One of AEW's top stars, Chris Jericho, recently sat down with The Rich Eisen Show to talk about his past experiences in WWE and various other wrestling promotions. Jericho would also reveal the origin of his wrestling name, which actually started out as the character name, "Jack Action".
Although he spent the majority of his upbringing in Winnipeg, Jericho was actually born in Manhasset, New York during the time that his father played for The Rangers hockey team. Jericho mentioned a story about the mid 2000's, where Vince McMahon was adamant that no good guy, "babyface" characters could bill themselves as from Canada. Instead, WWE announced that Jericho was from Manhattan, New York, that way he could receive a proper babyface, American reception.
"I was born in Manhasset because my dad played for the Rangers," Jericho explained. "But then [we] moved to Winnipeg because my dad's from Winnipeg. Funny story, in about the mid 2000's, when Vince McMahon decided that you couldn't be from Canada and be a babyface in the WWE - For whatever reason, because no one could cheer a Canadian was his mindset. I'm not kidding. So, I was told that you can't be from Winnipeg anymore. You're from Tampa. I'm like, 'Why? I only live in Tampa, I'm not from there.' They're like, 'Where were you born?' 'Manhasset.' 'Eh, sounds too country. You're now from Manhattan, New York...For people to really cheer you, you have to be from the United States.'"
Jericho also mentioned how the name "Chris Jericho" in itself was never his original plan. He was fully convinced that the name "Jack Action" would bring him elevated level of success, however, he was quickly encouraged to change the name. Jericho referenced one of his favorite heavy metal bands of the time to come up with a new persona.
"I was gonna call myself, 'Jack Action'. Just - Jack Action," Jericho emphasized. "First name: Jack, last name: Action. I thought it was going to make me a million dollars, and then I told somebody that and they're like, 'You can't be Jack Action, that's stupid.' And I'm like, 'Of course it's stupid! I would never do that.' 'What's your name?' And I was, like, uh, and I saw the Helloween album and I said, 'Chris Jericho!' There ya go. You could be talking to Jack Action if things had gone differently."
You can listen to the full interview above. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Rich Eisen Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.