Join Chris Jericho on a limo ride through memory lane in “The Road is Jericho: Epic Stories & Rare Matches from Y2J.”
Rather than a traditional sit-down interview, this DVD/Blu-ray features the WWE headliner reflecting on a series of in-ring clashes by telling stories on his way to a gig for his band Fozzy. When the company approached Jericho about the unique concept, he was on board.
“I like doing stuff that has never been done before,” he said. “I just love the idea of just driving around talking about my matches. It was just a cool Jericho-esque idea. I think it really worked out well.”
The release contains an eclectic mix of hidden gems the former undisputed WWE champion has been a part of during his illustrious run. Some even the well-traveled veteran admittedly didn’t remember taking place.
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“I think because we do so many matches in a short period of time over the years that sometimes you forget what you’ve done and haven’t done,” he said. “Some of these matches were presented to me like, ‘We have this match with you and Steve Austin with Mick Foley as the special referee.’ I told them, ‘What? That never happened.’ Yes, here it is for the world to see. I think that is one of the things I liked about it was I wanted to choose matches kind of off the beaten path. They weren’t the normal thing you see from Chris Jericho before.
“I think that was important with this DVD. Everything is so accessible that you can watch everything, but when you are putting a dark (non-televised) match on there. I mean John Cena and me in a dark match, I know for sure nobody has ever seen that, but I know it was fun, so it was put on there. It may not be the ‘five-star classic’ that Jericho and [Shawn] Michaels was, but it was a match you never seen before, and you’re going to like because we worked hard in it, and it was good.”
The initial feedback for the release has been largely positive. Along with the collection of Jericho bouts in WWE, viewers will also enjoy some in ECW and WCW against the likes of Pitbull 2, Ultimo Dragon and Dean Malenko.
“People enjoy the WCW matches and wish more of those were on there. For me, I didn’t really like a lot of my WCW work. I always try to include one or two, but it’s not like I have a bevy of matches from there to choose from. I’d rather show some of the work that was better, which I think my WWE work is much better than my WCW work. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to show any of it. It just means I will include something from ECW and something from WCW.
“Overall I want fans to see stuff that they haven’t seen or remember. I think the cage match me and X-Pac had. I remember that being a great match, but nobody ever talks about it. Now this gives it a chance to have a second life, so to speak, when it’s on my DVD.”
Toward the end of the program, the multi-faceted talent delves into his feud with Bray Wyatt. It’s one of many emerging superstars Jericho has squared off against during his recent WWE stints.
“In this day, most of the guys are newer,” he said. “That’s just the cycle of wrestling. I’m fortunate enough to be doing this for 25 years and can still do this at a high level. I’m still Chris Jericho. As far as years in the ring, I have more than Triple H. I have more than Kane. I think only Goldust and Undertaker really have as many years in the ring. Just to stay in the company and continue to work, you have to work with the younger guys. I think that is important to do that.
“This is why I included the Bray Wyatt match on the DVD because I thought it was a great match. I think the Randy Orton match I had was a great match. I don’t always want it to be a career retrospective just based around 1999 to 2004 or whatever. I’ve had great matches every year in my career, so I think it’s important to support that and continue to remind people of that. I’ve enjoyed working with Bray Wyatt. I think the cage match we had on Raw was tremendous. One of the best ones I’ve done. I think the match I had with Orton at [Night of Champions] is the best one we’ve ever had.
“So it’s important to work with the younger guys, but it’s not like there is any choice to work with anybody else. I like working with whoever it is that I feel I would have fun with. When I went back to do the live events over the last couple of months, that was one of the things. I would love to come back to do live events, but who am I working with? I need to know that before I get in the ring. The two names they picked were Cesaro and [Luke] Harper. I love both of those guys, so it worked out great.”
Jericho enjoyed his string of live events without the constraints of television. At the same time, the consummate entertainer doesn’t rule out a return on a more visible scale. With book signings, movies, a podcast and active touring with Fozzy, that is if he has the time.
“I don’t want to downplay my performances and commitments. I don’t want to come back to WWE for three months. Last summer they thought that was cool which is great. At the same time if I’m going to come back, I want to come back for six or eight months to really sink my teeth into something and make something work and make something go. Only having two months, you really can’t do that. It’s not how the business works. You can come back and work house shows till the cows come home. That’s great because that show is encapsulated within the night you are in that town.
“As far as coming back to work two months and then be gone again, it sucks. Fans will be like, ‘He is gone again?’ So I would like to come back if I have time, if they want me to come back, if I have somebody good to sink my teeth into and work with. There are plenty of guys, trust me. I look down the roster, not just in WWE, but in NXT. There are enough guys for me to work another five years if I wanted to. It’s just a matter of making sure the timing is right for both sides and making sure you can give a thousand percent.”
Jericho has never been content just being a WWE superstar or rock star or actor or author or host. He wants to be known for all of these things. The latest credit on his resume is a role in “Sharknado 3.” Jericho plays Bruce, the rollercoaster ride operator, in the film. The Renaissance man shot his scenes at Universal Studios Orlando.
“It’s actually a part,” Jericho said. “It’s not a one sentence cameo. ‘Sharknado’ has become such a pop culture phenomenon at this point. To be involved, it is an honor. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. I think the last one was the biggest thing Syfy had ever done as far as original movies and rating-wise. I think this one will be even bigger. It was a blast.
“The reason why those movies are great is because they play it straight. As ridiculous as that concept is, in that world it’s real. There is no campiness about it. There are no goats in it. I mean you are getting attacked by a flying shark. So that’s why it works.”
“Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!” is coming to Syfy on Wednesday, July 22.
Even though he is busy with projects and activities outside WWE, he still looks forward to WrestleMania. This is true, even if he isn’t a part of it.
“I like the concept. It amazes every year. It’s always good,” Jericho said. “Of course, I want to see Triple H and Sting. I know what kind of match it’s going to be because I’ve seen Sting in TNA for the last 10 years. It’s not like he is going to come back and be different in the ring. The storyline is what counts. I’m excited for Brock [Lesnar] and Roman Reigns. I’m a big Reigns fan. I’ve been a supporter of his for years. I think the [Intercontinental championship] ladder match will be great. There is a lot of stuff on there. I think it’s pretty cool NXT is doing a big building before WrestleMania as well, 5,000 seats.
“There are a lot of guys there I would like to work with. I would like to work with [Finn] Bálor. I would like to work with Sami Zayn and [Adrian] Neville. Even [Dean] Ambrose, [Seth] Rollins and Reigns I would like to work with. I would like to work with Daniel Bryan as a heel. I think I can bring something out of him that he hasn’t been seen. It is one thing the company really doesn’t have is strong heels. Maybe they have strong heels, but not the way Jericho would be if the circumstances were right. That would be interesting to come back as a heel.”
- “The Road is Jericho: Epic Stories & Rare Matches from Y2J” DVD/Blu-ray is available now.
- Follow Chris Jericho on Twitter @IAMJericho
- Follow me on Twitter @smFISHMAN
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