Chris Jericho Talks Wrestling His Very First Match Next To A Mental Institution

ROH World Champion Chris Jericho took to an episode of his "Talk Is Jericho" podcast, where he talked about topics such as competing in his very first match on October 2, 1990 in Ponoka, Alberta, Canada, which is about halfway between Calgary and Edmonton, with the match taking place from the prestigious Moose Hall, a venue right next to a mental institution.

Chris Jericho said:

“So my first match was October 2, 1990 In Ponoka, Alberta, Canada, which is about halfway between Calgary and Edmonton. It took place in the prestigious Moose Hall. And the Moose Hall was right next to a mental institution, which pretty much is the perfect analogy for the pro wrestling business right out of the gate. And it was against Lance Storm, or as he was known at the time, Lance T. Storm, and the T stands for ‘Thunder’.”

“So we had been working all summer long at the Hart brothers pro wrestling camp, and this was our big debut match. And we were on I believe, first or second, and it was a 10-minute Broadway, which means 10 minute time limit.”

Chris Jericho also talked about how times have changed so much in how matches are being put together.

Chris Jericho said:

“So it’s interesting because I just watched it back a few months ago, right when I was putting together The Complete List of Jericho, so maybe a year or so ago, whatever it was. And times have changed so much in how you put together matches, like now you put together a match pretty much for the most part from beginning to the end. And you might have some improv in there, but pretty much it’s the beginning, middle, end. There, all we had were two high spots that we had practised over and over again at wrestling camp. And the rest of it was just making stuff up.”

“And if you watch the last minute, we ran out of things to do. It was supposed to be this hot finish, where it’s like, ‘Okay, I’ll give you a schoolboy’. ‘Yeah’. ‘And then I’ll roll you up’. ‘Yeah’. ‘And then I’ll give you a small package’. ‘Yeah’. ‘What else do we know?’ ‘And I don’t know, give me another small package’. So you watch it back and it’s just like, it was just a different time.”

“But I do remember specifically, there was probably about eighty people there in the Ponoka Moose Hall. And I had to do this thing where you’d put the guy’s arm in the ground, and the big move was you would stand on your hand and put your knee up [and] drop your knee into the guy’s arm. So I did that to Lance, and then I said, and then a kid in the crowd said, ‘Do it again’. And I said, ‘Should I do it again?’ And like four kids went, ‘Yeah!’ And I was like, ‘I’m bigger than Hulk Hogan’.”

“I couldn’t believe it. They were actually reacting and all these sort of things. So we did the match and had the Broadway and came back into the dressing room. And I remember we were just flipping out, like we couldn’t believe how amazing it was. These people are just going crazy for us. There’s seventy people from Ponoka that we’ll never forget this night.”

“And at the end of the night, I got my pay envelope, which said Chris Jericho, spelt ‘J E R I C O’, it was spelt wrong. And I opened it up and there was a $20 bill and a $10 bill, $30 for 10 minutes work. I was like, ‘Holy sh*t, I make five bucks an hour at the deli and work eight hours a week and get 40 bucks. I almost made the whole thing in 10 minutes. I’m rich!’ And that’s when I was stuck forever and hooked on the wrestling business.”

You can check out Chris Jericho's comments at this link. H/T to Inside The Ropes for transcribing the above quotes.