Chris Jericho called into The Rich Eisen Show yesterday before his AEW Dynamite win against “Pineapple Pete” and Le Champion caught up with his sports talk friend about his current life in All Elite Wrestling.
Eisen asked about Jericho’s current tenure in AEW and had this to say about Tony Khan and what currently motivates the All Elite locker room:
“He knows what he wants and that’s one thing I really appreciate, we have a boss who has passion for the business who has respect for the business, but also knows what he wants and is not just swayed by anybody and you’ve got a whole crew of guys and girls who chose not to go anywhere else. Who chose to come to AEW and take a chance and we all kind of consider this our own company because we’re the ones that built it so when you have stake in it and skin in the game as they say, you have a lot more pride and passion for what you’re doing. So if you combine all those things and also with a great fan base that has followed us from day one and hasn’t really left. I mean we lost a little bit of our audience, but not much. They’ve been with us the whole way so it’s been a real good kind of culmination of all these factors of people being very passionate on both sides of the camera.”
Eisen then asked Chris to detail his very first match and though it may be a story many avid wrestling fans may be familiar with, it’s certainly worth your time to hear (or read) again:
“October 2, 1990 in Ponoka, Alberta which is a little town in between Calgary and Edmonton at the Ponoka Moose Hall (yes, you heard that right, the Moose Hall) and it was just about a mile away from the insane asylum, whatever the politically correct term for that is, which was very appropro the fact that my very first wrestling was very close to an insane asylum. I worked against Lance Storm who had a lot of success over the years. We were in wrestling camp together and we had our first match which was a ten minute draw and it was probably in front of, in my mind it was 10,000 people, it was probably 80 or 90. I just thought it was the greatest thing ever and I got my paycheck. An envelope that was spelled Jericho wrong ‘J-E-R-I-C-O’ and inside was one $20 bill and one $10 bill and I just thought I won the lottery. Greatest night of my life.”
“American or Canadian dollars?” Rich asked.
“Canadian of course. We’re the Ponoka Moose Hall, Rich. They’re not paying us in American!”
Jericho soon then discussed why at nearly thirty years in the business, what keeps him going in the squared circle.
“Every level is different from the last and one thing about a true pro, even to this day is that you always want to get to the next level. You always want to do more and I think that’s one of the reasons why I’m still here is I still have that passion and that fire to continue to create, to continue to succeed and get to that next level of what’s the big time for Chris Jericho in 2020.”
Eisen then talked about the ever-popular Michael Jordan docu-series The Last Dance and MJ’s hatred for the Detroit Pistons. He asked Chris if there is anybody that he has a strong dislike for in wrestling.
“I think that there were guys in the past that I had issues with. I mean Triple H is one of them he’ll tell you the same. In the early 2000s, we didn’t have much like for each other, but we always had great matches and I think that might be one of the reasons why, We just had this professional rivalry, maybe a little of this personal dislike, but then fast-forward four or five, six, seven years, you get to be a little bit older and wiser and you think back like, ‘Why did we have so many problems? Why did we hate each other? Why did we not like each other?’ And then now we’re friends. I think there’s lot of professional rivalry when you’re young and full of ‘vin and vigor’ as they say. It happens in rock ‘n’ roll bands all the time. Bands will break up and ten years later get back together and wonder why did we waste ten years of our lives not playing together?”
Finally, Rich asked Jericho if they decided to do a 12-year window docu-series on the career of Chris Jericho, what twelve years would Le Champion choose?
“The first eight years was good, I think when I turned into kind of this suit and tie, big word using Jericho in 2008 up until now. I mean that’s pretty much, there’s your 12 year span and add a couple years on the back-end, but that’s kind of I think the highlight of my career and probably the most interesting part of my career with all the longevity and the chances that I took and the changes that I made and basically changing the business when I signed with AEW. The whole business changed at that point and time.”
(Transcription credit should go to @DominicDeAngelo of WrestleZone)
You can listen to Jericho’s entire conversation with Eisen below: