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ALSO BY CHRIS JERICHO AND PETER THOMAS
A Lion’s Tale: Around the World in Spandex
Undisputed: How to Become the World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps
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A Penguin Random House Company Copyright © 2014 by Chris Jericho All photographs courtesy of Chris Jericho unless otherwise credited.
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Version_1 For Jessica, Ash, Cheyenne, and Sierra. You make me a better man and my world a better place.
Thank you for being here for me when I need you and waiting for me when I am gone. I love you with all of my heart and am honored to be one of the Irvine 5!
For my father, Ted Irvine. Thank you for your support, humor, and inspiration. I’m proud to be your son—love and respect forever!
For my auntie Joan Irvine, one of the most interesting and intelligent people I’ve ever met. Thank you for helping me discover my creativity and imagination. I love you!
INTRODUCTIONHiding in the Bowels of the Arena...
1 Wha’ Happen?
2 Team Cock ’n’ Ballz 3 Unsecured War Zone 4 Ask Him!
5 The George Harrison of the WWE 6 Shawn the Liar 7 Public Enemy Number One 8 Attack of the Fans 9 Six Years and Five Months Later 10 Broken Teeth 11 Seven Million Dollars 12 All Sold Out 13 Angel of Vince 14 On Your Knees!
15 Premature Announceulation 16 Rookie “The Dagger” Sweatboat 17 Rourke’s Dorks 18 Santino Gump 19 Twanging Koto 20 I’m the Joker 21 Hosts with the Most... or Least 22 The Flatland Mafia 23 Boots 24 Giant Heat 25 Mean Mr. Mustard 26 Humbled 27 Effeminate Tough Guy 28 The Little People of America 29 Glorified Rental Car Shuttle 30 Play More Songs 31 Three Derelicts 32 Bonus Track 33 Deadman to Burning Man 34 Superior DNA 35 That’s Why I Listen 36 Buddy Peacock 37 Nexus Knuckleheads 38 The Dancing Beast 39 Yeah Boy!
40 The Billy Crystal of Heavy Metal 41 The End of the World as You Know It 42 CM Drunk 43 Professional Flag Kicker 44 Explode at Download 45 The Queen at Live Aid Principle 46 Old Habits Die Hard 47 Favorite Moment of My Career
My name is ZAKK WYLDE. I’m in a ROCK BAND called BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, where I play guitar, piano, and sing in a style that many say is a cross between HELEN REDDY and the “Velvet Fog” himself, MR. MEL TORME. I’m married to the girl I’ve had a crush on since sixth grade, who I lovingly refer to as my “Sexual Pinata.” I’ve been blessed with four awesome kids and yes, LIKE YOU, I too am a JERICHOHOLIC!! And now that you’ve bought this book you will instantly be FONZARELLI cool in your school, workplace, or even when receiving an hour-and-ahalf PROSTATE exam. Plus just by reading FATHER CHRIS’S AWESOME book, everything in your life will get better... even if your PROSTATE doctor’s hands are the size of ANDRE THE GIANT’S!
There are many things I thank THE GOOD LORD for every day. My LED ZEPPELIN and BLACK SABBATH record collection, my ULTIMATE WARRIOR doll collection, AND for allowing me to become a JERICHOHOLIC! Having FATHER CHRIS in my life as a BROTHER has brought me nothing but joy, happiness, and several visits to the INTENSIVE CARE UNIT. This is because by just being a “Known Associate” of Y2J, whenever I drop off my eleven-year-old son at school, I am attacked and receive mammoth-size beatdowns from his little friends with their little fists of FURY.
But regardless of how many months or years I have to spend in the hospital and the fact that I now have broken more bones than EVEL KNIEVEL, I refuse to stop being a JERICHOHOLIC!
So, sit back and enjoy The TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT ADVENTURES of MY BROTHER: The ONE and ONLY LIFE-ENHANCING BESTOWER of ALL THINGS FONZARELLI... FATHER CHRIS JERICHO!!!
LOVE YOU, MY BROTHER O’ DOOM!
—ZAKK WYLDE xoxo I always say that my Jerichoholics are the Best Fans in the World, and I mean it. It’s for that reason that I decided to put my money where my mouth is, and I posted a message on my Facebook and Twitter pages to announce that I was inviting all of YOU to write the foreword for this book. A few weeks later, after reading through literally hundreds of submissions, I chose my favorite. But I enjoyed looking at all of them, and I thank you if you took the time to write something for me. So if you submitted a piece and see me on the street, come and tell me so I can shake your hand!!
I mentioned in my original post that I wouldn’t announce the winner until this book was published. So... here’s your winner!
—CJ Who is the real Chris Jericho?
WWE Superstar? Rock Star? New York Times bestselling author? Inventor? Dancer? TV host?
The answer is ALL OF THE ABOVE, but there’s so much more. If there is one thing that Chris has proven throughout his life, it’s that you can be anything you want to be.
I’ve read Chris’s other books, and he really is a great storyteller who remembers every detail, every feeling, every emotion. The awkward moments and total disasters he’s experienced will have you roaring with laughter, because he manages to turn even the most bizarre situations into funny moments. This is one of Chris’s most endearing qualities; his hunger for living every moment to the fullest, never having a dull minute and creating positivity wherever he goes. So when I heard that he was looking for someone to write his foreword, I knew that I had to sit down and write. It would truly be an honor to be a part of his legacy.
Fellow Jerichoholics will stand proud with me when I say that Chris is a truly inspirational person. He has a certain charisma that so few carry, and the hairs on the back of my neck literally stand up when I hear the first few seconds of “Break the Walls Down” and know he’s about to enter the WWE arena.
His amazing work with Fozzy has shown me his passion for music and entertainment. Influenced by Iron Maiden, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones, Fozzy’s music is pure heart-pumping adrenaline, and Chris always pours his heart into his thought-provoking lyrics. (My personal favorite is “Broken Soul.”) His show business résumé continues to grow, and I have gleamed with delight at his aweinspiring performances on Dancing with the Stars, belly laughed at his hilarious Web series “But I’m Chris Jericho,” and listened in awe to his riveting “Talk Is Jericho” podcast.
Now some might say that he’s a crazy wildman, but for me he is genuinely one of the nicest guys I’ve met. He doesn’t judge, he has time for anyone, and he has great hair and tattoos! I met him after a Fozzy concert in 2008 and e-mailed his manager to ask if he could help me grant a wish for a sick child in Manchester, whose dream was to meet John Cena. Before I knew it, Y2J arranged it with the WWE and the little boy’s dream came true. Chris has a heart under that tough exterior; he is a kind, warm, and generous person, a good friend and family man.
Following the antics of A Lion’s Tale and Undisputed, I can’t wait to read the next wild ride that is the life of Chris Jericho. I’m sure it’s going to be another unforgettable adventure! But I just have one question.
When does he sleep?
—Claire Curran, Jerichoholic Manchester, UK Hiding in the Bowels of the Arena...
... I couldn’t believe I’d gotten away with it.
I felt like I’d just pulled off the crime of the century as I hid in the back lounge of the tour bus in the parking garage of the US Airways Center in Phoenix.
I felt that way because there were 18,000 hard-core wrestling fans in the arena above me, watching the 2013 Royal Rumble, and not a single one of them knew I was there. It blew my mind that in this age of social media, when everybody and their blog had Twitter accounts and Facebook pages, my secret hadn’t been exposed. I’d re-signed with World Wrestling Entertainment over a month earlier and had looked online every day since, expecting to see my cover blown and my surprise return to the Royal Rumble spoiled.
Thankfully, it hadn’t been and I was ready to go out there and try to tear the damn house down like I always did. It was the first time I’d entered the WWE with no warning, no sign, no series of cryptic vignettes to signal my appearance, and I felt the crowd was going to blow a gasket when they saw me. I’d only been out of the company for a few months, but my passion for the WWE burned brighter than ever because over the last few years, I felt I was on a career high. I’d left the company in 2005 a bitter man and it had been a long and winding road that had led to my return in 2007, but in the five-plus years since, I felt I’d done the best work of my career and wanted to keep the Y2J ball rolling. I’d learned so much as a character and as a wrestler in the past half decade that I’d become a completely different performer. My work had gone to a different level and I’d helped create and deliver the two best angles of my career as a result.
As I took cover in the back of the production bus waiting for the cue to head to the ring, I closed my eyes and began reflecting back on the past five years. I thought back to November 2007, when I was standing in the Gorilla Position ready to hit the stage in Fort Lauderdale as my countdown clock ticked down from 10....
It had been twenty-seven months since I’d stood in the darkened area of the Gorilla position, and it was a kind of homecoming. Despite all the places I’d been and all the projects I’d done since I’d left the WWE, there was nothing quite like hearing the roar of the crowd when my countdown hit zero.
And I fully expected tonight’s roar to be one of the biggest of my career.
With the Save Us vignettes, the wrestling world was abuzz with the anticipation of who would be revealing himself on Raw that night in Fort Lauderdale. After the incredible response I received for my surprise WWE debut back in 1999, I was ready for another monstrous reaction that would make this feel like the first time, and I ain’t talking about Lou Gramm.
Randy Orton paced in the ring intensely like an apex predator as the clock ticked away to the moment where I would make my entrance and once again accept my crown as the hottest star in the WWE.
The moment had arrived. The iconic battle cry of “BREAK THE WAAAALLLLLS DOWWWWWWNNN!!” echoed throughout the arena as I walked out through the curtain and embraced my people, the precious and adoring public who were about to give me the response of a lifetime.
Except they didn’t.
Something had happened in the split second it took for me to walk from behind the curtain onto the stage, as if a group of aliens had beamed my raucous crowd up to their flying saucer and replaced them with an arena full of dazed drones. When I started into my promo, they didn’t react to my catchphrases like they once had, and the response to the insults I was throwing at Orton seemed forced and hesitant at best.
Now, it’s not like the crowd didn’t react at all, but it certainly wasn’t what I’d expected and was a fraction of the explosion I’d received eight years earlier during my ’99 WWE debut. Wha’ happen?
The next day, after some serious reflection, I came up with the patented “Chris Jericho List of Excuses™” as to why the crowd had gone from hotter than hell to lukewarm like leche in the span of eight years.
1. My 1999 debut was in Chicago, which has the reputation of being the best crowd in the United States. The previous night’s Raw had been in Fort Lauderdale, and even though that city has some great fans, they didn’t have the same reputation as the rowdies in the Windy City. So it’s obvious my reaction wouldn’t be as loud... right?
2. I had been off WWE TV for twenty-seven months, and in that time John Cena had become the face of the company. He’d brought a legion of new fans into the fold, kids who probably hadn’t heard of Y2J before... right??
3. For the fans who did remember Chris Jericho, I had appeared on WWE TV for the first time ever with SHORT HAIR. I’d sported a few awkward hairstyles before I left the WWE in 2005 (Why didn’t anybody tell me the “too long to be short, too short to be long” hairdo was a hair-don’t?), but my weeds were still at least longish back then. Now my hair was cut over the ears and closely cropped to the back of my neck, with a peacocklike spike at the front.