There are very few people in wrestling who can proclaim themselves to be a wizard and get away with it, so just how did Chris Jericho get away with it?
Chris Jericho Has become to professional wrestling what the likes of David Bowie and Madonna were to pop music. While all three are known for being incredibly successful, the trio also reinvented themselves on multiple occasions.
In the cases of Bowie and Madonna, a new album meant a new opportunity to showcase a different aspect of their character, so a new version of themselves was born. With regard to Chris Jericho, wrestling is always evolving and demands that performers adapt or be left behind.
Throughout his career Jericho has regularly switched up his character when required. Even in AEW he’s been ‘Le Champion,’ a wizard, a version of his Lionheart persona, and that’s before really scratching the surface.
One of Jericho’s most popular moments in recent years has been when the star declared himself a wizard after throwing a fireball at Eddie Kingston.
Speaking at The Jericho Chronicles in July with Inside The Ropes (Audio available via Talk Is Jericho) the former AEW World Champion broke down how he came up with the character.
“I’d love to be able to tell you guys that I’m such a genius, that every single thing that’s ever gotten over was a plan that I knew I was going to do. I just told you backstage I’ve become really good at reading the room. What does that mean? When I say something, and I once again like The Wizard, for example, I throw a fireball at Eddie Kingston, and then on commentary, I said because I’m a wizard, and it’s like, because I was thinking don’t wizards throw fireballs and cast spells and sh*t like that?
So a wizard would do that. And then suddenly, I’m reading [social media] because before 10 years ago, if you said something like wizard, you knew it was getting over because people would bring signs in the crowd. Have you ever noticed there’s no signs in the crowd anymore? You know why that is? Because people are too busy doing this [being on their phones]. So they can’t bring a sign. Nowadays, the signs in the crowd are Twitter and Instagram and the kind of the responses that you get.
Wizard right out of the gate, people loved it. They’re making wizard memes, they’re making Gandalf as Jericho and all this other stuff. Now I got a thing, I’m the wizard, okay, I’m a wizard, there you go. And it’s like ‘You should wear a pointed hat and a cloak.’ I’m like, no, no, no, no, you don’t actually become a wizard, because that’s stupid. You call yourself a wizard. And you say with conviction, because the guy the character thinks, thinks he is a wizard. That’s where the success comes in.”
Following victory over Bryan Danielson at All Out, Chris Jericho is set to meet his rival one more time in the semi-finals of the ‘Tournament of Champions’ as AEW looks to decide a new World Champion.
If you use any of the quotes from this article please give a h/t and link back to Inside The Ropes.