Chris Jericho confronts Mickey Rourke
On Tuesday night's Larry King Live on CNN, Mickey Rourke sat down with the venerable interviewer to discuss his Golden Globe-winning role as Randy "The Ram" Robinson in the critically-acclaimed film The Wrestler. While the interview seemed cordial enough, things turned uncomfortable when guest Chris Jericho dropped by via satellite.
Never one to mince words, Jericho made his feelings abundantly clear: While Rourke, also nominated for an Academy Award for Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, admittedly did a "tremendous job" on screen, he can hardly appreciate what it takes to make it in the real world of WWE.
"[Mickey] represented the minor leagues of wrestling very well," the former World Heavyweight Champion told King, "[but] it's not representing what I do in WWE."
After serving up his backhanded compliment, an increasingly rankled Jericho mentioned Rourke's appearance on the red carpet during the Jan. 25th SAG Awards during which Rourke mentioned wanting to attend the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania and called out Jericho by name, telling Access Hollywood that Jericho had "better get in shape, because I'm coming after [his] a**."
Rather than further antagonize Jericho, Rourke remained composed on King's program as he attempted to clarify himself.
"Perhaps I did put my foot in my mouth," explained Rourke. "I got nothing but respect."
The verbal scuffle occurred shortly after Rourke had told King how much appreciation he had gained for professional wrestling. His appreciation only increased upon meeting such WWE luminaries as Ric Flair and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.
When asked whether or not he'll attend the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania in Houston on April 5, Rourke told King that he would like to be there.
"I want to do anything I can," said Rourke, "to support those guys."
Rourke, who trained with WWE Hall of Famer Afa of the Wild Samoans and packed on nearly 25 pounds for the role, admitted that the part took more of a toll on his body than expected.
"I had a preconceived idea about how I thought [wrestling] was," said Rourke. "I couldn't have been more wrong. When someone over 230 pounds picks you up and slams you down, something's gonna shake, rattle and roll."