AEW superstar and former world champion Chris Jericho recently appeared on Busted Open Radio to promote his new book, “The Complete List of Jericho,” where the Demo God explains to the hosts his process of tracking his matches since the start of his career. Highlights are below.
How he kept records of all of his matches prior to Cagematch keeping it:
“You can see on the inside of the book, that’s the actual – that’s the real, legit, first page. You can even see the binder clips. We were able to kind of recreate that when you open the book up. I did carry this binder with me around the world. And that’s the crazy thing. I started thinking, ‘What if I lose this? What if there’s a fire or a flood? All this information will be gone.’ Now, keep this in mind. In about 2010 or so, Cagematch started keeping track of all the matches of everybody. So now it’s a lot easier, but what I have here is the first seven or eight years. WCW, you can probably even find those matches. But the matches I had in Mexico, Japan, Europe, even ECW in the early 90’s, you can’t find that stuff. This is a whole history book of even the early 90’s in Mexico. I mean, just going by match No. 186, July 25, 1993. [Jericho], Oro and Transformer vs. Villano IV, V, and Masakre in Mexico City. All of these guys, it’s like, ‘Who the hell are all these guys?’ You can go through and find all this information. Some of them are huge stars, some of them are not. But you can just see how the business was back then when you were doing stuff overseas, basically on your own. In Mexico City, all those guys are Spanish guys, and then there’s me!”
Recalls making $30 in his first match against Norman Smiley:
“My first payoff was 30 bucks. 50 bucks was kind of the average back in those days, and sadly, it still is kind of the average these days. $50 minimum is what you’ll get. If you look at my first tour of FMW, October 16, 1991, six-man with Lance Storm and Mark Starr vs. Sambo Asaka, Tarzan Goto, and Masashi Honda in Nagasaki, Japan. My payoff for that was 160 bucks because whatever I was making for the week, I took that and divided it by how many matches I had, so that was 160 bucks. So it kind of goes through all of those different things. Like I said, you still see a lot of zeros. When I got to WCW, when I’m making a guaranteed amount of money every year, I kind of dropped the payoffs there because it’s going to be the same. If you’re making $1500 a week and you’re working five matches a week, well it’s 300 bucks every time. But in the early days, it is really funny to see. My first big payoff, and I was talking to Norman Smiley about this, was when I was working Monterrey, Mexico. Now Monterrey was kind of an offshoot of Mexico City, which was, let’s say AEW or WWE. Monterrey would be Ring of Honor or ECW. So I kind of started out there. And what happened was there supposed to be a championship match. Black Magic, who was Norman Smiley, versus Vampiro, who was the challenger at the time. Vampiro hurt his leg, so he couldn’t do the match. I was kind of the top foreign talent in the Monterrey territory, so they put me in Vampiro’s place to wrestle for the Mexico City Heavyweight Championship. And that was December 6, 1992. So I lost to Black Magic, obviously, but because it was a championship main event, they paid me 500 bucks. And back in those days, if you had a championship match, you would get double your pay. So I literally got paid $1000 to have this championship match in the bullring against Norman Smiley – I gave it four stars. That was the first big payoff I ever had. A thousand bucks? For one match? I couldn’t believe it. And that’s the match that ended up getting me hired to Mexico City because the word got around about this kid that, to his credit, Norman Smiley put me over when he didn’t have to. He didn’t even know me, and he made me look like a million bucks as the challenger. And I got a big payoff and I got a good job as a result.”
(H/T and transcribed by 411 Mania)