Former WWE champion Chris Jericho recently spoke to Rolling Stone Magazine to promote his new book. He talked about a lot of stuffs including his feud with Bray Wyatt, he also talked about why attitude era was the greatest period in WWE and more interesting stuffs. Here are some highlights;
You predicted the success of rising stars such as Bray Wyatt, Wade Barrett and the Shield. What are the qualities you look for in a new talent?
Personality and character, they’re the only things I care about. Honestly, I don’t really pay any attention to wrestling skills because they don’t matter. There are a lot of similarities between music and wrestling, because they’re all about connecting with the crowd. What kind of charisma you have. What kind of personality you have. They’re so much more important than whether you can do a shredding guitar solo or a triple-jump moonsault.
It’s show business through and through, so when you look at a guy like Bray Wyatt, I loved his character. He can work and he’s a good wrestler and all that sort of stuff, but it’s the character that really makes it, and if you see something like that that’s so different and so unique and riveting, it’s a no-brainer. That’s what I love about the business, the characters and showmanship elements.
A popular opinion among fans is that the Attitude Era was the greatest period in WWE history. You’ve gone on record as saying that the current WWE is superior. Why?
When you think of another time like ECW or the Attitude Era, it’s like, “Ah, those were the good old days.” But having actually lived through it, there was a lot of great stuff, but there was a lot of stuff that sucked, too. Mae Young gave birth to a hand in the Attitude Era. Is that really what you want to remember about wrestling? I thought that was one of the dumbest things.
There were a lot of great characters and a lot of great wresting, so I think you always look back fondly. I live in the now and I think the product is the best it’s ever been because it’s now. It’s where we’re at in 2014, and I always look to the future. There were good moments in the past and there were bad moments. There’s going to be good moments in the future and bad moments, but I think it’s always best to look forward if you want to continue to improve yourself and the product, and improve what people are seeing.
Here is another interview of the former six times WWE World champion. Earlier he talked to Doug Mortman and Dave Lagreca on Busted Open where he talked about some very interesting stuffs including his feud with Shawn Michaels, storyline of Rey Mysterio’s mask, CM Punk and more. Here are some highlights;
His feud with Shawn Michaels and contributions by Brian Gewirtz:
Brian Gewirtz is very much responsible for some of the greatest things we’ve seen over the years. That guy is as close to being a genius on coming up with ideas as Vince (McMahon). Then you had Shawn Michaels, who is one of the best in the business, and Chris Jericho, who is a Shawn Michaels disciple who is at the peak of his game after 17 years in the business. It is a perfect storm of trust and creatively. You had the fans buy into it. When I punched Rebecca in the face, it was supposed to happen, but obviously I wasn’t supposed to hit her for real. She zigged when she was supposed to zag and I zigged when she was supposed to zag and I actually hit her. We felt so devastated and I thought for sure Shawn was going to kick my ass and I gladly would have let him. All she got was a fat lip and after she got up she was like “Is that all you got Chris?” people that were watching because people say then after a week we realized this was the best thing that could have happened. It made it real and the people are saying if anyone hit my wife, my husband, grandmother, and grandfather I am going to kill them. That is when the feud went into overdrive because it got real.
Talking Vince McMahon into the Rey Mysterio mask angle:
Well, it is different; after Michaels there was the (Rey) Mysterio angle. That is what I pitched to Vince to work around Rey’s mask. Vince said, “They don’t care about the mask.” And I said, “Of course they do. That is why they buy it.” We had this guy wear a mask and never explained what it means to him. I want his mask. Vince said, “Why do you want his mask?” I said, “Because I am a bully. I want his milk money. I don’t want any milk. I am going to take it and throw it into the lake.” Then Vince loved it.
Pushing the limits with CM Punk:
Then with the C.M. Punk feud in 2012. My thing is I wanted to take it to this next level. I wanted to tattoo him. Vince loved it and then was kind of talked out of it. I think someone got in his ear that there is going to be blood. Plus Vince said he has a million tattoos. Well, it doesn’t matter if he has a million tattoos. What if I tattoo my initials on him FOR REAL? Punk was saying, “Let’s do this for real” and that is like being violated. That is why we switched over to the alcoholic thing and I got a lot of hate for that. People saying, “Oh, my father is an alcoholic” and “how dare you say and use that as a crutch for a pro wrestling storyline.” Guess what? That is why I did it. I was begging Vince for us to do the tattoo angle; someone had told Vince that tattoos will create blood and Vince got scared. Plus… (Vince) doesn’t have tattoos so he doesn’t get it. He came up with the idea that Punk’s dad has problems with alcohol and you think he wouldn’t go for it and to Punk’s credit and he went for it. I don’t know if he had issues with his family and he wanted to take it out with them and I don’t think he even told his dad about it. Punk gave us full 100 percent with it as he should have and then his sister got involved, then it got real. Can we do that now? I don’t know because you got to go into a deep place? When I came back with the Bray Wyatt thing and I was on fire and I was pitching so many ideas, I went in to pitch some ideas to Vince for Summerslam and the PPV after that, and his response was – and this is great I should save it for my next book – he was eating steak and I went through this entire ten minute pitch about this and that and this guy will come back and this retired gunslinger will come in and help his old rival and this whole thing and his response while eating his steak and he says “Bad cow” I said what? “Bad cow, this steak is tough, bad cow” I am like” is that all you have to say?” And he is like, “What else you got?” And I am like, “Okay, he doesn’t like this idea.” We didn’t do much with the story, but like I said, all I can do is make suggestions and he is the boss, so he makes the suggestions, but I am a big fan for long storylines.