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Jericho will receive honours
Kudos to one of our 'toughest buggers'
By CARY CASTAGNA - Winnipeg Sun




Chris Jericho is proud to say he's never missed a wrestling match because of injury. The 33-year-old former Winnipegger even remembers once hobbling to the ring on crutches.

"A lot of it has to do with the fact that I grew up in Winnipeg, where it is so cold it really adds to a person's constitution," the World Wrestling Entertainment superstar told The Sun in a phone interview this week from Tampa, Fla., his current home.

"When you grow up in Winnipeg, you're definitely not weak-hearted. It just toughens you up all around."

Jericho, whose real name is Christopher Irvine, returns to his hardy roots for the televised Monday Night Raw event at the Winnipeg Arena. But before Y2J dons his wrestling tights, he'll be receiving two honours from the city and province he still calls home.

First, Premier Gary Doer will present Jericho with the Order of the Buffalo Hunt at 10:30 a.m. Monday on the south lawn of the Manitoba Legislature. Then, Mayor Sam Katz will give Jericho the key to the city at 1 p.m. in the City Hall courtyard.

"It's a huge honour," Jericho said. "It's one of the coolest things that's happened in my wrestling career."

Besides his appreciation for growing up in Winnipeg, Jericho is also grateful to his famous father -- ex-NHLer Ted Irvine -- for backing him in 1990 when, at 19, he decided to go to Calgary to train at a pro wrestling camp with the legendary Hart brothers.

"He never thought it was crazy," Jericho recalled. "He understood what it was like to follow your dreams."

Irvine, who played for the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues between 1967-77, said he never doubted his son.

"Chris had a dream. I encouraged him to do it," Irvine said. "As much as everybody thought he was crazy, he stuck with it. (Now) he's at the top of the world and still getting better every day."

Jericho, who played hockey and water polo at Westwood Collegiate before going through Red River College's communications program, made his pro wrestling debut after three months at the Hart camp. That was in October 1990. Nine years later, he signed with the then World Wrestling Federation.

Since then, Jericho has become the WWE's first undisputed world heavyweight champion and has held every major title in the WWE.

"I'm very proud of him," Irvine said, recalling the days when he'd watch his son wrestle in small towns like Winkler, Steinbach and Portage la Prairie. "It's a tough, tough business.

"He's one of the toughest buggers I've ever seen in my life."

RELATED LINKS

  • More on Chris Jericho


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  • Old-school Chris Jericho:
    Order WAR '3rd Anniversary Show' (07-07-95): Jericho vs. Ultimo Dragon! VHS