Chris Jericho

Chris Jericho Reveals How He Got AJ Styles’ “Styles Clash” Unbanned By WWEChris Jericho Reveals How He Got AJ Styles’ “Styles Clash” Unbanned By WWE

WWE Superstar Chris Jericho was a guest on a recent episode of former UFC star and new Bellator MMA star Chael Sonnen’s weekly podcast, “You’re Welcome with Chael Sonnen,” and spoke at length about his legendary pro wrestling career.

During the interview with Sonnen, Jericho claimed that it wasn’t until his feud with Shawn Michaels in 2008 that he truly learned for the first time how to generate legitimate heel heat from wrestling fans.

“I was doing kind of a heel character in WCW. It was more of a comical type of thing, like [Sonnen] said, a funny heel. And so, I just brought that character over to WWE. And I had been wrestling for nine years by the time I got to WWE and realized pretty quickly that I was in over my head as far as I didn’t know as much as I thought that I knew. So, I think, for the first few years I was there, it was a heel at times, it was a babyface at times. I think when I first came in, I meant it to be a heel and it kind of wasn’t because I didn’t really know what to do to get heat at the time. I think I started to figure it out when I worked with Shawn Michaels in 2003. But I think 2008, when I turned on Shawn again, that’s when I really got what being a heel really is. And that’s when I was, for sure, the most hated guy in the business. There was nobody that thought I was a likeable heel at that point.” Jericho added, “it’s not what I’m doing all the way. I still think I’m one of the only actual heels in the company. But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having that entertaining side.”

As far as why he isn’t doing what he did in 2008 in his current role as a heel in WWE, Jericho claimed it would be too draining to keep up with such a lifestyle at this point in his career.

“In 2008, 2009, I completely stripped myself of all of that and really dropped into the character to really make sure people didn’t like me. It took a lot out of me, man. You hear stories of Heath Ledger passing away after being The Joker and from whatever it was, from an O.D., or problems getting out of that depth he dropped himself into.” Jericho continued, “I didn’t care who I insulted. I didn’t care if I made kids cry. All I wanted to do was to make people pay to see me get beat up. And it worked! It was probably the best run of my career. The one I’m on right now is pretty close, but that type of a heel is hard to play. It’s mentally draining on you and I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do it anymore. If I tried in 2016, I couldn’t be the guy that I was in October of 2008. There’s no way.”

Regarding the latest WWE Draft / brand extension, Jericho shared his belief that it was a positive move for the company because it gives talents more television time and exposure, while at the same time giving them an easier television schedule to keep up with on a weekly basis.

“It’s a great idea because it gives guys a little more TV time and it gives you a little bit of a mental break of not having to worry about two TVs a week. That’s hard. Three if you have a pay-per-view. So that might help a little bit because house shows are a lot easier than TVs, a lot easier. And not having to worry about that twice a week, that can help guys physically and mentally.”

Also during the interview, the future WWE Hall Of Famer spoke about helping play a role in getting AJ Styles’ popular “Styles Clash” finishing move unbanned by WWE.

“Well, I’ll tell you, it’s a cool feeling whenever you see guys that’ve worked long and hard to achieve their goal. And, obviously, AJ coming in was a no brainer. It was the same when Daniel Bryan came in. At first, he was kind of behind the eight ball, and I said, ‘there’s nothing they can do to stop him. He [has] gotten over everywhere he [has] ever been. He [has] got great main event matches everywhere he [has] ever been. Eventually, it’s going to happen here.’ And I said that with AJ too. My favorite thing about AJ was that it started, basically, with me. I helped him cut his teeth in the WWE. I helped him get his finish unbanned! I mean, The Styles Clash was banned when it first came in and I helped him kind of unlock that, so he can start using it. So all that stuff, I kind of take an extra special pride in helping him.”

Check out the complete Chris Jericho interview on Chael Sonnen’s podcast at

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