– Digital Spy recently spoke with Chris Jericho. Below are some highlights:
How did you feel about the end of The Streak and how it happened?
“I loved it, I thought it was great. It was a legitimate shock, it got everybody talking. I think the right guy got it, if you’re going from a credibility standpoint, and if you’re going from a believability standpoint. As much as people and fans and journalists want to believe that it’s the case, I’m not sure if Undertaker had too many matches left in him. Maybe he doesn’t want to wrestle again. Maybe he knew that he couldn’t take any more.
“It’s a big, physical task to wrestle as it is, and once a year is hard. I wouldn’t want to come and wrestle just once a year. That’s even harder than wrestling 200 times a year, because your body’s not used to it. And the older you get, the harder it gets, the more the aches and pains kick in.
“Maybe The Undertaker decided that, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore’. And much to the fans’ chagrin, who wish that we would wrestle until the day we die at 90 years old and explode into a puff of dust in the ring, sometimes you’ve got to make that decision.
“If the time was now, Brock was the right guy for that day, and I thought it was amazing. And I would have hated it – hated it – if Undertaker would have retired without losing. I think that would have been a horrible way to go, I’m really happy that he lost The Streak.”
Will Daniel Bryan be able to maintain or even build on his success now he’s got the belts?
“I don’t know, that’s something you’ll have to ask him. I always knew he’d get to that level, I always knew he’d be a top guy because he’d done it before everywhere else that he’d ever worked. It was no surprise to me.
“Will he be able to sustain it? I guess that depends on him, on how he’s booked, but he’s definitely got the chops for it. He’s a great performer, he’s got a great connection with the fans. It took so long for them to pull the trigger, I think people were really excited to see it happen, and now that they’ve got their wish hopefully they continue to support him at the highest level.”
What do you think about the rumors of a CM Punk return?
“I don’t know, man, who knows, right? That’s something that only he can answer for sure. To me, if he hasn’t come back already, then… I left the WWE for two-and-a-half years in 2005. The only difference was I left when my contract was up, but I disappeared too, because I just was over it. I couldn’t take it anymore, I wasn’t interested in being there, I was getting miserable, so I know how he feels.
“I had no intention of coming back, and after two-and-a-half years I watched Shawn Michaels vs John Cena at WrestleMania 23 and that inspired me to want to come back, but it took two-and-a-half years to get there.
“So my answer is, ‘I don’t know’, but I just know how I was when I did the same thing. It took a long time for me to be able to come back, and I was probably the same age as Punk is now too, so maybe he’s going through the same thing and after a few years he’ll come back.”
How would you feel about Sting joining the WWE in some capacity?
“Personally I don’t really have any opinions either way. If he comes to the WWE, good for him, it’s great. I saw him a couple of times in TNA and you know pretty much what he can do at this point in time. He is a legend and to have him come to the WWE for the first time would be great, but after a week or two what’s he going to do there?
“If you’re a hardcore fan it might be cool – for me it doesn’t really matter either way; if that’s what he wants to do then good for him, and I hope he shows up. And if not, then I don’t think it’s going to make a difference either way in WWE business. It’s not 1998 anymore, you know.”
And yourself – are you gearing up for one of your famous entrances?
“Even if I was I wouldn’t tell you! It’s an open door policy on both of our ends to go back… I love wrestling – I always have, I still do but from the moment I left WWE back in July it’s not like I’ve had a moment not doing something else.
“There’s a lot of stuff going on – by design. Four or five years ago I realized that I’m not going to be wrestling forever – I don’t want to be wrestling forever, I can’t wrestle forever. Because the day that comes that I can’t have a match that I think is worthy of Chris Jericho, I’m not going to do it. Now, that could be tomorrow, that could be ten years from now, but when it’s done, what do I do?
“If the time comes for my schedule, and the WWE’s schedule – the last thing they’re doing is waiting around for Chris Jericho to come back, they’ve got other things to think about. And what will I be doing when I come back?
“I spoke to them in November about coming back in January, but neither of us could really agree on what it was I would be doing, and not in a bad way. If I’m going to come back, what am I going to be doing at WrestleMania?
“Let’s see, we’ve got Batista coming back, we’ve got Brock Lesnar coming back, we’ve got Undertaker coming back, we’ve got Hulk Hogan coming back, we’ve got the ascension of Bray Wyatt, we’ve got the ascension of The Shield, Cesaro’s ready to go and Daniel Bryan’s ready to go. Where do I fit in?
“People were like, ‘Are you going to come back and be in the André the Giant Battle Royal?’ Absolutely not. I would never come back for that. Not that there’s anything wrong with being in that, but why would Chris Jericho, six-time world champion, come back just to be in a Battle Royal? It doesn’t make any sense, it would have to be something I could sink my teeth into, something of merit. Something worthwhile in my mind.
“That doesn’t mean coming back just to work for the world title, it could mean coming back to work with anybody, but there has to be a story and a reason behind it. If there isn’t, there’s no reason for me to come back and I’m not interested in that.
“The same with the WWE – like I said, I talk to them all the time, we have a great relationship, but if it doesn’t work for both of us, then it won’t happen. When the time comes where it does, then it will. It’s as simple as that.”