WWE News WWE NEWS: Jericho reflects on 2013 run - why it's important for him to take time away, insight on putting together Punk match at Payback, McMahon/Triple H, why Ryback is being re-molded, more
Jul 16, 2013 - 3:43:01 PM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
WWE part-time star Chris Jericho confirmed in an interview on Monday that he will be leaving WWE in early August to go back on the road with Fozzy. Jericho says after wrestling a relatively full-time schedule during the first-half of 2013, the time away will help keep him fresh for future WWE runs.
"Much to the chagrin of many of your people, I am taking a leave from WWE to go back on the road with Fozzy," Jericho told Dave LaGreca and Mike Riker of the Busted Open satellite radio show on Monday prior to Raw.
"It's important for me to take time away because - I seem to be pretty bullet-proof - but after 23 years of taking bumps, I could probably just explode into a puff of dust at any time. So, it's good to have that time away to kind of rejuvenate, and mentally, too. I know a lot of fans don't like it, but tough luck. I'm happy to be doing as much as I've been doing. I worked 80 shows this year, which is about eight times as many as The Rock and Brock Lesnar did. But, they're not complaining about those guys; they'll complain about me."
Regarding his current run, Jericho said he believes he's put together one of the best string of matches of his career.
"I've been wrestling 23 years, I'm 42-years-old, I think this year - 2013 - has been one of my favorite years," Jericho said. "Not to pat myself on the back, but I think I've had some really great performances."
Jericho went into detail on putting together one of those matches - the Payback PPV match with C.M. Punk in Chicago last month.
"I kind of got there and talked to Punk. I never talked to him once during the build-up until I saw him that day. I remember the girls match was on right before us and we were still going through what we wanted to do. So, that was basically called 30 minutes to an hour beforehand and made up a lot in there," Jericho said.
"You can't teach experience, which is why I'm able to work with Curtis Axel and Ryback and Punk and (Dolph) Ziggler and whoever they put me in there with every week. It's been a lot of fun because I have that experience."
In addition to his experience, Jericho attributed his attention to showmanship as helping him stand out in his current run, which he learned a long time ago in WWE.
"Size still matters (in WWE). It always will. That's Vince (McMahon)'s edict. That's Triple H's edict," Jericho said. "I had to do something different, so it was always about the personality and the showbizness."
Jericho's final PPV match of this current run was against Ryback, whose character is being re-molded in Vince McMahon's vision after finishing WWE Title feuds against C.M. Punk and John Cena. Jericho defended the changes to Ryback in extended comments about McMahon's philosophy.
"It's one of those things where WWE is a strange world sometimes because it's all based around what Vince wants," Jericho said. "To me, if they didn't go all the way with Ryback three, four months ago, they have to do something different with him now because he's done it. He did the thing with Punk, he did the thing with Cena as a heel."
"Wrestling is like a cycle. If you're The Guy - like John Cena is - challengers work their way up the ladder to face you. Once you face the champion and do not win, you go to the back of the line and work your way back up the ladder again. I think Vince wanted to try something different with Ryback," Jericho said.
Jericho continued: "I don't know anything about it, but I'm assuming he might start something with Vickie Guerrero. If they put him with Vickie, you'll see the build of Ryback back up in this different image. It's either going to work or it's not. If it doesn't, put him in two or three weeks of killing guys again and he's Ryback again. I think Vince wants to add dimensions to the character and I think he's going to get it because I know when Vince gets an idea in his head, he goes with it until he decides not to and changes direction. But, I think you have to change up things once you get to the back of the line after you've had your challenge in that position as a heel."
[ VIDEO: Jericho's interview on the Busted Open show HERE - http://youtu.be/__XBIdXh8Hs ]
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