As he prepares to put the AEW Championship on the line against Cody at Full Gear on Saturday, Chris Jericho joined Bleacher Report for an AMA discussion.
Jericho's ability to reinvent himself and add new dimensions to his on-screen character is the biggest reason he has remained such a big star. While no longer at his physical peak, the 48-year-old can still be a captivating world champion for AEW.
The AEW champion said moving to an upstart promotion allowed him to feel refreshed: "I thought I was done in 2005, then 2010, then '15. It keeps getting better and better. If AEW didn't exist, I don't know how much more time I'd have. AEW to me has given me a whole new appreciation for what I do."
Jericho and Cody might be hated rivals at the moment, but that didn't stop The Painmaker from praising his challenger's work on the microphone: "Cody Rhodes did a hell of a promo last night. He's coming into his own for sure. MJF is a great promo. [Jon] Moxley is a great promo. Every week we'll get more diverse as far as who gets a chance to speak."
In general, Jericho praised the atmosphere behind the scenes at AEW and contrasted it with what he believed were the difficulties of working for WWE:
"It's just a lot less stress. WWE is a very stressful environment, a lot of walking on eggshells as things might get changed. It's a lot more relaxed because we're all kind of in charge of our own destinies. The creative freedom that we have is off the charts. When you come to AEW it's like going from black-and-white to living in color."
The conversation expanded beyond AEW.
Jericho worked with both WCW and the WWF when they enjoyed significant crossover appeal in the mid-to-late 1990s. Fans have long yearned for a return to the feel of Monday Night Wars, but Jericho questioned whether wrestling in general can occupy that same place in wider pop culture:
"I don't know if it could be a big part. That time has come and gone. Wrestling itself is part of pop culture. I think right now wrestling is as good as it's ever been in terms of quality. You need that one big name star. I think WWE has gone away from that. It's very overly scripted. They don't want to put all their names in one basket."
Like all of his colleagues, Jericho has been subjected to plenty of criticism from wrestling fans, who can be very hard to please. For the most part, he lets the drama roll off his back:
"The thing about wrestling fans is, they're a lot like Kiss fans or Star Wars fans. They hate everything. But they still love everything. They'll buy everything, they'll be at the shows. They just have to complain. With social media….it just gives people a forum to be mad about everything. [...]
"If you're going to go into the world of social media you have to accept it when people call you the greatest thing ever but don't take it seriously. And you have to accept it when they say you're the worst piece of crap ever but don't take it seriously."
One fan asked Jericho to compare two of his most successful runs in WWE: when he shed his rocker gear for a suit and tie across 2007 and 2008 and his "List of Jericho" storyline with Kevin Owens.
"Hard to say because they were both great but I'd probably go with the suit and tie heel run because I ended up being the world champion two or three times," Jericho said. "One is a 9.9 and [the other] is 9.999."
For future reference, don't ask if you made the list.
"I made a rule," Jericho said. "You can't request to be on the list. And you can't have me put someone else on the list. Get your own f--king list if you want to do that."
One person asked about an infamous angle when Jericho urinated in William Regal's pot of tea.
He dismissed the question when asked if he actually relieved himself.
"Are you gonna ask Houdini if he really got cut in half?" he said. "I'm gonna let you really think about that question and decide on your own."
And AEW fans, don't worry. Jericho confirmed he has been "working on" getting his own brand of the "bubbly."