September 19, 2009
Jericho a proud 'puppet master' to the masses
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun
Chris Jericho likes being despised. And if he never heard another cheer, he'd be OK with that.
When he returned to WWE in 2007, he had a plan.
"I came back as a half-assed babyface," says Jericho.
"But I wanted to develop this character, part of it was from Anton Chigurh, from No Country for Old Men -- a complete psycho. I wanted to step away from everything Y2J was, from the hair to the entrance to the electricity. To still have serious heel heat a year and a half into that character is something to be proud of. I'm a very good puppet master. I don't like when the fans chant 'Y2J.' It's not cool.
"It's hard to become a heel and harder to stay one -- from Hannibal Lecter to Freddy Krueger to The Joker. This is the character I play. I love it."
Jericho also loves his partnership with The Big Show, which resulted in winning the unified tag team belts.
"The original idea was to build up a program with me and (partner at the time) Edge. When he got injured, nobody knew what to do. Vince came up with The Big Show. The best tag teams are odd couples.
"People were saying, it should be The Miz or it should be Dolph Ziggler. But you can't replace Edge with a guy who's on his way up. You need somebody who has the same kind of presence as Edge. The Big Show was a great idea."
So what about when Edge comes back?
"We had a big storyline planned," says Jericho. "When Edge comes back, if Edge comes back, I"ll be waiting."
And you can bet the not-so-long-ago despised Edge will be hearing the cheers.
"I'll fight kicking and screaming to never be a babyface again," says Jericho.
With the Best of Smackdown! DVD just out, Jericho admits he got a kick out of watching some of the highlights.
"It's a compilation of so many years of classic moments," says Jericho. "You forget what you do from week to week. I'd forgotten about the ring collapsing with Brock Lesnar and Big Show."
And how does Smackdown! stack up against its big brother, RAW?
"It's every good if not better," says Jericho. "Smackdown! is great, especially for the fact that I'm on it."
AROUND THE RING
John Cena is once again WWE champ, beating Randy Orton in an I Quit match at Sunday's Breaking Point pay-per-view in Montreal ... Linda McMahon has stepped down as WWE CEO to run for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut ... Cedric The Entertainer will host Monday's RAW ... Batista is back, moving over to Smackdown! ... Triple H will be boxer Floyd Mayweather's corner against Juan Manuel Marquez tonight ... Ric Flair will join the Hulkamania Tour beginning November in Australia ... CM Punk and Lita are a couple.
Tim Baines is the Sports Editor for the Ottawa Sun and can be emailed at Tim.firstname.lastname@example.org.