WWE United States Champion Chris Jericho recently joined Busted Open Radio to accept his 2016 Comeback Of The Year Award, and it seems that when it comes to how "over" he's been able to get "The List"--not to mention a laundry list of catchphrases--he's almost as surprised as the rest of us.
"The List, 'Stupid Idiot,' 'Gift Of Jericho,' 'Drink It In,' all that sort of stuff, that used to get heels heat. If you go back and watch after I turned on AJ Styles back in March or whatever it was, you see me getting heat by calling the crowd 'Stupid Idiots.' People legitimately booing and 'The Gift of Jericho,' what an arrogant thing to say," Jericho said. "But then after a couple of months everyone started loving it. Then it became like these beloved catch phrases that people would pop for, and that's when I kind of started having fun with it, like I'd say 'Quiet' like 100 times in a row to see what happens, trying to get the word 'It' over. The List came up and that was really my co-writer for most of the year, Jimmy Jacobs, he actually came up with The List Of Jericho. We were like, 'Oh let's give it a try' and after the first night it really worked. After that I was like 'Let's actually get a list.' If you see the first couple of weeks it was just a clipboard, and then Vince (McMahon) was actually off for a few weeks because I think that's when he tore his quad or something along those lines, so I went to the props department and I said, 'can you make me a list but I want it made out of steel, I want it to be thick like a tablet. So if you hit somebody with it, it'll knock em out.'"
It takes a real set of grapefruits to start running creative ideas up the flagpole while the boss is out convalescing after a debilitating injury, but lucky for Jericho, Vince thought it was a great idea.
"When Vince came back I kind of told him, 'here's this list that I got and I had it made so I can use it as a foreign object.' He thought it was great," said Jericho. "The first idea was for me to take it to the ring and use it for finishes, but he didn't want that, he just wanted it to be this entity. Next thing you know The List Of Jericho is more over than 80 percent of the roster. Now everyone wants to be on the list and the only way to get heat off of it is if I tease putting people on the list, and then don't put them on the list. That actually gets heat now."
Two decades in the business has taught Jericho a lot of lessons, none more important than this: Never look a gift horse in the mouth. Or in this case, a gift gimmick.
"You just never know what's going to work and what's not going to work, and doing this as long as I've been doing it you have to recognize when something is gonna catch. Like I said it is like catching lightning in a bottle and when that happens you just want to stick with it."
Jericho also talked about whether he thinks 2016 was his best year ever and why he's "The Master Of Puppets." You can check out Jericho's full interview on Busted Open Radio at this link.