What Culture recently interviewed 'Y2J' Chris Jericho. Jericho discussed when he started speaking out on creative in WWE, whether the PG-Era is too restrictive for talent, and whether he prefers working as a heel or babyface.
As for when Jericho could start speaking out on creative, he said that it was really a matter of gaining Vince McMahon's respect. Jericho disclosed that McMahon still has final say over every decision within WWE and no one else is in charge of the company.
"I'd say probably 2008 is when I could really start figuring out what I wanted to do and having a lot of say in my storylines because before that, you really just do what you're told and if you don't like it, you can f--k off and that's basically it. And anybody that tells you differently is not telling you the truth because it really is, until you earn the respect of Vince McMahon, you don't have any leverage." Jericho continued, "it's not so much standing up and being a rebel and saying, 'this is what I'm going to do', it's more like, 'okay, well, how can I make this as good as possible?' And then, once you do that long enough, making everything good, then you earn respect. And then you can start kind of interjecting and saying, 'well, here [are] my ideas. Here's what I want to do.'"
Jericho disagreed with the likes of Batista and Mick Foley who have claimed that WWE's PG-Era is too restrictive on talent.
"If you're a good performer, you make it good no matter what the rules are. I don't have to go out there and say, 'son of a b---h' and get color and dump outhouses full of s--t on Vince McMahon to get over. I don't have to do that. And I think [Batista and Mick Foley] might feel that way, but I think they're both great performers and they can make it work as well. Once again, your job as a performer is to take what you're given and make it work and sometimes there are certain restrictions that you have and sometimes those restrictions aren't there, but it really doesn't matter. You still have to make it work. That's your job."
Jericho indicated that being a heel and being a babyface are both fun and challenging as a performer and while making the audience hate you is easier than it is to make them like you, once the fans like you, it is more difficult to get them to hate you. With that said, Jericho may prefer working as a heel simply because he had more success in his career as a heel.
"I've won the title six times as a heel and never once as a babyface, so I guess that tells you which I like better, maybe, if I had to really guess. But both are fun and both are very difficult to do. You really have to be able to understand what it is that the fans are looking for in either case."
On the subject of what makes a true heel, Jericho said that buying into the role is essential, but that is something not too many performers do nowadays.
"Being a heel, a true heel, you've really got to commit to it and a lot of guys don't now. To be a real, true heel, is a hard thing and you really have to be into it." Jericho added, "if you want to be a real heel, merchandise? What's that? Magazines? Why would I ever want to be in a magazine or on a website feature as a heel? No interviews allowed. Nothing allowed because if I'm a real heel, I don't want to talk to anybody."
In addition to these topics, Jericho talked about his band, Fozzy's upcoming album, winning the Undisputed WWE Championship, and much more. You can watch the full interview in the video above. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit What Culture with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Izzy contributed to this article.