There was no Royal Rumble surprise. He didn’t headline (or participate in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal) at WrestleMania. And apparently, there still aren’t plans to return.
But Monday on Busted Open Radio, former WWE superstar and current Fozzy front man Chris Jericho did present a scenario where he’d look to get back into the squared circle.
“I would love to work with Daniel Bryan as a heel,” Jericho revealed to Doug Mortman and Dave LaGreca. “That would be a reason for Chris Jericho to come back. Because I know exactly what I’d want to do with him.”
Jericho stopped by the Busted Open studios to promote his current tour with Fozzy; a tour that includes stops along the East Coast, most recently in New York. (His band also just released a new single, Lights Go Out, which you can listen to on YouTube.) And in case you haven’t heard of Fozzy, they’re not exactly a little side project for Jericho. His most recent stint with the WWE ended partially because of a tour with the band, and they’ve played with Metallica, Shinedown, Godsmack, Buck Cherry, and other major metal groups.
That didn’t preclude Jericho, who did say he prefers “Fozzy” chants over “Y-2-J” chants at shows, from talking a little pro wrestling with the fearless hosts of Busted Open, though. Among the topics? The (spoiler!) end of Undertaker’s streak.
“I would’ve hated it with a passion if Undertaker retired with the streak intact,” Jericho said. “I would’ve hated it. That is the most cheesy, non-committal, worst way for something like that [to end]. When someone retires, you should never win your retirement match. Like when Trish Stratus retired with the title, I hated it. That’s not how wrestling works.”
It was such a given that Taker would always win. Those matches never meant anything after a while. They were so good with Shawn, and Hunter, and Punk. But you knew, you knew, he would never lose. And that’s why the match he had with Brock didn’t get much of a reaction. Because everyone knew he was gonna win.
And Jericho didn’t have a problem that is was Lesnar, a blockbuster part-timer, ending the streak.
“He was in the right time at the right place,” Jericho said. “I don’t think Taker – I’m not gonna say he couldn’t – but I think he knows that to have this five-star match every year… Father Time comes along, and you just can’t do it anymore. And you watched Taker’s match, and he looked like he was hurting a bit.
“So to me, was Brock the right guy?” Jericho continued. “He’s a legitimate bad ass, he’s intimidating, he looks like he could beat the Undertaker, he looks like he could eat any of us alive. It’s like, ‘They should’ve waited for Roman Reigns,’ or something. Maybe Taker didn’t have another year in him. Maybe he said, ‘This is the time. And this is done.’ Because you know what, if he didn’t wanna do it, it wouldn’t have happened.”
In fact, Jericho said, if Lesnar hadn’t beaten Undertaker, the WWE would be losing big-time on their investment into the former UFC champion. Because after a slow return and a year where he lost just about as many matches as he won, Lesnar had devolved into “just another guy on the show.”
“If Brock loses to Undertaker, end of story,” Jericho said. “So I think, when you really analyze it, which is what we do as fans, it really was a pretty cool decision.”
Speaking of decisions, the face of the WWE corporation in recent months has been both Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. As Mortman pointed out, Vince McMahon didn’t make an appearance in the days leading up to WrestleMania. Don’t be fooled though, said Jericho: Vince is still in the game.
“Vince is still the boss behind the scenes. He still calls every shot and makes every decision,” Jericho said. “Vince is still the boss, 1,000-million percent. And he will be until the day he dies.”
Before they let Jericho go – his band has a show Tuesday at 7 pm ET at Gramercy Theatre – LaGreca asked what the former undisputed WWE champion thought of CM Punk’s abrupt exit from the business. Jericho recalled Punk saying how much he had grown to “hate” wrestling, and even compared Punk’s exit to his own 2 1/2-year hiatus following 2005. According to Jericho, he burnt out, mentally, and had to step away; Jericho suspects the same is true of Punk.
“I’m convinced that it’s real,” Jericho said. “I don’t think it’s a work in any way, shape or form. Because if it was, he would’ve come back in WrestleMania or in Chicago.”
And if you run into Punk or Jericho? Don’t get your hopes up that they’ll spill the beans if or when they plan on returning.
“People say, ‘When are you coming back?’ I’m not sure yet, but if I was, I’m not telling anybody.”
Watch the full interview below, and for more Jericho, be sure to subscribe to LaGreca’s second favorite radio program, Jericho’s podcast, Talk Is Jericho.