Chris Jericho has recalled his more serious demeanour helping him to combat unwanted chants from the crowd as they were forced to listen to what he said.
In 2001 Stone Cold Steve Austin started the ‘What?’ craze by constantly asking other WWE Superstars the one-word question. It soon caught on with fans of Austin and they reciprocated by chanting ‘What?’ at Austin. It soon spread and soon everyone tasked with cutting a promo was battling the chant.
Chris Jericho returned to WWE after a two-year hiatus in 2007. By 2008 he had shed his previous ‘Y2J’ persona as was donning suits as his character became much more serious.
Speaking to Stone Cold Steve Austin on The Broken Skull Sessions, AEW star Jericho discussed this time in his career. Jericho noted that his more deliberate styles of speaking helped silence WWE crowds.
“I watched a movie that came out at the time called No Country For Old Men. Coen brothers movie. Javier Bardem was nominated for an Oscar for Anton Chigurh. The character is very calm. [softly spoken] ‘I’m gonna kill you, here’s the reason why.” Most people are like [shouts] ‘I’m gonna kill you!’”
“I took it down. I remember sometimes talking so quietly that people would say ‘speak up we can’t hear you.’ I’m like OK, now you have to listen. That’s how I got rid of your stupid ‘What?’ chant so many times. By speaking so softly that you can’t chant ‘What?’ because if you’re going to listen to what I say, you have to listen and pay attention. So those things combined created this whole new character that no one had seen before, and it really worked.”
During his highly anticipated appearance on Austin’s show, Jericho also discussed when the penny dropped for him that his time in WWE was coming to an end.