Former WWE Superstar and Dancing with the Stars star Chris Jericho recently spoke to IGN about his future with WWE, his experience on ABC’s hit reality series, and his thoughts on his close friend Edge retiring.
IGN: You had a bunch of your WWE comrades in the crowd (at DWTS) there cheering you on. That must have felt great.
Jericho: It was cool. And it’s funny because at first there were going to be a lot more. For the first couple weeks there were a lot of people and then there wasn’t for a while because I think when the ratings for the show came in, I think the WWE got in trouble a little bit from the USA network. Because having them be there was, in a sense, promoting the show that runs head to head with RAW. But it was nice. It was a great show of solidarity and support from my peers. And a lot of people ask “What do the wrestling fans think of this?” but there never really was anybody ball-busting me because from the very first week they felt I could do this. I almost kind of got too good too early. I think, like, my second week Quickstep – had I done that in week 6, I would have got 10’s. But at that point in time you weren’t allowed to give 10’s. It was too early in the competition. I kind of consider myself to be a pioneer. Not only as a wrestler, but in rock n’ roll. Because I’m the first wrestling guy and the first rocker who’s done the show. And I think it tears down some of the boundaries there. I think you’re going to see more rock stars and wrestlers do it because it’s a great opportunity and it’s a lot of fun. And it really does push you as a performer. And I think that’s what you look for.
IGN: Well, that sort of feeds into my next question which is “when are you headed back to the WWE?” You said not until you can do something new with your character.
Jericho: I don’t want to go back and do the same thing. And do the same character I was doing last time. You constantly have to reinvent yourself. It’s kind of a strange analogy but I think you’ll pick it up when I say it – I always consider myself to be the Madonna of wrestling. And what I mean by that is “constantly re-inventing yourself.” Every album Madonna does, she morphs into new styles of music and new looks. And when you work for the WWE, you work 52 weeks out of the year and on TV every week. You can’t look the same or act the same every week. It gets boring. And I think that’s why I’ve had such longevity as a performer and was always the guy to watch because people wanted to see what I did next. I even did that on Dancing with the Stars. And you have to do that or else you become predictable. And that’s the worst thing you can become when you’re in show business.
IGN: I wanted to get your thoughts on Edge’s retirement, which came as a shock to everyone.
Jericho: I think it’s one of those things that a lot of people forget about wrestling, which is that even though it’s show business it’s physically taxing. I’m actually surprised that more people don’t get seriously hurt in the ring. And I’m thankful that it doesn’t happen. But Edge has been battling those problems for years and years and it was a shock and it’s sad, but I look at the bright side, which is that at least they caught it before something more serious happened. Because this is a very physical, dangerous business and I think it gets forgotten with all the pomp and circumstance sometimes. So once in a while you get moments like with Edge where you remember just how real it is.
I mean, I hate it when people use the word “fake” to describe wrestling. Yeah, it’s show business and it’s pre-determined, but it’s not like we have stunt men in there doing all our routines for us. You’re out there really paying the price physically and mentally too. Edge is one of the greats and I’m sure he’ll have a job in the WWE for as long as he wants. He’s very smart. He understands the business. I’m just glad he didn’t get seriously hurt and I’m sure he’ll be involved in the business in a lot of ways from now on.