Chris Jericho was a guest on Wrestling Observer Radio to discuss his upcoming Chris Jericho’s Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Rager At Sea cruise in late October. Jericho will be featured in the first-ever “Alpha Club vs. Bullet Club” match, teaming with The Young Bucks to compete against Kenny Omega, Cody Rhodes, and Marty Scurll.
Jericho stated that streaming for New Japan World went up 60 percent in the United States due to his match at Wrestle Kingdom against Kenny Omega. While he does not directly credit himself single-handedly for the surge, he does feel that his match allowed many wrestling fans in the United States see that there is a viable alternative brand other than the WWE.
“Maybe it took a guy like Jericho to do this match and open up all these doors to where now it’s starting to go through the roof,” said Jericho. “And I think all of the pieces were in place for that, to where now you have New Japan as a viable secondary choice in the United States.”
While Jericho still stands firm that WWE is the “biggest company in the history of the planet” and is not going anywhere, New Japan creates a different style, and it’s “always good to have an option.”
“The thing that’s different about [New Japan] is that it’s a different style, it’s a different vibe to it,” said Jericho. “And that’s a how you can truly make it as a secondary choice and a secondary option behind the WWE. You don’t want to be WWE lite. We’ve seen that happen with old TNA and all these other promotions. They’re just trying to provide what WWE provides. New Japan provides something completely different, and that’s why it’s working. That’s why it has become, like I said, a secondary option if you’re a hardcore wrestling fan.”
Jericho added that “All In” has distinguished itself from WWE because has a “cool” and “happening” vibe to it, as if it is the place to be for wrestling fans. With the addition of the MSG event during WrestleMania 35 weekend, as well as the Jericho cruise in October, options are opening in the pro wrestling world that is overall good for both the business and the fans.
In 2005, Jericho stated that he was losing passion for the wrestling business, already being a part of it for 15 years. He decided to leave the WWE and endeavor more in his music career as the lead singer of Fozzy. He also that he knew he needed to get out of the wrestling business when it took him 20 minutes to figure out a finish to a TV match, where it would have taken him a much shorter time before.
Being inspired by when Hulk Hogan would “come and split” in WCW, Jericho feels that him doing it in WWE “keeps you fresh” to the fans, as well as mentally for himself. His biggest thing to avoid as a wrestler is to be known as a “nostalgia act,” which is why he keeps changing and morphing. He name-dropped Billy Gunn as someone who is making a lot of money still, but as the same character he was 20 years ago and wearing the same tights.
Because Jericho is so stern about not wanting to be a nostalgia act, he ditched the Y2J countdown and heavily relying on the persona that he made his WWE debut in 1999 with. He also shared that he felt awkward coming to the ring with his light-up jacket and matching tights for the match with Omega, so he rejected the suggestion from New Japan to wear it before his match with Tetsuya Naito at Dominion.
“Even like when I did the Naito thing with the make-up and stuff. When I worked with Kenny [Omega], he’s such a crazy character, I thought like these shorts with sparkles and rhinestones on them, it doesn’t match this anymore,” said Jericho. “A light-up jacket, I don’t feel this anymore. And when I went to do the Naito match in Osaka, New Japan wanted me to wear the light-up jacket, and I was like, ‘I can’t. I don’t feel it anymore.’ And [they were] like, ‘we really want you to do it.’ I was like, ‘I’m sorry. It doesn’t feel right.’ And what felt right was having long, black pants and, you know, putting some makeup on and a frickin’ fedora. I don’t know why, it’s just what I felt like at the time.”
Jericho feels that when the time comes that he cannot move forward, he is going to stop. However, with the new wave of wrestling going on, he does not expect to stop wrestling anytime soon, because he still has fun keeping people guessing.
If any portion of these quotes are used, please be sure to credit the Wrestling Observer Radio via Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: Wrestling Observer Radio