Chris Jericho is this week’s guest on Turnbuckle Weekly with Chuck Carroll.
When Chris Jericho saw Kid Rock’s reaction to a post-WrestleMania pose-off featuring a man who had just won the WWE Diva’s Title a few hours earlier (not a typo), he knew he had another bestseller on his hands.
The Best In The World At What I Have No Idea is the third literary offering from Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla, and like its two predecessors, it does not disappoint.
I had a chance to speak with the man known in the WWE Universe as Y2J about his latest book. And I came to one conclusion — he’s just one of life’s enigmas.
Jericho has seemingly figured out a secret the rest of us will spend our entire existence chasing. He makes up his mind to do something, does it on the grandest stage, is exceedingly successful with each endeavor, and makes them all look easy.
What makes it all the more interesting is that those endeavors include being one of the most popular professional wrestlers in history, a bona fide rock star, a radio host, and bestselling author. All the while he does it with a certain flair that created legions of Jericholics in every town in North America and the outer reaches of the globe.
Dude is dope.
But that’s enough brown-nosing for one post. Let’s get down to the stuff you came for — stories!
In the book Jericho writes about his up-and-down relationship with WWE chairman Vince McMahon. He said McMahon is surrounded by “yes men,” and he’s gained the boss’s admiration by not following suit.
Their disagreements have largely been civil, but it’s still a step farther than most would take with their superiors.
“Yes, there is a lot of confrontations with Vince, but that’s because there’s a mutual respect. And some of them get out of control,” he said. “It’s only because both of us respect each other, trust each other, and believe each other. It doesn’t mean I’m always going to like the things he does or the things he wants to do. And it doesn’t mean that he’s going to like the things that I do and the way that I act and react to things either.”
He says in a creative relationship there will always be giving and taking as well as “butting of the heads” when two people want what’s best for business.
The road shenanigans and wacky anecdotes extend well beyond Kid Rock’s intoxicated reaction to two grown men getting oiled up and stripping down to nothing more than a glorified thong.
Jericho writes about getting stranded in a volcanic ash storm in Europe and having to take a 27-hour ride on a rent-a-car shuttle to escape. Then there was the time he was wrestling in Brazil and got thrown out of the country for kicking the national flag. And who can forget pissing off Mickey Rourke so badly on national TV that he hired mercenaries to kick his ass (if the need raised)?
“All of those things are like ‘this sucks’ or ‘this is funny’ or ‘this is stupid.’ But, man this is going to make a great story for my next book,” he told me. “And that Kid Rock story was a great example. As it was happening, (I was thinking) ‘this is going to translate so beautifully on the printed page.”
And while the book largely focuses on Jericho’s WWE adventures, he doesn’t consider pro wrestling to be his priority any longer. That honor now belongs to his band Fozzy which is set to tour in November and December.
He is scheduled to wrestle a few dates in Europe in November, but has given no thought as to when he would return to WWE after that.
“I still love doing it, but I realize it’s not something I’m going to be doing forever,” he told me. “I realized that years ago.”
Much of his wrestling schedule for the past four of five years has revolved around his musical commitments. When the upcoming Fozzy tour is completed, he’ll reconnect with WWE and see if something can be worked out for another return.
He cautioned: “It’s not like they’re just sitting around for Chris Jericho to come back.”
However, if the stars align and he still feels he’s able to wrestle at the highest level, he’s all for making another run with WWE.
Here’s an interesting thing Jericho had to ponder when publishers approached him about writing a third autobiography.
“Is this a little overkill? Do I really need a third autobiography by the time I’m in my early 40’s? Ernest Hemingway has one. Jericho has three!” he joked.
And look out for a potential fourth. Jericho said there have been about 10 or 15 things that have happened since he penned the final chapter of Best In The World that he can include in his next offering.
Be sure to listen to the full interview (available at the top of the page) to hear all of our conversation that includes:
* More on his relationship with Vince McMahon
* The “if’s” involved in his coming back to WWE in the future
* How he selects which stories aren’t worthy of making it into the book
* How he convinced editors to put a “bonus track” chapter in the book with extra stories
* How the writing process has become easier with Best In The World
* More on Kid Rock’s bizarre post-WrestleMania experience
And because I know some of your are hard of hearing, here are a few quotes:
Earning Vince McMahon’s Respect
Once you gain that respect from Vince he expects it and wants that feedback. He’s surrounded by a lot of ‘yes men’ that don’t want to get into debates. When I’m questioning him, it’s never disrespectfully. I never say this is a stupid idea or you’re an idiot or a moron, because that’s not the way you get things done. I will say, “Vince, I think we can do this better” or “what is it you want from this, because I don’t understand it?” Or sometimes, it’s just blatantly “no, this is the way we’re doing it because I’m the boss and you’re not” and you have to accept that and respect that as well.
Returning to WWE After November Run
Over the last four of five years my schedules and dates surround Fozzy, and WWE has kind of been not as much of a priority. I still love doing it, but I realize it’s not something I’m going to be doing forever. I realized that years ago. To go back for the European shows, Roman Reigns got hurt, there was some injuries and I always enjoy working overseas. So, it’s kind of just a quick little run. Other than that I don’t know. When this Fozzy tour ends, whenever that may be, if I have time available and the WWE has something interesting for me to do. It’s not like they’re just sitting around waiting for Chris Jericho to come back. There have been times… I was going to go back for WrestleMania 30, but we couldn’t figure out anything for me to do that was worthy of that.
The full interview can be heard at the top of the page and is more than worth your time.
Chuck Carroll is former pro wrestling announcer and referee turned sports media personality. He once appeared on Monday Night RAW when he presented Robert Griffin III with a WWE title belt in the Redskins locker room.
Follow him on Twitter @TheChuckCarroll.