Chris Jericho has revealed that he was once slated to appear in a huge WrestleMania main event, only to be replaced in the lead up to the event.
After a three-year stint in WCW where he won the United States and Cruiserweight Championship’s, Chris Jericho arrived in the WWF in August 1999. While the star was immediately popular with fans, he wouldn’t win a World Championship until two years later.
However, in those two years Jericho had repeated brushes with the main event scene, even if he didn’t become a fully-fledged main event Superstar.
Despite this, Jericho has now revealed that he had been scheduled to feature in the WrestleMania main event only eight months after arriving in the company.
Speaking on The Kurt Angle Show, available via AdFreeShows, Jericho explained that original plans would have seen him face Triple H, The Rock and the Big Show for the WWF Championship at WrestleMania 2000. He even showed off promotional material which featured him alongside the stars who did eventually feature in the match.
“The original plan for that WrestleMania, if you remember, it was a four-way title match with a McMahon in every corner,” recalled Chris Jericho.
“And it was Rock, Big Show, Triple H and Mick Foley, you know, Vince, Shane, Linda and Stephanie with whoever they were with. The original plan for that match was the four-way was Hunter, Rock, Big Show, and Jericho. And if you think I’m just saying that because I heard rumours or someone told me, they actually made promotional pieces for the match.
And this is kind of like the press kit for WrestleMania 2000; it was what they called it.”
(You can check out the pictures in the video version of The Kurt Angle Show, which will be out on Sunday).
Jericho explained that while he was never explicitly told he was going to be part of the match, he was aware of the promotional material being made.
“I was never officially told that I was in the match, but why would I be there if it wasn’t true,” added Jericho. “And there was a billboard on Sunset Boulevard with this exact picture on it. I remember seeing it driving down and going, ‘Wow, that’s really cool that I’m on that, and then they start talking about the four-way match, and I’m like, ‘I’ve got to be in it.'”
In the end, Jericho was replaced in the match by Mick Foley. The WWE Hall of Famer was persuaded to return by Vince McMahon, just two months after retiring. The AEW star said that he was told by Foley himself that McMahon offered him enough money to put his children through college to come back.
“I think Vince just didn’t have the belief in me; I guess, to put me in that spot yet. So, he brought Mick back, and that was after Mick had retired, and I think Mick told me that Vince offered him enough money to pay for his kids’ college education,” revealed the former AEW Champion. “So he came back. What I was holding up for the people that are watching is a press kit, four pictures on there, with mine being one of them. An interesting story when you think about it, right?”
At the event, Chris Jericho ended up competing in a two-fall Triple Threat Match with Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit. The bout saw Angle lose both his European and Intercontinental Titles, with Jericho walking out with the European belt.
H/t to Sportskeeda for the transcription.