Y2J is pretty adamant that being a full-time wrestler and key component of WWE stories is not in his plans for the immediate future (except when he's not). But he's still a fan, and a savvy self-promoter, so when Bill Apter asks him to sit down and chat, current events in the world of sports entertainment will be discussed.
Chris Jericho and Bill sat down for an Apter Chat on 1Wrestling.com on the day of the Royal Rumble (January 25, 2015) event to discuss Fozzy, and bobbleheads, and the usual all over the map chat with the Ayatalloh of Rock 'n' Rolla.
Without knowledge of who would win the Rumble match (Jericho tongue in cheek picks his WrestleMania 29 opponent, Fandango, "he's a good lad") or the fan backlash that followed, his reasons for why he'd go with Roman Reigns provide a potential peak into the mind of Vince McMahon:
This is a guy that they're saying, 'We want to make him the next big thing and we want him to be the guy that we're going to put the cart to,' and you know Bill, fans are very fickle, and fans are very untrusting. So they don't know 'should we invest in Reigns because, what has he really done? Okay, we understand we're being pushed in this direction, but what do we need to do to really buy in to it?' I think if he wins the Royal Rumble, and goes to Mania and wins the championship, that's the only way you can tell if fans will buy into him. Because we've gone all the way with it.
This is it. He's won the Rumble. He's won the championship at WrestleMania. If he's not super over at this point - let's pull back on it. I think it's worth the risk to go with him.
As for the other option WWE had in Philadelphia - Daniel Bryan? Acknowledging The Beard's challenges when it comes to being a top guy by the company brass, Jericho has an interesting plan for the fan favorite:
We know that Daniel Bryan is a guy that's super popular but we all know what Vince McMahon thinks. Daniel is not a Vince McMahon prototype wrestler where as Roman Reigns is. I'd like to see Roman win, I'd like to see him win the title at WrestleMania and see what do we really have with this guy.
And if that's the case, then turn Daniel Bryan heel and put those two together, let them feud for the title back and forth.
Again, this is from before the Rumble, so I don't know if YES Movement 2.0 would make him change his stance on this - I think Bryan would have to slap a "Make A Wish" kid to get real boos from the bulk of the audience. But based on accounts of Jericho's relationship with Vince and his reputation as a company man, you have to wonder if the first undisputed WWE champ didn't just explain the Chairman's thought process - and give us a possible future booking landscape.
How does Jericho get to the heel Bryan vs. champ Reigns summer program? Here's the WrestleMania 31 card he laid out for Apter:
- Sting vs. Triple H
- Rusev vs. John Cena
- The Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt
- Daniel Bryan vs. Brock Lesnar
- Roman Reigns vs. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins
Now, he got there by having Seth cash in his briefcase on Cena after the Triple Threat at the last pay-per-view (PPV). But hey, we're all just fantasy booking here.
Here's the full twenty-minute interview. Check it out and let us know what you think of Y2J's Road to WrestleMania - and what you think of his rationale for the rise of the Roman Empire. Is going all in really the best way to see what they have in Reigns? Is there any way to pull off a Bryan heel turn right now? Are either good ideas?