Chris Jericho was once again on the â€˜Up Front’ segment of TSN’s Off the Record with Michael Landsberg. I missed watching it on TV, but here is my transcript from viewings it, which is also available on the TSN website at http://broadband.tsn.ca/tsn/?id=4063.This one is way more interesting that yesterdays from a wrestling standpoint, as Jericho talks about his personal use of steroids, how he doesn’t feel there needs to be a union, and he claims that Vince will let wrestlers take time off the road without question if they are burnt out.
Reported by Adam Lebow
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LANDSBERG He saw wrestling from the top for a decade and his book is called a lion’s tale. Chris Jericho, let me ask, when will you return to wrestling?
JERICHO Well writing this book made me realize how much of a passion and love I had for the business, and how fortunate I have been, so I will wind up coming back. Absolutely.
LANDSBERG Do you believe that you are more able to cope with the stresses and lures of wrestling, because you have other lures in your life with the music and the acting, and there are a lot of people in your profession who can’t do anything else.
JERICHO Ya, see I didn’t want to put myself into a box, that I am a wrestling guy. I am an entertainer, I am a showman. I have many different things I want to be. I don’t put limits on myself; I don’t put limits on what I can and can’t do. If I think I can do something I will do it to the upmost of my abilities and things sometimes work out the way you want it to.
LANDSBERG Are you worried, going back to wrestling, about the amount of people who have died? I know you are very passionate thinking about all kinds of industries have problems, but wrestling in particular has a lot of issues to deal with.
JERICHO Well sure it does, and I would never deny that. There are a lot of issues that to be dealt with and I think they are being dealt with. But I think someone needs to come in and shake things up, with the positive side, the mythical side, the fun side, and that is what my book is about, that is what my career was about, and that is what I am about, you know I am a whacky guy Landsberg, I am a nut.
LANDSBERG Did you do steroids, ever?
JERICHO I dabbled early in my career, but I realized early on that I was never going to be 6 foot 8 and 240 pounds; I think I was maybe 220 with, 220 without, and I had to think outside of the box. I couldn’t be the biggest guy on the show, so I decided to have the biggest personality and biggest charisma.
LANDSBERG so did you do it then because you saw the champions, and say these guys are so much more ripped than I am and I have to do it?
JERICHO No, this way around 1992 maybe and it was just one of those things, like people who decide say I am going to go and smoke some weed tonight, or just one of those kinds of things. Like I said, it wasn’t something I was interested in, because early on I decided it wasn’t going to help me either way.
LANDSBERG Has Vince been careful enough watching the guys and what they have been doing and monitoring what they have been doing? Vince had had all these policies, including the wellness policy, do you believe fundamentally that Vince McMahon over the last 5 years wanted to get rid of steroids?
JERICHO I do, I really do. If you look at some of the guys such as Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Eddy Guerrero, none of us were big guys. It was all about the entertainment value.
LANDSBERG You mentioned Chris Benoit; well Chris Benoit was able to do anabolic steroids because of a loophole in the drug testing policy, which said to me that Vince wants them to do it.
JERICHO Well, I wasn’t there during that time during the testing. All I know is Chris would have been huge either way. See, I think is it a misconceived that if you don’t do steroids, you are going to get small; all of the guys are going to be bigger than the average bear…
LANDSBERG But that was Chris’s misconception and not ours. Chris was doing steroids for 20 years.
JERICHO Well in his mind, that is what he thought he had to do. We all know Benoit is one of the best wrestlers of all time and he trained like a machine, he would have been huge either way that was his mental, that was his decision. I guess…
LANDSBERG I am going to ask you a question and I know you are looking at going back and I know it’s hard to not be Vince’s enemy, but is the WWE not begging for a union, someone to represent the wrestlers.
JERICHO See, it’s one of those things. If you work for the WWE, I think you are making a lot of money, and I think it’s up to you. I walked away from wrestling at 34 years old because I…
LANDSBERG But we aren’t talking about the money now, safety in the workplace. That is one of the things… JERICHO As far as what? What do you mean by safety in the workplace? We know it is a contact sport, we know it is a dangerous sport. But it’s not like you are forced to do anything you don’t want to do. You have that choice.
LANDSBERG Well you have the choice to quit.
JERICHO No, no, no, no. You have the choice…
LANDSBERG Can you say to Vince, you know what, I don’t want to wrestle 250 night’s year, and I only want to wrestle 100.
JERICHO Well you can’t say that, but if you say Vince I need some time off, I am hurt, I need a break, you will get it. Absolutely.
LANDSBERG Can you get 3 months off?
JERICHO If you need it, absolutely.
LANDSBERG Mandatory offseason…
JERICHO Chris has it. You know he did. Mandatory offseason…
LANDSBERG It is also believed that Chris went to Vince and said that I want to take time off because he was feeling pressure from his wife, and Vince said if you are going to take time off, you aren’t as useful to me and you are going to lose your spot on the roster.
JERICHO I disagree with that. I bet you Vince would never say that. Chris did have 3 months off right before this stuff went down.
LANDSBERG But one of the things we know over the years is that wrestlers have to work a lot of nights. Over a long period of time, and there is no question that if you had someone who went in there and said to Vince, hey, you can’t make my guy wrestle that many nights, I think that you Chris Jericho, or any of your brothers or sisters out there are going to be healthier.
JERICHO Vince is more of a personal guy. You don’t need a guy to go in there and say it; you can go in there and say it yourself. That is how Vince McMahon works.
LANDSBERG So you are telling me, and I know it sounds like a loaded question, but I want to hear your opinion, that if you go into Vince and say you know what, I have a family, and this is taking its toll on me, I am not feeling really good an I need to wrestle a lot less, and I need some chunks of time to take off, that Vince would be good with that?
JERICHO 100% absolutely.
LANDSBERG Alright, tell me about the book… JERICHO I have done it myself.
LANDSBERG Tell me about the book.
JERICHO The book is the positive side of wrestling, it is my journey to this dream I wanted to get since I was 8 years old to become a wrestler. It details all my time in the ring, outside the ring, life experiences I have had in Mexico, Germany, Japan, all the trials and tribulations I have had from working at a kids birthday party for a hot dog and a glass of orange juice, weddings, parties, bar-mitzvah’s, whatever has to be done, to being held up at the side of the road at gunpoint in Mexico City, to being threatened by the Japanese mafia who wanted to cut off a figure because I broke a vase they said they owned. So many different fun tails.
LANDSBERG Not surprisingly the book is fun, because of all the wrestlers that I have watched over the years, and the last couple of decades, you may be the most fun of all and we hope you return and we hope you make it more fun. And we hope you get your time off, and we hope your safe, and we hope you are healthy.
JERICHO Well thank you. Do you hope I come back and host your show again?
LANDSBERG I hope you come back and you are a guest on the show, because you are a better guest than you are a host. The panel is up next…