MANILA, Philippines - Nearly 20 years after hitting the world stage, Chris Jericho is still making the towns for World Wrestling Entertainment. And, as he showed on Friday, September 9 at WWE Manila, he's still among the hardest workers in the business.
Jericho performed a heel master class in his match against Roman Reigns, doing his best to elicit boos from the nearly sold-out crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena for WWE's first live event in Manila in 7 years. Jericho entered wrapped in a scarf and looking smug as ever. Then he cut a scathing promo against the hometown fans which was intended to get fans to boo him and cheer Reigns.
"I haven't been to the Philippines for 8 years and I hope I don't have to come back for another 8 years because the Philippines stinks," said the Canadian Jericho, to which the crowd responded with "Du30" chants.
"The Philippines stinks man, and Manila is the anus."
Chris Jericho ( @IAmJericho) in heel mode: "The Philippines stinks & Manila is the anus." #WWEManila @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/SuXGRf2XEY — Ryan Songalia (@ryansongalia) September 9, 2016
Jericho then turned to one section of the crowd where a fan (or no one) called him a "gago," to which Jericho said "What did you just say? I'm a gago?" The crowd began to chant gago and were thoroughly in the hands of the multiple-time champion.
"Listen man, I don't know what a gago, but if you're calling me a gago, it must be a good thing," said Jericho. "I guess I'm the biggest gago you've ever seen.
Chris Jericho ( @IAmJericho): "I guess I'm the biggest gago you've ever seen." #WWEManila #rstream pic.twitter.com/E0xOc8gQ8g — Ryan Songalia (@ryansongalia) September 9, 2016
"So shut up, sit down and let me do what I've gotta do so I can get out of here. Because tonight I'm gonna give you what you want, I'm gonna give you what you need. I'm gonna give you the gift of the greatest gago of all time. Drink it in maaaan."
Of course, gago is the equivalent of jerk in Tagalog, a fact which the referee later informs him of to great comedic effect.
After proclaiming himself the biggest gago (jerk), @IAmJericho finds out what it means @rapplerdotcom #WWEManila pic.twitter.com/RCSxEQW6J8 — Ryan Songalia (@ryansongalia) September 9, 2016
Jericho's 5 minute heel promo did little to deter his admirers as they booed Reigns' entrance and chanted "Y2J" (Jericho's millennium-inspired nickname) throughout the match, which was an entertaining affair which ended with Reigns rolling through a roll-up pin attempt to hit his spear finisher.
Chris Jericho ( @IAmJericho) takes the spear and the 1-2-3 from @WWERomanReigns at #WWEManila pic.twitter.com/1npbCGmNVz — Ryan Songalia (@ryansongalia) September 9, 2016
The 45-year-old Jericho is doing some of the best work of his career playing the bad guy on screen, and his willingness to do whatever it takes to make the fans boo him and cheer his opponent is something young grapplers can benefit to learn from. Jericho's heel work wasn't over after the match, as he told local podcaster Romeo Moran to "Go jump in a lake, loser!"
Go jump in a lake, loser! https://t.co/QCFKnYufmI — Chris Jericho (@IAmJericho) September 9, 2016
If there was one thing fans wanted to boo about Jericho, it's that his new "Drink it in man" shirts weren't available for sale at the merchandise stand. Otherwise, Manila remains another pro-Jericho town. – Rappler.com