One of WWE’s most memorable Raw segments of 2017 was the “Festival of Friendship” featuring then United States Champion Chris Jericho and then Universal Champion Kevin Owens. It took place on February 13 and the majority of it came from the mind of Chris Jericho for the most part. If you’ve read any of his books or listened to his podcast, you know Jericho is very hands on in everything that he does.
The segment took a long time to get through as Jericho was really over the top showing his friend Owens how much he cared about him. Owens looked like he didn’t want to be there and then gave Jericho a “list” that only had Jericho’s name on it. That’s when Owens attacked Jericho and threw him head first into a television screen. It ended the Jericho/Owens friendship, turned Jericho face and set up a few matches between them including at WrestleMania 33.
Jericho has been out promoting his fourth book No Is A Four Letter Word recently and talked about the memorable Festival of Friendship. Here’s what he told The Other Guys Podcast with the transcription from WrestlingInc.
“I had that idea months earlier, to do a big spectacle with dancing girls and the whole thing, and then it was constantly being changed. Even the day of the show it was changed and I didn’t like it and I knew my way was better. I stood up for it, even to the point of calling Vince when he was on a plane in the middle of the air and pitching my case, not taking no for an answer, not allowing my vision to be changed.”
Jericho related the segment to the popular HBO series Game of Thrones, which used as sort of an inspiration for the Festival of Friendship.
“The ‘Red Wedding’ from Game Of Thrones was something that was really resonating, where you have this brilliant, beautiful and fun moment and then it just goes south in such a quick fashion where you can’t believe it. That, to me, was the brilliance of it.”
What did Jericho think of the segment? He loved it as much as the fans did.
“It was definitely one of my favorite things that I’ve done, maybe even the crowning jewel of what I’ve done in all these years being in the WWE. “