Rhino on Why His Most Recent WWE Run Wasn’t More Successful

Jan 6, 2020 - by James Walsh

On the latest Talk is Jericho, Rhino spoke with Chris Jericho about his recent WWE run and how the company pushed to re-sign him despite his desire to leave. The Impact Wrestling star left WWE in July of 2019, turning down a bigger contract offer to go elsewhere. Speaking with Jericho, he said that he felt his most recent run was partially hampered by his attention being split while he was running for Michigan state representative and talked about how big of an offer WWE made to re-sign him.

Highlights from the discussion, and the full podcast, are below:

On his most recent WWE run: “You know, you reflect. So I’m thinking to myself, ‘Okay, my last run in WWE was for three years, a three-year contract. And I’m thinking, ‘Okay well, why wasn’t it more successful?’ You know, like I said. I mean, they had me on the road and everything … I looked it at it, like — when I was going in, I didn’t go in with enough steam. You know, like territories, when you go to a new territory, you usually go in all tanned up. [chuckles] And jacked up, and stuff. So anyways, I’m like, ‘Okay well, what was wrong? What did I do wrong?’ And I think what it was is, I was working so hard on the campaign. Not just on knocking on doors, you have to file with the campaign finance committee and all that stuff. So there’s a lot of detailed work trying to get your message and all that stuff. And then, getting ready for one opponent in the next round.

“So I realized my mistakes, and then — you know, the run there, I enjoyed it because I was working with [Heath] Slater. And he’s just a funny guy … So that was all enjoyable, but there’s a few things I wish I would have done differently to make it more of a successful run as far as being — whether on TV more. Maybe helping the guys more, men and women out behind the scenes. So I think — but think I did influence quite a few people there in a positive light.”

On if WWE made a big pitch to keep him: “Yeah. They actually doubled the downside. And my thought is, let’s face it. I only have so many years left. Hopefully I can get eight more years out of this thing. And 10 more years out of the gimmick table. [laughs] But it’s one of those things where they obviously want to keep people, so companies like AEW [can’t get them].

“Because you and I both know, when a company goes to a toy manufacturer or a video game company or TV networks overseas, and says ‘Okay, well we have this product. Can you get behind and invest millions of dollars?’ They’re gonna say ‘Okay well, what guys do you have?’ And then a lot of them are ignorant to the talent that’s coming up and how good they are. They just want to know ‘How many years have they been on TV’ and all that stuff, so you need named value talent. Even if they don’t know the name. All they see is how many years have they been on TV. You know? And then that’s why they want to invest, and a lot of people know — like, Eric Bischoff was talking about that. And you know, it’s like ‘Okay well, I’ve got these guys. They can help out the younger talent. Are they willing to help out the younger talent? And then I can sell TV deals.’ So they’re gonna pay for themselves just like that. So I think that’s why it’s very important, if you’re WWE, to keep the talent. So it’ll affect other companies.”

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