The following are some excerpts from a recent interview with Chris Jericho from The Futon Critic:
Jim Halterman: ‘Downfall’ is definitely one of the craziest concepts out there. Can you tell me how the game is played?
Chris Jericho: It actually is a crazy concept but it’s actually a lot more than that. There’s a set on top of the building in open air with the LA skyline behind it. The set is this monstrosity that you might see in a giant stadium with this big conveyer belt. What happens is you put prizes on the belt and money at the end of it. You start the conveyer belt and you have to answer the first round of four questions in the category that you choose. If you do that quick enough you get all the prizes on the belt. If you don’t make it in time, those prizes go over the edge and smash to the ground below. If you do the first round correctly, you go to the second round where you have to answer five questions correctly. This goes on until you win a million dollars but if the money goes over the edge, then you go over the edge.
JH: Did your wrestling background prepare you for the other things you’ve done in your career?
CJ: Working in the WWE is show business boot camp! You learn a little about everything! Behind the scenes, in front of a crowd, live, taped, improv, action, drama, dramedy and everything in between. In that way, it prepared me for everything including being a lead singer for a rock band, being a New York Times best selling author, having my own radio show for two years on XM radio and I worked at The Groundlings improv comedy troupe in LA. There are a lot of things you can do because of the foundation of the WWE. To host ‘Downfall’ it is really a natural progression because you have to be quick on your feet, run the show, you have to dictate the pace of what’s going on. That’s kind of what I do in the ring or on the stage. You’re the one in charge and you’re the one bringing things to the people. It took a lot of work to get this gig but once I got it I really wanted to make sure I nailed it. I’m excited to see how people take to it. It really is something that I enjoy doing and I hope to do more of it.
JH: You’ve definitely done a wide variety of things. Has there been a master plan to your career?
CJ: The master plan for me from the time I was 18 was to entertain and just do the best I could. When I started wrestling I was small at the time. In the 1990s, it was all about the Hulk Hogans of the world but I could never be 6 feet, 8 inches and 200 lbs so what could I do? I could have the biggest personality, biggest charisma and just showcase it on the show, which is what I did throughout my career. I never put myself in a box or put any chains on myself creatively. People would say ‘You’re too small to wrestle’ and you can never do this or that but I’d say ‘Why can’t I do it?’ One thing leads to another and it all comes to same thing and it’s all about entertaining people and being a showman.
Check out the full interview at TheFutonCritic.com.