This past Thursday, Chris Jericho joined Inside The Ropes to talk about his 2013 run in WWE. Here are the highlights from the interview.
On his mindset during WWE comebacks and fear of being a nostalgia act: It’s never been a nostalgia thing for me. It’s always been the way, that I try to re-invent myself, even from week to week when you’re full time because people watch you every Monday for years and years. So if you have the same look, the same hair, the same costume, the same tights, the same moves, it gets boring. So I always try to recreate myself and reinvent what I was doing. When I came back in 2013, I didn’t really know what to expect and suddenly I was in this role where I was doing some of the best work of my career. So it’s fresh, because you’re working with new guys and I’ve obviously got a big well that I can go into if I wanna use some stuff that I’ve done before. I’m not the type of guy that looks back to the past too much. I don’t watch my own stuff, I definitely don’t have all these memories of “I did this, then I did this and then I did this” I just remember a time frame. Like I’m writing my third book right now and I’m writing about the Shawn Michaels-Jericho feud from 2008 and I don’t remember the specifics. I actually had to go online and find a timeline of some of the stuff cos I’ve never watched it because once it’s done it’s done and you move onto the next thing. So I don’t really think too much about it, I just come back, do what I do and make sure I perform at the level that I’ve set for myself and once I can’t do that then I won’t come back, at all.
On the challenge of working with Fandango: Well I don’t think you need to dissect it too much, it’s working with a guy that nobody’s ever seen before at a WrestleMania. There’s your challenge, end of story. When you think of WrestleMania, you think you know what’s the best match I can have, Undertaker, CM Punk or work with John Cena you know, but instead it’s like “no you’re not working with any of these guys you’re working with a guy nobody has even seen wrestler before” It’s a challenge, nobody knows him. Nobody knows his moveset. The basic principles of having a great match is working on the false finishes that people know. So say Punk, you’ve got the Go To Sleep, he’s got the anaconda vice, he’s got the bulldog outta the corner, he’s got the spinkick, the elbow off the top, there’s like ten things you can work with, that people will be buzzing about as soon as you start going into it. With a guy like Fandango, nobody had seen what he had done before, so it was my job to build him up the best I could in the 4 weeks or so to get him rolling so people gave a shit about the match. So we focused in on stuff. I came up with a lot of ideas. He had the legdrop off the top, so we had him do that every week, lets have him beat me up, have him do a few things so people actually give a f*** about the match when we have it. And they did, it was good so it all worked out. The night after WrestleMania he was probably the most popular guy in the whole arena. Not so much now, but at the time.