Chris Jericho appeared on the one-year anniversary show of Inside The Ropes Thursday night where he revealed the original creative plans for himself at WrestleMania XXV in 2009.
Jericho said, “The original plan was to work with Mickey Rourke in a singles match but he was so excited about it he went and said something about it at the Screen Actors Guild Red Carpet. My cousin texted me saying, “Are you wrestling Mickey Rourke? He just challenged you on the red carpet.” This was like three weeks before the Oscars. We were going to announce it after the Oscars but once he said it, his people were mortified and thought it might hurt his chances of winning, so he had to pull out and he didn’t even win the Oscar so it was a bit of a drag. We even already started going in that direction and then he said “no.”
“Vince came up with this Plan B with the legends with Flair, who’d retired the year before, he’d be the ring leader and it was gonna be Piper, Jimmy Snuka and Greg Valentine because Vince’s criteria was it had to be a guy who was in the WWE Hall of Fame and had appeared at WrestleMania 1. Hogan’s name was never mentioned. At one point they talked about Jerry Lawler but he didn’t fit because he wasn’t in WrestleMania 1. I was looking at it like me and Piper, Snuka and Greg Valentine, this match is gonna be shit. I said that to Vince, I told him it won’t be good and he said, “it’s not supposed to be good.” I told him I understand, that but instead of putting Greg Valentine in there, could we put Ricky Steamboat in there. Ricky had just started working there again at the time. He hadn’t wrestled and he didn’t even own his own name, his ex-wife owned the name so they had to get something figured out. There was a little bit of heat there too, and Vince finally allowed Ricky to come in and we did it and it was amazing. He made it.”
The full audio interview is available here.