Booker T on Jericho: “Now there’s a guy that has always been able to reinvent himself”
On the latest Hall of Fame podcast, Booker T discussed Chris Jericho’s latest reinvention that he’s done as a member of the AEW roster. Jericho is of course reigning as the AEW World Champion and is the head of his own stable, the Inner Circle. Booker pointed to Jericho’s new catchphrases and style as an example of how Jericho is able to keep himself fresh, as he has in New Japan as the Painmaker.
On Jericho’s ability to keep himself fresh: “Now there’s a guy that has always been able to reinvent himself. I don’t know how many times has Chris been able to do this, and do it to the point where people go, ‘Man. This is a new Chris Jericho’…I like his act. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever heard him say ‘Les Champion’ [before now]. Maybe he has…and ‘The Bubbly. A little bit of the Bubbly.’ I hadn’t heard him do any of this new stuff [before].”
On seeing him in the Painmaker gimmick: “When I first saw him in Japan, and he came out and he had the face paint on. And I’m like, ‘What is going on?’ And he had the hat on and whatnot, the spiked jacket. I’m like, ‘what is going on with Chris, man?’ But, it worked, especially over there in Japan. They love the pageantry, man. They love being able to go out and make the fans look at the wrestling so much more than just the wrestling match. It’s always, you see something so different when you watch a New Japan big show in the Tokyo Dome. There’s gonna be somebody coming out dressed so flamboyantly. It’s gonna be, you know…streamers. It’s gonna be a bunch of that kind of stuff.”
On NXT hitting those same beats: “That’s what I think NXT has tapped into also, the pageantry. Because when I went and took my son here when we’re downtown. Man, it’s awesome to actually see the Kairi Sanes come out and have the intros that was almost bigger than life. Almost kind of Las Vegas-like. And I’m like, man, I think that this is what wrestling — I don’t think it was something that was missing, but I think it’s something that we definitely need.”
On Jericho helping keep that style alive: “Man, I think so. I mean, he’s just been able to tap [Into it]. I think when you [have] someone like Chris Jericho. And not just someone just like Chris Jericho, we’ve got so many young guys out there that [are] just looking to come up, they’re looking to find their own niche. They’re looking to, you know, literally create their own identity. And I think if we just sit back a little bit and give them the reins I think to actually do it. I think overproducing sometime can actually handcuff you know young talent more than [help].”