On a recent episode of Talk Is Jericho, Chris Jericho went solo as he recounted Blood and Guts as well as praising the success of the show for being the number one show on cable. Jericho discussed the story being told at the climax of the match where the Inner Circle beat down The Pinnacle, and MJF climbs on top of the cage.
The complaint of the match was that many of the important moments were during a picture-in-picture commercial break. Jericho acknowledged those complaints, and he revealed how he adjusted to it during the moment where he and MJF climbed the cage.
“The problem was when that happened, it was during the commercial break, and I knew it,” Jericho stated. “And I was tell him ‘slow down’, but it’s hard to do that. So he eventually just started climbing, and I was like, well, I’m not going to be coming back from break with me being on top as well.
“So I’m just going to climb really slow, and I was looking at Aubrey [Edwards] who’s telling me, ‘You got 30 seconds before we come back from break.’ And I knew that we had about 10 minutes left because I can see that clock. I was just like, I’m just going to stand right here and just work the crowd so when we come back from break, they’ll all be chanting and cheering and then they’ll be yelling for me as I’m climbing to the top of this cage.”
Jericho admitted that while the top of the cage was secure to walk on, more so than his past Hell in Cell matches like with Triple H in 2002, he was still terrified because it was a lot higher on top than it seems from looking at it from below. When MJF reversed the Walls of Jericho on top of the cage, Jericho revealed that his arm really was cut when he hit the cage.
The end of the match saw Sammy Guevara surrender in order to stop MJF from pushing Jericho off the cage. Jericho revealed the though process behind the ending.
“We thought, ‘How much of a piece of s**t move would it be if the guys do surrender and you throw throw me off anyways,’ and that’s kind of where it all came from, which was a combination of a Tony Khan idea, a MJF and a Jericho idea,” Jericho revealed. “And listen, I don’t pretend that I want to take crazy stunts bumps. I didn’t want to take a bump into the thumbtacks in the Ambrose Asylum match, and I didn’t really want to take the bump from the top of the cage to the floor, but it was best for the story.
“What’s best for the story? What was best for our angle and our story considering that we started with Blood and Guts and didn’t finish with it was this piece of s**t. The Inner Circle was up. They were winning. Everything was great, until MJF cheated, and then all he had left was threatening to kill me because we said, ‘You’re going to have to kill us to make a surrender.’ And when he threatened that, Sammy some surrendered.
“The original plan was for Santana and Ortiz to do that, and then Santana had the idea for Sammy to do it, which is much more of a babyface thing for Sammy. Once again, we’re always working together with each other to try and think of the best moments and the best ideas for what’s going on with the story and the characters, and that was it.”
Jericho later went into his mindset about the big bump off the cage onto the ramp. He revealed how long it had been planned, and he noted the dangers of pro wrestling.
“I’ll be honest with you, I was really, really nervous about this all day long,” Jericho admitted. “We thought it was the best way to go for the finish, and I’m not about taking crazy bumps like that, but it was the perfect way to continue the story. So a few weeks prior, a month prior, six weeks prior, kind of came up with the idea along with Tony and MJF and said, ‘Well, what do we have to do to make this happen?’ Now obviously, here’s the thing, when you’re doing kind of a live stunt show, which is what wrestling is.
“People use the word ‘fake.’ That’s a word that’s very, very unacceptable because that’s not something that’s ever the case. Obviously, we’re telling a story, and we know what’s going to happen to a certain extent, but it is also a live show with a live element to it. We’ve seen instances where stunts do go wrong, where they go very wrong. I mean, all you have to do is just think about Owen Hart to think about a stunt that went wrong live. There is no second take. There is no camera angle take. It’s live, and I think that’s something that’s very unique about pro wrestling.”
Jericho continued and noted that people can be desensitized to the danger of pro wrestling because the fans have seen so much of it, and the wrestlers also make it look very easy. Jericho revealed whether he told his family about the fall and what he thought of how it went.
“We decided to figure out a way to do this this fall, and of course, the idea was to kind of ‘gimmick’ the stage, as we call it, where you fall off the cage and go through it, but how exactly do you do that,” Jericho said. “First of all, I got in so much trouble from my wife and my kids because I didn’t really tell them what was going to happen, and I thought the fall looked amazing, maybe because I was the one who took it and just know how scared I was. Not scared but nervous, where you’re kind of really thinking about it and not overthinking, but there’s a little bit of element of worry there because you just never know. I think it ended up being a 15-foot fall.”
Jericho then went into detail about how the stage was prepared and the preparation that was done to make sure everything was as safe as possible. Jericho revealed what he fell into.
“So earlier in the day, when they were kind of building everything, actually, the day before, they had a big giant air mattress that was probably, I don’t know, a big yellow mattress that was about 10 feet high let’s say,” Jericho described. “And I was thinking, ‘Wow, that looks like a pretty easy thing to fall on. Maybe they’re just going to put a sheet over it or whatever the hell they’re going to do.’ So Sammy Guevara was falling into it from the cage, and they’re like, ‘Do you want to try it?’ I’m like, ‘No, I don’t want to try it. I’ll just save it for later,’ and it turns out that it was one of those things where like, well, you’re not going to be falling into that.
“We’re just testing that for the trajectory of how the body’s going to fall and try and figure out where we want to put the actual apparatus that you’re going to fall onto. And I’ll expose it. I’ll tell you guys right now what it was. It was a black gym mats that was about, I’d say, six foot high that was at the bottom, then there was a bunch of cardboard boxes. That’s right. Empty cardboard boxes. I’m like, ‘Are going to fill these things with anything?’ They’re like, ‘No, just empty cardboard boxes.’ That’s what professional stuntmen fall on.”
Jericho also revealed that an actual stuntman was there testing the fall and pad as well. This stuntman also helped out during the Stadium Stampede match, specifically with the Kenny Omega – Guevara bump. Jericho described how the padding went from a 10-foot air mattress to something that was three feet off the ground.
Jericho pointed out that the stuntman was wearing a helmet during testing, something that he would not have the privilege of wearing for the actual bump. Jericho then recalled the moment of the fall and his mindset during the moment.
“When we were fighting on top of the cage, and Sammy surrenders and then the bell rings. The music plays, and then Max kind of pulls me up again and then gives me a little shove,” Jericho described. “I said, ‘Give me a shot.’ I need to feel something, so I can take a little bit of a push back, and I step back and I thought this bump would go by fast, but I just kept looking at him, and looking at him and looking at him as I fell. And then I landed, and of course, it takes the breath out of you.
“Trust me, I’ve seen a few people bagging on the fact that there’s a crash pad. Once again, no crash pad. It was a cardboard box. I don’t give a s**t if it was a crash pad. It’s one of those things where doing that — I mean, are we qualified to be stuntmen? I don’t know. I never went to stuntman school but just 30 years of being in the business and you just go for it. You just absolutely put your caution to the wind and go for it, and it felt great. Obviously, it hurts. You’re paying the price, but I could move my arms and legs, and I wasn’t dead or knocked out.
Jericho continued as he spoke on the difference between the live crowd reaction and the reaction from the people watching at home. He addressed the criticisms people had and revealed how things could have gone wrong after watching it back.
“And I was like, ‘This is great. What a perfect finish for this,’ and it took the wind to completely out of the sails of the crowd,” Jericho noted. “They just went completely silent, and I just laid there, until they basically took me away on a stretcher. And when they took me away on a stretcher, people started clapping like when somebody gets hurt on a football field, and they finally pick the guy up and take him off the field and everybody starts clapping. That’s what happened. The people were believing and buying into it and as was I, and it was only later I started hearing oh, people thought that the fall was on a crash pad, and it didn’t look great.
“And for me, I watched it back. I thought it looked amazing, and the thing that was really scary is that if you watch it back, I barely missed hitting my head on the lights at the back of the stage. I went so far back that I almost over shot everything. So once again, everybody in the business knows how dangerous this can be, how terrifying it is and just the margin for error is so slim. There’s some hardcore wrestling fans that were bagging on it. That’s fine. I mean, you have the right to bag on it and out of the 1.3 million people that watched it, if 3,000 people didn’t like it, that’s a very small percentage. Most people just thought it was crazy, as did I.
“Once again, I’ve got very thick skin, and and it really doesn’t bother me if people didn’t like something because we move on to the next week, but once again, everybody has opinions, and I appreciate that and I appreciate feedback. But for me, I always go back to what did I think about it? How do I feel about it? And what I watched it back, man, I was like, this is absolutely insane. It’s terrifying. It’s a little bit exhilarating, but it’s one of those things that I hope you enjoyed it because you’ll never see me do it again ever. And I’m glad that it turned out the way it did, but oh my gosh, I was really really, like I said, it was weighing on my conscience all day long. And when it finally happened, it was cool and looked as great as it did. I wouldn’t change anything.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.