Ever the master of reinvention, Chris Jericho explained how he takes inspiration from the legendary David Bowie.
Throughout his decades-long career, Chris Jericho has constantly worked to reinvent himself and keep evolving as a character. Now AEW’s resident wizard, the former AEW World Champion has been Le Champion, the Painmaker, the best in the world at what he does, and of course Y2J.
Speaking on the True Geordie podcast, Chris Jericho spoke about how his David Bowie fandom provides inspiration for his constant character evolution and keeping himself from becoming a nostalgia act.
“So I am a huge David Bowie fan, not necessarily knowing every Bowie song and every Bowie album, but the just the concept of David Bowie always reinventing himself. You look at Ziggy Stardust to Aladdin Sane to Thin White Duke to Tin Machine to The Button Eye. It was always something new, always reinventing. You could dress up as David for Halloween and I could dress up as David for Halloween, and everyone is wearing a different costume, but you know who it is.
“That’s something I wanted to do with Chris Jericho. You could dress up as Chris Jericho for every Halloween, I post it every year, and there’s always different versions of Jericho. There’s 10 different versions you can dress up as, and that comes from Bowie. I never wanted to be a nostalgia act, even 20 years ago on Raw.
“I was looking at Raw and SmackDown and it’s live twice a week every week. That’s like 104 shows a year, if I am doing the same thing every show then it gets boring very quickly and you become nostalgia. If I leave the company for a while and come back and do the same thing then it’s boring. So I never wanted to do that. On the other side of the coin I change and evolve when I start feeling a little bit stale. I always call it reading the room, how are the fans reacting?”
Chris Jericho continued, noting that social media helps to gauge fan reactions and let him know when something needs to change. He also made it clear that once he’s moved on from a character, he never goes back to it.
“Social media is now a really valuable tool to see how people are reacting to what you are doing. You know people complain and that’s fine, they are always angry about something. But when they start talking in a way where they start to get bored of me, then time to change it up. I never have a problem with it.
“People are like oh I love Y2J and I love the list, those are great moments but I will never go back to it. It’s done, if I go back to it, it doesn’t feel right. It doesn’t make it any less cool, but you have to move forward and I have to move forward with everything that I do and have these great moments in the past, but they stay in the past because they are a product of their time.
“I couldn’t do Y2J in 2022, because that was a product of 1999. When I did the suit thing in 2008, I said to commentary ‘I don’t ever want you to f*cking call me Y2J ever again. That’s done, we need to move forward and let people know this is a new character and a new guy.”
If you use any part of this transcription, please credit the True Geordie podcast and link back to this article with a h/t to Inside the Ropes.