One of the reasons that many fans have labelled Chris Jericho as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time is because of his ability to change and adapt his character.
Despite debuting in the 1990s, Chris Jericho has managed to not only stay relevant but also entertaining throughout the four decades he has been in some of wrestling’s top promotions.
One of Jericho’s best gimmicks is The Painmaker that he debuted in NJPW. It seemed like he was going to continue using the gimmick in AEW, but instead decided on a more entertaining character.
Speaking to Sports Illustrated, the AEW World Champion explained that he wanted to continue the gimmick he had been using in WWE when he joined New Japan:
“I originally went into that Omega match thinking I’d be the same guy from WWE. But I was really into Bruiser Brody at the time–I think it was the 30 anniversary of his death–and watching him just beat the sh– out of people. In Japan, people are still intimidated by that and they kind of like it. I really liked the lunacy of the character I played building up to and during the Kenny match, so when I went back for Naito, I didn’t want to wear sparkly tights and light-up jackets. It didn’t feel right. I felt crazier, and I decided that some paint needed to be worn.”
“I was working with Okada, who is ‘The Rainmaker,’ so I said I was ‘The Painmaker.’ It just happened. Now it’s a whole other side of Jericho that could extend my career for another ten years if I wanted it to. I’m a huge fanatic and disciple of the band KISS and the way they market themselves, and I’m surprised it took me this long to wear some paint. I want to use it in certain cases. That’s why I used the paint against Darby Allin on Dynamite. I want to do this character like how the Great Muta did it.”
Speaking of Jericho in NJPW, we are going to see Y2J wrestle for the Japanese promotion tomorrow as he takes on Hiroshi Tanahashi on Wrestle Kingdom 14’s night two show.
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