Chris Jericho recently spoke with Sean Neumann for Rolling Stone; you can read a few excerpts below:
Chris Jericho comments on the logistics of his Rock N’ Wrestling Rager Cruise:
That was the hardest sticking point, to decide whether this was safe and if this was engineer-ically sound. I had to have a team of engineers go onboard the Norwegian Pearl to see if a wrestling ring could be secured to the deck with no issues. To me, I was like, the fucking Kiss stage is anchored to the deck. Kiss’ stage is a lot bigger and weighs a lot more than a wrestling ring, but still you have to do the due diligence because it’s never been done before. The other issue was that I wanted to do a wrestling cruise, but how do I book the talent? I can’t put together my own card independently because I don’t know where everyone will be a year from now – heaven forbid somebody gets hurt or signs with WWE – and that’s why I decided to actually go with a company [Ring of Honor], so I could put the name value of the company on there and not have to worry about individual names because the company is the company. When the Super Bowl comes to down, you buy a ticket. You don’t care who’s in the game. You just want to be a part of the event. That’s what I’m selling, the event of Ring of Honor aboard the “Rock N’ Wrestling Rager.”
Jericho clarifies his status with WWE and talks about his outside projects:
I haven’t been full-time with the WWE since 2010. That’s something a lot of people don’t realize, because when I come back there’s always a good angle. And 2016 was one of the best years of my career, so people are always asking when I’m going back but there were no plans to go back. There still isn’t. I knew that I was leaving in May 2017 because the new Fozzy record would be coming out around that time, the cruise was culminating, the new book came out in August; I’ve have another season of But I’m Chris Jericho! that debuts December 7th; I have the special on the Travel Channel that was possibly a series, so I have a lot of stuff going on.
I never expected the Kenny Omega-Jericho thing, that just kind of came up. It was something that I thought was really cool that fans never expected would happen and once it happens it just blows their minds. It’s definitely the most talked about match in the wrestling world today. I just saw a big sign for it on the marquee at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. It’s a worldwide phenomenon match and one of the few true dream matches that exist in this day and age. Once again, it puts me right back in the thick of things headlining the Tokyo Dome. It’s kind of the way that I’ve built my life and professional career. It’s all a lot of fun to do, so the WWE takes a back burner. That’s the way it is and that’s the way it’s been for the last little while. Will I go back? I’m sure I will, but if I don’t it wouldn’t bother me either because I’ve had a lot of great times there, but I’ve got a lot of stuff on the horizon that’s building as well.
Jericho comments on his motivations behind facing Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 12, if he thinks other wrestlers will get similar opportunities:
The best thing that can happen is there’s more places where guys can make a legitimate living. I always say to guys that are not having fun in the WWE or are having fun outside the WWE: The WWE isn’t going anywhere. It will be here for the rest of our lives and our children’s lives. Go experience the world. Go see what’s out there. Go make a name for yourself, which just makes you even more valuable when you come into the WWE. That’s what I did.
It took me nine years to get to the WWE. I worked Japan and Mexico for years, so when it was time for me to come to the WWE, I had more name value and I was worth more money. It’s like anything else: You can make millions of dollars in the WWE, but you’ve got to be on top. You can make big money outside of the WWE, but you’ve got to be on top. Not everybody who leaves to go do the New Japan/Ring of Honor thing is going to make tons of cash like the Young Bucks do or like Kenny Omega does, but that’s just how it goes, and you take your chance. For me, of course I know what’s going on in the outside world.
The WWE is the ultimate money machine, but if you can get to the point where you can make some big money on your own outside of that machine, do it because guess what? It just makes you more valuable to the WWE. That’s another reason why I wanted to do the Omega match. If I go back to the WWE tomorrow, I know what’s going to happen. I know where I’ll be slotted, and I’ll know who I’m wrestling. But now, I’m headlining the Tokyo Dome. That’s like being in the main event of WrestleMania. I don’t know if I’d be in the main event of WrestleMania in 2018, but if I went back tomorrow, I say the plans are probably already etched in stone.
This is the only time I’ll be ever be the headliner of the Tokyo Dome. That’s a pretty big deal and that’s where I said, “This makes me even more of a draw and makes me more of an even bigger name.” And it also shows that I don’t give a fuck. I’m going to do what I feel is best for Chris Jericho and do what’s best for my creative stimulation and for the building of my brand.