Wrestling Inc. reader Pete Gerber passed along a podcast interview from last month with Chris Jericho on episode 52 of Killing The Town with Storm & Cyrus that we hadn't covered. Among other things, Jericho provided some interesting details to podcast co-hosts Lance T. Storm and Don 'Cyrus' Callis regarding WWE turning down his request to have NXT talent appear on his upcoming boat cruise, "Chris Jericho's Rock 'N' Wrestling Rager At Sea."
On the subject of Chris Jericho's Rock 'N' Wrestling Rager At Sea, Jericho said he got the idea from his band, Fozzy, playing The KISS Kruise.
"The idea [for the 'Jeri-cruise'] came from, so Fozzy was invited, and you'll know, I mean, everybody knows, but you'll understand just how big this is for me, Lance, when we got invited to play The KISS Kruise in 2015," Jericho said. "It was like, 'oh my gosh, KISS is inviting us to be one of the bands on the cruise!', which, of course, is based around KISS."
Jericho continued, "I was thinking about it and as soon as the boat docked [after The KISS Kruise], I remember I called my manager and I was like, 'I can do this - I can do a rock and wrestling cruise. It's a combination of what I'm known for. Nobody else on the planet can do this because that's kind of my reputation, being in a rock 'n' roll band and being in the [pro] wrestling business.'"
According to Jericho, the cruise took two years to put together. Jericho decided to bring in a pro wrestling promotion based on how quickly plans can change for individual talents.
"It took me two years to get it rolling because there [were] a lot of reasons why it can't work and [the cruise company] not understanding what wrestling fans are, how big wrestling can be," said Jericho. "And then, once I started thinking about that, 'who do I bring onboard the ship?' Do you know what I mean? 'Do I try to book a card, Don versus Lance and Chris versus Rey Mysterio? I don't know what the hell I'm going to do. Well, happens if you get hurt? What happens if you get signed by the WWE? What am I going to do?' Well, then I thought, 'maybe I'll bring a company onboard. That way, no matter what happens, the company exists, so if this guy's signed by the WWE or this guy gets hurt, I'll still have the company name on the bill and that's all I need."
Apparently, Jericho took the concept to WWE and Triple H because he wanted NXT talent wrestle on the cruise. As Jericho predicted, WWE passed on the idea, creating the opportunity for ROH and its Sea Of Honor tournament.
"Here's the thing. I did my due diligence," Jericho admitted. "Obviously, I was working for WWE at the time. I took it to Triple H. I wanted to see if NXT would do it and to see if they'd be interested in doing that. We had some conversations, and, basically, typically WWE, after three months of talking about it, I had a 35-minute conversation with three executives that I've never heard of before just to tell us that they're passing. And I was like, 'why didn't you just tell me in, like, three minutes, 'we're passing?'' I had to sit there for 35 minutes and hear all the reasons why: I mean, Vince doesn't like doing cruises; he saw somebody got food poisoning on the cruise once and now he's terrified that the whole crew ship was going to be poisoned. I was like, 'is he scared that we're going to hit an iceberg as well as we go to Mexico?'"
Jericho added, "and I knew that was going to happen because WWE doesn't play well with others and I understood that, but I wanted to do my due diligence, like I said, at least present them the opportunity. And the day they said, 'no,' I told Triple H, 'I'm still going to do this. This is happening either way.' And he said, 'yeah, sure. No problem.' I made the call to Ring Of Honor and signed them on later on that week."
Jericho described his cruise concept as an episode of Talk Is Jericho at sea.
"I was like, 'I want to make this ['GOAT on a Boat'] like an episode of my podcast where there's rock 'n' roll and there's [pro] wrestling and there's live podcasting and there [are] comedians and paranormal demonstrations and that sort of stuff and kind of make it a real Talk Is Jericho at sea. As a result of putting up this line up, it was challenging because I have to fund this whole thing, so it's like I have a certain budget and who do I go to, what can I do, who do I attract that's going to sell tickets on this? And, obviously, Ring Of Honor, when I signed them, I knew that was going to be the biggest thing because I got the wrestling thing locked in."
Jericho explained, "so my idea was to have a tournament of matches at sea, which they never had before. They've had those Bruise Cruises and Wrestle Vessels in the 90s. I was on one. It was pretty lame, just a bunch of guys kind of hanging around. There were a few signings, but it was pretty unorganized. This ['Cruise Of Jericho'] is nothing like that."
Additionally, during the interview, Jericho described his most recent run with WWE as his best and shared that he made some "lifelong friends" during his last run.
"I don't need [pro] wrestling. I still love it. I still enjoy it. I had the best year this year and in 2016. Those guys were such great guys. I made some lifelong friends with Gallows and Anderson, and Roman Reigns, and Samoa Joe, and I mean, just the best guys and we had so much fun."
Check out the show here. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit Killing The Town with an H/T to WrestlingINC for the transcription.
Source: Killing The Town