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Chris Jericho claims he was to win WWE Universal Championship at WrestleMania 33

Chris Jericho recently spoke on a myriad of issues on SiriusXM, ranging from the WWE’s original plans for the Universal championship at Wrestlemania 33, working with Fozzy, comparisons between his rivalries with Kevin Owens and Shawn Michaels, pitching a Wrestlemania match with Shinsuke Nakamura, Vince McMahon and much more.

Here’s what Chris Jericho had to say about the original plans for him at Wrestlemania 33:

“Well, it wasn’t supposed to be that way (*in reference to his recent run with WWE that extended up until the SmackDown after Payback). I was supposed to finish up after Wrestlemania, that Monday afterwards. And about, in December maybe Vince called me and he had a big idea. I can probably say this now- The original idea was for me and Kevin Owens to work at Wrestlemania for me to win the title (Owens’ Universal title before he lost it to Goldberg), and then lose it to Brock (Lesnar) in Sacramento at the next PPV which was on April 30th. And so when you get presented with that idea, sure, of course I’ll stay for that! Then, as things go, the Goldberg factor started, Vince changed his mind, and at that point I was already locked in for the extra month. Doing another month with Kevin Owens was the way to do it anyway.”

“So, my plan was not to finish up on a SmackDown on a Tuesday, and go straight to rehearsals on a Wednesday. It was not supposed to be that, but sometimes that’s how it works, and when you are an independent contractor, you know I don’t have a retirement plan, you take advantage of the moments as they are presented to you. And Jericho in 2016- the Stupid Idiot Jericho- whatever you want to say, The List Jericho, became a big hit! So I want to make sure that the story gets its proper finish, which it did.”

On working as part of Fozzy he added-

“And then with Fozzy, I wanna make sure that Fozzy gets its proper bursting out of the gates, you know when ‘Judas’ came out in the tour. So you have to take advantage of those things and that’s what I did.”

Y2J also spoke about his feud with Kevin Owens and its comparisons with his legendary rivalry with Shawn Michaels-

“It could be the best (feud in my career). It depends, they’re both top-2. I remember we (Kevin and I) did a TV taping in London after Wrestlemania last year. Just a random pairing of Jericho and Owens, so after the match was done, you know you do a little bit of pomp and circumstance. So we had won the match and we were celebrating, just as a random tag-team, and he ran down the isle-way, and he jumped into my arms. And this is a big dude right, like holy s***! And he jumped and I caught him, and he was like “We’re the greatest, we’re the greatest!” Then we’re walking up and he’s like “You’re the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time)” and I was like you’re the donkey. So he goes “Yeah. You’re the GOAT. I’m the donkey.” So there was just this funny inter-play. And Vince (McMahon) though it was hilarious. That was when I thought there was something with this guy (Owens). He’s super-funny and very sarcastic and dry, a lot like me. And so I just kept an eye on it.”

On pitching a match with Shinsuke Nakamura but later being booked into a program with Owens, Y2J added-

“I remember going to talk to Vince before SummerSlam and saying, you know, it was one of my ideas to work with Nakamura. Because I’ve worked with him in Japan. And I said this guy (Nakamura) is great, and he should be in Wrestlemania, and I wanted to introduce him to the world. Then about two weeks later he (Vince) said “I think we could do Jericho vs Owens at Wrestlemania.” I think we had enough steam. We had just started the team and I think SummerSlam was our first official (match) against Enzo and Cass. That’s how it started. It was from there, the build, the improv, and you just know when you have chemistry. Reminded me of when I worked with the Rock, Shawn (Michaels), with Edge- you just have that chemistry, it’s just there. When you’ve been in the business for as long as I have, when you catch that lightning in a bottle you want to expand—take advantage of it as much as you can.” (*H/T to Wrestling-Edge for the transcription*)

Jericho is presently on tour with his band Fozzy that’s scheduled to wrap up next month, following which he’ll appear on June 30th and July 1st at a couple of WWE live events in Japan. His main-roster return date hasn’t been confirmed as of yet.

Chris Jericho is a rockstar in every sense of the word, and one of the most hard-working performers in the history of the sport. Just take a second and think about how one could possibly go from getting ragdolled on SmackDown Live Tuesday night, to shredding the guitar, chords galore, the very next day! You know what happens when you don’t like Y2J? You Just Made The List!

  • Johny Payne

    And for once WWE should let the guy win a top feud clean. Clean I say! Bray Wyatt can be the biggest star in the company, but these people keep messing up his storylines.
    Plus, Bray is built like a tank. So I don’t know why Vince hasn’t accorded him the made-man push yet. The next couple of years are gonna be real important for Wyatt.

  • Johny Payne

    Haha. Truth.
    Back to the Heath Ledger Joker style Ambrose. Thanks for reminding me how crazy he can be as a heel.

  • Nicholas Giambattista

    They should put the WWE Unverlasial Championship on Bray Wytth he urn a longer title run then just a month.

  • Nicholas Giambattista

    I miss heel Seth Rollins. But I see heel Dean Amborse coming been waiting for that.

  • Johny Payne

    Hell yeah. I say put on Rollins and have him feud with Samoa Joe for it. I know babyface Rollins isn’t the most popular character but hey, it’s still better to have something rather than nothing.

  • Johny Payne

    Yup. Lesnar being AWOL with the title isn’t a good look for WWE. They have dozens of talented wrestlers in that locker room, but the problem is the lack of larger-than-life characters that the Creative team has created since the end of the Ruthless Aggression Era.
    Plus Strowman is legit injured now. Yeah, another hit for the WWE product in the post Mania season.

  • Johny Payne

    Good point. Actually many of us MMA fans felt that Lesnar would work more dates in WWE owing to his drug test failure at UFC 200. I mean yeah Jon Jones failed too, but Jones can’t come to WWE.
    Lesnar doesn’t need the UFC. He can simply waltz back into WWE and Vince and co. will put the promotion’s top belts around his waist. The problem with not only Lesnar but also Goldberg is that most fans would already know that these dudes are gonna make sporadic appearances. So it’s a kinda bitter-sweet thing, wherein you have that nostalgia factor but the full-timers, especially the younger lot like KO, Bray and the others have to give up the spotlight. In fact, many people including Matt Morgan argued before WM 33 that you don’t need the Universal title or any belt for that matter to promote a match between Brock and Goldberg. The match promotes itself. Instead they should’ve used the belt to give Owens his time in the spotlight and build him well for future Manias.

  • Nicholas Giambattista

    That probably what is getting me more. The Unverlasial Championship should be at ever Monday night show.

  • CC

    The problem was just timing. Goldberg became available, so they had to make a big deal of it while they could. I don’t particularly like what happened with them winning it, but I get why it had to be done.
    What I don’t understand though is why they did not get Lesnar to drop the title soon after instead of letting the title vanish from tv for months.

  • Nicholas Giambattista

    I don’t know if Chris Jericho would have won the Universal title or not. But for me it made no sense to put the Universal title on Goldberg and now Brock Lasner. I believe it should have been Jericho vs Owens for the Universal title at WM 33. It was already part of the storyline.