Chris Jericho exclusive interview: 'I am the Nostradamus of WWE, I predicted The Shield, Bray Wyatt and Cesaro would all get over'

 

Chris Jericho is a six-time World Champion, a record holding nine-time Intercontinental Champion and is the first Undisputed Champion in WWE history. Jericho’s face can also be seen all over show business from Hollywood films to TV shows.

Jericho hosted the Leicester Square Theatre in partnership with PSI Events in his show titled London Is Jericho, adding to the list of fruitful ventures that Jericho has dipped into.

“I’ve always been a creative person, I always wanted to be both a wrestler and a rock star then I made the decision that I will not just be one of them,” Jericho told The Independent.

“When I was 15 or 16 years old and told people I wanted to go into wrestling, they all said ‘you’ll never make it, you’re too small’ then when we started Fozzy they said ‘you’re crazy, you can’t be in a band, you’re a wrestler’.

“I’ve been through that twice, so when you see success on those sorts of things the only person that can put chains on yourself is you.”

“So when you talk about acting, I’ve acted for 25 years in wrestling, that’s what it is, you’re playing a part, the same with singing, you’re on stage putting on a show, the same as a radio host, you’re just talking to people, it’s what I’ve done my whole career.

Fozzy had just shared the main stage at Download Festival with the likes of Linkin Park and Fall Out Boy, which is a milestone for rock bands all over the world and Jericho was grateful for the occasion.

“It’s interesting finally making it there because when we first made it to Download we were like ‘wow we made it to Download’, we have heard about Donington our whole life with the likes of Iron Maiden playing there so nine years ago it was huge playing at a doughnut sized stage and with this year getting promoted to the main stage we were so excited.

 

“We played and there were about 40,000 people there and it was crazy, it was one of the best responses we’ve had and I will never forget about it all my life.”

When Jericho last played the role of antagonist in the WWE, he dropped his illustrious “Y2J” persona and adopted a patronising and arrogant gimmick that witnessed jeers from angered fans over the world. The sort of animosity that Jericho garnered is rarely seen in the modern era with the “heels” becoming fan favourites with their addictive personalities.  

“It is a lost art, it’s a lot easier to get people to hate you than to like you but it’s hard to get them to stay hating you, that’s where the secret is.

“Look at some of the greatest heels of all time in movies for example, Darth Vader, Freddie Kruger and Hannibal Lecter, they all became the good guys in the later movies because they’re too entertaining, so the secret to being a good heel is staying a heel.

“It’s very easy to get drawn into putting out merchandise, saying a catchphrase or doing an interview, I did none of those things when I turned heel in 2008 and it was a conscious decision.

“When I started saying ‘hypocrite’, people started bringing in signs then I would decide not to say that anymore, then people thought ‘parasite’ was funny then again I stopped saying that."

The veteran explained how WWE owner Vince McMahon supported him in his extra effort to stay in character outside the ring.

“I remember in Madison Square Garden there was a dad with his son in the elevator who asked for an autograph and as much as it pained me as I have a son, I just stared ahead, it’s all part of it and nowadays no one wants to do it.

“Vince loves it because it’s old school, he gets it, it’s heat, Vince had my back with anything I did, for example when I caused the crowd to pelt me with glow sticks in London, DX were furious, Stephanie was furious, they wanted me fined and suspended but Vince goes ‘no you’re a heel’. “

“I learnt in WCW that that NWO were cool heels, just by being up there they were so likable and cool, there was nothing I could do to get a reaction, and I might as well have been a heel.

“That’s why they don’t turn John Cena heel, all the people that booed him will end up loving him, it would be a waste of time.

There has been an outbreak of new stars stealing the show on the WWE roster with the likes of The Shield, Bray Wyatt and Cesaro all competing for the spotlight and "The Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla” had plenty of praise for the new breed.

“I kind of am like the Nostradamus of WWE, I predicted that all of those guys will get over, with Cesaro we had a tour of Japan last year and I specifically asked to work with him and with Bray Wyatt when I went to work with NXT I said to put me with that guy.

PSI Events give the chance for fans to meet their icons and hear their stories in a personal setting. Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels and Jim Ross have all recently partnered with the promotion to host a night in front of their faithful.

Jericho presented his most prolific moments such as winning the first Undisputed Championship in 2001 and also shared more personal tales such as his conversations with Vince after getting kicked out of Brazil for kicking their national flag in a match with CM Punk.

“When you’re in this business  there are so many ridiculous things that happen that people don’t expect, so when I tell these stories to people it’s funny and I can do this show five nights in a row and have a different story.”

Jericho had put on an engaging show for his faithful and if he returns to the UK it should not be missed, follow @PSI_Events for information on future nights hosted by wrestling legends.

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