Chris Jericho Talks Blood And Guts: Podcast Recap

The latest episode of Talk is Jericho sees Chris Jericho discuss the Blood and Guts match from the May 5th episode of Dynamite. The show in question was number one for key demographic viewership on the night. Here are the most notable quotes from the show:

On original plans:

“This match has been in AEW’s back pocket for over a year. We were originally going to do Blood and Guts on March 25th 2020. It was going to be in New Jersey and we had sold 12,000 tickets for it. The match was going to be The Elite vs. The Inner Circle. At that point, Cody, who wanted to be in the match, had taken himself out of it, because he was looking to be the very first TNT champion. Of course these are my recollections, I could be off on certain exact details. So then we ended up with Hangman, Kenny, The Bucks and Matt Hardy, who replaced Nick Jackson. When we got hit with this pandemic, everything got thrown at the window. Our last show was March 11th, where we injured Nick Jackson. It was going to be 5 on 4 and who are The Elite going to get? The following week, they were going to announce the leader of The Dark Order, who was going to be Brodie Lee. Later on that night, we were going to threaten to beat up The Elite, and a drone was going to fly into the arena. This was going to be the return of Broken Matt Hardy, which would have torn the house down. That never happened, and we had to go back to square one.”

On why everything changed:

“The original plan was going to be in February 2020 in Atlanta. If you remember Cody and Wardlow had that amazing cage match, that was originally going to be called Blood and Guts. I had a problem with that, I thought we were just shoe-horning it in. Cody wanted to be in Atlanta because of the Rhodes family history. Moxley and Jericho were ready to have the title match, it seemed like it wasn’t the right place for that. I made a few calls to Tony and Cody and said what do we have for 4 weeks after I lose the title? The match was due to take place in the Prudential Center, New Jersey, which would have been a perfect introduction of AEW to the New York market. We moved Blood and Guts to March, Cody had the great cage match and I dropped the title. Two weeks later the pandemic happened and we got the rug pulled from underneath us. The plan was to do Double or Nothing in front of no fans. I know a lot of people didn’t want Blood and Guts to take place in front of no fans. This was back in the days of flattening the curve, people staying at home. But we just thought why don’t we just hold off for a couple of months, but Tony Khan was adamant that we continue. We had just gotten this huge TNT deal, we had to keep the lights on. We then moved to Atlanta and did 26 matches in one day, including the TNT tournament. We had the pay per view and decided to do The Stadium Stampede out of necessity. We couldn’t do Blood and Guts, so therefore we need another big stipulation to have a blow off between The Elite and The Inner Circle.”

On getting The Pinnacle involved:

“So we are thinking who is going to do this and how will they be involved. Then the thing happened with The Pinnacle and in the back of our minds we thought maybe we can do that. My only objection was is The pinnacle big enough for this? Are they going to be worthy? We built them up to the point where they were very worthy. It was the perfect team because there was a lot of comedy between The Elite and The Inner Circle, you saw that during The Stadium Stampede. Not that it wouldn’t have been intense, but it seemed really warranted for Jericho’s guys and MJF’s guys to have this battle. It was originally decided to do this later on, but then it was decided lets do it earlier. I think Tony Khan moved the idea and we thought why can’t Blood and Guts be the start? It was definitely Blood and Guts, it lived up to expectations. There were no entrails but definitely some nice slices, lots of blood. We read all of the critics online, a lot of people are stiff about some things. But if you think that everyone watching feels the same as hardcore fans, that’s not the case. Most people I spoke to couldn’t believe how bloody and violent it was. Most people watching the shows are not on social media commentating. It’s one of these things that was a total spectacle and built perfectly.”

On the prison outfits used:

“One of the highlights was The Inner Circle’s prison outfits, where we all had matching prison jumpsuits. This is something we thought about doing for the first Blood and Guts. I’m not sure who thought of it. I thought it was Jake, Jake thought it was me, it sounds like something Santana might have thought of. The idea is we have a history of wearing matching outfits, like Stadium Stampede. We thought this would be a perfect way to do Blood and Guts. We got the guys in the back to put a stencil on the back of these. The idea was that it would be our last name and the jail we grew up close to from our hometowns. The idea was matched by MJF and The Pinnacle wearing all white outfits. I didn’t know what they were going to wear and they didn’t know what we were going to wear. That was the cool thing about it. It kind of makes the spectacle more of an event. My daughter was calling The Pinnacle the diaper boys, because of the white trunks they were all wearing. Because it was such a special moment, we decided to open up the area at Daily’s place. The 2,000 people was the biggest crowd post pandemic. We could have sold more if we had waited, but it isn’t about that. It’s about when does the match fit best.”

On why a coin toss didn’t decide the advantage:

“There were two reasons. One, I didn’t want to see a coin toss. I just thought the coin toss would not fit the vibe of it. We have been kicking the sh*t out of each other and verbally eviscerating each other, a coin toss just doesn’t seem right. I thought the idea of Spears knocking the coin out of Tony Schiavone’s hand, which leads to Sammy flipping out was kind of Jericho living vicariously through Sammy. That was reason two. I wanted it to not go down the typical wrestling trope, it was f*ck this I know what is going to happen when I take control. I don’t care if it’s two on one, three on one or five on one. I’ve taken on Goldberg and Brock Lesnar, the whole mentality of I don’t care I’ll fight everyone.”

On why Sammy Guevara started the match:

“We decided that Dax and Sammy would start. We did talk about me starting with Spears, but people hadn’t seen Sammy wrestle in so long. We have to remind people how great he is. Five minutes with Dax and he showed that. The buzz right off the gate with Sammy and Dax, it got a this is awesome right off the bat. I was adamant that nobody do anything in the two rings beforehand. Thankfully everybody got it. Sometimes you aren’t in the main event, sometimes you are. The main event always gets the dibs on anything you want to do. When the main event says don’t use the 2 rings, nobody did. Right off the bat, when Sammy did that dive over both ropes, people popped.”

On where the stand-off spot originated from:

“The time of the match got a little bit kerfuffled for various reasons. Things didn’t fall exactly where we wanted them to. I know there was some talk about the commercial break happening at a bad time, and it did. But we were trying our best to get things on track. A lot of times during the match I was talking to Aubrey Edwards about the time. I remember when Max came in he didn’t have a lot to do so I said lets go to Jericho quicker. We had a lot of stuff to do and I didn’t want to get cut off by commercials. Live TV is live TV, you can’t stop a commercial break. My idea was that we had so much stuff, when I came in Max and his crew would retreat when they saw the countdown. I would take my guys and do the West Side Story spot. We just wait and the crowd will just get into this. I got the idea from The Nexus in Sacramento when we did the 7 on 7 for Summerslam. We just came into the ring to face off against The Nexus, and it was this complete crazy rumble. I said nobody move until I give the cue. I knew that would happen again, if we let everybody reset, it was going to be huge. People were going nuts when we are meeting in the middle. I then pulled out the bat, which I had hidden the whole time. When I pull the bat out, I didn’t just get it in the ring. The idea was that people were supposed to feed me, but no one did so I just started hitting everybody.”

On commercial breaks and timing issues:

“There was another commercial break, and it was right before we started climbing to the top. Once again, live TV, once the train leaves the station you can’t pull it back. The Inner Circle is up and MJF’s only chance is by escaping, so he starts climbing. But the problem was it was during the commercial break, and I knew it. I was trying to tell him to slow down, but you can’t do that. I’m not coming back from commercial with me on top, so I am just going to climb really slow. I am looking at Aubrey and she’s telling me you got 30 seconds before we come back from break. I thought I’m just going to stand right here and just work the crowd. When we come back they will be chanting and cheering. We climbed to the top of the cage, which is much more secure than the Hell in a Cell me and Hunter had back in 2002. I wasn’t too keen walking around when we were practicing. When you are on the ground, that cage doesn’t look that high. When you are looking down from up there, that thing is as high as sh*t. Our cage was more durable, there is some plexi-glass up there. The we get to the point where he is going to throw me off unless the guys surrender. We thought how much of a piece of sh*t move would it be if they throw me off anyway, which was where it came from. That was a combination of an MJF idea, a Tony Khan idea and a Jericho idea.”

On the final bump and how it was orchestrated:

“I don’t pretend I don’t want want to take crazy bumps. I didn’t want to take the bump into the thumbtacks in the Ambrose Asylum and I didn’t want to take the bump onto the floor. But it was best for the story. I’ll be really honest with you, I was nervous about the finish all day long. Like I discussed with you earlier, it was the best way to go for the finish, the perfect way to continue the story. So about 6 weeks prior, I came up with the idea with Tony and MJF to make this happen. When you are doing a live stunt show, you can’t hedge your bits where nothing is going to happen. And things do go wrong, sometimes terribly wrong. All you have to do is look at Owen Hart to think about a stunt that went wrong live. There is no second take, it is live. I think people are de-sensitised to danger because they have seen so much. The guys make it look so easy that people forget how small the margin of error is. So we decided how do we do this fall. We decided to gimmick the stage so you fall of the cage and go through it. First of all I got in so much trouble with my wife and kids, because I didn’t tell them the fall was going to happen. I think the fall looked amazing. Maybe that was because I was the one who took it and I knew how scared I was. Not scared but nervous, where you are really thinking about it. Basically you are falling 15 feet. Earlier in the day when they were building everything, they had a big yellow air mattress that was 10 feet high. I was thinking that looks like a pretty easy thing to fall onto, maybe there’s a way to put a sheet over it. Sammy was falling onto it and said to me ‘Do you want to try?’ I was like ‘No I will save it for later.’ Turns out it was you aren’t falling into that, we are just testing it for the trajectory and where we are going to put the actual apparatus. It [the mat used on TV] was a black gym mat that was 6 foot high. And then there was a bunch of empty cardboard boxes. I’m like are we going to fill these with anything? They say ‘No that’s what professional stuntmen fall on.’ We had a pro stuntman there, who orchestrated the Stadium Stampede bump, we have a professional. They are building it with the 6 inches [not 6 foot] crashmat. Then empty boxes, then some plywood that looked like metal staging. It was like a piece of decoration that looked like a steel grate. I’m like that’s it? It went from a 10 foot air mattress to something that was 3 feet off the ground. If the fall was 8 feet onto the other mat, this is 18 feet. I watched the stunt guy take the fall, and he had a turtle shell that protects your back. Then he had a helmet. I’m like I don’t get to wear a helmet when I fall. They tell me to take a step off it, don’t push yourself back or you will flip back more into your head. I videotaped them doing it and watched it back loads of times. He tried it again without the shell but still with the helmet. I’m like Jesus! I don’t get a helmet at all. The guys built more of a platform on the top so there was less of a gap to fall from. So when we are fighting on top of the cage and Sammy surrenders, MJF picks me up and I say give me a shove so I can feel it. I thought this bump would go fast, but I just keep looking at him and looking at him as I fell. Then I landed and it takes the breath out of you. Trust me, I see people ragging on me landing on a crash pad, which it isn’t. I’m not a qualified stuntman, I didn’t go to school. Just 30 years of being in the business. But you just go for it. It felt great and obviously it hurt, but I can move my arms and legs. I thought this is great what a perfect finish. The crowd went silent until they took me away on a stretcher, then they started clapping. It was like when someone gets taken off on a stretcher on a football field. People were buying into it. It wasn’t until later on that I got wind that people didn’t think it looked great, but I thought it did. If you watch back, I barely missed my head hitting the lights on the back of the stage. I went so far back I almost overshot everything. But I hope you enjoyed it because I am never dong it again, ever.”

Featured image: Westwood one

Full podcast audio can be found here.

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