Chris Jericho doesn't just inspire the future generations, he inspired his AEW Full Gear opponent.
MJF recently posted a photo of his 13th birthday, which featured mock matchups of himself and wrestlers of that time. As it turns out, Chris Jericho was one of those names. After going strong for the 20 years before that day, he's still at it 11 years later. MJF spoke with Fightful and talked about the inspiration Jericho provided.
"I had a bar mitzvah, it was called Maximania. I took the WWE logo and flipped it into an M. You know who else did that? Yeah, the Miz, and he did it four years after I invented it. We’re not going to get into that. It’s cool. He did his own thing with it. Was it upsetting? Should I have trademarked it? Probably. But, it is what it is. Mike Mizanin, hell of a guy, love his show on E!, But, yeah, I had one of the tables named after Jericho. I’ve always been a fan of CJ. I think CJ is a tremendous performer. I see a lot of people claiming we have similarities, and I do find it interesting because when Christopher was asked the same question, ‘Do you see the similarities between you and MJF?’ His response was, ‘I was no where near as good at the age of 24 as MJF is. I was working moose lodges in Canada.’ Which is true. What I want people to understand is, I pick and chose little aspects of people’s games ‘cause I’m a student of the game. Chris Jericho is most certainly one of the people that I definitely studied an awful amount of," MJF stated
MJF isn't one to hand out compliments, but he respects those that have come before them -- at least for what they accomplished. He studies so many wrestlers from yesteryear, something he believes sets him apart from others.
"Well, I’ve said Roddy Piper a billion times. Ric Flair. Tully Blanchard. It’s unfortunate that me and him had to have a spat back in the day, but I think if me and him talked it out, it’d be fine. I mean, the list honestly goes on and on. Nick Bockwinkle. I grow exhausted with the examples simply because I watch so much professional wrestling. I watch Mid-South Wrestling. I watch Global. I watch Smokey Mountain. I watch AWA. I watch World Class. I watch anything I can get my hands on from, pretty much, from ’92 downward simply because so many people in my generation don’t concern themselves with that time frame because they feel they can get nothing from it. I find that laughable.There’s a reason why every single time I’m in the ring it seems I’m unique. I feel like a throwback of sorts. I feel different. Whereas every else is kinda going out there and they’re trying to do sequences as fast as they possible can, and they’re trying to hurt their opponent by doing flips and dives. It was never my M.O. I believe Chris Jericho is somebody that was able to mix both the old school and the new school, and that’s something I pride myself on as well," MJF stated.
Love him or hate him, MJF is a natural. At only 24 years old, he's headlined All Elite Wrestling pay-per-view shows, and taken on sure-fire hall of famers. While tooting his own horn, he broke down how exactly his in-ring aptitude works.
"I mean, I’m a prodigy. It’s the equivalent to when you hand a kid some old school music, they hear the music, they sit down, they play it perfectly. I was the same way. I watched this wrestling. I absorbed it like an absolute sponge. Inside the hallowed halls, the second I stepped foot in that ring and I locked up with somebody, I already realized I was already on a different level than everybody else. So did Curt Hawkins and so did Pat Buck. At that point it was really their job just to take this clay and try to mould it to the best of their abilities. From there it was pretty much gangbusters," he closed.
He'll have an opportunity to make even more of a mark at AEW Full Gear.
You can see our full interview with MJF at the top of the page. He'll be taking on Chris Jericho at AEW Full Gear on November 7 at Daily's Place in Jacksonville, Florida.