Exclusive: Chris Jericho on the Jericho Cruise, AEW, The List, why he didn't go back to WWE and Undertaker
Well, Chris Jericho is a man who needs no introduction - but, for fear of making the list, we're going to give him one.
Today, I had the pleasure of speaking with Y2J, the Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla, the first ever Undisputed WWF Champion, a record-breaking nine-time WWE Intercontinental Champion, the frontman of rock band Fozzy, host of Talk Is Jericho, accomplished author, actor and, indeed, the man behind the Rock 'N' Wrestling Rager at Sea - Chris Jericho!
Jericho has been wrestling for just shy of three decades and is notoriously known as the master of reinvention - managing to stay at the top of his game thanks to a combination of Diamond Dallas Page's DDPY and an incredible mind for the business, where the former IWGP Champion seems to know exactly when to change things up and how to make waves.
In fact, it seems Jericho's sole mission to not only reinvent himself, but to one-up his own achievements and make even bigger news every time - something that was ever-prevalent when the former WWE man wrestled outwith WWE for the first time in 19 years back in 2018, and even more so now that Y2J has officially signed a three-year contract with start-up wrestling promotion AEW.
We caught up with Chris to discuss his second Jericho Cruise - the Rock 'n' Wrestling Rager at Sea Part Deux: Second Wave, his upcoming Double or Nothing match against Kenny Omega, and if we may see any of WWE's discontent Superstars, or former Superstars, in AEW any time soon.
Hi, Chris. Firstly, thank you for joining me. We're nine months out from your second Rock 'N' Wrestling Rager At Sea - aptly named Part Deux: Second Wave. The lineup is crazy - with several stars like Ric Flair, Booker T, X-Pac, Jake The Snake Roberts and Diamond Dallas Page all appearing, not to mention live music, comedy and even AEW stars wrestling on the boat.
This is the second time you've done this, so is it all becoming second nature already or will there be anything hugely different from the first time around?
Well, any time you do something for the first time, it's going to be a learning experience and I think my goal with the first cruise was just to make it a franchise - an annual destination vacation that would create its own community on-board the ship that would meet up and do it every year.
I saw it on the KISS Kruise - people that see each other once a year like a summer camp type of thing and I wanted to build that kind of atmosphere, and make sure that people had the best vacation ever, and I think that's basically what happened from the moment we set sail until the moment we docked.
The reaction after, there were so many people who didn't go the first time who said they wished they'd gone. Now here we are at 82% sold out after six weeks of tickets going on sale. Last year, it took us nine months to get to 82%. We'll sell out over the next two months and we don't even go to January 2020.
The things we needed to learn, we did more on a clerical side and a business side. In terms of the activity, atmosphere and the vibe, it's going to be the same pretty much as it was the first year.
Yeah, if it's not broken, don't fix it! The first was obviously hugely successful for you to add a second. I'm glad you corrected me, as I had it down as 80% sold out, so 2% in a matter of days! Is this something you're thinking of doing as an annual event, like the KISS Kruise?
That's kind of what we want to do! It took me a few years to get the first one up and running, then the second one is 14-15 months after the first. So I think now it's much more achievable to do this every year. The first one was slotted in October because they didn't know how it was going to go. We sold out number one and now that two is a huge success, I think our time slot will probably be that late January slot from now until we're ready to stop.
To me, if KISS went for ten years with their cruise, there's no reason why we can't go ten years and beyond with ours. We'll hone it, streamline it, learn from the mistakes that we made and expand upon the positives and successes we made.
There's nothing like this, never has been and never will be. Everyone will know this is the original, and I think we've cornered the market in a certain respect.
NEXT: Chris Jericho talks about reinventing himself
COMING UP: Would AEW take any WWE Superstars?