During his recent appearance on the Inside the Ropes podcast’s stage show, former AEW World Champion Chris Jericho claimed that WWE chairman Vince McMahon once suggested to him that the Intercontinental Championship — a title he held nine times during his time with the company — is irrelevant in the eyes of fans.
As transcribed on Wednesday by Post Wrestling, Inside the Ropes uploaded an excerpt from Jericho’s live appearance to its YouTube channel earlier that day. In the clip, the former WWE superstar discussed his WrestleMania 29 match against Fandango in 2013, recalling that he wasn’t thrilled when McMahon told him he would be facing the up-and-coming talent at the company’s biggest event of the year. According to Jericho, he wasn’t a fan of Fandango’s pre-debut vignettes and felt “insulted and angry” he’d have to wrestle someone who “[didn’t] even have a match yet” under that gimmick.
As Jericho explained, he suggested to McMahon that he could instead face Wade Barrett, who held the Intercontinental belt at that time. After the veteran grappler proposed that he could potentially become a record-breaking 10-time holder of the mid-card belt at WrestleMania, the WWE boss supposedly told him that “nobody cares about the f*cking Intercontinental Championship.”
“I said, ‘Well they don’t care about Fandango either,’ and he goes, ‘That’s your job is to make them care’ and I said, ‘So I can’t change your mind?’ He goes, ‘No’ so I hung up on him. I hung up on my billionaire boss because I wasn’t happy with what he wanted me to do.”
Ultimately, Barrett defended his title — and lost it — to The Miz at WrestleMania 29, per Bleacher Report. Jericho, meanwhile, lost to Fandango at the event, and he recalled that he was satisfied with how everything turned out in the end, as he helped a younger, less experienced wrestler get over with fans during his debut match.
“Fandango was one of the most over guys on the entire show, and all you f*cking assholes were cheering for him,” he told the audience at the Inside the Ropes event. “His theme song was even top 10 here in the U.K.”
You can view the clip from Jericho’s appearance here.
Reacting to Jericho’s comments, Ringside News wrote that McMahon’s supposed views about the Intercontinental Championship might be a case of the chairman “projecting a bit,” as evidenced by his recent booking decisions around the title. The outlet opined that while a lot of fans appear happy that Sami Zayn currently holds the belt, it’s “hard to say” if McMahon similarly sees him as a valuable or relevant performer.