“It was never supposed to be Jericho vs. Owens at WrestleMania”

Sep 28, 2017 - by Steve Gerweck


Chris Jericho was a guest on The LAW: Live Audio Wrestling to promote his new book, “No is a Four-Letter Word: How I Failed at Spelling but Succeeded in Life”.

The entire interview can be heard here

Below are some excerpts from the interview discussing the behind-the-scenes for the Festival of Friendship segment and his problems with the “Mitch the Potted Plant” attack on Dean Ambrose last year and how it was handled:

JOHN POLLOCK: What was the build-up like to the Festival of Friendship?

CHRIS JERICHO: The Festival of Friendship is something I had pitched months before. “Friendship the Magician” was something I pitched right off the bat, the dancing girls was something I pitched off the bat, getting thrown through the TV is kind of a homage to me throwing Shawn through the TV. So all this stuff got approved and then finally, we decided to do it in Vegas. But here’s the big thing, the day we had the show, Vince wasn’t there, and they tried to change it to where Kevin would just attack me. And my whole thing was, the whole drama is the revealing of The List of KO and, “Hey, how come by name is on this?” and the looking up and the feeling of, “Oh shit, don’t do it, don’t do it,” and then he attacks. I was telling Triple H, if you watch a horror movie and there’s two guys in a forest and one of them gets his head chopped off from behind, he never saw it coming, there’s no stakes at all. The other turns around the corner and sees the killer with the big knife and he’s like, “Oh shit.” Everyone knows it’s gonna happen before the guy does. And then when the guy notices, he’s done. I said, “This is the Red Wedding. It’s Game of Thrones. It’s the big reveal that you do not expect coming.” I had to fight for that all day long, and there was some real heated debates going on between me and Triple H. I said, “This is the way we’re doing it. It’s the way I explained it to Vince. I’ll call Vince right now while he’s in a plane. I don’t care, I’ll find him. I’ll send a carrier pigeon to get him.” And finally, I think it was just exasperation where they said fine. And then when it worked out afterwards I get nothing but calls and praise and texts. Once again, sometimes you gotta stand up for yourself. I knew that my idea was right. I’m not always right but I knew that I was right. It had to be the slow reveal of everyone in the building knowing that I’m done before it happens.

Working with Kevin, there was never pressure or stakes, we just knew it was going to be good because we had great chemistry. And we knew were we were going. It was never supposed to be Jericho vs. Owens at WrestleMania. I remember going to talk to Vince in June or July to pitch me and Nakamura for WrestleMania that year. And then this Owens thing started and it started going so well I said, “Do you think we can carry this to Mania?” and Vince said no. And then a couple weeks later he said, “We’ll just break you guys up for a bit, just have you not be together every week but we think this should go until Mania.” And it did. It was a great story. Once again, another amazing Jericho angle, and that’s what I think I’m almost famous for and it’s also the best thing for me to sink my teeth into. It’s what I love best about wrestling. The matches themselves are fun but it’s the story and the promos that get you there that really makes me excited about doing this still.

POLLOCK: I thought it was a bit of a throwback to the year prior with Mitch The Potted Plant, which was played for laughs but then there’s that moment where it becomes serious. I felt at that time, the announcers really did a disservice to you two because they were continuing to make it comedy when the comedy had ended.

JERICHO: I told them that after too. I said, “You guys are killing us.” I remember telling Jerry Lawler, “Hey dude, you’re talking about a potted plant. If I hit in you in the head with a potted plant right now it would knock your fucking head off. This would cave your head in. It’s a 40-pound piece of pottery.” And the WWE website, I remember they put up (a tribute to) “Mitch The Potted Plant” and I said, “Take that shit down”. I started swearing because it pissed me off so much. You take away the fact that Ambrose spent a week in the hospital with head injuries from this thing I smashed over his head, and you’re making it into a joke. And that was one of my big pet peeves about that, was the Mitch the Potted Plant thing. It still bothers me to this day because that whole thing started because – I write about it in the book – me and Ambrose were backstage and he was making fun of how shitty my set was, and he said, “I should bring you a potted plant.” And I said, “Yeah you should.” And we had to walk around the arena looking for a potted plant. We went into somebody’s office and basically stole one. He brought it to the ring and then we just kept using it every time. I knew at some point I’d be breaking it over somebody’s head. Originally, it was supposed to be Roman Reigns and then that angle got changed to me and Ambrose and I said, “There’s the irony. I’m breaking his own potted plant that he gave me as a gift over his head.”

The LAW: Live Audio Wrestling airs every Sunday night at Midnight Eastern on TSN 1050 Toronto, TSN 1410 Vancouver and online at www.liveaudiowrestling.com.

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