Opposites react

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December 23, 2007

Someone looking to delve deeper into the differences between JBL and Chris Jericho need only to look at their projects outside of WWE to grasp just how polar opposite these two are.

For one, JBL is a Fox News analyst that comments on stock market activity and gives pointers on how to do what he knows best: Get rich. Y2J focused his talents on entertaining people with spots on VH1's Best Week Ever and Celebrity Duets. There was also Jericho's role as the lead singer of Fozzy, his heavy metal band. Bradshaw's cowboy hat, thick Texas accent and mastery of the Texas Two-Step only puts him even more at odds with Y2J.

But it's their books that perhaps show the biggest contrast. JBL's best-seller, Have More Money Now, offered readers a foundation on learning how to acquire more money.

Jericho's New York Times bestselling book, A Lion's Tale: Around the World in Spandex, is an autobiographical recount of Y2J's incredible journey to WWE, in which he opens himself up to his fans and gives them a close look at his personality.

"I didn't just write A Lion's Tale solely for wrestling fans," Jericho said during a phone interview. "I wrote it for anyone; whether you're a spelunker, a miner, a scuba diver or even JBL, you can take something away from A Lion's Tale."

There are stories in the book that validate why Jericho would feel comfortable with his odds against Layfield, especially if the two were to meet in the ring. One of those stories that sticks out to Jericho was the time he was held up at gunpoint by a woman who offered him a ride to a party.

"She shoved a gun in my face and stole my money," Jericho recounted. "There was another time when the Japanese mafia, the Yakuza, threatened to cut one of my fingers off for breaking a vase. They weren't kidding, either."

It's tales like these that appear in A Lion's Tale, Jericho claims, that backup his will and drive to overcome any challenge -- from JBL, Randy Orton or anyone else in WWE.

"Bradshaw was probably surprised that I told him the truth, because the truth hurts sometimes and he's the type that doesn't want to comprehend that I outsmarted him and basically forced him into returning to the ring," Jericho said. "I've been training for my return for six months now, so if he wants things to get physical -- and I'm sure he will -- then I'm in a better position than he is. Personally, I'm glad he's thrown his cheesy cowboy hat back into the ring."

The green-eyed monster of jealousy could have also played a major role in the transformation from JBL-the- announcer to round two of JBL-the-Superstar. The recent return of Jericho sent the sports-entertainment world into a frenzy. As one of the most charismatic performers in WWE history, JBL could have felt overshadowed and forgotten by our fans. With an insatiable ego like Bradshaw's, nothing can be ruled out.

"It could have been that he was trying to steal the thunder from my return," Jericho pondered, "but it was probably more associated that a 'commoner' like myself had the audacity to put my hands on him when he got in the way while I was competing. In the end, he cost me the WWE Championship. I'm not complaining; what's done is done. But I am angry and I am going to get the answers I'm looking for."

If this is the way Jericho wants to go about getting answers, it's probably the most solid method on the table, as chronicled in A Lion's Tale.

"These challenges aren't new to me," he confessed. "I wanted to be a WWE Superstar at the age of 12 and I had no idea how to do that. As I wrote in my book, I had to go through Mexico, Japan, Germany and WCW to finally reach WWE. It goes to show when I set my sights on something I make it happen, and my sights are now set on finding out answers from JBL and becoming WWE Champion by defeating Randy Orton." 

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