As seen above, Chris Jericho recently joined Inside The Ropes to discuss his trip to Saudi Arabia back in April for WWE’s Greatest Royal Rumble event.
Jericho said he was called to work the GRR event but he wasn’t interested. He was then offered a large amount of money that made him wonder how much WWE was really being paid for the event. Jericho said, “It’s one of those things where I never do anything for money but sometimes you’re a moron if you don’t.”
Jericho said Vince McMahon called him a month later and asked him about doing the Casket Match with The Undertaker. Jericho was very interested in that match. Jericho said he called Vince later to tell him about his match against Tetsuya Naito at New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Dominion 2018 event, and that’s when plans were changed.
“I called Vince to tell him about this Naito thing, on a Monday,” Jericho said. “Super cool about it, he’s really into it, a little bit trepidatious in certain ways but… three of four hours later, I get a text saying Rusev is back in the Casket Match. I’m like, OK, why? He goes, ‘Well the Prince of Saudi Arabia wants Rusev in the match.’ OK, so like, said nobody ever… so I would think that possibly, knowing Vince and once again, New Japan is now an enemy. Is it an enemy that’s going to make a difference? No but to him… if they take 5 buys or 1 buy from the Network, then that’s the enemy. I think that he probably thought, ‘No, I’m not going to put Jericho in this highlight match where he has the chance to steal the show. I know he and Undertaker will kill it, I don’t want to do that when he’s going to show up on New Japan TV a week later.’ And that makes sense to me, it’s a fucking battle, this is a war. I think that’s probably what happened, and I think it was the right call in his mind, and my mind because we would’ve stolen the show. It might not have been the best match on the card but it would’ve been a fucking great match and we would’ve killed it. Would’be been so much fun. So that’s what I personally think. I could be wrong, maybe the Prince was a huge Rusev fan. It just seemed like a little bit of a coincidence.”
Jericho went on about how the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was such a strange place, calling the experience a “weird” one. Jericho talked about how they landed in Jeddah after an 18-hour flight and got to the hotel at 3pm. He stayed at the hotel, recorded a podcast with Daniel Bryan and went to bed as they had to be at the stadium at 9am the next day. Jericho said he sat around at the arena for 14 hours before his entrance in the Greatest Royal Rumble match later that night.
“I literally was laughing,” Jericho said. “A – watching some of the guys fuck up their spots, and B – once again, how much money are they getting paid that they paid me to be in this thing to basically do nothing? Whatever.”
Jericho also told of the horrible travel conditions, especially when he’s used to traveling the world as a premium customer of airlines. He said he got on a bus at 5am to travel to the airport. Adam Pearce, Fit Finlay, Jamie Noble and Billy Kidman were also on that same bus. They ended up getting off at the wrong airport but that was just the beginning of their woes. Jericho talked about how they made their way through the airport with no handlers or security, and they were mobbed by fans asking for selfies. Jericho said the people of Saudi Arabia are very “touchy-feely” when it comes to asking for selfies. Jericho said people were mobbing them so bad that he got angry and started dropping “f-bombs,” telling people to get away from him and get out of his face. They finally made it to the correct airport, which was 45 minutes away, but they faced a number of issues there as well, what Jericho described as “first world” travel problems. Jericho said the travel issues made him start to wonder if the money was worth it. He also had an issue with no alcohol being allowed in the Kingdom.
“I was like, ‘Dude, I need a fucking drink right now.’ They’re like, ‘You can’t have a drink until you’re an hour over airspace.’ I sat on that thing counting – 49 minutes, 48 minutes, 1 minute, 0 minutes… triple vodka right now!”
There’s been no news on Jericho returning to the Kingdom with WWE for Crown Jewel next month but Jericho said they would have to up his pay if they want him back.
“Now what I know how much money they made from it, they’re going to have to pay me triple what they paid,” Jericho said, an apparent reference to reports on GRR bringing in somewhere in the neighborhood of $40 – $50 million for the company.