Jericho wrestling with possible return to ring
Last updated 16 February 2007
When last we saw Chris Jericho in wrestling mode, it was 2005 and he was getting his ass hauled out of a building by security. Ejected after losing a "You're Fired" match to John Cena.
And while Jericho -- Y2J, the King of Bling Bling, the Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla and the Sexy Beast all rolled into one -- believes he can once again rock the wrestling world, he's not ready to return yet.
"I never said I was retired," says Jericho over the phone. "After 15 years with no serious injuries and wrestling at such a high level, I needed a break. I was burned out. So I took myself out of the game before I was forced to take a break."
It's not like Jericho hauled his ass over to the beach, pulled up a lawnchair and searched for the meaning of life. He stayed busy ... very busy. There was a world tour with his rock band, Fozzy. There was a TV pilot for the USA Network (it didn't get picked up). There was an XMSatellite Radio show, Rock of Jericho. There was Opening Night, a play in Toronto last summer. There was Celebrity Duets, where he sang alongside Lee Ann Womack and Peter Frampton. And there was A Lion's Tale, the memoirs which, for four or five hours a night, he poured his heart and soul into (the book should be on shelves in October).
"I'm very close (to the book)," he says. "I lived these stories. It's almost Stranger in a Strange Land meets wrestling.
"I took a page from Walk the Line, which focused on a certain phase of Johnny Cash's life. The book is the whole journey ... it ends when I get to WWE."
Jericho is trying to get back into that wrestling zone.
"I have to be there 100% mentally as well as physically," he says. "Mentally, I was completely fried.
"I don't think (my return) will be happening anytime soon. But at least I've gotten into the groove of being a wrestling fan again. I've gotten back into watching wrestling ... RAW and TNA.
"From the day I left, they called. WWE, All Japan, New Japan, NOAH, TNA ... I would not want to come back and trash my legacy. It's kind of good when a character leaves. It's like a cheap hooker on the street. If you see her every night, it tarnishes the legacy. And that's what I was heading towards.
"You can't become a parody of yourself. There will always be a place for Chris Jericho. I could go back tomorrow and cause the same ruckus I did three years ago."
Jericho says he plotted his own WWE departure.
"I never wanted to be loved as a heel ... if you are, it's mission failed. What better way for a heel to leave than to be carried out kicking, screaming and crying. I would rather be the biggest baby coward.
"It's a lot easier to make people hate you than like you. But when they start to like you, it's hard to make them hate you again ... it's another one of my special powers.
"It's a tough job. I don't feel bad about walking away. I wanted to spend more time with my family. The other wrestlers know I'm lurking out there ... I'm kind of like wrestling's Santa Claus .... I can tell who's good and who's bad."
Jericho got a hoot out of a Winnipeg Sun April Fool's joke last year, a ruse that had him run for the leadership of Manitoba's Progressive Conservative Party. But he says he has no real political aspirations.
"I've been a politician for years in wrestling ... and I'm not very good at it. I tend to speak my mind."
Oh, and one more thing, since the Jets left Winnipeg, Jericho has become a huge Calgary Flames booster.
"I'm an Iggy (Jarome Iginla) fan," he says.