The Ministry Of Jericho
The phrase, ‘insult your intelligence’ has long been one this fan has taken umbrage with as it pertains to
professional wrestling. Why fans feel the need to bring such manners into entertainment is beyond me in
many respects. It’s understandable that people would wish to enjoy the show as adults, but this is possible
without every plot hole being fully explained/explored or every single match being a five-star classic. When
it’s all said and done, the smoke has cleared and the sun shines on a brand new day – wrestling is hammy. It
has always played off the base instincts of emotion from the audience, and it will continue to do so until the
end of time.
The above description is also eerily reminiscent of rock music, an event which requires the audience to lose
their inhibitions and become involved in the moment. Having had two distinct dreams as a child; to become
a pro wrestler and a rock star, Chris Jericho can proudly proclaim his achievement of both. In fact, the man
himself told me so.
The Ministry Of Slam wrestling radio show was a success long before my good friend, Chris Duke and I had
the honour of taking over. I currently do an 8-hour bus round trip to do the show each Monday, but it never
feels that far. I’ll never forget the day Chris called me up, we had a routine conversation and he added, “Oh
yeah, I’m driving down to England tomorrow to take over Ministry Of Slam”. It was as though he was telling
me the dishes needed done, or the weather was nice outside. It put my short hop on a bus into perspective!
That’s just the way Chris is however, his laid back approach never fails to raise a smile, but he sure gets the
Fast forward 4 months and the show is going from strength to strength, adding the superbly talented
Andrew Downs and passion of Michael Ireland to the team. It’s been an absolute pleasure to talk to names
such as Eric Bischoff, Tom Prichard and Shane Douglas, and things look just as bright for 2013. We’ll be in
attendance when TNA hit British shores for their successful annual tour, we’ll chat to some of the biggest
names in the industry and share beers with some of the UK’s top talent. Life is good, if only I lived closer to
all the action!
Please let me explain; I live in quite a remote part of Scotland. Campbeltown isn’t the most easily accessible
place, stuck right on the end of a peninsula. We’re closer to Northern Ireland than we are to most major
Scottish cities! When the opportunity arose to interview Chris Jericho however, I would have bused it to
Emailing his agent at Century Media (the label Jericho’s band, Fozzy are on), something told me this wasn’t
a futile exercise. Chris Jericho had been on Ministry Of Slam before, but we had plans to film the entire
interview, hoping to capture something memorable. In the end, we did, but not quite the way we thought!
Being given full access to Fozzy’s gig at The Arches in Glasgow, the MOS team arrived full of expectation, not
to mention excitement. This was someone we’d all watched on television since we were young kids, striking
that familiar Jericho pose, arms outstretched and screaming, “Break The Walls Down” at our bemused
parents. The plan was to interview Jericho in the early afternoon, kick around for a while and then take in the
gig. Our only rule was strictly not to film any of the concert itself, one we were of course more than happy to
Our designated timeslot rolled by, but we weren’t too concerned. Surely Chris Jericho is a busy guy, right?
He’s probably already done ten interviews by now, eating fledgling radio hosts for breakfast. An hour or so
later, the tour manager found us and explained there was no way Jericho could fill our time, he was simply
too far behind on schedule. We’d get our interview for sure, but after the band came off-stage around 10pm.
No problem, it’s worth the wait, only yours truly was booked on the last bus home to Campbeltown – one
which leaves at 6pm!
Hiding my dismay fairly well, Duke still noticed the sad glint in my eye, asking the very accommodating
tour manager if I could even have a few words with Jericho. Unsure, he nonetheless took me to the dressing
rooms, where my boyhood hero was more than happy to chat, apologising for the postponement. I explained
to him that I of course understood, but had a gig of my own at home that evening (a far less glamorous one,
granted) and would not be able to stay for the later-than-planned interview. One quick photo opportunity
later and my meeting had come to a close. 150 miles for pretty much nothing but a quick meet and greet, or
Retreating to Pizza Hut for a quick bite to eat, the rest of the team declared it was simply a must that I stayed.
Ten minutes later I was on the phone to my friend, who agreed that it was only fair I missed the gig – it was
Chris Jericho for crying out loud! Phoning my mother to alert her of the situation, her only worry was that
her boy had packed enough underwear. Ignoring such wardrobe troubles, I watched 6pm come and go, and
my only way home with it. Being able to stay at Duke’s was gratefully accepted, and it was time to go take in
For a fan of rock music, seeing one of your favourite wrestlers on stage performing passionately as a vocalist
is a thrill which simply cannot be missed. I’d seen Fozzy before, but they’d improved tenfold in the years
since. Along with a few beers and the great company, this was one of the best gigs I’d been to in a long time.
Duke was even on crutches, putting his “arms” in the air every time Jericho requested!
Shortly after the final chords had been struck, it was time to strike another kind entirely. Waiting patiently
while the former WWE Champion had a shower, we prepared for our big moment. I had a quiet moment of
realisation of what was possible, how far I had come from writing badly-worded WWF Smackdown reports
for various smaller websites. Here I was, helping out cameraman, Michael Ireland, line up the shot for an
interview with a man I’d watched wrestle since 1996.
After an interview with a heavy metal fanzine had been concluded, Jericho asked for a few moments while
he checked his phone. Thankfully, upon checking later, there were no posts of, ‘Just finished the Fozzy gig in
Glasgow. The show rocked, but who are these dorks?’ on Twitter. And then, we were off.
Speaking openly about a number of subjects, from his memorable feud with Shawn Michaels to the
disappointment of having to follow The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania X8, Jericho couldn’t have
been a better guest. He even helped me out by holding the microphone for me, which led to several amusing
comments from friends later on at “being interviewed” by Chris Jericho. Declaring Duke (still on crutches
with a torn quad) as being more of a hard-man than Vince McMahon or Triple H and, “definitely tougher
than Kevin Nash”, this was more akin to speaking with a friend about wrestling than one of the top names in
the business. You can check the interview out on iTunes, just searching for Ministry Of Slam!
Thanking the man profusely for his time, the interview came to a close and Jericho was quickly mobbed by
eyelash-batting girls. For us, it was to be packed into the car and a short drive home – sharing the euphoria
of a job well done. We all agreed the interview was a success, with the video sure to be a hit on the new ‘MOS
TV’ hitting YouTube.
In a nightmare scenario, it was soon revealed the video footage had been scrambled, through no fault of
Michael. It was simply bum luck, with only a portion of the audio being rescued. Immediate thoughts began
of catching up on the Fozzy tour and doing the interview all over again, but reality soon set in. If not for those
precious minutes of audio content, or pictures, many would have believed we never met Chris Jericho at all.
A ghost interview, if you will!
Thankfully, that evidence does exist of the day we met one of our collective favourites. Without being too
bashful, Chris Jericho has the kind of natural charisma many could merely dream of. Great wrestler, great
show, great interview and good times. Life is good.
Check out the Ministry Of Slam wrestling radio show each and every Monday LIVE at 9pm
GMT/4pm EST over at www.MinistryOfSlam.com.