Chris Jericho may not be wrestling yet he continues to remain a part of the community. Jericho was asked about some recent WWE hot topics and offered some insightful analysis on the current state of the business.
“I think anybody can be the face of the company, if the fans dictate it.
“I think sometimes the powers-that-be may have different opinions but the thing about Daniel Bryan is that his rise is very organic. It happened basically in spite of the way he was getting pushed.
“I think if I had to pin point a moment that it happened, it was during that eighteen second loss at WrestleMania last year where people were legitimately angry that the company could treat him that way and started to really get behind him as a character. I think when everybody is chanting his name and the guy goes out there as possibly the best wrestler in the world and a great character and a great performer, why not?
“You need something different to replace the one that’s on top as we saw when they were trying to replace Hulk Hogan for so many years until Bret Hart stepped up. I think he can be the face of the company if they so desired.”
Jericho makes some interesting points here, the most important being a fan-driven business. Regarding Daniel Bryan it is hard to evaluate how fan-driven his success truly is. The fans no doubt love to chant along with Bryan but they aren’t tuning in to see him and the SummerSlam buyrate was a disappointment. Some could use Jericho’s point here to disagree on pushing Bryan.
Jericho also talked about the internal struggles he faced when he was in a similar position to Daniel Bryan.
“Before I won the title that time at State College, Pennsylvania against Triple H, I was on my way to Vince’s (McMahon) office; it was like the movie Slap Shot: ‘Who owns the Chiefs? Pay me or I will leave’ sort of thing. I’m done!
“I lost to Viscera, I lost to the Godfather and this was a waste of my time. I’m done. The writer at that time was Tommy Blacha at the time and he said: ‘Listen, before you go to Vince, I have to say something.’
“I said: ‘There is nothing you can say that’s going to change my mind.’
“He said: ‘You’re going to win the World Title tonight.’
“And that changed my mind.
“You just got to hold on and Eddie Guererro’s told me that his dad used to say: ‘The cream will always rise to the top. If you can wrestle, you will always have a job and you will get to the top.’ I still believe that.
“Whatever kind of politics or dipsy-doodles may happen, all you got to do is keep performing to the best of your ability and sooner or later you are going to get that shot.”
One thing I never realized and I don’t know how serious he is here is that he was going to quit the WWE around that time period. I think he may be overstating it because his only alternative then was WCW and it would have been worse. It is interesting though that these doubts crept in at the time he got the push.
Jericho was also asked about Shawn Michaels returning. There are a lot of rumors right now about the Heartbreak Kid coming back to wrestle Daniel Bryan. Jericho says not to hold your breath.
“Honestly knowing Shawn (Michaels), I don’t think so. That’s my opinion. He could but you look at the way he went out, in one of the greatest matches of all time at WrestleMania in the main event with this huge reception.
“The performer of Shawn Michaels caliber and his ego, and I say that in a good way because we all have egos, he is not going to come back for anything for less than that. I don’t think you are going to get anything bigger than that.
“Undertaker versus Shawn Michaels, in my opinion, were the two greatest matches ever. What can compare to that? My gut feeling says no, of course I don’t know but if you ask me, I’d say no.
“The reason why Taker and Shawn worked is that you have two guys that are on the same exact level, iconic performers that no one can really touch. Maybe Shawn versus Triple H is something that maybe they would do but I don’t think that’s even big enough.
“I think that door is closed for Shawn and I think he is happy doing what he is doing and I think that’s the same for Steve Austin. I think he very satisfied with his career, I don’t think he feels the need to comeback.
“Sometimes it happens. As much as the wrestling fans demand it, sometimes if you feel that you did everything that you wanted to do and you’re happy, then why mess with it.”
Overall this was a great interview which I’d highly recommend going out of your way to check out. Jericho also talked a potential Royal Rumble return, why he thinks The Big Show is great, and much more.