July 1, 2008
Jericho adds highlights to his reel
By JASON CLEVETT - SLAM! Wrestling
The last time SLAM! Wrestling spoke to Chris Jericho, it was just hours before he returned to RAW, promising to save us from Randy Orton. He didn't quite succeed in that goal, but since his homecoming, he has feuded with JBL, returned to Wrestlemania, and had a slowly-built three-way feud with Batista and Shawn Michaels. Jericho turned heel on the June 16th edition of RAW when he threw Shawn Michaels headfirst into a TV screen.
The attack was comparable to 1992, when Michaels turned heel on Rockers partner Marty Jannetty, superkicking him and tossing him through a plate glass window. Now that Jericho has reciprocated, one would think Jannetty would give him a call to thank him.
"No he has not, I am not sure if Marty has a phone at this point in time," Jericho told SLAM! Wrestling. Jericho is thrilled to be feuding with Michaels, who he had one of his favorite matches of his career with at Wrestlemania XIX. "I love it, I always love working with Shawn we have great chemistry and the same mindset. We have so many similarities in so many ways he is probably my perfect opponent. I am very excited and really happy with it."
Jericho has had a number if highlights to add to his reel since his return, including becoming the first eight-time Intercontinental Champion. He won the belt from Jeff Hardy on March 10th. Hardy was suspended for a Wellness Policy violation the next day. Jericho scoffs at some of the comments that came regarding the circumstances surrounding the title change.
"It makes me laugh to hear people ask, 'How do you feel about winning under those circumstances?' I don't care if he was being suspended the next day or not, the point is how was the match in which the championship changed hands? It doesn't matter the reasons, it was one of the best matches that has been on RAW this year. I don't care if he got suspended or got bored or lost for whatever reason that people lose titles. The point is the match that he had to do so was great so who cares what the reason was for? The fun was the execution. Everyone can say, 'Was Chris Jericho worthy of winning under those circumstances?' Well the match spoke for itself. Any time you win the title is a good thing, especially if you can have a good match in doing so."
Jericho also returned to the "grandest stage of them all," Wrestlemania in Orlando, in a match that he created. Jericho along with Ken Kennedy, Carlito, C.M. Punk, Shelton Benjamin, John Morrison and MVP wrestled in the annual Money in the Bank ladder match. The concept was originally created by Jericho for Wrestlemania 21 in 2005. Jericho was an important part of the closing moments of the match, being caught up in the ladder rungs and unable to prevent C.M. Punk from winning the match.
"When Brian Gerwitz and I first came up with the concept I never expected it was going to become a tradition and one of the highlights of the show," Jericho admitted. "I am all about the storyline but sometimes it doesn't work out that way so being in the Money in the Bank match at Wrestlemania automatically shoots you to a different level. It is a match people are interested in no matter who is in it. I was an important part of the whole match, I put together quite a bit for, not just myself, but the other guys involved. It was a hard match to be in this year but it was a very successful one and one of the best ones there has been. Any time you can think of unique stuff that is original no one has seen before, especially in a ladder match which have gone through the ringer, everything in the book has been done, to still come up with a finish the way that we did I thought it was a bit of a science to be able to do that."
One thing missing from Jericho's resume is a DVD release dedicated to him. He is one of the few main event talents to have not had either a match compilation or documentary set released, something he hopes to remedy.
"Of course I would be interested, absolutely. I don't know why I haven't had one yet. I know they are doing a Curt Hennig one and I think they are getting ready to do a Funaki DVD. It seems like everyone has got one but me. I was never asked to do a book by the WWE so I just did it myself. I can't do that with a DVD because of the footage. I am assuming at some point that they would release one, but I don't really know because I have never heard anything about it. They are running out of guys so it will probably come out at the same time as the Nunzio retrospective."
In the meantime, Jericho remains busy. Several projects that he was working on prior to his return are preparing to come out, he is planning for a new Fozzy record, and working on the sequel to his New York Times bestseller A Lion's Tale.
"I am obviously going to give 100% to the WWE. I am working on a second book right now and we are talking about doing another Fozzy record. I enjoy acting so I would like to continue more with roles I think are fun to do. I can't go somewhere for three months to do a movie unless it was something really good. There are quite a few projects that I was working on when I was off that is coming to fruition now. We will play each project on its merits and see how it goes," he said, adding that he isn't sure what support the second book will receive from the WWE marketing machine. "The second book isn't coming through the WWE. I signed a two-book option with Warner Brothers and they took the option when the first one hit the New York Times bestseller list. Since it isn't a WWE project I don't know if they will release anything in conjunction with it, they will probably just ignore it. We will see what happens."
Jason Clevett has met Chris Jericho in person a few times, and interviewed him three times. He is not sure if that makes him a big Jericholic or a stalker.