This release is a little different from the classic “where they grew up, how they broke into the business and where they are now” documentary-style release the WWE usually put out, and that’s a good thing.
In The Road is Jericho, we join Y2J in his limo on route to a Fozzy gig, as he looks back at the matches that have, in his opinion, defined his career, his character and his love for the business – matches that he loves, matches that he hates and even (in the cast of one against Stone Cold), matches that he has no memory of.
Jericho not only introduces each match, with his reasons for making the choice, the story behind the match itself and even some insights into the build-up and his personal relationships with his opponents, but also shares a number of previously unheard stories. The stories begin from as far back as his days as Lion Heart Chris Jericho in Stampede Wrestling, moving onto his time in Mexico and Japan, and his brief but successful stint in ECW, before turning to his growth and eventual heel-turn in WCW and of course his infamous arrival in WWE, all the way up to his final (for now) match against Randy Orton.
Jericho also talks about his input into the business, how frustrations, storylines and fellow superstars helped shape his career and how he manages to balance his multiple jobs. Even when he is away from the ring, he is always working, be it on tour with his band Fozzy, writing (he has a journalism degree), or talking about his fantastic podcast, Talk Is Jericho.
One of the most interesting stories concerns how European dates, especially in the UK, were difficult: arriving on the day of the show and only catching a couple of hours’ sleep at the venue before going out to perform, and then often travelling back the same night. He tells of how the Undertaker once tore his ear, but he didn’t have time to get it stitched up in case they missed their flight.
In another fascinating revelation, Jericho explains how, when he initially came to the WWE, Vince McMahon paired him with X-Pac to help come to terms with the “WWE style”. At that point, Jericho had to run all his match ideas past X-Pac before each match.
Unlike many of WWE’s previous releases, the matches that Jericho has chosen tend to be rare and forgotten matches, or pay-per-view undercards, rather than the same old main events that already appear on multiple other releases. Matches against Ultimo Dragon, Pitbull #2 (for the ECW TV Championship), Dean Malenko and X-Pac, as well as a wonderful ladder match with Shawn Michaels are just a few of the electrifying battles hand-picked by the Ayatollah of Rock-n-Rolla.
The Road Is Jericho is a fantastic release, packed with great stories, wonderful memories and a whole bunch of incredible battles, all put together in a completely new format that will hopefully mark a new direction in WWE DVD/Blu-ray releases that is sure to thrill Jericho and wrestling fans alike.
If you’re looking for a biography for the star, check out Chris Jericho: Breaking The Code, but if you’re interested after a collection of outstanding matches and behind-the-scenes stories, then The Road Is Jericho: Epic Stories and Rare Matches from Y2J is definitely for you.