Is that a threat? Back in 1999, Chris Jericho debuted in the WWF with one of the most impressive debuts in wrestling history. After a long countdown, Jericho appeared on stage, dubbing himself the Millennium Man and starting an all time great career with the company. It wasn’t all that easy to start though as he didn’t adjust to the WWF style at first. Things would get better, but it took a little help from the boss, who had a heck of a threat for Jericho if things didn’t improve.

Jericho recently appeared on Sean Waltman’s 1-2-360 podcast and talked about a variety of things, including his relationship with Vince McMahon. He told a pair of stories about how McMahon wanted him to feud with Chyna, who Jericho faced in one of his first major stories in the company, along with McMahon threatening to fire him if he didn’t have a good match on one specific night. Here are the stories, with transcription courtesy of

On McMahon Threatening To Fire Him

“So when I got to WWE, I’d been working for 9 years and I’d been over in every company that I ever worked for so you know there’s certain guys like when Daniel Bryan came into the WWE I knew he’d get over no matter what. He’s been over everywhere he’s ever worked, he’ll figure it out and that’s what I did. I figured it out and it didn’t take long but there was a huge bullseye on my back and I smartened up to it very quickly. And the other part of the story…what Vince {McMahon} told me was ‘you’re working with X-Pac tonight, if you don’t have a good match you’re fired.’

“Which was a guillotine over my head… and then afterwards Vince was super cool, he pat me on the back, ‘hey pal, give me a call tomorrow and oh by the way every match that you have from now on run it past Sean Waltman first and make sure that it makes sense…In retrospect there’s a reason Vince did that. As we know Vince is a f***ing genius and we were peers but Sean you knew how to work that style {WWE STYLE} so he put me with you to figure out how to do it. I’m really happy he did that because I learned right away…That’s why Vince did it and it worked.”

And On McMahon’s Instructions For The Chyna Feud

“I remember the first real feud that I had was with Chyna. And he {Vince McMahon} said to me, ‘Do you mind working with a woman?’ and I said ‘No I don’t mind, I’ll be happy too.’ And he goes ‘ I don’t want you to treat her with kid gloves, I want you to work with her like you would work with a guy. I don’t want you to pull any punches, I don’t want you to stiff her but do what you do.’ So I did that and I remember as a result she did get a little bit of a black eye once. By the way her forearm strikes were stiff as f***.”

You can listen to the full interview right here:

Chris Jericho on Naito Match, His Reinvention as the Alpha & More With X-Pac - X-Pac 12360 Ep. 93

Opinion: Never let it be said that McMahon isn’t a heck of a motivator. I know he might not make the most brilliant decisions from time to time but he knows what he’s doing a lot of the time. Jericho learned from where he started and turned into one of the biggest stars the WWE has ever had. There’s nothing wrong with getting a little help to start and it wound up making Jericho into a much better all around performer. Granted being threatened with a firing might have helped as well.

Do you think McMahon would have fired Jericho? Which of these feuds did you like best? Let us know in the comments below.

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at, or check out his Amazon author page with 27 wrestling books. His latest book is the NXT: The Full Sail Years Volume III: From Dallas To New Orleans.

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