Chris Jericho has analysed a tweet from fellow AEW competitor MJF, claiming that he feels it made people feel uncomfortable rather than generating heat from the crowd.
Over his career, Chris Jericho has cornered the market as one of the best speakers in the wrestling industry. Whether it be his time in WCW with the ‘Man Of 1001 Holds’ promo, or interrupting The Rock on his WWE debut, ‘The Demo-God’ is credited as being one of the best at getting a reaction from the crowd.
Speaking during a new interview with Richard Deitsch on Sports Media, Chris Jericho talked about the art of cutting a good promo and how he structures them, citing the example of when he had to destroy a drone.
You just have to commit. For something like the drone, you commit, and you make people believe the drone is real, and you’re pissed off, and, ‘I’m going to smash it.’ And that’s how it works, and that’s just what you do.
How do I do a promo? I do write them down because I need to get my thoughts in order. Sometimes it’s only an hour before the show, and sometimes it works great. Sometimes, it doesn’t work. Basically, I put my thoughts together. I’ll write them down, kind of bullet points, and then just kind of think about it and let it sink for a bit. If you’re going to tell a joke or some kind of an insult, you better make sure it’s good. And once again, you better to commit to it, and you can’t force it. It has to come to you.
‘The Ayatollah Of Rock ‘n’ Rollah’ went on to talk about how promos in WWE were always structured, and how this could be to the detriment of some talent.
I used to hate that in WWE. It’s like, ‘you need an insult here.’ If you didn’t have the right one, you’d go out there (and crash and burn). I remember Vince made John Morrison use the insult of ‘platypus dung.’ I was like, ‘John, you can’t say that. No one’s going to laugh.’ He said ‘well, Vince wants me to say it.’ I said, ‘just say you forgot to say it.’ And of course, he said it, it dies.
You have to be confident, you have to have your thoughts in mind, but you also have to be cognizant of, ‘if things change, like a conversation, if something happens, you’ve got to roll with that too.’ So it’s almost like if you asked Wayne Gretzky, ‘how does he score a goal?’ It’s probably hard to explain because it’s just something he does. And it’s always been that way for promos for me, because when I first started in 1990, I wasn’t the biggest guy. I knew I would never be the biggest guy in the show, but I could have the most personality, the most charisma, and have the best character.
It’s been ingrained in my system as a good guy or as a bad guy, being fearless, committing, not worrying what people think about you. If you’re locked in and you believe what you’re saying, if people believe, if I believe this drone is real, other people will believe this drone is real as well. And that’s the most important thing about a promo. You have to believe what you’re saying, and be committed to it.
One particular point Chris Jericho commented on is how good promos in AEW look to blur the lines between the entertainment industry and reality. He then commented on one recent MJF promo which he feels didn’t hit that mark due to referencing Lex Luger being in a wheelchair.
People at this point know that this is show business. There’s only so deep you can go. I think that, for example, there was a line a few weeks ago that MJF used about Lex Luger being in a wheelchair to Sting. I don’t think that gets heat, I think it makes people feel uncomfortable. I think it makes people feel bad, and you don’t want that. So there is a fine line between using real life issues, and going to inside baseball, where it’s like, ‘I don’t know what this guy is talking about, but it just doesn’t feel right.’ To me, that is the fine line of a pro wrestling promo.
If there’s something in the universe that people know, then you can use it because it’s been on the show or whatever. If it’s something behind the scenes like, ‘well, your dad was a drunk.’ And it’s like, ‘where did that come from? His dad’s a drunk? Well that sucks. My dad was a drunk too. I don’t want to watch this show anymore.
Aside from MJF, Chris Jericho recently commented on the match which Vince McMahon thought was the worst in WrestleMania history.
With thanks to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.