Chris Jericho On His Match With AJ Styles At RAW, Criticism Of His Line To Styles, Royal Rumble

Recently on Talk Is Jericho, six-time world champion Chris Jericho discussed his WWE Royal Rumble 2016 performance and shared his thoughts on AJ Styles' much anticipated WWE debut.

Jericho called the 2016 Royal Rumble match "tremendous" and praised how the match was put together. Although Jericho has had some lengthy performances in Royal Rumble matches throughout his WWE career, he lasted 51 minutes in this year's Royal Rumble match, which was a personal best. A casual observer may believe that lasting nearly an hour in the Royal Rumble match is no special feat, given all of the rest periods; however, Jericho pointed out that the rest spots are necessary so that major spots and angles can take centerstage.

"You can call me the 51-minute man. That's right. I was in the Rumble for 51 minutes. That's pretty crazy when you think about it and it's an interesting psychology when you're in the ring for that long. I know sometimes people think, 'oh, you just sit in the corner for the whole time'. Well, the Royal Rumble is based around spotlights. When someone comes in, they get a spotlight. When certain angles happen, there's a spotlight. When there [are] certain eliminations that happen, there's a spotlight on that, so a lot of times, if you see somebody sitting in the corner or doing the typical 'punch, kick, choke someone with your foot', it's because you're basically staying out of the way, and when you do that, you're kind of a background performer. When someone's watching you the whole time, it's going to look like, 'oh, he's just sitting down [and] doing nothing', but that's kind of the concept of what you're doing. And when it's time for your spotlight, you get back in there again, so I think this is the third Rumble I've been in for 45 minutes or longer. I think in 2003, I was in there for a long time. In 2013, I was in there, but this was my longest Rumble appearance, which was a great spotlight. It was really cool."

According to Jericho, the biggest news coming out of WWE Royal Rumble 2016 is AJ Styles' debut. Jericho, who was not well received in the locker room when he debuted for WWE in 1999, went on to say that he could empathize with Styles.

"I think the big buzz of the night and one of the big, huge surprises was the debut of AJ Styles in the WWE, which was a huge, huge get for us. We've been waiting to have him for a long time. One of the hottest free agents in the world today finally in the WWE and it was really cool because in the first night, in the Rumble, I came in the ring. He and [Roman] Reigns were the only ones in there. All three of us just kind of stood there and it was a really good buzz." Jericho added, "when he [came] into the dressing room [prior to the Royal Rumble], I felt a little bit, not bad for him, but I understood what he was going through because he shows up there when we're having the meeting for the Royal Rumble, because he was probably hiding all day or whatever it was, and he comes into the meeting and he knows some people, but he's standing in the back and kind of being quiet and doesn't want to step on anybody's toes."

As for working with Styles on WWE Monday Night RAW, Jericho stated that he was pleased with what was the first ever Jericho versus Styles match and hinted at another bout between the two in the near future.

"We worked the next night on RAW, which was another surprise. And when it was pitched to me, it was pitched to me one way and then I had an idea to kind of go another way, so, hopefully, if things keep going the way we hope, you might see another Jericho/Styles match, so we'll see." Jericho continued, "I was really happy with [the match]. It was fun. It was fun to get in there with a new guy and kind of suss each other out a little bit. And now, it will only get bigger and more intense as we go forward."

Jericho called Styles "a great performer", but stressed that it may take him a month or two to get acclimated to WWE's way of doing things, such as work style and promos.

"When you come to WWE, you're basically starting from scratch." Jericho continued, "but he's going to do great in the WWE. It just takes a month or two [for] the acclimating to the way that we do things, which is different from New Japan, which is different from Ring Of Honor, which is different from TNA."

During the podcast, Jericho also took time to respond to fans who criticized Jericho's "welcome to the big leagues, kid" comment to Styles on RAW.

"I have no doubt that AJ Styles is going to be over big time in the WWE. He already is, just from his fans that he [has] got, but there [are] a lot of people who have never heard of AJ Styles and don't know who he is or what he brings to the table. And at the Royal Rumble, we let them know a little bit and we let them know a little bit more on RAW. I love that people were like, 'Jericho said, 'welcome to the big leagues, kid'. He [has] been in TNA.' Listen, I agree. He [has] been all over the world, but the WWE is the big leagues! That's the truth. It's not being arrogant or being dismissive of his past, but the WWE is the big leagues. It's where everybody wants to be if you're in the [professional] wrestling business. I don't care what you say. Everybody wants to be in the WWE because this is the big leagues. This is the big time. The biggest pro wrestling company in the world, ever, in front of the biggest stage, the biggest crowds, the most worldwide influence. You go from being the biggest worldwide independent star and in two nights, more people know who AJ Styles is right now than they did for the entire 15 years of his career up to it, so that's not demeaning. That's the truth and if you don't like it, you're just living in dreamland because nothing beats being in the WWE."

To check out the rest of the show, click here. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

Source: Talk Is Jericho

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