• Old School WrestleMania Celebrity Would Have Celebrated His Birthday
Today would’ve been the 77th birthday of Old School WWF WrestleMania 1 Celebrity Muhammad Ali (f.k.a Cassius Clay).
Ali is considered one of the best boxers of all time, and probably even THE most famous boxer in the history of Boxing.
He wasn’t just the 2nd (outside) special guest referee at the inaugural WWF WrestleMania in 1985, but he also presented the WCW World Heavyweight Championship to “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan at the end of the Halloween Havoc 1994 PPV, and fought Wrestling Legend Antonio Inoki years earlier (1976) in a “Boxer vs. Wrestler” match.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY & † R.I.P.
January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016
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• Chris Jericho Recalls Vince McMahon Not Getting Back To Him On Multiple Occasions In 2018
During a recent edition of Talk Is Jericho, Old School WWF Legend Chris Jericho talked about how he kept Vince McMahon informed about everything he was doing with New Japan Pro Wrestling and his signing with All Elite Wrestling, if he got an offer from WWE & more.
Below is the entire story that Jericho told:
“I told Vince McMahon that I was going to go work this match at the Tokyo Dome for New Japan Pro Wrestling. And he was very accommodating, very excited about it, and thought, ‘Even if you’re working for NJPW everyone knows that you’re a WWE guy.’ I was like, ‘It’s only going to make me a bigger star when I come back.’ So we signed off on it like gentleman and that was the end of it.
I went to Tokyo in December, attacked Kenny Omega, and then January 4 at the Tokyo Dome, Alpha vs. Omega, Jericho vs. Kenny. People said, ‘Oh it’s the best match of Jericho’s career, 5 star match!’ Well, whether you thought it was the best of my career or not, it was a great match and, most importantly, it really drew.
When I come home, I get a call from Vince asking me what happened and why I attacked Naito, ‘I thought it was just a one off?’ And I said, ‘Well it is just a one off for now, I might do more with NJPW. If I do, I’ll definitely let you know because, you know, I wanna run everything past you and make sure you’re cool with it, and if nothing else, at least I left Japan with my heat.’
If nothing else happens with me and Naito, at least I left with my heat. So it took a couple months after that to put together another deal, I ended up signing a three-match deal with NJPW, and that’s around the time that Vince had called me to come back to do the RAW 25th Anniversary show, which I didn’t want to do.
He called me and asked me if I would do it and I said, ‘Well, I don’t want to go down to the ring. I want to be backstage only.’ He said, ‘Absolutely.’ I did something with Elias and then he called me again to do the Saudi Arabia show, The Greatest Royal Rumble Ever, which I wasn’t too keen on. But then he made an offer for one match that was ridiculous! I’d say definitely in my top 10, maybe my top 6-or-7-or 8 biggest payoff ever to do one match.
The original plan was for me to work against Undertaker in a Casket Match. Vince called me and asked me if I want to do it and I was like, ‘Absolutely, I’d love to do it.’ And then a week later, I finalized the deal with NJPW and I called him to tell him, ‘Hey, I’m doing three more matches with NJPW,’ and this was a little bit less of a positive response than I had gotten from him before. Because now he was a little bit more apprehensive. Obviously three matches is a lot more, and NJPW is on AXS TV, and anybody that has TV in the United States is competition for Vince, for the WWE.
So I could tell that Vince was a little bit concerned about it and then 3 hours later. I get a text that I’m out of the casket match and that Rusev is back in. Because originally it was Rusev and Undertaker, then it was Undertaker and Jericho, then it got back to Rusev and Undertaker. When I asked Vince why, he said, ‘It’s because the Prince wants the Rusev/Undertaker match.’ And I’m thinking, no offense to anybody, but I think the Jericho/Taker match is much bigger. And then I started realizing, well of course I was pulled from the match, because why would I get a spotlight match where, let’s face it, Taker and Jericho, we would have stole the show? Nobody could have stopped us. Casket match or not, we would have had the best match on the show.
June, I go and win the Intercontinental Championship from Naito – had a great match with him and won the title. And about 3 or 4 weeks later, I pitched the idea to Vince, called him, ‘I’d love to do an Intercontinental Champion vs. Champion match at SummerSlam, Jericho vs. Seth Rollins.’ And Vince once again was, ‘Well I don’t know how that would work. Can we do it?’ And I was like, ‘Harold Meij, the new President of NJPW, he wants to expand and I bet we can figure it out.’ And this is something that happened all the time in the 70’s and the 80s in WWE…Never heard back from Vince. Made the call, pitched the idea, never heard back.
The Jericho Cruise, The Rocking Wrestling Rager At Sea comes in. I had been working on this for three years and my idea was always to hire a wrestling company to take care of all the wrestling. That way we don’t have to worry about booking it, and I don’t have to worry about who’s available, and who’s injured, and who’s going to this company and that company. My original pitch was to NXT, they passed. Ring of Honor agreed.
There’s another example of Vince calling me and asking me to go to Saudi Arabia again. And I’m like, ‘Well, I’ve got a show, I might be able to make it, but I don’t know if I can make it. And him saying like, ‘Well, I really need you.’ ‘Well I have a show in Osaka, so I can technically do the show, but I would need to take a private jet to Osaka. I could do the show in, I believe it was Riyadh or whatever it was, and then fly straight to Osaka. How much am I getting paid?’ Vince said, ‘I’ll get back to you.’ He didn’t!
Once again, I still kinda gave WWE the benefit of, ‘Hey, listen guys, the train is leaving the station. Are we gonna work together or not?’ And to their credit, we talked, and all the way up to a few days before the (AEW) rally. But there was never really an offer given. And I understand the reasons why and I’m not going to get in to those. I understand Vince’s mindset just as he understand mine, but we did leave on amicable terms.
Vince McMahon is my friend and I respect him so much. He’s helped me a lot and we’ve made each other a lot of money. And most importantly, like I said, we’re friends. So the last thing I wanted to do, if I was going to leave the WWE, was do it as a screw job or as a stabbing in the back. I didn’t want that. I never wanted it the whole time. I always told Vince what I was doing and he knew before anybody else that I was going to All Elite Wrestling and, once again, once I go there, I’m gone.”