Triple H wasn’t the only target Chris Jericho had in mind ahead of WrestleMania X8 – Jericho also wanted a piece of Vince McMahon!
‘Y2J’ was the reigning Undisputed WWE Champion heading into WrestleMania X8, with Triple H – the 2002 Royal Rumble winner – scheduled to challenge him inside Toronto’s SkyDome. During rehearsals for the match a few weeks before ‘Mania itself, however, things took a slight turn when Jericho set his sights on Vince McMahon.
Speaking during an Inside The Ropes live show, Chris Jericho detailed how a planned sledgehammer spot for the match was the catalyst for him wanting to punch Vince McMahon in his “stupid face”, with the then-WWE boss requesting Jericho to “do it harder”:
“The last couple of weeks, right before the match, I did get some serious heat on Triple H. I think I hit him in the leg with the sledgehammer and all this sort of thing. I remember one time we were rehearsing it, me hitting Triple H with a sledgehammer, and Vince [McMahon] would want you to rehearse as if it’s real.
You can’t rehearse if you’re really doing it because there’s no crowd, the crowd is where you get the vibe and the adrenaline, and your whole energy comes [from] that. Plus, you’re in character when you’re in front of the camera, when you’re not in front of the camera you’re just hanging out, you’re rehearsing.
Vince would be like, ‘Do it harder! Do it harder!’ and I’m like, “I’m not in the moment yet,’ and I remember he goes, ‘Oh you don’t wanna do it? What are you on the rag or something?’ I remember thinking, ‘You big-eared, big nose motherf*cker. I’m going to punch you right in your stupid face right now. Knock that toupee right off his head’.”
Triple H ultimately dethroned Chris Jericho of the Undisputed WWE Championship that night, pinning him with a Pedigree. This ended Jericho’s run at just 98 days, having unified the titles the previous December at Vengeance.
Chris Jericho enjoyed a further three reigns with WWE’s World Heavyweight Championship following this, alongside a plethora of other title runs. His WWE career officially came to an end following his appearance in 2018’s Greatest Royal Rumble match, where he entered as the fiftieth and final entrant before being tossed out by Braun Strowman.
‘The Wizard’ is now in All Elite Wrestling, where he is the leader of the Jericho Appreciation Society. He was the inaugural AEW World Champion, and is now expected to face Blackpool Combat Club’s Bryan Danielson at the All Out pay-per-view on 4 September.