Chris Jericho (if he’s reading this) is probably thinking to himself, who’s this assclown reviewing my book?
Well Jericho, I’m a hopeful fanboy akin to yourself, and I met you at the Undisputed book signing on Wall Street. And much like when you came face to face with the real Great One, Wayne Gretzky, I nervously ran several thought-provoking and electrifying openers as I waited on-line to come face-to-face, mano-a-mano with The Best in the World at What he Does.
“Nice to meet you, Jericho. I know that it was your business to entice the fans during the end of your last stint with WWE, and instead created new catchphrases, which was not your intent. It wasn’t because you failed at being a heel, it was because we [the wrestling fans] respect you too damn much and truly believe, whether it’s wrestling, rocking, performing, entertaining, or writing, that you are indeed the Best in the World at what you do.”
Great opening, right? Too bad Jericho never heard it.
When I finally walked around the signing table, Jericho caught me off guard by saying, “How are you?” Usually the responder will answer “I’m doing well, how about yourself,” and hope that they take it from there. No, no, dear readers… Stupidly, I replied by repeating exactly what he just asked me, “How are you?” Then Jericho muttered under his breath, sounded like, “Ok… great.”
So there I was sitting next to the first-ever WWF (go screw yourself World Wildlife Fund) Undisputed Champion and I had nothing to say. I kind of just sat there next to him, afraid to look him square in the eye as he signed my Undisputed copy, and some Pro Wrestling Illustrated magazines that I just so happen to bring along with me. He looked at the cover of one with a big picture of his NXT protegé Wade Barrett, and read off the title with a sense of excitement, “Oooh… Wading in Danger!”
He then (thank god) broke the tension by asking me what I wanted to do. “Grab a drink with Chris Jericho,” even if it was 12:30 in the afternoon.
(Side Thought: In retrospect, after reading his book, maybe asking him to wrestle under tables as he reverts to his alter drunken ego Drunkicho was probably not a good idea.)
Then I came back to reality, “I want to be a writer, but I’ll probably never be as good as you.” For a wrestler who claimed in Undisputed that he never said he was a role model (Natalie Portman comes to mind), he acted like one when he remarked, “Who knows, you may even be better.”
This was so froot (Chris Jericho™), I just received the support from thee Chris Jericho to pursue my dream as a writer. When asked what kind of writing, I answered religious fiction. Even though for the past year (2010) all I kept thinking about was writing for Pro Wrestling Illustrated (Stu, if you’re reading this… Oh it’s real, it’s DAMN real), I still want to write a series of religious fiction novels.
After being suspended in thought for a matter of seconds, shuffling through my brain for something to say, I finally blurted out in regards of being better than him, “Who knows, before your book came along, Mick Foley was on top. But in the foreword, he wrote “Could Chris Jericho’s be better than mine!?”” That made him laugh, which was froot because how often do you get to meet one of your heroes and make them notice you, if even for a brief moment?
My, albeit brief, encounter with Jericho is cognate to what transpired when he first arrived in the WWE. Chris was at the top of his game having wrestled all around the world (Read the critically acclaimed A Lion’s Tale available in fine bookstores and through your ereaders), about to interrupt The Rock, when something went wrong. His long-awaited debut went from promising main-event upstart to wrestling purgatory midcard.
Undisputed: How to Become the World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps picks up right where A Lion’s Tale left off. Covering his first stint in the WWE, the formation and evolution of his band Fozzy, and the personal trials and tribulations he endured along the way.
Though Undisputed is a great read, at times the WWE chapters seemed to jump through the years as he focused on the WrestleMania builds. The real intrigue comes in the chapters dealing with his heavy metal band Fozzy, and those after his departure from WWE.
The reason why A Lion’s Tale was phenomenal in my viewpoint was that it dealt solely on his quest to work for the WWE by traveling the world, experiencing different cultures, and learning the physical and entertainment aspects of professional wrestling. Undisputed touched more upon his quest to become a rock star. It was not until the final chapters that I started to feel that I was reading a wrestling book.
(Side Author’s note: the chapters dealing with his final matches against The Rock in Japan and Hawaii, the birth of his three kids, and the deaths of his mother, Eddie Guerrero, and Chris Benoit are touching)
One gripe about Undisputed was its tagline: How to Become the World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps. Technically and officially, Chris Jericho became a World Champion before Vengeance (2001). Technically he pinned Triple-H for the WWE Championship eight months before 1,372, but Referee Earl Hebner later reversed the decision due to pressure from Triple-H. Since Chris Jericho returned the title back to HHH, WWE never recognized this reign. Officially, Chris Jericho became the WCW World Champion by defeating The Rock at No Mercy two months prior to Vengeance. But then again, I could be making mountains out of mole hills.
Undisputed: How to Become the World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps is a must-read for any Jerichoholic (Chris Jericho™).