By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
On his legacy and being called the Greatest of all Time: ‘G.O.A.T. is such a thrown around word right now. It’s funny because I started using that in 2016 when I came back, and no one even really knew what it was. I got it from a rap song. I remember Vince saying, ‘Why are you calling yourself a goat?’ I’m like, ‘It’s the greatest of all time.’ I wish it was a better name like a bear, or the rhino, but the G.O.A.T. kind of sounds dopey. Now of course, everyone uses it. That’s not for me to say that I’m the G.O.A.T. but if other people say it, it’s much appreciated. Thank you. What I think I am one of the G.O.A.T.s of is longevity and always keeping relevant. Also, just always evolving. The G.O.A.T. of evolving. Like David Bowie might not be the greatest singer of all time, but he is the G.O.A.T. of always changing his character and keeping it fresh, and evolving into something different, but still being David Bowie at the root of it.
“I think it’s the same for Chris Jericho in that I always do change things. I saw something the other day of like 12 different Jerichos in a picture. It’s like if you want to dress like Jericho on Halloween, you have 12 different options, at least. I don’t think too many wrestlers can say that, so if you want to talk about a G.O.A.T. in my opinion, that’s one of the things that I’ve done almost better than anybody else, is constantly evolve and change, to never being a nostalgia act. I never wanted to be that. I always wanted to have a new album to go out and tour on, and not just keep relying on the stuff that I’ve done in the past. I always knew when it was time. I knew when it was time to diss Y2J in ‘07 when I came back.
“It just didn’t work anymore. I knew it was time to switch things up when the Pinnacle beat us down. You get rid of the sunglasses and the flashy sequined jackets. We come back in black, and now it’s more of a dark based black type of a look. It’s subtle, but it’s something that people know that this look is different from this look. This attitude is different from that attitude. I think it’s something that people pick up on, but you have to lead them down that path, and let them know that this is a different guy. This is now a babyface. This is now a heel. This is now somebody who’s gone to another company, or someone who’s gone to a different country. There always has to be something a little bit twisted and different about it to keep people’s attention, and to keep yourself relevant.”
Wanting AC/DC’s “Back in Black” for AEW TV: “We actually tried to get Back In Black for our return promo after we attacked The Pinnacle in our dressing room, and they wouldn’t even give us the time of day. There’s been other ones. We wanted Van Halen, right after Eddie died, we wanted to use Running With the Devil, they came back with ‘$500,000’. Well that’s just a polite way of saying, ‘No f—ing way.’ AC/DC didn’t even come back with that. Then I see them on an Applebee’s commercial using Back In Black, so I guess they’re fans of the baby back ribs or something like that. I thought the whole concept of Back In Black fit. It’s a saying that everybody knows. It rolls off the tongue, and it fits the mindset of what we’re doing. We’re coming back more focused, serious, and darker. That’s kind of how it’s been throughout this whole return.”
(Pick a random match) match 1001: “1001 you look it up here it’s all in order because like you said, I’ve kept a log of every match that I’ve ever had. Since the first day of October 2 1990 So 1001. Wow! It was my second match ever in WWE, August 24, 1999. That was versus the Road Dogg in Kansas City, Missouri. I lost by DQ, and I gave that one three stars.”
The book being more of a handwritten journal: “I can go through and find out every match I’ve ever had, where it was, when it was, I gave it a star rating every night and I kept track of the money for the first probably 600 of them or so or 800 of them until I started making guaranteed money to where it’s the same every week. And it’s just, I don’t think there’s ever been anybody that’s done that before, especially with the career that I had of going 30 years around the world so it really is a journal, a handwritten journal that basically- I mean if you haven’t seen the book you can see right here (shows the book to the camera so viewers can see). At the very front cover that’s the actual page right there, that I wrote all- that’s my actual writing that’s the first page ever, and that we kind of trend, you know, made that part of the book as well in my actual handwriting, etc.”
Why the publishers who worked with him on his past books decided not to work on this book: “The publishers that I’ve been working with were like that’s too specific, and it’s too soon, you know you’re whittling I came in with this too direct of a- of a book or whatever maybe as like you guys don’t know my fan base and don’t know wrestling fans and you should know this after four New York Times bestsellers. I mean, all of my instinct here, and they weren’t into it, and I thought okay great, I’ll do it myself and here I am in just two weeks today I think it is, we’ve already sold out half the first printing, you know thousands and thousands and thousands of books and it’s like they’re already talking about a second printing and once again it’s like I know what I’m right and I knew this will work and I knew it was right, so.”
Other topics include his AEW run, his WWE run, working in Mexico, working in Japan, the Talk is Jericho Podcast, Fozzy going on tour, the Dean Malenko feud, the HBK feud, Goldberg, The Rock, and more.
You can listen to other shows apart of the TMPT Empire including Shane Douglas’ Triple Threat Podcast, Taking You to School with Dr. Tom Prichard, Talking Tough with Rick Bassman, Taskmaster Talks with Kevin Sullivan, Pro Wrestling 101 with Justin Credible and the University of Dutch with Dutch Mantell. H/T to Wrestling News Co and William Alicea for the transcription.