Chris Jericho Talks TNA, Matt Hardy, And The Creation Of "The List"

WWE Superstar Chris Jericho was a guest this past weekend on The LAW (Live Audio Wrestling). You can see submitted highlights below:

On Whether TNA Can Recover from the Present Controversy:

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"My heart, as a wrestler and as a fan, yes. The worst thing that can happen and I think even fans that do nothing but (expletive) about TNA would admit the worst thing that can happen would be for TNA to go out of business. I think for the boys and the whole industry it would not be good and the thing is, I was kind of looking forward to maybe a Billy Corgan taking over and giving it a fresh coat of paint and trying things a different way because I think that's what they have to do.

"I was disappointed, I know Billy, I know Billy's passion, I know how Billy is, he's kind of like the reverse me. He's the only other guy that I know that would legitimately – he made it huge in one industry and has really made a lot of inroads in a completely different industry because he has a passion for both, for music and wrestling. I wanted to see him take over. Sometimes, you have to gut everything. Look at what the UFC just did, the company bought it for 4 billion and just basically got rid of everybody that was in the system. That's how big business works so I would have liked to see everybody get cleared out and start anew with the roster they have. It's not going to happen so is it just more of the same, I don't know but like I said to me the worst thing that could happen would be for them to go out of business, it's just bad for everybody."

On the Tremendous Recent Success of Matt Hardy:

"… I'm all about reinvention. I'm really proud of Matt for doing that because I think a couple years ago you probably thought Matt is a little bit washed up, he's done and here he is the hottest guy on the show. It's not getting old, the trick or treat thing they did the other day, Treat or Delete was awesome. What happens when you reinvent yourself and change your character is it's a little bit of uncharted territory but once you start to figure out what makes that character tick and start figuring out what people are responding too and really fall into it, you could do no wrong. That's something I have been doing over the last 5, 6 months with this character that I'm playing now in WWE and that's the same with Matt in TNA, he can do anything he wants and he can get it over because people know what he's up to. If I told Mike Bennett to make green beans the centerpiece of a promo, it might not work. With Matt Hardy, he's thinking of stuff like that. People say Jericho got a potted plant over, a key, a clipboard, a scarf and that's the kind of thing, give me anything you want and I'll get it over because I know what this character is at this point. That's a very rare thing, to really have no boundaries in what you're doing as a performer. When you can kind of fix in to that gold, so to speak, people take notice and that's kind of made TNA a cool thing.

"We were in the sumo arena this past July having a WWE show and I had Wi-Fi and we were all gathered around my computer to watch the Final Deletion. I'm talking the entire dressing room, John Cena, AJ Styles, everyone was trying to crowd around and watch it and I wouldn't let anybody watch it if they didn't see it from the start so we had 3 or 4 viewings of the damn thing and that's before our show for a sold out crowd in Japan. When was the last time you heard anything involving TNA getting that kind of a buzz? I'm pulling for TNA, I have been from the start and hopefully they're able to change things around and make it something viable once again."

On His Current Run in WWE and The Creation of "The List":

"I think when I turned heel and it seems like such a long time ago, it might almost seem that I'm not telling the truth but go back and watch when I turned on AJ Styles and I talked about giving him the Gift of Jericho, drink it in man, that got huge boos. Big, big boos. The scarf, when I started wearing the scarf before I turned heel, people were hating it, that's so stupid, what is he doing? He looks ridiculous. The stupid idiot, when I said stupid idiot, that used to get major heat but what happens is those things become so entertaining that people start embracing it to where now stupid idiot is a term of endearment. The gift of Jericho, drink it in man, gets a huge response.

"So what happened was the gift of Jericho and I wish I could take credit for saying I came up with it but Jimmy Jacobs, who has become a writer in WWE, his name is Chris Scobille but his wrestler name is Jimmy Jacobs, no stranger to anybody who is a fan of Ring of Honor or any of those big independent companies. He said I've got this idea of the List of Jericho and you put a couple names on it. Oh yeah, that's a great idea and we did it. Of course you do it once and it was kind of funny, that's pretty funny, let's do it again. So we do it again the next week, it gets a little bit of a buzz and then I go to the props truck and say can you make me big, thick list in case I want to use it to hit somebody over the head with and engrave something on. Then, they just put a red piece of paper on it that said the List of Jericho. Meanwhile, this thing is growing. Then, the one week where I said you just made the list and people cheered, it's like holy (expletive) this is not what we expected. Then, the week we were in there with New Day and I put all three of them on the list, I said the secret is when I put you on the list, you have to sell it like it's a horrible thing and Woods was great. If people are laughing at it, then it doesn't get over but because it's a serious thing, to be on the list is horrible then suddenly we have this whole new world of stuff to deal with.

"I was talking to Vince the other day and I said the list is more over than half the roster and he said yeah, I wish the list could work. The entity of this thing that doesn't even exist and is now a character on the show. The best gimmicks and best things that work always happen organically. You can't shove something down people's throats. It just happens and it becomes a thing. The only thing I can compare this to is the angle I had with Shawn Michaels back in 2008. That was supposed to be just a one night thing that turned into a 7 month angle, culminating in a battle for the world heavyweight championship. That was not supposed to happen, that was never the plan. It was nothing more than a drop of the bucket sort of thing and that's kind of what this whole character has been, especially the list. Now, the other day when I came out with the list, it's like people are going nuts for it. Just a quick story, I was in Edmonton and Calgary the other day. I was in Edmonton, still a heel so I've got to be a heel, I don't want to be a cool heel and I don't want to embrace it because then I'm a baby face so I'm still doing what I can to stay a heel and I'm doing good. I'm threatening to fight Wayne Gretzky, I'm doing all this stuff in Edmonton, I go are you going to boo me, you know what happens when you boo me, you just made the list and suddenly, people just pop huge. So what do I do? The next night in Calgary, I start insulting the Harts, I'm going to beat up every Hart family member, girls, guys, kids included. Big boos. You know what happens when you boo me? People are starting to build. Oh, you thought you were going to be on the list? No, I'm sorry, you're not worthy of being on the list. The fine people of Edmonton last night, they belong on the list. Calgary, no chance and that got boos so now not being on the list is the new being on the list and I did that last night on Raw for the first time where I refused to put Roman on the list and I refused to put anyone in Hartford on the list. That made me a heel for the night so you just never really know what's going to get over but you have to take advantage of it when it does."

On Getting Heel Heat and Insulting The United States:

"Once again, Vince will say that you're the only guy that can get away with this stuff because it's corny but it's working, it's corny in a good way. Vince hates the xenophobia of America sucks or you guys are stupid idiots but it works, especially when I'm in there with Roman Reigns. Listen, the guy is an amazing performer, he's a great worker, I would work with him every night of the year if I could but still people boo him because it's almost like the John Cena thing where that's the cool thing to do. I think if you actually said why don't you like Roman Reigns, people wouldn't even be able give you an answer, it's just the cool thing to do is boo him. I know that but I also know it doesn't take much to have them cheer him, as long as I just do what I do. Okay, what gets me cheered, putting you on the list? You're not on the list. What would get me booed? Saying I don't like America, I have no cares for anybody in America, I'm from Canada and we're going to take this back to Canada make it the Canadian title. It's easy heat but it works and towards the end of the night, the same thing that happens every time with Roman, they might be booing at first but it's not long. They end up cheering for Roman. They might cheer for Jericho for a bit but at the end of the night, there going nuts for him and I think I'm one of the few guys on the roster that can elicit that, along with Rusev for basically doing a similar thing. There's always a way to get heat, as long as you don't get too far up your own rear end and realize holy (expletive), I'm so popular, people love me, you're still a heel and until that shoe drops, it's my job to do anything I can and to remain a heel. If that means turning the tables and not giving people the catchphrase that I know they're going to pop for, I'd be a mark for myself if I did because if I'm not supposed to be getting cheers, I'm supposed to be getting boos for as long as I possibly can."

You can listen to the full show at this link.

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