Chris Jericho Discusses Leaving WWE For Fozzy, Touring, Helping Dolph Ziggler

The Austin Chronicle has a new article online featuring quotes from Chris Jericho. Below is an excerpt:

Austin Chronicle: When you’re thinking, ‘OK, now’s Fozzy time and now’s WWE time,” how do you make that decision?

Chris Jericho: It’s really a decision that’s made for me. Back in the 2000s for the first three Fozzy records, I did the WWE and Fozzy at the same time, which was fine. But when we were doing Chasing the Grail, our last record, in 2009, myself and Rich Ward, my partner in crime, were thinking, ‘We’ve really got to take this to the next level, because this record is great.’ I left WWE when Grail came out, went touring for 16 months, did 15 countries and amassed an even bigger fanbase than we had. It was a real credibility gain for us. Then when we started doing Sin and Bones, as the singer I write the lyrics and I record the vocals, which takes about 15 days. Other than that I had about nine months of doing nothing, so that’s when I decided to come back to the WWE, knowing that when this record came out that I’d be finished for whatever indeterminate amount of time.

AC: How do you compare touring with WWE against touring with a band, just on a day-to-day grind basis?

CJ: It’s probably harder in the WWE, because you’re always alone and by yourself – least that’s the way I travel. You have to arrange your own travel and arrange your own hotels and drive yourself. Whereas when you’re traveling with the band you just get in the van and go. There’s pros and cons to both.

I’ve been on the road since I was 19 years old, so I like being on the road, I enjoy being on the road, I understand the ins and outs of being on the road. So whether it’s with Fozzy or the WWE, I’m comfortable. But it is more fun to travel with the band. You’re with your buds, you have a good time, you relax, and when you’re ready to be by yourself, you just go to your bunk, shut the curtains and you’re fine. You don’t have to worry about going through security or checking bags or getting rental cars. So that’s one cool thing that’s better about traveling with the band, for sure.

AC: How much pressure does that put on you, knowing that this run against Ziggler will be the last memory of people in the ring for you for a while?

CJ: These guys needs guys to work with. Once again, that’s sounding egotistical, but after 22 years of being in this business, but there’s nobody in this company who’s been in the business longer – except for Undertaker. I’ve been wrestling longer than Kane, I’ve been wrestling longer than Triple H. I didn’t request to work with Ziggler. At first, I thought it was Sheamus, than I was supposed to work with Daniel Bryan, and then they just told me, OK, you’re working with Ziggler. I said, ‘Great.’ I will work with anybody, and I will do the absolute best I can to help that. I’ve been through this before. This will be the third time that I’ve left, and this may make people mad, but I’ve never been just a wrestler. I’m an entertainer. I do a lot of different things in that realm. I don’t put myself in a box when it comes. So when I get a chance to work with a guy like Ziggler, I know what I can do with him. I know how good he is. He just needs somebody to help him. And when I’m putting together matches or doing promos with these guys, things that I just see as basics, they still haven’t figured out yet. That’s not a bad thing. That’s just the experience difference, and that’s why I can help, and I think that’s why I can come and go from the WWE for years to come. I’m in the best shape of my life. I feel great. I’m enjoying this run, and if I didn’t have a tour and a record coming out, I would stay. It’s not like I can’t wait to leave – in fact, it’s the complete opposite. I’m a little sad to leave, in one way, but super-excited by the reason why I’m leaving.

I like the idea of passing the torch along and passing the experience along. That’s the way I was trained. I grew up in Japan, and that’s how they do it. Old guys teach the young guys, and that’s the way it is. The business is more important than any single individual, and I’ve always felt that way. Haven’t always been treated that way, but I’ve always felt that way.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

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  • Ace Vivid

    Chris Jericho is truly the best in the world. Hands down. A truly selfless individual.

  • nefty131

    Best in the world at EVERYTHING I DO!

  • Logan_Walker

    I like that despite being held back in the 90s by backstage politics he never became like them when he got over in WWE. I respect him for that.

  • Joe O.

    By far my favorite wrestler of all time! Oh and I like how he mentions the “Passing of the Tourch” line that we keep hearing go around when it comes to this match so I fully expect “Ziggles” to go over Jericho at SS.