In 2009 Chris Jericho had been trading words with former boxer and Hollywood actor Mickey Rourke, who’d recently broken back into the limelight through his performance as Randy “The Ram” Robinson in Darren Arnofsky’s critically acclaimed “The Wrestler.”
Somewhere along the line their verbal spat was scheduled to culminate in a match at that years Wrestlemania, but plans went array and the match was altered into a short-term storyline which saw Jericho feud with WWE Hall of Famers Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka, Ric Flair and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat.
Thanks to Inside the Ropes, who sent us the following recap of their One Year Anniversary Show which you can listen to below, Chris Jericho explained the creative plan heading into that years Wrestlemania, why the match with Rourke was snubbed and who Vince originally wanted to face “Y2J.”
You can listen to the Inside the Ropes: One Year Anniversary podcast by clicking here.
The original plan was to work with Mickey Rourke in a singles match but he was so excited about it he went and said something about it at like the Screen Actors Guild Red Carpet. My cousin texted me saying, “Are you wrestling Mickey Rourke? He just challenged you on the red carpet.” This was like 3 weeks before the Oscars.
We were going to announce it after the Oscars but once he said it, his people were mortified and thought it might hurt his chances of winning, so he had to pull out and he didn’t even win the Oscar so it was a bit of a drag. We even already started going in that direction and then he said “no.” Then Vince came up with this Plan B with the Legends with Flair who’d retired the year before, he’d be the ring leader and it was gonna be Piper, Jimmy Snuka and Greg Valentine because Vince’s criteria was it had to be a guy who was in the WWE Hall of Fame and had appeared at WrestleMania 1. Hogan’s name was never mentioned. At one point they talked about Jerry Lawler but he didn’t fit because he wasn’t in WrestleMania 1.
I was looking at it like “me and Piper, Snuka and Greg Valentine, this match is gonna be shit”. I said that to Vince, I told him it won’t be good and he said, “it’s not supposed to be good.” I told him I understand that but instead of putting Greg Valentine in there could we put Ricky Steamboat in there. Ricky had just started working there again at the time.
He hadn’t wrestled and he didn’t even own his own name, his ex wife owned the name so they had to get something figured out, there was a little bit of heat there too, and Vince finally allowed Ricky to come in and we did it and it was amazing. He made it – Chris Jericho