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Chris Jericho was ready to replace Shane McMahon at WrestleMania 34, and it’s a great story

The latest episode of Talk is Jericho opens with the host telling his guest a story. Since the host is Chris Jericho and his guest is Daniel Bryan, it’s a crazy WWE story. And it’s great.

As you may recall, less that two weeks before WrestleMania 34, it was revealed Shane McMahon was in the hospital dealing with - among other things - a case of the gastrointestinal infection diverticulitus. If you didn’t recall, we understand, it’s been a busy couple months. Shane would end up being cleared for and wrestling in a tag match with Bryan against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in New Orleans. But at the time the hospitalization was announced, that bout hadn’t even been confirmed yet. So it’s understandable WWE began exploring back-up plans.

Meanwhile, despite his usual protestations there was no way he could be at the Superdome on April 8 because of a Fozzy concert in New Hampshire, Jericho is ALWAYS a possibility for a surprise appearance at a wrestling show. On Talk is Jericho, Y2J revealed to Bryan and the audience that he and Vince McMahon had a plan to get him to Louisiana to partner with DB.

And this story has it all, scripted fight fans. Confirmation Shane is a mutant, an update on how paranoid WWE is about leaks from backstage and the latest reminder that Sami Zayn is even more neurotic in real life than his character is on screen.

Take it away, fellas:

Jericho: A few weeks before WrestleMania, maybe three or four weeks, I get a call from Vince. And he’s talking about Shane and his appendix, or not his appendix, his diverticulitus, and he had an infection in his hand and he had... a staph infection and he had... a hernia. And he goes, ‘Listen, we don’t know if he can do ‘Mania.’

And he had somehow looked, or got someone to look at my schedule, and we had a Fozzy show that day... So he was like ‘I know you’re doing a Fozzy show, and you’re gonna watch WrestleMania with your fans,’ he goes, ‘what would you think about coming to New Orleans if Shane can’t do it?’

[They discussed whether or not Bryan knew any of this, and DB explains that while he guessed Y2J would be ‘Plan B’, this was the first he was hearing direct confirmation of it, because...]

Bryan: We’re in this stage now where they don’t tell the boys anything. So they keep all the secrets from the boys because they’re afraid all the boys are talking to the dirt sheets. And so I asked, cause when Shane called me and told me, he said ‘I’m in the hospital right now. I got diverticulitus while I was in Antigua, and then when they were giving me IVs I got a staph infection from the IVs, and then I have this hernia that’s coming out of my stomach... but don’t worry I’ll be ready for ‘Mania’...

[They laugh about Shane, and DB tells a side-story about how when McMahon was in that helicopter crash, he was the one helping the pilot to calm down. It’s then in discussing the hoops Vince and Y2J were willing to jump through to get him to WrestleMania that Sami comes up...]

Jericho: And it’s funny because we were looking, we were googling airports, and it was in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, like the most out of the way place. We were looking up airports close to Hampton Beach and how long is the charter to get there [New Orleans], and he [Vince] was like ‘Okay, you can make it right on time and we’ll give you a police escort, and you’ll basically have to go right into the ring.’

And I said ‘Listen, I’ve got no problem with that, and I know that Bryan has no problem with it. Kevin and Sami - especially Sami - are gonna have heart attacks calling a WrestleMania match in the ring.’ I mean, obviously we would think of some stuff beforehand, but like, I can do it. I don’t have a problem, so can you. We could do it now. But like, Sami is going to die of a frickin’ aneurysm if we do that!

Aren’t pro wrestlers the best?

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