December 30, 2007
Jericho hits the gym for ring return
By CHAD SCARSBROOK - Winnipeg Sun
Chris Jericho has always been in pretty good shape.
He first began working out at age 15 while growing up in Winnipeg and has been in the gym ever since.
Things changed a bit during his two-year sabbatical away from the ring. Sure, he still looked great but he admitted his routine was getting a bit stagnant as time went by.
"I was on the same workout program for three years, which is never good," Jericho said over the phone recently from his home in Tampa, Fla. "I was just too lazy to change. But I started working with a personal trainer which shocks your system because you never know what you're going to get."
Jericho recently returned to the WWE after a few years off. He was about 25 pounds lighter than when he was wrestling and a personal trainer helped get him into ring shape and pack on some pounds. Boxing, cardio on a treadmill and exercise bike, and lifting heavier weights helped.
"But it's not the same as being in the ring," said the 37-year-old. "In September, I went to Lance Storm's wrestling school in Calgary and went through the drills. It was good to get back to the basics, get back in the groove and work on some new moves with Lance."
An avid wrestling fan since the age of eight who never missed AWA or WWF programming, Jericho returned to the WWE in late September. He said he never considered jumping to the rival TNA promotion which, over the past few years, has acquired such ex-WWE talent as Kurt Angle, Booker T and Christian Cage.
"I have respect for them (TNA) starting up and existing this long," said Jericho. "But for me my dream was always to work in the WWE. It took nine long years to get there and, creatively, I left on very good terms. I had no axe to grind with Vince (McMahon) and no agenda. Unless he told me to go to hell, there was no chance I'd go to TNA."
Y2J said dressing-room morale is "great," and he doesn't feel things are a lot different since he left to recharge his batteries.
"A lot of new faces you see right off the bat," said Jericho. "Wrestling is a tight-knit profession and after two or three weeks of traveling together, you get to be close. You fight for this dream and there's only a specific small number who are good enough to be in the WWE."
Jericho said the fire to return to the squared circle surfaced while writing his acclaimed autobiography A Lion's Tale.
He's had a handful of matches since returning, including a pay-per-view contest against Randy Orton at Armageddon. He's been happy with how his body has responded so far but, above all, he's loving wrestling again.
"I needed to get my mental fire back," said Jericho. "It was a challenging last few months before I left. I didn't want to be there. I'd had enough. It's kinda like if you buy an extra large pizza and you eat as much as you can and there's half left. The next day you don't want to taste it, smell at it or look at it. I was mentally burned out. But now I'm back doing what I do. I've been able to come back, update and modify my character. It's all part of the challenge."