Chris Jericho recently took to his podcast, Talk Is Jericho, and discussed several professional wrestling topics. One such topic was the hilarious story of how “Y2J” first met Stone Cold Steve Austin. This came during a time where Jericho worked in WCW and found himself sharing a plane with several WWE guys:
“I met [Austin] on a plane one time and [Austin] gave me the greatest line of all time. No, [Austin was not rude]. It was a great line! I was walking on the plane. It was one of those rare moments when you would see WWE and WCW on the same plane.
“And [Austin] walked by me and [Austin] said, ‘hey’. I only knew Steve Austin. I was like, ‘hey,’ he was like, ‘hey, there’s a gay guy on the plane.’ I said, ‘really?’ He goes, ‘yeah, give me a kiss and I’ll tell you who it is.'”
Later on Jericho would make the switch over to WWE and would join the ranks of Austin, The Rock, and Triple H. He found out right away that new heels weren’t allowed to call out guys such as Undertaker, Rock, or Austin in promos:
“I came in as a heel, so I had no problem. I didn’t know you weren’t supposed to talk s–t about The Undertaker in a promo or talk bad about Steve Austin in a promo! That’s what heels do to babyfaces! Right? But I learned very quickly that that’s not what heels do when they first come in.
“I had no idea! Nobody ever taught me that in WCW. They didn’t even tell me how to bump and feed a comeback. I had been in WCW for three years and I had no idea what that even meant as crazy as it sounds right now.”
Jericho also discussed changing the way people saw him, coming from WCW as one of the main guys in the Cruiserweight Division:
“I knew I can’t win with [Triple H] and DX, and Rocky was always cool and [Austin] was in and out. [Austin was] always on your own, but [he was] always cool to me. But what I did was I worked really hard always, but I knew if I could get over with the bullpen, with the mid level guys, that would bleed up to the top.
“Bob Holly, those type of guys, JBL, Bradshaw at the time, working with those types, Rikishi, having great matches night after night, after night, with those guys, where I was programmed, word gets around, ‘hey, that guy’s not an asshole. You guys are talking s–t about him, but he’s really good and he’s a really good guy.’ That really helped to alleviate some of the tension that was there.”
“Y2J” also revealed that the original inspiration for “The Highlight Reel” came from Gene Okerlund:
“My initial idea was learning from one of the greatest, I don’t know what you would call him, backstage interviewers, was Gene Okerlund who could lead you through a backstage promo even if you didn’t know what you were doing. Right?
“My idea when I started the Highlight Reel was I wanted to be the Gene Okerlund, have guys that didn’t get promo time, and let me do an improv promo. Let’s see what they’ve got. Of course, that did not fly with Vince. He wanted an actual promo segment with top level guys.”
You can listen to Jericho’s full episode of Talk Is Jericho by clicking this link here.