Chris Jericho compares writing his own storylines to being on Saturday Night Live.
Jericho, the reigning ROH World Champion, is one of AEW‘s top stars. He has been wrestling for over three decades, so he has plenty of experience, and he was also a top talent in WWE for many years.
During an appearance on Howie Mandel Does Stuff, Jericho noted that he writes most of his own stories these days, and he prefers long-term directions. He made it clear that, in wrestling, it’s important to let the story lead you, rather than trying to force something to work.
“I like telling long-term stories for me. So yes, now I do write most of my own stuff,” Jericho said. “I like to write thinking a month ahead, two months ahead, three months ahead. Things change. You let the story lead you. You don’t try and put the square peg story into the round hole because that never works.
“You listen to the crowd. What are they buying? They really like this part of the story. Well, let’s go this way with it and see what happens. Okay, they’re not into it, let’s bring it back this way. Wrestling is so important and so significant with the storytelling. It’s a live Shakespearean drama.”
Jericho then noted that being able to write his own storylines has come over time, as he has acquired equity with his name, experience, and popularity. He compared to being on Saturday Night Live and getting more TV time if you’re well-liked.
“When you first start, you kinda just do what the boss tells you,” Jericho said. “Then as you start getting some name value and start connecting with the audience, start getting over, as we call it, then you can start putting some of your own spin on it. Then the more experience you get, the more you’re relied upon to kind of create your own stories.
“So another real comparison, it’s a lot like being on ‘Saturday Night Live’, with Lorne Michaels being your boss, back when Vince McMahon was the boss or Tony Khan is my boss now, where you’ll try and write for them. If they like you, you’ll get more TV time.”
The veteran was asked whether he submits his ideals, and he detailed how he runs them by Tony Khan, and while they deviate from the plan as needed, he aims to have a few weeks mapped out at any given time.
“Yeah, I’ll call him or say, ‘I’ve got this idea, what do you think?’ ‘Oh, I like that.’ Okay, let me write down the next six weeks of TV because it’s once a week. So week one, this happens. Week two, we do this, week three, we do that. I’m not sure what we’re gonna do week four, but it’s gonna lead to the big showdown in week six, for example. Then he’ll say, ‘I like this, let’s go with it.’
“Like I said, if it starts going astray or maybe you wanna take it in a different direction, you can do that too. But you kind of always have a skeleton of what you wanna be doing over the next six weeks.”
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