Chris Jericho rose to fame and stardom in the late '90s, thanks to his ability to cut the most epic of promos. This is the man who made his WWF debut in 1999 by interrupting one of The Rock's more iconic promos.
Y2J has always displayed tremendous in-ring ability, but is was his work on the microphone that made Jericho one of the WWE's most prominent stars in the 21st century. From his Highlight Reel show to making The List of Jericho, Y2J always found a way to get a rise out of the crowd.
Unfortunately, a large number of today's WWE superstars have not been able to bring much of any microphone skills. Guys like Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Cesaro have been held back by the inability to cut a good promo. Of course, the creative team essentially scripts all of the promos, rather than letting the superstars improvise them.
Well, Jericho would obviously know how the WWE could make promos better. Appearing on The Steve Austin Show, the Grand Slam Champion gave his two cents on what the WWE could do to improve promos (h/t to WrestlingInc for transcriptions),
“My idea when I started the Highlight Reel was I wanted to be the Gene Okerlund. Have guys come out that didn’t get promo time and let me do an improve promo. Let’s see what they got.
I still think they should do that this day at every show. In between Main Event and Raw, there’s a ten minute period – send somebody out there and you’ve got three minutes, don’t tell anybody who it is during the day, you’d just be like, ‘Xavier Woods, go out there for three minutes...
You would see then who can do a promo and who can connect with the audience. You would get it right like that."
Vince McMahon and the creative team should probably listen to Jericho. You notice that a handful of today's top babyfaces don't get much reaction, as stars like Reigns, Ambrose and Bayley struggle to appeal to the crowd. Half of being a top superstar is the ability to promote and talk yourself up well.
But for some reason, the WWE has decided to script virtually all promos, and the announcer teams are even told what to say during matches. Taking away the freedom of speech has been a horrible decision for many years, to say the least.
Hopefully, Vince and the writers heard Jericho's words and took them to heart. It would sure be nice to find some superstars who can improvise their own promos the way Y2J and The Rock have.