Chris Jericho spent many years as a full-time wrestler in WWE, and he had some legendary programs with several legends from the modern era of the business.
For some fans, their favorite Chris Jericho feud was his feud with Rey Mysterio. It got dirty for a while and Y2J pulled no punches as he fought to strip Mysterio of not only his mask but his family heritage. But it turns out that match might have never happened if it hadn’t been for some clever wordplay on the part of Chris Jericho.
Vince McMahon hated the idea and didn’t understand why Jericho’s character would want Rey Mysterio’s mask so much. He was convinced an angle based on a mask wouldn’t sell tickets. But Vince McMahon is an interesting fellow and Y2J had a very good idea on how to convince McMahon that a program with Mysterio was a good idea.
“I love writing about Vince and he’s a regular character in all my books,” Jericho said on Wrestling Observer Radio. “As you know he’s the guy. He’s super smart when it comes to wrestling and he’s super — you know he’s created this whole iconic pop culture phenomenon. He’s really driven and really passionate but he just loves d-ck and fart jokes. [Vince] is a really driven, interesting unique guy. I love writing stories about him. There’s a great story in the book.”
Then Chris Jericho talked about when he first pitched the idea to work with Rey Mysterio to Vince. “I’d never done a real storyline or any angle with Rey. We had worked a few times in WCW and Japan but never had a real angle. And I thought we could really tear it up basing it around his mask. Vince was not interested because he didn’t think anybody cares about masks.”
“And you know I’d explain it to him why the mask means something to Lucha Libre history and his family lineage and everything and all of that but [Vince] just didn’t see what the big deal was. And the way I pitched it to him was: ‘here’s why it’s a big deal. Because I’m a bully and for the first time in my career I’m bigger than somebody and I’m a bully that’s gonna walk into the class and steal the kid’s milk money and then I’m gonna take that milk money and throw it in the garbage. I don’t care about the milk money, I just don’t want him to have it. So I’m gonna take it from him cause that’s what bullies do.”
“And once I explained to Vince that concept of the mask, ‘why does anybody care about the mask?’ — ‘I’m just gonna take it from him. I don’t care about showing his face I just wanna take that mask away from you because I’m a bully and I don’t want you to have it.’ And when I explained it to him that way he really understood and we really went full-steam into this classic storyline with Jericho and Mysterio based around his mask.”
This goes to show sometimes it helps to know your boss before you go and ask them for something. Chris Jericho understood Vince McMahon’s old-school pro wrestling mindset and it paid off not only for Y2J and Mysterio, but every fan in the WWE Universe.