Chris Jericho has had a career spanning over three decades and has worked with the top companies in the wrestling industry. One of the many reasons that Jericho has sustained for so many years is that he always reinvented himself. As an entertainer, he never disappointed his fans.
During a recent interview with Chris Van Vliet, AEW’s resident Demo God emphasized how one needs to reinvent themselves to stay relevant in wrestling’s ever-changing business. He spoke about the duality of one’s character and how important it is to switch between heel and face. Then, he diverted his attention to his early days and how he changed his character throughout his career.
“When I started, I wanted to be the best Rock-and-roll frontman but in a wrestling ring. Paul Stanley, David Lee Roth, Mick Jagger, Freddie Mercury, Bruce Dickinson – those are the guys I loved onstage even as a singer for Fozzy. But also how did they connect with the audience and what do they do.”
He said he might never be the biggest in stature, but he had the biggest charisma and personality. Jericho cited David Bowie as a major influence on his reinvention. He said when one is on TV for years and years, they have to reinvent themselves; otherwise, it’d be really boring.
“If you look at those early days, I always had different facial hair, different tights, because I realize everything you do, they make an action figure on it. So, I had probably at this point 250 different action figure, (There is) no exaggeration. I always gave them something different to build upon.”
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Chris Jericho says there must be a change of character to show sincerity
Jericho has played both heel and face equally well. Although his heel persona gets more appraisal, Jericho as a face was equally loved by fans. He thinks that with every character change, there must be a change in attitude and attire.
“I have a theory that if you change from babyface to heel or vice versa, something has to change with you, so people know you’re serious.” He referred to the rock band KISS taking off their make-up to portray a change.
“That’s why when I turned heel once again from, you know lovable Y2J, who was way too stale in 2007 from something that started in 1999. The countdown was gone, the Y2J was gone, it changed from long tights to short tights. I wanted people to know there was something different about this guy.”
Once the tactic worked, Jericho kept doing it every time. Be it WWE, New Japan, or AEW; he always tried to do something new because it felt “right.” The ideas are always impromptu.
“You do, or you don’t, You can’t sit there and think about it. You gotta do it, You know if you do that and once again commit to what you are doing and be consistent with it – nine times out of ten people will get into it and enjoy it as well. But you have to be 100% committed to it.”
You can check the full interview below –