Chris Jericho thinks that matches involving celebrities have improved substantially over the years. The reason for this is the love and respect famous faces have for the business.
The former AEW Champion recently spoke to Hollywood Life about well-known names competing in the ring. Firstly, Jericho discussed why recent matches by Shaquille O’Neal and Bad Bunny were so well received.
“You now have guys that have a large amount of respect for pro wrestling. You can throw Jay Leno’s name in there and I will raise you a Karl Malone, a Dennis Rodman or a Lawrence Taylor way back in the day. There are athletes and guys like Bad Bunny who have been lifelong fans of wrestling and really respect what we do and want to be involved. Those are the ones that always work the best. If you take a guy who doesn’t want to do the training and do the things to put on a good match, you will not get one. Then it becomes more of just a stunt casting. Shaq took it very seriously. He worked very hard to put on the match he did. The same thing with Bad Bunny. You can tell the training was there because what he did was very much like the match we had with Shaq.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) March 4, 2021
Jericho also mentions the increased work ethic and respect for the business that celebrities have today. This includes fellow inner-circle member Mike Tyson:
“I don’t think these recent celebrities want to come in there and embarrass themselves or, more importantly, embarrass the sport with all the respect that they have for it. It’s the same thing with Mike Tyson. He loves being around the business and respects the business, and he has since he has been a kid. All he wants to do is his best. And at the end of the day, he is Mike Tyson, so there is always that element of what he is going to do. But if he didn’t want to be there for the right reasons, he wouldn’t be there.”
Chris Jericho is also someone who has competed in a sport with little experience. Chris was a contestant on Dancing With The Stars in 2011. He compared his time training for the show to people training for a wrestling match:
“When I did Dancing with The Stars, the guys that didn’t respect what they were doing or out in the time to rehearse were out quickly. I realized if you don’t rehearse six or seven hours a day, every single day, you are not going to last long, and that is why I did so well. I went into that world with the respect and desire that you needed to succeed, and that is what you have to do in wrestling as well.”
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.