Let's just get this out of the way right now: I'm a HUUUUGE Jerichoholic. He annoyed the crap out of me in WCW with his whining and antics, yet I still found myself inexplicably liking him. When he made it to the WWE, I was sold from the start, despite some rocky points. He has a charisma that's on par with the best of them, the million dollar smile that can draw people in, and he's a great entertainer. Most important in my book though, is that based on everything I've ever read about him or seen of him, he's a legitimately nice guy in real life, which elevates him to a whole different level of greatness for me.
With that in mind, I feel dumb for two reasons. First, I didn't know that he had written two autobiographies, "A Lion's Tale: Around the World in Spandex" and "Undisputed: How to Become World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps". Surely a loyal fan would know such things right? Wrong, but thanks to some smart cSs-ers, that all changed. Second, and slightly less embarrassing, is the fact that I am writing the review of "Undisputed" without having read "A Lion's Tale" first. Sounds sorta weird, but there's a valid reason for it. In my desire to read one of his books, my local book seller did not have the first one, so I decided to read "Undisputed" then purchase "A Lion's Tale" at a later date (which will happen this Friday) and then do a review of that. It's OK though because I did the same thing with the first two Harry Potter books and that turned out fine in the long run.
I'm not going to do a comprehensive review of the book, but rather highlight some areas that I found interesting while (hopefully) persuading you to read it (after "A Lion's Tale" of course).
The first thing that struck me about reading "Undisputed" was how I clearly I heard Jericho's voice through the writing. His charisma and character are present throughout the entire book and it's really what inspired me to have a few late nights in a row, aching to get through just one more chapter each night. The paperback is 504 pages, which isn't too bad, but was definitely made easier by the fact that his writing style is engaging and manages to put over everyone/everything else in the book, making you want to find out more. In that sense, it really was like a Harry Potter book all over again (for me anyway) because I couldn't put it down and had to compromise with myself sometimes.
Some perfect examples of this were the chapters where he talked about his original WWE debut in Chicago (whoop whoop!). I had watched his WWE DVD set "Breaking the Code: Behind the Walls of Chris Jericho", and it was interesting having seen that and reading a little more about it. Those few chapters in a row were like crack to me and I couldn't quit reading because I was hooked and needed my next fix. What I didn't fully realize was how much he didn't really like his WWE debut and how rough he actually had it for the first few months in the company, despite the pops he got with the crowd.
One area I wasn't sure I would enjoy was his work with Fozzy and how they evolved over time. I had my reservations about reading those chapters, but they were just as entertaining as the wrestling stories. His travels, the people he's met, the Drunkicho persona (though not exclusive to Fozzy), were all enjoyable and showed just how much of an entertainer he is and aspires to be. I'm not really a heavy metal or hard rock guy, but I appreciated his run-ins with various legends of the music industry.
The most revealing chapters of the book were the ones concerning Eddie, the passing of his mother, and his feelings on Benoit. All three of those chapters really brought out my own emotions because he conveyed his with a great mix of brutal honesty and reverence. It was clear how much he missed all three of those very important people in his life and I felt for him, especially considering that I shamelessly admit to being a mama's boy and I could tell that Jericho really loved his mother.
I mentioned earlier that I couldn't put down his book and found myself engrossed in his writing. Part of it was the overall book, but part of it was the fact that I wanted to get to the Benoit chapter as soon as I saw that there was one dedicated to the topic. That chapter alone is worth the price of the book because it was interesting to read his perspective on a man who's matches technically don't exist anymore and has become taboo within the industry with good reason. I loved Benoit and I was disturbed and upset at the events that took place, but reading Jericho's perspective put me back in my place as a fan and not as someone who lived through the pro wrestling witch hunt as he had.
I still don't fully understand the Billy Graham feud, but I got a glimpse of why Jericho may not like him, which had to do with Eddie's funeral as many have pointed out before. If anyone wants to fill me in more, that'd be greatly appreciated.
Overall I loved reading "Undisputed" and I highly recommend it to everyone, Jerichoholic or not. It's well written, engaging, goofy, serious, but he doesn't take himself too seriously. Some bits and pieces didn't make complete sense to me because I was missing part of the story from "A Lion's Tale", but I'm going to get to reading that right away. I hope you've enjoyed my take on it and I also hope that I've inspired you to pick up a copy baybay!