In 2016, Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho started teaming up together and quickly became the most popular act in WWE. This program gave birth to “The List of Jericho” and the “IT” gags and Jericho completely reinvented his character once again.
Following this run, Jericho decided not to re-sign with WWE and headed to NJPW where he became the IWGP Intercontinental Champion. He did return to WWE for RAW’s 25th Anniversary special show but that was his final appearance in the company before heading to AEW.
On Saturday Night Special #17, Chris Jericho revealed that he actually had plans to retire much earlier but his storyline with Kevin Owens made him fall in love with wrestling all over again.
Jericho said that it all began in 2015 when he did less time on TV and more time on House Shows. He said that he felt less pressure and started having fun once again.
I was planning on retiring years earlier but I just started having fun again. It all started when I just did the house shows [with WWE] in 2015. That’s when I thought, ‘Oh, I’ll probably just wind down and do house shows for a while.’ Then I realized, yeah, these are fun [without] the pressure, not being on TV was amazing.
He then went on to reveal that he was originally slated to do a 3-month stint upon returning to the company. Vince McMahon just called him back and had him do a program with Dean Ambrose and that was supposed to be it.
However, that is when he ran into Kevin Owens and they just hit it off together right away. Y2J said that he saw a lot of himself in The Prizefighter and their team-up made him love working again.
And then I went back for one more little stint. I went back and it was actually supposed to be for a 3-month stint… In that 3-month span, I think I was only going to work until WrestleMania or whatever it was. I think Vince said, ‘Just come back and do a run, we’ll figure it out.’ I think t was to do something with Ambrose, that’s what it was.
And I came back and I started having so much fun, and then I met Kevin Owens. We had a great chemistry, we clicked right away, and I was like, ‘This guy gets it. He’s a lot like me, like, he doesn’t take things seriously but he takes his work seriously. He’s not afraid to look himself look stupid if it’s willing to get a reaction. That’s when the whole Jericho/Owens best friends thing happened, and that’s when I was like, ‘This is awesome’.
Jericho went on to talk about how he would like to contribute to the business once his in-ring career is finally done. He said that he would love to commentate and become a “consultant”.
The Ayatollah of Rock N’ Rolla said that he plans to keep entertaining the fans until the day he leaves “this mortal coil”.
I don’t know when I’m going to retire. But when I do, I would love to continue being involved in commentary and being a consultant. I don’t want to be an Executive Vice President, I don’t want to be a writer. I’d love to be a consultant. And obviously, [touring with] Fozzy, man. That’s the best thing about being with Fozzy, we can do this until we’re 77-years-old like The Stones. Also, I would continue doing stuff like Saturday Night Special, and Talk Is Jericho, and there’s a lot of cool acting things coming up too. So, I will be entertaining you until the day I leave this mortal coil.
Thank you to Wrestling Inc for the quotes.