Moments before Chris Jericho made his shock debut at All In, problems arose backstage. Here’s how it all came exceptionally close to backfiring!
How Home Depot Came to the Rescue of Chris Jericho
All In was a pay-per-view event held on September 1, 2018, at the Sears Centre in the suburbs of Chicago. It was the very first time an independent wrestling event sold out a 10,000-seat arena.
The following recount sounds like a storybook moment.
To give a bit of background, Chris Jericho was not scheduled to appear. Jericho planned to come out dressed as Pentagon before making the big reveal in a bid to shock and surprise fans. However, backstage, problems arose.
On September 7, 2018’s episode of Jericho’s Talk is Jericho podcast, Chris shared the story of his surprise appearance and how it came close to badly backfiring until Home Depot came to the rescue.
“I sign the release form, and then we’re hanging out in there waiting.
“Kenny comes in, who I haven’t seen for a while, and then Pentagon comes in, who I’ve never met. I think they might’ve filled him in at that point.
“They told him, ‘Please make sure that Pentagon brings an extra costume.’
“He replied, ‘Absolutely, already done.’
” What I didn’t say was, ‘Make sure he brings a costume that’s the same as the one that he’s wearing.'”
“The [Young] Bucks then were saying, ‘He probably doesn’t have two. I don’t have two of the same. Why would I?’ So we never even thought about that.
“We could have probably had another made, but here we are at like 7 o’clock, 7:10, and he has a gold costume and a silver costume. They’re not matching anyways, even in the design, but the colors are completely different.
“The idea is, once again, Kenny wins the match, Penta is selling, lights go off, lights go on, everyone is like, ‘What the hell is going on, there’s nobody in there?’ Penta’s still down, Penta gets up, attacks Kenny, bam bam bam bam, unmasks and it’s Jericho.”
Jericho continued, “So I’m looking at this costume. In the back of my mind, I’m like, ‘What the f**k are you guys thinking? Like, did nobody think of this?’ But I’m the vet. I’m the pro. I come from the Vince McMahon school of ‘Well, we better think of something.’
“So, then I started scrambling through my mind, ‘Get both your costumes, Penta.’
“He goes, he comes back. I’m looking at them, and I’m like, ‘Well, you gotta get some gold.'”
“At first, it was like gold Sharpies, gold tape, gold paint. ‘You gotta find a hardware store!’ We’re looking at like Ace Hardware stores, 50 miles away or whatever it is, and we find a Home Depot that was 10-12 minutes away.”
Jack Slade, Chris Jericho’s personal assistant, was urged to make it in double time to Home Depot as in the ring, All In‘s pre-show was live.
“While the hunt for paint was on, Chris said Penta brought him a mask that was a different style from the one he was wearing for his match, which was another eye-roller. Chris was not worried about the costume’s different styles, but he knew the color difference would have made the surprise dead on arrival.
Jack Slade, who was a guest on this episode of Talk Is Jericho, had the honors of telling the story of his heroic adventure to Home Depot to retrieve gold paint:
“So, we go [to Home Depot] around 7:40 or 7:45, and they were actually due to close at 8. So, we get there just before they close. I run in, I try and find tape and paint. I texted [Jericho] saying, ‘I can’t find Sharpies, can’t find tape.’
“So then you said, ‘Yellow tape is fine.’ I managed to find that, and at this point, they’re JUST about to close. The cashier is actually ushering me out of the door. So, caught in a rainstorm, if we were a couple of minutes later, this would not have worked.”
At the last minute, Slade found metallic gold spray paint and Sharpies along with a pack of Doritos (just because).
As Slade and security were driving back, a car accident slowed down traffic but not enough to miss Jericho’s spot on the show. Slade made it back to the arena with the paint, but the backstage chaos was nowhere close to being done.
The gold spray painting over the silver portions went smoothly, but anyone who has interacted with paint knows it needs to set and dry. Jericho and Slade thought to find a hairdryer, but Murphy’s Law kicked in, and no hairdryers were to be found.
Cody Rhodes wore a sweatsuit that day and provided it to Jericho to disguise himself as a fan. Chris recalled, “So we hang the [costume] up in the shower, and then we get the sweatsuits and start fanning them like giant palm fronds to try and dry them off as quickly as we could. Meanwhile, now it’s getting close to like 8:30, and I’m on at 9.”
Luckily all parts of the costume, including the loincloth, dried quickly, so he and Slade decided to do a complete covering of the costume in gold spray paint. When you look back at the appearance, it looks identical to what Penta wore.
Pentagon is known for his in-ring work in Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide, Lucha Underground, and AEW, but this tale gave props to the team player that he was.
When Penta walked in and saw Jericho and Slade painting his spare costume, Chris recounts, “He was super cool. He was super cool about it. That guy was really cool. If someone took my gear and started like, basically ruining it, I’d be like, ‘Hey, come on guys!’ But he was ‘all in,’ no pun intended.
“Once again, putting it on and looking at it, you guys have no idea how close it was to just me wearing a damn silver costume.”
Yes, communication should have been better to ensure the proper ring attire was brought to the show, as Jericho said. Wrestling brings together a brother/sisterhood and camaraderie. Cody and Slade were not obligated to step up, but they did so to help the show and help a fellow performer.
But let us give credit where it is due: Home Depot being nearby and still being open saved Chris Jericho’s big surprise appearance at All In. They deserve a ‘Thank You’!
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