris has done all these things in his career, but people ask him more about Ralphus than anything else. There are many stories about him in the book as well. Chris says WCW could have made a big star out of him because he was so unique and weird. Chris says he was just a guy who drive a rig and asked him one day to be part of his security on TV mocking Goldberg. Chris says people just started going nuts for him. Chris says he would be getting cheap heat playing up to the crowd, even though they were supposed to be heels. After a while Chris suggested putting Ralphus with the Luchadors to get them some heat. Chris says he didn’t have the mental capacity to be a wrestler and they should have never done that. Chris says he would call him John to try and make him realize he wasn’t really “Ralphus”.
Jack says Chris does a great job of showing how frustrating it was working for WCW. Chris says it was a great place to be if you were an older guy but a terrible place for guys trying to be a bigger star, he would be having great matches and getting over and they wouldn’t move him up the card. He is grateful for his time there but it was time to move on and he is glad he did.
Caller Game asks who on the current WWE roster would Chris like to work with that he hasn’t before. Chris says he has never worked with Undertaker before in a singles feud. Chris believes he has the ability to work with anybody and have good matches. Chris thinks anyone in WWE or TNA should be good enough to have matches with anyone. He says unfortunately that’s not the case which makes it easier for talented guys to stand out.
Barbie asks if it’s ok that he stole the Lion Heart gimmick. Chris gives him his blessing to do so. Barbie then asks if Chris’s cutting his hair was done to break Barbie’s heart. Chris says yes he did it just to mess with Chris.
“Clint Bobsky” asks why Chris is so great. Chris says that was the name he used to put himself over in wrestling magazine pretending to be a fan. Chris says you have to be a self promoter.
Jack asks if Vampiro’s attitude kept him from achieving bigger things, there are several negative stories in the book about him. Chris says absolutely, he had everything handed to him early. He ahd a great look and people loved him, but his attitude held him back especially with other wrestlers. Chris says he’s worked for almost all the major companies and never lasted long, but he had his chances.
Jack asks if you need an ego to make it in wrestling. Chris says no, but you need self confidence and need to believe in yourself to make it. You can’t expect things to be handed to you, you need to be respectful but nothing will ever just come to you. You can’t just wait for the phone to ring. He was a smaller guy, and he needed to make himself different to stand out.
Jack mentions King Kong Bundy said on an IYH interview that he would need a 10 count to wrestle Jericho, if he ever came across that attitude of the bigger guys not wanting to sell for him. Chris says they had no choice, he’d just kick them in the head real hard. Everyone have knees and nut sacs, it’s dirty little guys like him who take down the bigger bullies. Chris says everything you heard about the Goldberg story was true, he took him down twice with a front face lock.
Caller Riren asks about the Cruiser Weight Division being overlooked and if it still has a place in wrestling. Chris says it does but it shouldn’t be labeled it should just be a style. Chris says he and Shawn Michaels for example wrestled as cruiserweights as the world champion.
Jack asks if Cornette had one of the gimmicks planned for Chris when he called him to work WWF as an “enhancement talent”. The book goes over this in detail, this was the time when TL Hopper, Sal Sincere and the Pug came in. Chris says it never got that far, he never rushed anything but took any chance he had.
Chris thanks everyone for having him on the show, and tells everyone to pick up the book “A Lion’s Tale: Around the World in Spandex” available at your finer book stores everywhere.
You can listen to the full-length 45 minute interview at http://www.inyourheadonline.com and new live episodes on Wednesdays at 8e/11c PM including this week with Shawn Daivari and “The Cuban Assassin” Fidel Sierra.