As previously noted, AEW's Chris Jericho has been featured on Inside The Ropes as of late to discuss the different WrestleMania matches he's had throughout the years. In the installment featured above, Jericho went in to detail about his match with Kevin Owens at WrestleMania 33.
Jericho fondly looks back at the way his story with Owens progressed, culminating at the "Festival of Friendship" celebration. He even admitted to drawing some inspiration from David Lee Roth and "Game of Thrones" while planning how things would unfold.
"I think the buildup for the Owens match, I mean, that's one of the best years of my career," Jericho said. "That whole 2016, the buildup, the whole "Festival of Friendship was amazing. Everyone goes, 'Oh, we knew he was going to turn on you.' You didn't fu--ing know. Nobody knew because we had teased [the breakup] so many times. The "Festival of Friendship", I wanted it to go from a 1980's David Lee Roth video to "Game of Thrones" Red Wedding episode... One of the best segments in RAW history, people say."
Jericho revealed that he actually had to convince Triple H to keep the segment the way they had originally planned it the week prior. When everything was said and done, Triple H complimented Jericho on the way the story had played out on TV.
"I had to fight for that. Vince was not there that week and all the stuff we agreed on was changed, and I had to fight back," Jericho explained. "Me and Triple H were not in a good agreement. I was like, 'You're wrong', he's like, 'You're wrong.' I say, 'It's my segment. 'It's my show.' 'It's not your show, it's Vince's show.' Blah, blah, blah. Finally, we it went the way that we did it, and the way that I had envisioned it, he texted me later and said that it was amazing, that was really great."
Although Jericho didn't think his WrestleMania bout against Owens was a legendary matchup, he was shocked to discover that Vince McMahon had labeled it one of the "worst matches in WrestleMania history" once they reached the backstage area.
"I thought [the match with Owens] was good but it seemed a little bit missing," Jericho stated. "The problem with us is we were on after Shane and AJ, which is funny because the year before was me and AJ and we were on after the ladder match. We were second both years and I'm like, 'Fu--, I wish I was first.' Because the AJ match was good, but once again, the people are so in to it at first and the second one is hard no matter who you are. So I thought the match was good. I was very surprised when I saw KO after and he's like, 'Vince said it was one of the worst matches in WrestleMania history."
Jericho believes that a lot of the issues Vince had with the match centered around how Owens was portraying himself as a "heel" character. He remembers having to deal with Vince's insults when he first started with the WWE, and he sees this process Owens went through as a kind of "bootcamp" top stars have to survive.
"He wanted Kevin to be this type of heel and Kevin was doing a lot of stuff off the top rope and flashy moves, and Vince did not want that," Jericho said. "I think Vince had a hard on for him at the time and it would have been very hard - see, Vince never said anything to me about the match, ever. Not once, never said anything like that, never said it was the worst match in WrestleMania history, never said a word about it. We talked about it the next night and didn't go in to detail, but he just went, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah.'
"...Vince told [Kevin] to lose weight and this is terrible, and you don't know anything," Jericho continued. "I've been through it. Vince told me you're green as grass, you're not worth the paper that your contract is printed on back in 1999.So I told him, you are now going through the Vince bootcamp and stick with it because you'll be okay. Do I think it was a great match? No. Do I think it was one of the worst matches in WrestleMania history? Absolutely not."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Inside The Ropes with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.