Chris Jericho has it figured out. He gets “IT” and honestly, he always has.
What we have seen from Chris Jericho from 2016 until now is one of the most creative two-year runs in the history of the business. From his beautifully executed storyline with Kevin Owens to his 5-star Wrestle Kingdom match with Kenny Omega, Jericho has changed the rules…and other major wrestling stars should take notice.
With the way 2018 has kicked off for Jericho, it won’t surprise me if this is the biggest year in his career. At New Japan’s annual post-Wrestle Kingdom show called New Year’s Dash, Jericho shocked the wrestling world by attacking Tetsuya Naito. This all but confirms that Jericho will be wrestling Naito in the future.
‘The Ayatollah of Rock-n-Rolla’ is doing what he wants because he has spent the past 20 years building up his brand. When he decided to team up with the members of the band Stuck Mojo to form Fozzy in the late 90s, it was brilliant branding. Not only was Jericho fulfilling a lifelong dream, but he was able to penetrate another industry.
Jericho understands the importance of patience & maintaining his brand. When Jericho left WWE in 2005, he started appearing in many other avenues. Not only did he record another album with Fozzy, but he was always popping up on VH1 shows, doing a radio show on Sirius, taking acting lessons, writing books and various other ventures to help build his brand. He was aware of the significance of personal branding outside the WWE bubble.
This was BRILLIANT. While maintaining a healthy relationship with WWE (eventually returning to have one of the best runs of his career), Jericho repeated the process again. Y2J returned in 2007, only to take another hiatus a few years later where he ended up on ‘Dancing with the Stars’, hosting a random pop-up network gameshow & debuting an online comedy show! Looking back, all of this was absolutely brilliantly done by Jericho.
He returned to WWE once again in 2012 after a ton of hype. Once again, Jericho had a near two year run before leaving again to start a podcast, record more music with Fozzy, continue to tour….you get the drift by now.
Let’s fast forward to 2017 where Jericho once again took a hiatus from WWE to drop an album with Fozzy, announce his own cruise, drop another book, expand his podcast into a network of podcasts called ‘The Jericho Network‘ & return to New Japan Pro Wrestling to make history.
In 2017, Chris Jericho got the word “IT” over. He also created ‘The List’, which is so insanely over. And how can we forget “The Festival of Friendship?” We can’t. Because it was f’n brilliant.
Chris Jericho is everywhere. Everywhere you look…is Jericho.
He is a master of branding, marketing & self-promotion. He’s not the first to do it like this, but he’s arguably one of the most successful. Just like The Rock, Hulk Hogan & Steve Austin transitioned from the ring to other entertainment outlets, Jericho has upped the ante on his predecessors.
Is this a ‘kiss Chris Jericho’s ass’ article? You’re damn right it is.
The guy is an absolute inspiration for anyone who wants to be an entrepreneur in a country where “social media influencer” is the #1 dream job for children. Other wrestlers & entertainers should follow the template that Jericho is creating. Cody Rhodes is & look at the year that he’s had! Yes, I know he doesn’t have a band, but substitute that for an appearance on ‘Arrow.‘
Jericho is changing the rules of what a major player WWE superstar can do. There’s no doubt he’ll be back in WWE at some point, right? What other superstar jumps to New Japan Pro Wrestling, competes in an epic match on the biggest show of the year & then returns to WWE to further cement his legacy? Nobody.
He hustles like Gary Vee & proves it with his public work ethic. Just go watch him eat a ton of burning hot chicken wings on “Hot Ones.” He didn’t have to do this…but he did. Why? Because he knows that importance of promoting his brand.
But will he have the opportunity to wrestle the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada?
Knowing Chris Jericho, anything is possible.