"The Wrestler" star Mickey Rourke and Chris Jericho appeared on Larry King Live last night to promote Rourke's movie and his tentative appearance at WrestleMania 25. Here are some of the wrestling-related highlights from the appearance:
-- When asked how the wrestling community accepted him, Mickey Rourke said at first he was nervous because he was visiting their world and it's a brotherhood. He said wrestling legends Roddy Piper, Ric Flair, Lex Luger, and Brutus Beefcake were invited to the movie premiere and he didn't care what anyone thought about the movie except for them. He said after the screening, Ric Flair came up to him and said "Hey, brother, you're one of us,", which Rourke said was the highest compliment he could have received. He said the comeraderie between them is very special.
-- Rourke said recently spoke with Vince McMahon. He compared what Vince did to pro wrestling to what Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas have done to films. "He's taken fat guys in Speedos from the old days and now these guys are in the gym, they're all fit, terribly athletic." Regarding Vince's character, he said, "I think he's a good dude. I think he has honorable intentions."
-- Chris Jericho joined the show via satellite. He told Larry he's seen the movie and liked Mickey's performance. "I thought that Mickey did a tremendous job and he hit the ball right out of the park. He made no mistakes in his performance as Randy the Ram."He added, "The movie represented the minor leagues of wrestling very well. It was a nice representation of what it's like to be on the way up and what it's like to be on the way down. It's not representing what I do in the WWE and who I am, for example, as the best in the world at what I do. I think Mickey's performance was immaculate, he made no mistakes, but I think he did make a mistake on the red carpet at the SAG awards where he mentioned WrestleMania and called me out because if he got his wish and had a confrontation with me at WrestleMania, I think the ending of the Jericho-Rourke movie would not turn out very well for Mr. Rourke as it did for 'The Wrestler.'"
-- Larry King took that to be a challenge and asked Mickey Rourke if he'd wrestle Chris Jericho. Rourke responded, "If it was up to me, no, it's not my world. I was a professional fighter. Would I box him in a boxing ring or a bare knuckle match, yeah. Wrestling, that's his world. That's what this man does." Jericho said, "Very interesting, Mr. Rourke. You should have thought before your spoke. Be careful what you wish for, it may come true."
-- After some more bantering, Jericho went back at Mickey and said "You offended me and that's the last thing you want to do is disrespect Chris Jericho, believe me. Because you may have respect for me and my world, but I don't have respect for you. I really don't."
Overall it was a good appearance. Jericho started off complimentary but quickly shifted to the instigator. Rourke said a few times that he'd be at WrestleMania but said he wanted to "take the high road" when Jericho challenged him directly. Larry King seemed to enjoy this potential big money match taking shape right in front of him.
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