Chris Jericho details the events leading up to WrestleMania 25.
At WrestleMania 25, Chris Jericho battled Ricky Steamboat, Roddy Piper, and Jimmy Snuka in a match that was originally planned to be Jericho against actor Mickey Rourke. In the latest clip posted by Inside The Ropes, Jericho discussed why the match with Rourke was pulled despite Rourke issuing the challenge.
"(After Royal Rumble 2009) I get a text from my cousin Chad and he's like, 'Hey man, why is Mickey Rourke calling you out at the SAG Awards red carpet?" I'm like, 'What, Mickey Rourke? What are you talking about? Mickey Rourke called me out, why?' He sent me a clip of it and that's when word had gotten around. Vince called me into his office and said, 'You're going to have a match with Mickey Rourke at WrestleMania.' I thought, 'I can have a fucking match with this guy," Jericho recalled. "He knows the concept of wrestling. I can do a match with him with bells and whistles.' Then, because he called me out at the SAG Awards, his agents flipped out. (They thought), 'You're not gonna win an Oscar if you're involved with WWE, the dirty scumbags. You can't do this match. You have to pull out.' Vince was so mad because he wasn't going to announce the match until after the Oscars. But Rourke, I think he got excited, maybe he was a bit loaded, he announced it himself. And Vince was like, 'Fuck.' As soon as he announced it, the match was off."
Jericho continued, discussing how they salvaged the angle by inserting legends into the match.
"Vince's motto is, 'Take a negative and turn it into a positive.' The idea of The Wrestler is guys who hang on too long. And I would now wrestle three guys who hung on too long; Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka, and Greg Valentine. God bless all of them, but at the time, none of them could do anything. Piper was limited, Snuka could hardly walk, and Valentine never did anything. Not that I couldn't adapt, but I wanted work. I told Vince, 'This match is not going to be good.' He said, 'It's not supposed to be good. It's an attraction.'"
Despite Vince calling the bout "an attraction," Jericho wanted to live up to his reputation in the ring and still deliver a passable match.
"I started thinking, maybe we replace somebody," said Jericho. "Vince's rules were that the guy had to be in WrestleMania 1 and had to be in the Hall of Fame. These are non-existent rules, just in Vince's mind. I suggested taking Greg Valentine out and putting Jerry Lawler in. But Vince's rules. So I said, 'What about Steamboat?' He was going into the Hall of Fame that year. So, Vince switched it. We did the match and it turned out to be great and Steamboat was so good that Vince signed him to be a player/coach and we ended up having six or seven more matches."
Jericho defeated the three legends, but Mickey Rourke got the last laugh, laying out Jericho and standing tall to end the segment.
You can view the entire clip with Jericho in the video above.