Chris Jericho was interviewed by The Mirror to promote his "Words of Jericho" one-man shows in Glasgow, Manchester and London next week. Below are a couple of highlights:
Making sporadic appearances and people not knowing when you may turn up or what shows you might be on, gives you a 'marquee attraction' feel as a performer, similar to what Brock Lesnar has in WWE. It keeps an appearance by you a special event, in of itself.
"Well, Brock Lesnar has what Chris Jericho has in WWE, you know what I mean? I come and go when I feel it's right. I'm there more than Brock is when I'm there, but as far as being there/not being there, I'm not under contract to WWE. Everyone always thinks that, they're always like 'oh is WWE cool with you working in New Japan?' It doesn't matter if they're cool or not because I'm not under contract. My contract with them ended in May of last year. So I have the right to do whatever I want to do, I don't have to ask permission from anybody. I tell them what I'm doing out of courtesy because I respect the company and respect Vince McMahon, but I don't have a contract with anybody, other than the match I have with Tetsuya Naito coming up."
You made a dramatic return to NJPW on May 4, ambushing NJPW icon Tetsuya Naito. The seeds had been sown for that back in January, when you first attacked him the day after Wrestle Kingdom. You have long been the master of keeping people guessing, spreading misinformation, and down the years you have kept a lot of big surprises secret, such as your appearance at the Royal Rumble in 2013. This time there were a few rumours and the cat got out the bag - why do you think that was?
"I don't know man. It's one of those things, the cat got out of the bag, but everyone was convinced I was going to be in Long Beach too [NJPW held a show titled Strong Style Evolved in California on March 25]. You can't tell me that you really knew for sure because no one knew for sure. I have found out that fans have a way to track your flight patterns now... which really makes me feel safe. Maybe that's how, they found out that Chris Jericho was flying into Tokyo or whatever it was, but once again, I don't feel bad because we were very specific, very secret about it. I flew into Haneda Airport, stayed a night there, then secretly flew into Fukuoka and stayed at a different hotel, so if people say they knew I was there that's wrong, because there might have been some rumors, but it's not like I was busted or caught red-handed or anything along those lines. If I hadn't have been there, people would have just said 'oh that's Jericho, we thought he was going to be at Long Beach too'."
Are there opponents still in WWE that you would love to work, a long program with [Daniel] Bryan for example?
"It's all about the story. If it's a good story I will work with anybody. I enjoy wrestling still but I enjoy the storyline behind it. I liked the idea of a surprise attack on Naito, I like all these type of things that you don't really expect to see. That's why I still enjoy wrestling. Yeah sure, working with [Braun] Strowman would be great, working with Daniel Bryan would be great, working with any of those guys would be great, I love Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins and all of those dudes. But what's the story behind it? If we can come up with a good story, then I'm all in. If not, then I will just continue doing what I'm doing right now and having a lot of fun doing it."
Jericho also discussed why he doesn't take audience questions during his shows, juggling his music and wrestling careers, his WrestleKingdom match with Kenny Omega and more. You can check out the full interview by clicking here.