Credit: Ryan Rider and Main Event Radio
SHOW: The Main Event, Sundays on CJLO 1690AM in Montreal
HOST: Ryan Rider
Chris Jericho appeared on Main Event Radio, here are some highlights from his appearance:
How did writing Undisputed differ from A Lion's Tale?
Undisputed is now officially a New York Times Bestseller. It is very gratifying. It takes a lot of time to write a book; it took a year and a half to get it how I wanted it. It feels good. Many times when you do something for the first time, it's always unchartered waters. You don't really know how to do it, where to go. Now that I have one under my belt, I kind of knew the shortcuts but it's a long arduous process. That will never change. This time I had more experience, more knowledge. It probably went by a little bit quicker because of my experience with the first one. If you're going to do it right - for both of these books I wrote every word that you see. Everybody seems to like it, it's being critically acclaimed. This is the type of buzz that you want.
One of the things I was surprised about in the early part of the book was the amount of heat that you had coming into WWE. The "tobacco spit" incident with The Rock… Why do you think that the Rock never laid into you for it and has that subject ever come back up in a conversation with Rocky?
He remembers it, of course he does. What happened was it was the first match I ever had against The Rock. I did have a lot of animosity and uphill battles when I first got to WWE. I picked up a cup from the floor but when I threw it in the Rock's face [and] it wasn't beer or soda, it was tobacco spit juice. He was really freaking out, it went in his eyes. He never really did go nuts on me about it. I think because he kind of emphasized with me about it because he came in with a lot of animosity coming in. He kind of had the same thing when he was first coming in - he got a big push coming in, a lot of people didn't like him. He got a really big push right off the bat and people didn't like him. The cream always rises to the top. He was my only ally when I first got there in 1999.
You seem to be your own biggest critic throughout both of your books. Do you ever feel that you are a bit too harsh on yourself?
It's one of the reasons I'm always successful in everything I've done. I've never settled for anything. I've always wanted better. I always want it perfect, but nothing could ever be perfect. It makes you strive for that. It makes you create better moments in wrestling, or in music, or in writing. As an artist you always want to get better. Every time you sit back and think "I am the best in the world at what I do", but if you believe that all the time then you're living in denial. That's something that people appreciate in both my books is that I'm always very honest. When something didn't work out the way I wanted it to work out I had no problems bringing it up and facing it. It makes for great stories and great writing no matter what the situation might be. I think Undisputed overall is a better book than A Lion's Tale because it is just as funny, just as honest but it a lot deeper because of all the experiences I went through during the time period I wrote about. The first book is written from a guy in his 20's with a frivolous and fancy free type of vibe. Things in life hit you in different ways. Mature experiences, grown up experiences seen from a guy in his 30's sees it in a different vibe; but still very funny, very entertaining. A good movie will take you through an emotional roller coaster. That's what Undisputed does.
Numerous times in the book you state that it is a shame that many of your classic matches are buried and technically do not exist anymore. Do you think that WWE should acknowledge the matches that you had with Chris Benoit?
I don't really want to watch them. I don't think I would get the same enjoyment or vibe from them after all that's happened. I don't blame Vince for now using them because he [Benoit] did a lot to damage the industry. It's not a shame that they're not shown; it's a shame because of what happened. I would feel very uncomfortable at this point, maybe in the future, but not right now.
Wrestlemania X8. You got 1/5 of what your opponent HHH got paid for the event. I heard that Hogan wasn't happy with his pay at the event either compared to what he got in the old days of Wrestlemania. Why, when you were the champion, did they book you so atrociously as Steph's lackey and then sent you a low-end paycheck?
One didn't have anything to do with the other. You can read the whole story in the book. It was my idea but the other part of the story where Stephanie and I were having an affair was left out. Then I would end up being p---y-whipped by her. People in the crowd always know someone who meets a girl and then you never see the guy again. Next thing you know the guy is wearing the same clothes as her, likes the same music as her. I thought it would be really good. Vince liked that part of it but not the other part of it. I was basically p---y whipped without the p---y. IMO I wasn't really quite ready for it. It wouldn't be booked like that the other 5 championship reigns I had. But at the time I was just trying to keep my head above the water and be a good soldier. This made for great stories in the book. Just because you're the world champion doesn't mean you're the best. That was the problem at the time, I wasn't the best guy in the company even though I was the champion. And that was the problem. You learn and get better as a performer. I had a better rapport with Vince, with the performers. You get better with age. And that's the way it should be. Whether you're a performer, a soldier, a computer programmer, or the President of the United States, as you get more experience you get better overall.
Speaking of booking…you make a jab at TNA's booking in your book. You also posted some tweets on your Twitter page (quote: After 10 yrs TNA talent still have an inferiority complex. If u don't think that u work for the BEST COMPANY EVER then nobody else will! As a performer u have to act and project that where u work is the pinnacle of competition! If not then the whole place just seems second rate)…What advice do you have for them?
When we worked in ECW it was a small company, I wasn't making more than $250 a match, but you believed in that company. You believed you were better than WWE or WCW. When you believed it, the fans believed it. There were people there who would die for the company. That's how you gain fans. If you don't have the confidence in yourselves. If I'm watching something where they basically say we're #2, and always talking about #1. Then why would I watch #2? I would just switch the channel to #1. If you work somewhere, you need to project that this is the best place in the world. Otherwise then why are you there, why are you wasting your time being there? I want TNA to grow as a company, it's better for me as a performer and me as a businessman. But how can they grow if every chance they get they are constantly talking about up north and the WWF? When I was up north everything was against me and now I'm the champion. Well that makes you look bad. If I was working for TNA I would say that this is the best company in the world and this is where the best competition is. And leave it at that. If you don't believe that then you shouldn't be on TV working there.
What is the status of your wrestling career right now? I assume that you plan to come back down the line, but will this be sooner or later?
I left the WWE in September to tour with Fozzy. We have a lot of momentum behind us. We've been to England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Belgium, Australia, Canada, we just did a show in Los Angeles a few weeks ago which was cool. When I was a kid I had two dreams: to be a wrestling and to be a rock star. I'm not sure what's going to happen with wrestling. When the time comes, if I feel like I'm ready to go back and that I'm going to be able to reinvent myself and do something better. Roll the dice, who knows. In 2005, I knew that I might have never came back, I was really burned out on wrestling. I knew that if I came back I wanted to be better than ever. This last time I wasn't burned out, I just had other projects. I'm still a big fan of the product. Whatever happens, happens. I've been very fortunate that I've never contained myself within the wrestling box. I have a lot of projects that are very successful that I need to spend time on. A lot of people get mad at me by that but that's what Chris Jericho has always been. If my name is on it then it is the very best that I can possibly do. In the WWE, if I was there right now I would not be 100%. And you can't be that way when you're working there, you have to be 100% committed. If not, step aside and let someone else take over that is.
You're going to have to wait until Book #3. Undisputed ends when I return to the WWE in 2007. There is already 3 ½ years of material including the 3 best years of my career. Undisputed is going to do even better than A Lion's Tale. There is no reason to not do #3. The material I have for #3 is just as good as the first 2. I still have a few years to go before I write but I would definitely like to write another one. But it is not about the numbers, it is about the quality. If I don't think it would be as good, I won't do it.
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