August 22, 2005
ďIt was 20 years ago today, Sgt Pepper taught the band to playÖĒ-The Beatles-1967
A very timely, apropos lyric from my favorite band, that Iím gonna paraphrase for my own use.
ďIt was 15 years ago today that the Hart Brothers Taught Chris Jericho how to playÖĒ
course they didnít teach me how to play, they actually taught me how
to wrestle and it wasnít 15 years ago today, it was actually in the
summer of 1990, but you get the idea.
I eventually had my first match on Oct 2, 1990 in Ponoka, AlbertaÖ.and on August 22, 2005 in Hampton, Virginia, I had my last match.
Yes itís true. After months of speculation and rumors and numerous decoys and red herrings being thrown about, the official news from the boss man (me) is that I am leaving the WWE.
For how long I do not know.
But I do know many things.
I know that after 15 years of full time wrestling, I need a break. I need to recuperate both physically and especially mentally. Iíve been very fortunate to never have missed an inordinate amount of time due to injury. I broke my arm in 1994 and missed 7 weeks as a result, but other than that, Iíve never missed a show. NEVER.
While that may be a testament to my durability, intelligence and/or stupidity, itís actually worked against me over the past few years. While those who have suffered injuries have been able to spend the time to heal physically and more importantly have had the time to refresh mentally, Iíve never had that time to do soÖand thatís a problem.
People ask me all the time how they can make it in the wrestling biz. Let the Dali Jericho enlighten you allÖ
The secret to making it in wrestling lies in your head, not your body.
You see, it doesnít matter how big, how good looking, how ugly you are, or how many flips you can do. Itís all about having a strong personality and making people connect with your character. Making them care. Making them feel. Making them laugh. Making them cry. Making them believe.
In order to do that, you have to be 100% into what you are doing. You have to believe what you are selling to the people. You have to give 100% of your physical being and more importantly, %100 of your mental being to make it work.
Having said that, thatís why I need to take a break from this business to recharge the old batteries as I donít have the same mindset for it that I once did.
There are 2 reasons for that.
1.After doing it for 15 years, I am mentally burned out.
2.I am a goal oriented person who thrives on a challenge and Iím not challenged by wrestling at this point in time.
A big reason for that is the fact that Iíve already accomplished everything Iíve ever wanted to accomplish in this business and so much more
You see, when I left Winnipeg (my hometown no matter what the WWE may say) at the age of 19 to move to Calgary to train, all I wanted to do was to someday be a wrestler on TV and maybeÖ.just maybe, someday be the WWF Intercontinental champion. I used to have dreams of my name being up on my high schoolís sign board (Westwood Collegiate represent yo!) sayingÖ
CONGRATULATIONS TO CHRIS IRVINE-WWF IC CHAMP.
Fast forward 15 years and Iíve held the IC title a record number 7 times. Add in 2 World Championships, the first ever Undisputed Championship, as well as headlining Wrestlemania and stealing the show at Wrestlemania and holding every major title in the WWE (the only guy to have done that), and youíve got quite a careerÖ.and Iíve still never been on the damn sign outside of Westwood Collegiate!
Now some may say that I have an over-inflated opinion of myself and they may be right. All I know is that I have confidence in my abilities and a great deal of appreciation for every single guy (or girl) that Iíve ever faced in the ring and to me, thereís a HUGE difference between the twoÖ
Iím also very thankful for all that the Lord has blessed me with and for all of the great experiences Iíve had meeting so many great people, whilst traveling all around the world. Iíve never taken anything for granted. Iíve never had anything but the greatest respect for the wrestling business and everybody in it. Thatís another reason why I need to get away for awhile. I donít want to become one of those guys who bitch and moan and complain about every little thing. I was starting to feel that way until my angle for Summerslam started 3 months ago. Now, I want to leave wrestling while I still hold it in the highest regard.
So thatís what Iím gonna do.
But you may be asking what exactly ARE you going to do now Ayatollah?
Well, I may be stepping away from wrestling but Iíve stepped into so many other things over the past few years that I definitely have no shortage of projects and opportunities on my proverbial plate.
First off, thereís Fozzy of course. The band has really taken a huge step forward over the past year and I really want to devote the proper time and energy to insure that the success continues to grow. We already have a tour of Australia on the books for September as well as another tour of the UK (our fourth time in seven months), Ireland and Scotland in October. Weíre also working on our first US and Canadian tours, so hopefully those will pan out as well. So Iíll still be coming to your town to kick ass, just not with the WWE, but with the Fozz. I hope youíll come check us outÖyouíre all invited!
Thereís also my weekly XM Radio show, The Rock Of Jericho, on Da Boneyard every Sunday. The show is going to be expanded to 2 hours in the winter as the ratings and the response have been great, so thanks for tuning in!
Iíll also still be a regular on VH1ís The Best Week Ever, so youíll continue to see me on your television screens on a weekly basis, just on a different channel.
I also always get asked when Iím going to get into acting. Truth is, Iíve been working on it for 2 years now. Iíve been studying with my acting coach for the past year and Iíve learned so much about the craft and I canít wait to learn even more. Iíve been auditioning up the ying yang as well. I call this the Summer Of Movies That Chris Auditioned For But Didnít Get. Dukes Of Hazzard, Devilís Rejects, Into The Blue, Longest Yard, Kicking And ScreamingÖ.the list goes on and on. I didnít get discouraged, although working with Jessica Simpson and those Daisy Dukes certainly wouldnít have sucked!!
I did however just shoot my first lead role in the Sci Fi Channel original movie entitled 2Human, which should air in March. It was a huge triumph for me and it really gave me the bug to do more acting. Now Iíll be able to devote more time to making that happen.
Will I make it and be successful in any or all of these fields? I say why not? I learned a long time ago that the only people who say you canít make it in something are the ones who have failed themselves. I know the drive and sacrifice that it takes to make to the top of a given fieldÖ.I plan to use the same tenacity and drive to do it all over again.
I feel like I did when I graduated from high schoolÖexcited to be leaving but nervous about the future. After I went to college (Red River CC represent yo!) and I was preparing to leave Winnipeg for wrestling school, a lot of people thought I was crazy. They said I was too short, too small, too much of a dreamerÖand they may have been right on all accounts. But I found a way to buck the trends and the rules, I never gave up and as a result, I became what I am in the wrestling business.
Care to bet I can do it again? I think I can.
Whether I do achieve success outside of wrestling or I donít, I can say one thing for sureÖIím not retiring from the wrestling business. Too many people over too many years have said that and have constantly returned. Iím not leaving the WWE for good, Iím not leaving wrestling for good. When Iím ready to come back I will. It may be one month, it may be one year, but when the time is right, Iíll know and I will return and be better than ever...I wouldnít think of returning any other way.
You wonít see me doing any conventions or indie shots in the meantime. If Iím going to be in the wrestling biz, it will be with the WWE. Iím a member of the WWE family for the rest of my lifeÖjust like the mafiaÖand I have absolutely nothing bad to say about my company. So you wonít see me doing any shoot interviews either. Why would I? Vince and I have accomplished a lot of awesome things together and I have nothing but respect for him. Heís the best guy Iíve ever worked for, along with Paco Alonso in Mexico and Genchiro Tenryu in Japan. I also enjoyed working with Paul Heyman, who gave me my first break and Eric Bischoff, who gave me my first big money contract. Thanks to them for the opportunities.
Iíd also like to thank my family for always supporting me and continuing to support me. Without their love and guidance, I wouldnít have gotten this far, nor would I have had the guts to make this decision.
I also want to thank all of the guys and girls that Iíve had the pleasure of working with. I respect and revere every one of you and I say thanks for all youíve done for me!
I also want to thank all of you. If it wasnít for you guysÖThe Jerichoholics...always giving me your support, I wouldnít be where I am today. I love you guys and I hope youíll still stop me on the street to take a picture, get an autograph or buy me a beer! Hopefully, youíll continue to support me in my other endeavors and if not, I hope youíll still be around waiting for me when I return to wrestling some day. THANK YOU!!
In the meantime, stay tuned in to this website. Itís going to be receiving a huge facelift in order to include everything that Iíll be up to. Think of it as a Chris Jericho SuperstoreÖone stop shopping daddio! And keep sending your emailsÖI really do read them all and I look forward to staying touch with everyone and hearing youíre thoughts.
So thatís it, thatís all, baby goes to sleep now. Keep in touch and I look forward to seeing you soonÖ.one way or another! But remember, whether I end up getting the lead role in War Of The Worlds 2, or pumping gas at the local Conoco, I am and always will be the Ayatollah Of Rock N Rollah, The Highlight Of The Night, The King Of Bling Bling and the Sexy Beast that you all know that I am, junior!!! See you soonÖ
PS- I always get asked what my favorite matches are, so I thought about it and here are my top 20 in no particular orderÖ
For the record, my favorite opponents in no particular order are Ultimo Dragon, Chris Benoit, The Rock, Christian and Shawn Michaels