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Photo Credit: AEW

David Penzer: Chris Jericho Is The GOAT Of Reinventing Himself Successfully

Chris Jericho continues to successfully reinvent himself in his fifth decade as a pro wrestler.

Former TNA/IMPACT ring announcer David Penzer spoke with WrestleZone while promoting his new book, Sitting Ringside: Volume 1. During the conversation, Penzer spoke about his friendship with current AEW star Chris Jericho, who he originally met back in WCW.

Penzer talked about the storyline rivalry he and Jericho had in WCW. Jericho would frequently antagonize Penzer, including doing things like ruining his jacket. Jericho would apologize over and over, claiming it would never, e-e-ever happen again.

“First of all, that was all Chris’ idea. It was a 100% Chris’ idea. I might have thrown in something, he might have said, ‘I don’t like it.’ And I’d shut my mouth again, just riding down the road. But Terry Taylor got it approved and we ran with it,” Penzer said. “The funny thing that always cracks me up — people like to talk about ‘The Greatest of All Time’ and I don’t know if that’s an argument that I want to get into — but I do think that Chris Jericho is the Greatest of All Time in the wrestling business of reinventing himself successfully.

“I can’t think of another person who’s come close to doing it how many times he’s done it. And, always drawing money, he’s selling merchandise and all that. So… But this was like one of his first ones. And the thing that always cracked me up is, he would rip off my tux jacket and then he’d take my chair like you said and hit it against the ring post,” he explained. “The next week he’d come out, he’d bring out a new tux jacket, apologize, which made sense. But then he’d bring me a chair. It’s like, ‘I’m in a building with 5,000 chairs. Why do you need to bring me a chair?’”

Penzer says it’s little details like that, or clicking a pen before Jericho would add people to The List, that make him a brilliant performer.

Most of the stuff that Chris does is helping other people get ‘over’

David Penzer also mentioned that while Chris Jericho is reinventing himself, he is also helping get other wrestlers over. He cited Kevin Owens, Sammy Guevara and Big Bill as examples of enhancing talent’s position, noting that’s the point of his various characters over the years.

“A lot of the things that people don’t realize, most of the stuff that Chris does is helping other people get ‘over’. I know ‘The List’ thing got Kevin Owens ‘over’ to a [degree] — I’m not saying he wasn’t ‘over’ before,” Penzer clarified. “[Jericho] did the stuff with his group which got Sammy Guevara ‘over’ and those guys. Most of the stuff he does is with the intent to get people ‘over’. I don’t know where they are going with this [Learning Tree] character, but I see that they put him with Big Bill, who’s a great guy actually. So hopefully, they’ll be able to do something with that.

“And that’s the point. He wanted to get Orange Cassidy ‘over’, and he wanted to get Sammy Guevara ‘over’, and there’s so many guys,” Penzer noted. “He did the thing with Action Andretti. And man, I was watching that and I’m going — Not for a minute in my mind, cuz I was actually watching that live. But not for a minute in my did I think Jericho wasn’t going ‘over’ in the end.”

A certain degree of difficulty

Penzer said Andretti going over was not a huge shock, but still a bit of a surprise. Jericho was credited with the idea, although he wished AEW took more advantage of Andretti’s new spotlight.

“But that’s what [Jericho] wants to do. And I know that because I’m friends with him. I’ve been friends with him for 25-28 years. And I will say this, the other person that is really good at nuance and stuff like that, obviously, just went into the Hall of Fame is Paul Heyman. But, Paul does it for other people. Chris does it with himself to hope other people get over.

“So it’s very… I don’t want to not give Paul his due, but it’s different, because Chris is coming up with — It’s easy to get different guys over when they are different wrestlers. ‘I’ll get this guy over with this gimmick. I’ll get this guy over using this gimmick. Roman Reigns is going to be the Head of The Table.’ Chris is reinventing himself every time. So, that to me is way more difficult.”

Sitting Ringside: Volume 1 is available now on, or online retailers like Amazon.

Watch our full interview with David Penzer below:

If you use this transcription, credit WrestleZone and link back to this post.

Do you agree with David Penzer’s thoughts on Chris Jericho?