Chris Jericho On Being Considered Wrestling’s ‘Renaissance Man’, Needing To Change And Evolve In The Wrestling Business

Chris Jericho says his goal has always been to re-invent himself in wrestling, and he’s not interest in playing the ‘classics’ in All Elite Wrestling.

Jericho took part in a media press scrum and was asked by Wrestlezone’s Dominic DeAngelo about being considered to be a renaissance man, and drawing comparisons to Terry Funk’s run in ECW. Jericho cited David Bowie as a large influence on his life, saying he needs to constantly change things up to keep things fresh and keep people interested in his new material.

“My mission has always been to reinvent and evolve. It’s David Bowie. It’s been one of my inspirations since I was 25 years old, when you realize that you have this guy that’s a genius and who constantly changes what he’s doing, what he looks like to keep the fans guessing. ‘What’s Bowie’s next record going to be?’ Is it going to be ‘Electro’, is it going to be ‘Let’s Dance’, rhythm and blues rock, techno, be whatever. What look is he going to have? And that’s what I always wanted to do but it’s not something that’s calculated. It’s something that just happens for me. The ‘Painmaker’ in Japan with the makeup and all of that sort of stuff, it just felt right. Some people said ‘oh he looks like a clown’—I don’t fucking care what you think.

To me, that’s the way that this character should be, the same thing with the character that you saw tonight with the ‘thank you’. I really do think I should have some kind of a thank you from the company, and then when Adam Page is busted open and there’s blood over everything, that’s my thank you.

Jericho said it’s fine if people want to chant ‘Y2J’ at him, but it’s a character he can’t even relate to anymore because of how much he’s grown. He noted a story about Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmeister responding to a radio station playing his old songs despite his band having new material, saying he wants fans to have that same interest in seeing what’s next instead of focusing too much on his past.

“So all of these things happen organically, and I think that’s one reason why I have the longevity in the business. People don’t know what to expect. There’s a lot of guys that you go see at the county fair and you see them do the same act that they did 20 years ago and that’s fine, but I’ve never been that way. When you chant ‘Y2J’ I don’t even relate with that character anymore; that guy was 20 years ago and there’s been so much more since then.

I went to a radio station once with Lemmy and they were talking about ‘oh Motorhead is in town tonight, we’re going to play ‘Ace Of Spades’ and Lemmy was like ‘we’ve had 15 albums since that. You can play some other songs.’ [They said] ‘We’re sorry, Lemmy, but we don’t have the new album.’ And he said, ‘but I do’ and he pulled the new album out and they had to play something from it.

That’s what I want, for people to always want to hear my new material. Sure I’ve got some old hits that you have to hear, but if I’m not evolving and changing, I have no interest in continuing on in the business.”

Related: Chris Jericho Says He Cut His First Unscripted Promo In 20 Years At ‘Fight For The Fallen’