Chris Jericho has a gift for telling tales, and he knows fans always crave more information about what really happened behind the scenes. Whether it’s in one of his books, during his Talk is Jericho podcast, or while being interviewed by somebody else, Jericho’s candidness is something that fans always appreciate.
Jericho recently appeared on the 500th episode of The Taz Show, and talked about how the original plan wasn’t for him to defend the United States Championship against Kevin Owens. Instead, they had something else in mind. Here’s how Jericho explained what WWE’s creative team initially brought to him:
“The original plan for WrestleMania 33 was Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho for the [Universal] Championship. I beat Owens at WrestleMania, and then I lose it to Brock [Lesnar] at the next pay-per-view at the end of April.”
The next PPV was Payback on April 30, which featured Jericho on the poster. Lesnar didn’t wrestle on that show, but would have if Jericho had walked away from Mania with the Big Red Belt.
“In the meantime, Vince [McMahon] told me that to my face, and in the interim, Brock and Goldberg had their match [at Survivor Series]. Brock realized he had nobody to work with, so then Brock thought, ‘I’ll lose to Goldberg in a minute if I can beat him back for the title at WrestleMania.’ So then my match was switched. And that’s fine, because that’s how the business goes. I mean, it was that close. As an aside, I’ve been the world champ six times, and never once as a babyface — always as a heel.”
The rest of Jericho’s appearance on The Taz Show was very good, as they discussed coming up in the business around the same time, and Jericho’s upcoming New Japan match against Kenny Omega. Taz praised Jericho for his longevity, and they reminisced about being in ECW over 20 years ago. The whole interview runs nearly an hour, so definitely check it out if you’re a true Jerichoholic.