As we previously reported, AEW's Chris Jericho stopped by Busted Open Radio recently to chat AEW, WWE, and the noteworthy moments of his career both past and present. During the interview Jericho discussed his former boss, Vince McMahon, and learning what he actually respects about his wrestlers.
"He's a great guy but he's also a boss," Jericho said. "If you do something he doesn't like, he's going to tell you and you're going to have to pay the price. He also respects guys that have the same spirit he has, which is a rebel. If he wasn't a rebel, there would be no WWE. Someone who's willing to take a chance. Someone who's going to put your money where your mouth is… I think he liked that attitude. Anytime I came back at him for the right reasons, always respected. And sometimes for the wrong reasons, there'd be an argument and we'd hash it out."
Jericho shared a story of being hit by a DX glow stick in a London ring and how he turned the incident into gaining massive heat as a heel. Despite being criticized by officials, Jericho voiced his true feelings with McMahon which ultimately harnessed an even stronger mutual respect with each other.
"I'm doing my promo, typical heel stuff, everyone's booing," Jericho recalls. "Some dude hits me in the eyeball - it hit me hard. It pissed me off. And I was like 'Alright, alright, you want to throw stuff at me? Everyone go ahead. Everyone start throwing stuff at me - come on. What do you got?'…There is a snowstorm of these glow sticks. There must have been one hundred. I remember being like a ninja, like Sugar Ray Leonard boxing them out of the way.
"After the show, I was told that Stephanie [McMahon] wants me fined and she wants me suspended. Well Stephanie's not my boss. I don't give a s--t what Stephanie wants - you can tell her that. I called Vince and cut a promo on his answering machine. [I said], 'I got heat out there. This is my job. This is what I'm here to do. At the end of the night, the babyface beat me. What's the problem? You're going to fine and suspend me for getting heat? Bring it on m-erf-er.'
"Vince just texted me back with a little smiley face saying 'calm down junior'. So the next day, at the Garden, he didn't even mention it… He said 'There's no problem".
Jericho has earned a lot of respect by standing up for what he thinks is right. Despite that noble philosophy, many wrestlers do not follow suit thus creating an allure that Jericho isolated himself as an unfiltered rebel. Jericho states that he doesn't view himself as a troublemaker.
"I don't see it as causing problems," Jericho said. "I see it has standing up for what I believe it. Ruffling feathers. That's what does Vince does. He ruffles feathers. He always says 'I don't play well with others' I don't either. I don't need somebody, and this is no disrespect to anybody, telling me what to do when they haven't accomplished what I've done. And who tell me what to do when my idea is better and I know it. That pisses people off but it also gets results. I think that's one of the reason why I've done so well there. I didn't have a problem standing up for what I knew was right. And I also did know how to back off."
Jericho will face Kenny Omega at AEW's Double or Nothing on this Saturday on pay-per-view. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Busted Open Radio with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.