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Chris Jericho Reveals How The Undertaker Convinced Him To Face Fandango At WrestleMania 29

Chris Jericho - Undisputed WWF Champion

• OLD SCHOOL HISTORY (May 18, 2000) – WWF SmackDown!

On this day in 2000, the World Wrestling Federation aired an episode of their weekly TV show ‘WWF SmackDown!’.

It was pre-taped at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan and featured pre-taped matches & storyline segments on the road to the ‘WWF Judgment Day 2000’ PPV.

Here’s the card:

1. Kurt Angle vs. Scotty 2 Hotty

2. Perry Saturn vs. Dean Malenko

3. Grandmaster Sexay vs. Christian

4. Val Venis & Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit & Hardcore Holly

5. Rikishi vs. Edge

6. Gauntlet Match

7. WWF Hardcore Title: Gerald Brisco vs. Crash Holly

8. Lumberjack Match: The Rock vs. Dudley Boyz

• Chris Jericho Reveals How The Undertaker Convinced Him To Face Fandango At WrestleMania 29

During a recent appearance on Busted Open Radio, Old School WWF Legend Chris Jericho talked about how he wasn’t interested in facing Fandango at WrestleMania 29 and how The Undertaker convinced him to do that match.

Below is what Jericho said:

“Jericho vs Fandango at WrestleMania? Wasn’t the biggest fan of it. Was pretty pissed off about it to be honest with you. But when I realized this is what Vince wants me to do and there’s no way out of it, now I got to make it great. If I can do that, then even though I don’t feel great about it, at least I’ll get respect from the boss.

I gave him three or four other suggestions and he said no to all of them. He was super into Fandango. And I finally said ‘There’s nothing I can do to change your mind is there?’ And Vince goes ‘Nope’. So I hung up on him.

Then I called Undertaker. I said ‘Listen what Vince wants me to do, he wants me to work with this guy who has never been on TV. Hasn’t even had a match. I got to work with Fandango at WrestleMania. What am I supposed to do?’. And Undertaker said, ‘Do it. What’s the problem? That’s who he wants you to work – work him!’

Talking about Undertaker’s 20-0 streak at the time, Undertaker said ‘How many of those matches were stinkers?’ A lot of them were stinkers. Giant Gonzales, Jimmy Snuka far past his prime, Nathan Jones. He said ‘If you go and do your best and get this match over, and get this guy over, Vince will respect you more. And even if you don’t, this is your job.

If we go to a Steven Spielberg audition and the part calls for me to blow my own nuts off, fall down a flight of stairs going ‘wacka wacka wacka’ and I go ‘Hey Steve, I don’t want to do this’, Spielberg says, ‘Okay, get the hell outta here, I’ll hire the next guy’.

That really was an eye opener. I had 3 weeks to get it over. And I remember the next night on RAW, people were chanting his name and signing along. I take a lot of credit for that.

Bret Hart said ‘Vince plays with his toys until he’s bored and then throws them in the corner’. It’s not that petty but Vince saw something in the guy and was super hot on him and that’s your start. And that guy has to take it and go with it. He did a great job with that character. I have a lot of respect for him. I didn’t want to work with him at first just because it wasn’t what I was expecting. Working with him was a lot of fun and watching him was great.

There’s a certain shelf life with a character like that. I always say in my head, ‘Okay, what’s the guys name? Fandango’. Can you imagine, ‘And the new World Champion… Fandango’? Not really. World Champion… can you imagine this guy with this name as World Champ? And if you can’t, you’ve answered your question.”

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