Chris Jericho recently took place in an interview with FMH Online. Below are a few highlights:
Your new book has gotten great reviews. Are people surprised it’s about more than just bodyslams?
I wanted to write a book that was just as much for non-wrestling fans as wrestling fans. I spent nine years in the wrestling business trying to achieve my goal of being in the WWE and most of that time was spent wrestling overseas in places like Japan, Mexico and Germany. So not only was I gaining experience in the ring, but I was gaining a lot of life experience. I was a stranger in a strange land. I was held up at gunpoint on the side of the road in Mexico by a girl that I was trying to pick up. She was holding the gun in my face and I could actually see the grooves of the pistol like in the beginning of a James Bond movie. Then she stole my money and left me on the side of the road at 4 a.m. I had to follow the lights in the sky to walk back to Mexico City. In Japan, I was threatened by the Japanese mafia because I smashed a vase that they owned and I had to pay them and clean it up. They made no bones about the fact that they’d cut off my pinky finger if I didn’t. So the culture shock of being in these strange places and dealing with that gives you a great appreciation for what you have and also gives you a great story to tell.
The most shocking thing about the book may be the picture of you in bright yellow ball-hugger shorts in the photo section.
When I first went to Monterrey, Mexico to wrestle, the promoter "who I found out very quickly was gay" gave me this little handful of Spandex he wanted me to wear. They were the smallest, worst ball huggers ever. They were so bad. I said, "I can’t wear these.’ He said, "Okay, then wear these," and handed me a slightly bigger pair of shorts, but the banana hammock aspect was still there.
Did you have to stuff your tights?
Yeah, I put a zucchini wrapped in tinfoil into my pants like Derek Smalls from Spinal Tap.
Those shorts almost look cool compared to the fanny packs you used to rock.
That was a fashion staple for ’90s wrestlers. When the fanny pack came out all the wrestlers wore them. And to this day some guys who were really popular in the ’80s, like Hulk Hogan, still wear them. I had this neon green one that was awesome. Then I went to Japan and I was schooled by this guy named Ricky Fuji who was the king of the fanny pack. His damn fanny pack was like a knapsack. He had a pack of cigarettes in there. He had a damn monkey wrench literally in his fanny pack. This thing was huge. You could carry a baby in it.
Wrestling in Japan is a lot more intense than it is in America, isn’t it?
In Japan, the rookies have to wash the older guys’ asses and backs. Then they wash all the gear, set up the ring and watch all the matches. They really beat them down to make sure this is what they want to do. You have to have the tenacity and the discipline for it. I heard in one of the Japanese wrestling dojos the older wrestlers would jerk off into a cup, put it in the fridge and then the rookies would have to drink it. I was glad I was never asked to do that, because if I’m going to drink ejaculate I’m going to do it on my own time.
That’s sick. I’ve heard the food in Japan can be disgusting, but I didn’t know it was that bad.
They used to have these guys called sponsors in Japan that would take you out to eat. It was an honor for them to hang out with wrestlers and to pay for the food and everything. One guy took us to this sushi restaurant and ordered this gelatinous piece of fish. I took a bite out of it and it tasted like pee smells. It was the worst thing I’ve ever tasted. Then someone said, "Why aren’t you eating that? It’s the rarest form of sushi. It costs $750." I couldn’t eat it, though. Then I went down the street to get some Kentucky Fried Chicken and got a chicken breast that had a brain underneath it. I’m talking a literal piece of brain. That’s when I asked for popcorn.
At least the women are beautiful, right?
In Japan, girls would actually call your room and ask to come see you. You wouldn’t know what the girls looked like though. You had to look through the peephole and if you appreciated what you saw you’d let the girl in and hang out. One time this girl showed up and she wasn’t much of a looker so I just didn’t answer the door. I pretended I wasn’t there. But she didn’t leave. She just kept knocking on my door. I was too scared to call the front desk, because I invited her up. So I put my Walkman on and went to sleep. When I woke up, there was a letter under the door that said, "Jericho, you no open door. I am not a groupie. I never sex you. You are probably gay boy anyways." Then underneath that it said, "Please call me."
Did you call?
No, I didn’t call her! But I loved the fact that she was not a groupie, yet she banged on my door for eight hours straight.
December 10th marks the 15th anniversary of RAW. Do you have a favorite RAW match?
There’ve been a lot of great RAW matches. There was a tables, ladders and chairs match with Christian and I, Kane, Jeff Hardy and Rob Van Dam and the Dudleyz. That was voted the best match in RAW history at the 10th anniversary show. That was a great match. The match with me and Chris Benoit against Steve Austin and Triple H for the titles when Triple H tore his quad was a very memorable match. I had a match with Shawn Michaels in Los Angeles in 2003 that was a great one, too.
What is the worst moment in RAW history?
I have a great sense of humor, but Mae Young giving birth to the hand was just so stupid, because I couldn’t figure out what it was supposed to be. I didn’t get it. Nobody gives birth to a hand. It’s biologically impossible. If she gave birth to a chicken at least it’s a living organism. But a hand? I just didn’t get it. It wasn’t even a baby’s hand. It was like Mickey Mouse’s hand. That to me will stand out as one of the dumbest moments in RAW history.