Chris Jericho has discussed why he decided to use Judas as his entrance theme after departing WWE, with trying to get Fozzy booked in Japan playing a part.
During his almost three-decade career in WWE, Chris Jericho became synonymous with his iconic theme song, ‘Break Down The Walls’, a track that is in the top 10 list of many longtime wrestling fans.
However, following his final departure from the company in 2018, Jericho had to come up with a new entrance that would live up to the one he had used around the world for thirty years.
In the end, he decided on one of his band, Fozzy’s, songs, ‘Judas’, which has more than lived up to the challenge and sees singalongs starting up in every arena that plays host to an AEW show.
Speaking to Alex McCarthy of Inside The Ropes, Chris Jericho discussed both of his classic entrance themes, starting with how his WWE song was created by the legendary Jim Johnston.
“Break The Walls Down was written by Jim Johnston, with some input from Kevin Dunn and myself, because I wanted something much more kind of dated, almost like an 80s thing. Kevin Dunn was like ‘Oh, you need something contemporary, something like a Rage Against the Machine.’
“I was like ‘okay’, and Jim came up with that. At first I heard it, like this has got a real good groove to it. I remember just saying I want more guitars on it, like put another five tracks guitars on it, and he did. So yeah, it is one of those classic themes.”
After departing WWE, Chris Jericho’s first matches took place in New Japan Pro Wrestling where he needed a theme song to for his arrival in the company.
Jericho explained how picking Judas as his new song came from a desire for Fozzy to tour in Japan. The star thought that having it play to 50,000 fans at the biggest show in NJPW’s calendar couldn’t hurt.
“And then obviously, when I left WWE to go to New Japan, I couldn’t use it, and maybe I could have tried but I didn’t want to. I wanted something new. The reason why I use Judas is because Judas was at its peak as a radio hit at the time, and we have been trying to tour Japan for 22 years that we’ve been in a band we just can’t get booked there for whatever reason.
“I thought, ‘well, f*ck, If I’m headlining the Tokyo Dome, maybe if I come to the ring to a Fozzy song, at least 50,000 people will hear it, maybe one of those people will be a f*cking promoter that can bring us over.’ It didn’t work out that way, but it did work out to be an amazing song.”
“I remember the first time I used it was against Kenny at the Tokyo Dome and just like holy sh*t, this vibe is so good, so cool. And then you know a few months after that people started singing it on the cruise, on my cruise and that was just a magic moment that still exists to this day it was organic. And that’s what we always look for as an organic reaction.”
When he formed The Jericho Appreciation Society, there were plans in place to remix the track and make it less of a singalong as Jericho was firmly back in the heel camp.
However, Tony Khan wanted to keep it as part of the show, something Jericho now admits was the right decision.
“Then when I started the JAS and turned heel I had a remix with Rich Ward that we did that was a little bit less of a sing along. Tony didn’t want to do it. I was like I’m a heel, I don’t want people to sing. He’s like why? It’s an organic moment that people know is part of our show. Why would we want to cut off our nose to spite our face? So you use a different song, get the heat for one week and then you just have an entrance why? Let’s f*cking use it, and it’s part of the show. And he was right, you know?”
“Yeah, people sing along, and then after that it’s my job to be a heel. And this is entertainment, right? So when you have that moment where people are singing on their own organically, why mess with it? And we didn’t. And as a result of all of those things, you know, we just got a gold record for Judas, which 500,000 units sold, or streaming equivalent of. And from what I understand, it’s still steamrolling towards probably going to go platinum in the next four to five years. So who am I to argue with that?”
“It’s not [slowing down]. And if I came to the ring three times, sometimes I come to the ring during Dynamite, and then I’ll come to the ring for Rampage to commentate on the same night, maybe, there’s another time, if we play it three times, people will sing it three times, like they don’t f*cking care. They’ll just sing it again, and sing it again, and sing it again. So like I said, it’s part of the show. And it’s a highlight of the show for so many people, so that makes me happy.”
H/T to Inside The Ropes for the above transcription.