Bulldog's Bookshelf

A Lion's Tale

 Around The World In Spandex

Author: Chris Jericho with Peter Thomas Fornatale

 

Published: 2007

 

Pages: 409

Synopsis: The story of Chris Jericho's international journey to land his dream job with the World Wrestling Federation.

On the first night in my room I was lying on my bed reading The Stand by Stephen King, when the door flew open and a skinny guy dressed in black walked in and started screaming at me in German.

 

I have no idea why he was screaming at me, but before he could pee on my rug I shouted "Go away.... get the hell out of here!"He didn't budge and his tone grew angrier. When he first busted in he'd scared the shit out of me, but now I was pissed off.

 

I started yelling, "F*ck off, F*ck off, F*ck off," while pointing at the door with authority, figuring that he had to smell what I was cooking.

 

When he didn't budge, I whipped the 1,100-page novel at him. It smacked him on the noggin and he stormed out the door, screaming all the way down the stairs.I had no idea what his deal was, I was just thankful that he hadn't pulled a gun.

 

I learned my lesson and made sure to always turn the key in the lock every time I walked into my room. After all, I didn't want anyone interrupting me while I was peeing in the sink.

There are many wrestling stories that really don't need to be written up. Then there are others so fascinating, it would be a crying shame NOT to let the world know about them. Thankfully, Chris Jericho's first autobiography falls under the latter category.

 

Although he's a relatively young wrestler, Jericho plied his trade in dozens of places before hitting the big time - from carnival tents in Hamburg, to "upside down wedding cake" arenas in Mexico, and from fighting off wacky, unkempt fans in Tennessee, to fighting off death threats in Mexico.

 

Jericho is a rarity among wrestlers-turned-writers in that his natural humor comes shining through on the written page. His anecdotes often come across so funny, you'd think you're listening to a (Y2J-era) Jericho promo. Although he does have a co-writer here (most celebrity authors do), Jericho comes off as a natural at this.

 

Jericho's story is less about wrestling in Canada (though there's some of that, too) and more about a wrestler who happened to be born in Canada. Really, his is a global journey, each stop giving the future "Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah" a new learning experience.

 

Even before he sets foot in a WWF ring (the book ends as he's making his Raw debut, setting the stage for a possible sequel down the road), Jericho has colorful stories to tell about some of the industry's biggest names, including Jim Cornette, Bret Hart, Bill Goldberg, Eric Bischoff, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Owen Hart, Vince McMahon, Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall and Paul Heyman. In addition, you have amusing stories about his interactions with slightly-lesser-known names such as Lance Storm, Vampiro, Art Barr, Kimona, Johnny K-9, and yes, even Ralphus.

 

An interesting note: This book was published shortly after Benoit's controversial passing. Jericho made a point of leaving in the stories about his friendship and admiration for the man when he could have told the publisher to remove them - not many people would have had the courage to do the same.

 

Rating: The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be. Passionate, interesting and lots of fun - you really can't go wrong here. The best wrestling biography this side of Mick Foley, which is pretty high praise in my book.

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