Everyone knows that Chris Jericho has signed with the WWF by now.
Well, everyone except for his father.
Former NHLer Ted Irvine laughed when told that his son, Chris, aka Chris Jericho, was jumping to the WWF.
“I hadn’t talked to him in a while, so I didn’t know what was going on there,” he explained, saying from his office in Winnipeg that he had been away for a week. (He has since talked to his son.)
On his web site — www.chrisjericho.com — Jericho has posted about his jump. Most telling perhaps is his desire to follow in his father’s footsteps.
“I always wanted to wrestle in Madison Square Garden, where my father fought many a battle on its famed ice,” wrote Jericho, who was born Chris Irvine. “I always wanted to wrestle in the Winnipeg arena, where I witnessed so many classic matches.”
So is dad excited about his son being able to perform in their hometown?
“Any time anyone wrestles in their hometown, any parent is going to have to deal with the next day — what your son did or didn’t do, [it] doesn’t matter what age they are,” Irvine said.
“You’re really proud of somebody in your family if they wrestle in your hometown. You’re ultimate proud, but you’re very sensitive also. If anyone ever says anything negative, you want to deck them!”
Sounds like more than a little of that NHL experience coming through for Irvine, who played in the big league from ’67 to ’77 with the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues.
Yet, according to dad, young Jericho wasn’t much of a hockey fan.
“It was not a comfortable thing for him, the noise, it was never an important thing for him,” Irvine explained. “Now he’s a huge hockey fan. He plays the game in Florida, he plays it all the time and follows it. Big Gretzky fan. Now he has a better understanding of the game that we’re out of it than when we were in it. But I think that’s true of most kids — they’ll try to do something different than their parents.”
Irvine, a financial planner with Courts Financial Group since retiring from hockey, has been to see his son wrestle in locations as varied as Buffalo, Las Vegas and Fargo, N.D.
And he’s more than a little surprised over how successful his offspring has been.
“What surprised me more than anything else about Chris was his personality — the way it comes across on the TV. … Just that professionalism, how smooth it comes to him, how easily he can rattle on off the top of his head,” Irvine gushed.
“His creativity mentally doesn’t surprise me. As a little guy, from the comic books, to the Dungeons & Dragons, to his music, to his rock groups, to his plays in high school, he’s always had an entertainment-type mind. He has a great view of life and how to entertain people.”
Dad is “ultimate proud” of his son.
“I take a lot of pride in Chris as a human being. I think Chris is an outstanding young man. That’s where my pride comes from Chris, whatever he does in life. He’s got Christian beliefs, he’s just a good young man, loyal to his friends, loyal to his parents.”
Now that Jericho’s path has been set, Irvine, like the rest of us, is looking forward to what the WWF and Vince McMahon can do with his talent.
“He’s created most of the things he’s done in the last couple of years,” Irvine said of Jericho’s in-ring antics. “It will be interesting to see where [the WWF] will take him.”
It will certainly take him to Madison Square Gardens, and maybe if the timing works out, to the Winnipeg Arena on August 21 for the next WWF show.