AEW Star Chris Jericho was interviewed by Hollywood Life where he talked about celebrities being involved in pro wrestling and Mike Tyson’s current run in AEW:
On whether he feels that he can trust Tyson as the guest enforcer: “Yeah, I don’t know. Because the thing we love about Tyson is that he is Tyson. He loves being Mike Tyson which means that he is very unpredictable. He is going to do what he wants to do, and that is kind of why people like seeing him. There is always an ‘x-factor’ with Mike. When we found out that he was available for a couple of weeks, we wanted to put together a cool two-part story and last week was that first part, which leads to him being the ringside enforcer for Jericho versus Dax Harwood. And what is he going to do? I don’t know. Is he going to knock out Dax Harwood? Is he going to knock me out? Am I going to knock him out? That is the fun about it: we don’t really talk to him or coach him like another wrestler on the show because he is going to do what he wants to do regardless. And that is one of the reasons we love having him around.”
On celebrity involvement in wrestling getting better from the days of Jay Leno in WCW: “You [now] have guys that have a large amount of respect for pro wrestling. You can throw the Jay Leno name in there, and I will raise you a Karl Malone and a Dennis Rodman. Lawrence Taylor, way back in the day. There are athletes and guys like Bad Bunny who have been lifelong fans of wrestling and really respect what we do and want to be involved. Those are the ones that always work the best. If you take a guy who doesn’t want to do the training and do the things to put on a good match, you will not get one. Then it becomes more of just a stunt casting, shall we say.
“But someone for Shaq, he took it very seriously. He worked very hard to put on the match he did. The same thing with Bad Bunny — you can tell the training was there because what he did was very much like the match we had with Shaq. After the match, [Shaq] said, ‘I wanted to make you proud, brother!’ I don’t think [these recent celebrities] want to come in there and embarrass themselves or, more importantly, embarrass the sport with all the respect that they have for it. It’s the same thing with Mike Tyson. He loves being around the business and respects the business, and he has since he has been a kid. All he wants to do is his best. And at the end of the day, he is Mike Tyson, so there is always that element of what he is going to do. But if he didn’t want to be there for the right reasons, he wouldn’t be there.”
On if there’s anyone in metal that he’d like to face in the ring: “I don’t think of it that way. People ask me that, thinking it is a fun question, but to me, it is like, ‘if you want to do it, you have to put the time and effort and the right angle and storyline.’ To me, it is like, ‘Who in the metal world would you put in a wrestling match that would be believable?’ The Bad Bunny thing was a little different, and I suppose you could find somebody like Zakk Wylde who could probably train and actually do it. But, you have to be an athlete first and foremost, and that is why Shaq was so good or Tyson being involved [is so good] — because of the intensity that he has because he knows what it is like to be in a fight — so when he is in the ring, you are not thinking that this is some kind of ‘haha’ type thing.
“So, if the story is right, and the guy wants to put the right time in, then once again – what we did with Shaq and what WWE did with Bad Bunny are perfect examples of the right story and the right guy who is willing to put in the time to do well and here is one last thing on it. When I did Dancing with The Stars, the guys that didn’t respect what they were doing or out in the time to rehearse were out quickly. I realized if you don’t rehearse six or seven hours a day, every single day, you are not going to last long, and that is why I did so well. I went into that world with the respect and desire that you needed to succeed, and that is what you have to do in wrestling as well.”