WWE legend Chris Jericho has never been shy in telling some hilarious and epic tales from his early days in the promotion, and the new AEW superstar recently shared another.
Appearing on the Rich Eisen Show (h/t Felix Upton of Ringside News), Jericho opened up about a rather interesting philosophy Vince McMahon had towards Canadian superstars, during Y2J's first run in the WWE.
According to Jericho, Vince didn't think Canadian-born superstars would get over as babyfaces. Y2J said Vince's "mindset" was that fans weren't going to cheer for superstars from north of the border.
Jericho went into detail about the changes Vince decided to make for Canadian-born superstars, forcing them to portray American superstars in order to get over with the fans better:
"I was told that ‘You can’t be from Winnipeg anymore, you’re from Tampa.’ I only live in Tampa. I’m not from there. ‘Where were you born?’ Manhasset (New York). ‘Ah, sounds too country. You’re now from Manhattan, New York.’ There was a whole bunch of us that were Canadian.
Edge, Christian, Val Venis, a bunch of other guys. He just decided one time, you can’t be a babyface and be from Canada. For people to really cheer you, you have to be from the United States. It probably lasted about six months."
Well, Vince's philosophy turned out to be very wrong down the stretch. Jericho would eventually portray a Canadian superstar, billed from Winnipeg. He got more than over with the fans and was one of the most popular faces at the height of the Ruthless Aggression era.
Even Edge - who spent the bulk of his career portraying a heel - often received loud cheers and ovations from fans. WWE would eventually bill Edge from Toronto, Ontario. So yeah, the whole no-Canadian superstar thing didn't last long at all.
It's also interesting to learn that this was McMahon's idea back in the mid-2000s, as Jericho described. Bret "The Hitman" Hart was one of the most beloved and admired superstars in the '80s and '90s, and the Canadian-born superstar always displayed his love and pride of the Great White North.
Some of today's top WWE superstars are Canadian and have gotten over rather quickly, namely Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn (during his NXT days). Bobby Roode has also become a fan favorite since debuting on the main roster, too.
What This Means
Over time, McMahon has changed up some of his philosophies and views that simply wouldn't fly today. It's interesting to hear that he wasn't big on Canadian superstars at the time, but hey, everything worked out in the end.