Chris Jericho is known as one of the greatest wrestlers to ever perform in the WWE, WCW, and ECW, and now he can add NJPW to that list. Chris Jericho recently shifted from wrestling part-time with the WWE to doing the same for NJPW, and he is the current IWGP Intercontinental champion, and the only wrestler to hold Intercontinental titles in both the WWE and NJPW. As seen in the video below, Chris Jericho recently spoke with Sean Waltman on his podcast, X-Pac 1, 2, 360.
At the beginning of the interview, Jericho recalled the time that Vince McMahon threatened to fire him from the WWE if he didn’t have a good match with X-Pac. He described it as a guillotine over his head but said that after the match, McMahon was really cool to him. He said that Vince patted him on the back and told him to run every match he has for now on past Waltman because he knew how to work the WWE style. Jericho called Vince a genius, and he said that he was happy McMahon told him to get with X-Pac for his matches because he learned quickly.
Jericho also said that some people believe that there is not a “WWE style,” and he said that there is and that it’s a “main event style.” The musician-wrestler said that anybody who comes through the system, from AJ Styles to Samoa Joe, there’s an adjustment period. Chris remarked that once a wrestler can work in the WWE style, they can work anywhere on the planet and have the best match.
The multi-time champion also discussed his recent match with Naito at NJPW Dominion, where he won the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. He said that Naito is normally laid back, that he wanted a different Naito at Dominion, a Naito that didn’t care and wanted to fight. That’s exactly what fans got at the NJPW pay-per-view, and many industry professionals consider it the best match of Dominion.
Chris Jericho then spoke of his future with NJPW, as transcribed by 411Mania.
“I’m almost doing a Brock Lesnar type of schedule to where I am not there for every show but the ones that I am there for are now special cause Jericho is there. I didn’t expect to be doing more matches with New Japan…and now that I’ve done another one and there’s a couple more in the pipeline I might decide to stay a little longer.”
The superstar also remarked that he believes in the reinvention of characters and that it’s really important in the industry. He commented that if he was still doing Y2J from 2002, no one would care. He also said that because of reinventing himself, 2016 was one of the best years he’s had in the business. The NJPW champion said that because of his popularity in other promotions, it gives him bargaining power with the WWE. Chris Jericho commented that by cutting his own deals with Hot Topic and NJPW, it makes him a more valuable product when the time comes for him to return to the WWE.
As heard in the interview below, the Fozzy frontman also spoke kind words about the passing of Pantera co-founder and drummer Vinnie Paul.
“[Vinnie] was a more partying version of Owen Hart, a guy everybody loved. Always had a smile on his face, very generous, just a great, great guy…Everybody loved the guy, and there were countless times—whether it was at his house in Dallas or his house in Vegas—you would stay up all night drinking, and before you pass out, he’s got to make breakfast for everybody. I’m not talking about waffles in a toaster, I’m talking about full-on eggs, bacon, and sausage. It really sucks because everybody that I know that knew Vinnie loved him…Just a real sweetheart of a guy that should not be dead.”
Warning: The video below contains some strong language.
Chris Jericho and X-Pac also discussed Chyna, the evolution of wrestling since the ’90s, backstage politics of WCW and WWE, Kenny Omega, and plenty of other topics that are a must-listen for wrestling fans.