To want to change character and use Judas for the first time in Japan: If you look at the first time I used “Judas” in the Tokyo Dome in 2018, I wanted something different and I wanted something – we were trying to go to Japan with Fozzy. I thought if I could play the fucking “Judas” in front of the Tokyo Dome in front of 50,000 people, at least they would start listening to that music and maybe someone would bring us here. When I heard that music I was like it was perfect, it had the same kind of “Break the Walls Down”… and it’s mine. So I thought it was a beautiful representation of something new – a new Jericho. Even in that first match with Kenny [Omega], there was still a scarf, a bright jacket and tights. It didn’t feel right to me, and that’s why I continued to work with Naito, I thought to myself: “I have to change that a bit”. That’s kind of where the idea for Painmaker came from – what would a serial killer be if he was a wrestler? Some sort of horror movie villain like Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers or what would it be? Someone had uploaded a picture of me as The Joker, and I just liked the idea of the makeup and he was wearing kind of fedora stuff, and it turned out of that. So all of these changes are from Eternal Thinking, something must be different here. I don’t know exactly what it is, but it has to change and it has to fucking change now – not next week, not in two weeks, we have to do it now.
On the crowd singing with “Judas” in AEW: “They were sort of singing and you didn’t really notice it, but it really came true on the second cruise. One of the coolest things ever. Here I am on a cruise coming to the ring with the wrestler I helped put on the map with my song everyone sings. This is where it started. Unfortunately, six weeks later there were no more people in the arena, so it was removed. But I’m telling you what, the first week we had these 500 people at Daily’s Place and they remembered and kept singing it, it was like, ‘Thank God it’s great that they remember. Another thing is that they sang the chorus twice, now they only sing it once. So on the taped shows we always add the chorus – we dub it to try and make people remember that you’re supposed to sing it twice… and again people would say as a stub, how can you allow this to happen? It’s organic. And that’s what we try so hard in a struggle, is to get an organic reaction. When people were signing Judas of their own choosing without pushing us, it felt like you had to let them – heel, babyface, whatever it was, it goes beyond which side of the room you are on. That’s what everyone’s trying to get – an organic reaction and we had that with the Judas singing a long, and luckily we have it again with the crowds in Jacksonville.
If using any of the quotes above, please credit The Chris Van Vliet Show with an h / t at 411mania.com for the transcript.