Chris Jericho hasn't worked full-time for the WWE since early 2017, but he will be returning for Friday's Greatest Royal Rumble event in Saudi Arabia. Jericho was recently on the In This Corner podcast and discussed why he decided to make a comeback to the company.
Jericho has made sporadic appearances for WWE over the past few months, such as wrestling for the United States Championship on SmackDown Live and showing up backstage at RAW 25. He had a high-profile run with New Japan Pro Wrestling for his match against Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 12 in January. Jericho said even though he's not working for WWE full-time, the company called him up and he couldn't turn down the opportunity to be a part of the historic 50-man Royal Rumble.
"It's one of those things that is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Obviously, getting the chance to work with Saudi Arabia at the highest level. We had been there back in 2015, and had some great shows, but it seems like they are beginning to try and change some of the things that are being done over there and it's really cool to have been asked by WWE to be part of it," Jericho said. "As you know, I am not working full-time there right now but still part of the family. With the matches that have been announced right off the bat, it has as much steam, if not more than the WrestleMania card did, just the fact of who is on the show and all the big matches that we have. It reminds me of a few years ago when we would do Live Event specials on the Network from Madison Square Garden. We did another one from Tokyo, Japan. It's got kind of the same vibe to do the same thing with the Greatest Royal Rumble, just bigger."
Jericho was also asked about his thoughts on the current style of professional wrestling being the best we've seen. Jericho pointed out that each era has had its good aspects and bad aspects, so it's hard to definitively call the current era the best. He said the character work is nowhere near what it was in the past, and there's also a difference in interest from casual fans. Jericho believes the best aspect of today's era is the in-ring performance and also the growth of the indie scene.
"Let's not get carried away. There are a lot of great performers but let's go back to the mid 90's in WCW and WWE when you had [Eddie] Guerrero, [Chris] Benoit, Dean Malenko, Rey Mysterio, Ultimo Dragon, Juventud Guerrera were all putting on great matches as well. Maybe at a main event level they are the 'best' athletic matches, but the crowd reactions for Hulk Hogan vs Ultimate Warrior was three million times more than what we have today, technically and athletically the guys are putting on amazing matches. Character-wise it was stronger 30 years ago, but every era is different. There is good and bad with every era," he said. "I think it is a great time with pro wrestling right now. I was talking with Vince the other day and he's right, whenever the WWE is hot other areas are hot as well. When WWE goes down then other independents goes down as well, too. It all depends on what is going on with the rest of the world. I have to say that the matches are a lot better athletically now and there is a lot of places for guys to work and don't have to rely heavily on WWE; guys like Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, Cody Rhodes, guys that can go overseas and go to Ring of Honor and make a good living. Obviously I will say that WWE is the end game in this business, but it may not be for everybody. I had always wanted to be in the WWE more than anything and when I finally got here it was the goal that I had my whole life and my whole career, but that may not be the case for everyone else anymore. The business is strong and is a good time right now for sure."
If any of these quotes are used, please be sure to credit In This Corner with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: In This Corner
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.