Chris Jericho Talks Evolution As A Wrestler, Tanahashi, And ‘The Painmaker’ Persona

Photo Credit: AEW / Lee South

Chris Jericho recently sat down with Sports Illustrated to discuss a handful of topics, including his evolution as a wrestler, his upcoming match against Hiroshi Takahashi, and his Painmaker persona.

Check out some of the highlights below:

On his evolution as a wrestler:

If I was still in the WWE, I would still have to be doing ‘The List’ and it would feel so old,  I love all the great stuff I did in the past, but to go out there and say ‘Raw is Jericho’ or ‘I’m the Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla’ would really feel like a rock and roll band that tours that never puts on a new record and tours every summer. I always appreciate when bands play new songs, because I’ve been playing new songs, too. Otherwise, for me, there’s no reason to continue on.

On his match against Hiroshi Tanahashi:

I’ve wrote great songs, shall we say, with a lot of people, Lance Storm, especially early in my career, Ultimo Dragon, Rey Mysterio, The Rock, teaming with Big Show, Shawn Michaels, and more. I’ve been doing this for 30 years, so now to have a match that I haven’t had before against a guy with a similar stature, it’s very rare for me. I’m really excited for the opportunity, Tanahashi is one of the biggest stars in the business ever.

On his Painmaker persona:

I was working with Okada, who is ‘The Rainmaker,’ so I said I was ‘The Painmaker, It just happened. Now it’s a whole other side of Jericho that could extend my career for another ten years if I wanted it to. I’m a huge fanatic and disciple of the band KISS and the way they market themselves, and I’m surprised it took me this long to wear some paint. I want to use it in certain cases. That’s why I used the paint against Darby Allin on Dynamite. I want to do this character like how the Great Muta did it.

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