Chris Jericho Talks Turning Heel, Working With Shawn Michaels, WCW, Hold 1004 & More
WWE/ECW/WCW Superstar, lead singer of the band “Fozzy”, best selling author and host of SyFy Network’s new show “Robot Combat League” Chris Jericho joined Wrestle Talk Radio on Sunday Night. In a nearly 20 minute interview, he discussed his new show ‘Robot Combat League’, what he thought when he first saw the robots, how these robots work and what kind of carnage they can dish out, having George Lucas’ daughter on the show as a contestant and the technology of today, his recent Australian tour with Fozzy, if he has thought of doing more acting in the near future, his 2008 heel turn and the inspiration of that character, his current goals or plans for his most recent return, his WrestleMania 19 match with Shawn Michaels, his short hair decision, what his favorite promo or ‘bit’ of all time is, what ‘Hold 1004’ really is and so much more.
On his new show ‘Robot Combat League’: “I mean, anyone that has seen the show at this point, and that’s quite a few people with the highest rated debut in SyFy’s history, after the show’s first episode a couple of weeks ago. It’s a whole new different world, because you were thinking BattleBots or Rock-em Sock-em (Robots) but you’ve got to think more like Terminator or Real Steel. They are giant 8-foot tall robots, they have 2,000 pounds per square inch punching power; they could literally kill you if you got too close to them. They move fast, the fight fast and they’re controlled by humans. Sooner or later, they’re probably going to take over the human race, and when they do, you’ll know you saw them on the SyFy channel first.”
What he thought when he first saw the robots: Well, like I said, I didn’t really know what to expect. Then I went to the arena and they sent one of the robots out to greet me and it came out kind of like a Terminator, without the skin; if you’ve ever seen the Terminator, obviously who hasn’t, when they’re in the future and walking over human skulls; that’s what this thing reminded me of. It came walking out so fast; if it hadn’t of stopped, I would have turned and run away. They are really intimidating and really scary and when you actually see the fights, it’s just amazing that the technology exists to be able to to have these things. I’m sure in 10 years, they’ll look quaint, but for right now it’s unbelievable that you can actually do this.
The diversity of the contestants on the show, including George Lucas’ MMA Fighter daughter and the technology of today: “Yeah, I didn’t know that either, it was pretty cool. When I came in on the first day, and George Lucas is kind of standing in the corner of the studio and I’m meeting everybody; ‘Hi, this is so-and so’ and ‘This is so-and-so’ and I’m like ‘Is that George Lucas in the corner?’ And they said ‘Oh yeah, want to go say hi to him?’ and I said ‘Um, yeah!’ And then when I get there, they’re like ‘Ok, Jericho, go interview George Lucas for, you know, 20 minutes about all this.” And it was really tool to just get his opinions, I mean I was asking him like how does it feel to have these figments of your imagination that you created on screen 40 years ago, now all these far fetched ideas are coming true and he was making a good point; all of the stuff that existed in the 1950’s and 60’s on sci-fi movies and comic books and stuff is actually coming true you know? The communicators on Star Trek, where they’d be on the planet and talking to somebody in the sky, well that’s the call phone. The stream where you can look at somebody and hear them talk, there’s Skype. Or the talking computers, I mean go into your phone right now and ask Siri where the nearest gas station is and she’ll tell you. And now we have the giant robots that can actually kill you too. It’s amazing how all these things were made-up and now they’re tried-and-true hard facts. So, I think George was kind of a bit proud of the fact that these actually exist in this time and place and not to far from when he created it out of his imagination.”
His 2008 heel turn and ‘Anton Chigurh’ style inspiration: “Well, yeah, that’s pretty much the idea, you know, and nobody really knew it at the time; I was smart enough to keep it under the radar and create this whole new character that really hadn’t been done before. Especially when you look at how heels are now in the WWE, where almost everybody wears suits and talks slowly, but at the time I wasn’t necessarily the first person that ever did it ever, but in 2008 when I started doing that, it definitely wasn’t something everyone was doing. So, I did kind of redefine what it is to be a heel in the WWE and I’m not saying egotistically, I’m saying it as a matter of fact. You could go look at the three or four months preceding that heel turn; nobody was doing what I was doing and that’s why it worked. I really committed to it and people thought it was real. People were attacking me in the streets; it happened in Victoria, it happened in South Carolina, it happened in Las Vegas. When you get that sort of reaction, you know you’re doing something right.”
The WrestleMania 19 match between himself and Shawn Michaels: “Yeah, I mean, it was a great match. I mean, there has only been about 28 matches they can say that they stole the show at WrestleMania, which is like winning an Oscar, and Shawn and I did that at (WrestleMania) 19. Coolest thing was that was the first time we’d ever wrestled each other; we might have done a few little thing leading up to it, but we’d never had an official match. So, that was really cool to know that the chemistry was there right off the bat.
I think we were both motivated; I was motivated on my end because it was the biggest WrestleMania match I’d ever had up to that point, although the year before I was duking it out with Trple H, which was great, but Shawn was kind of my idol, the guy I looked up to the most, the guy that I wanted to be the most, the guy that I almost had the very similar, almost exact same style and attitude and reputation, to be honest with you. And Shawn was motivated because that was his first WrestleMania back, I think he was still a bit tentative as to what he could and could do in the ring and we definitely brought out the best in each other and it wasn’t just that time; I think the feud that we had in 2008 was even better. I think that was one of the greatest angles and feuds of all time, you know, without sounding egotistical once again. So, if anyone ever asked me ‘who is your favorite guy to wrestle of all time’, I’d always say Shawn Michaels, by far. So, yeah, it was a great match, great chemistry that we had, perfect close finishes; I wouldn’t change a thing about it, except maybe Shawn’s hairstyle.”
His time in WCW and this character style there: “Yeah, one again it was keeping myself amused because WCW was so crazy of a place to be and no one really cared what I did. But, I was doing promos; I would just ask Eric Bischoff ‘Hey, can I do a promo?’ and he’d say ‘Yeah, keep it short’. So, I’d go to the ring and just say whatever I was going to say ‘I want you to want me’, or ‘Oonta gleebin glotten globin” or ‘Never EVER Again” or any of the stuff I used to make up and no one was paying attention and the people who thought it was funny, thought I was great and the people who had no idea wanted me to shut up. So, it went both ways.”
What is ‘Hold 1004’?: “It’s the super secret special hold that I can’t tell you because it’s like if you’ve ever seen Kill Bill, where there’s a ‘Five Finger Death Punch’ where you die if you get it; that’s what happens if I even say the name of it. So, you can’t even; it’s like Cthulhu, if you even say it, it appears and kills you. So, leave that one; it best remains unsolved.”
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