Chris Jericho, well known for his drinking prowess, certainly has some interesting drinking stories to share. This installment only scrapes the surface!
Chris Jericho: “[Tim Flowers] taught me some very important lessons about the wrestling biz. More specifically, he taught me how to drink like a wrestler. He took us to a bar and bought rounds of drinks for everybody. When it came time for the second round, I still hadn’t finished my first one and that didn’t fly very well. In his world, you finished your drink as soon as you got it in preparation for the next one. It was also very important to have a drink in your hands at all times even if you weren’t drinking it because if you did nobody bothered you. If you didn’t, you became a target.
I learned to keep my thumb on the top of the beer bottle at all times because there were always guys around who thought it was funny to spike your drink with Halcion pills. After you fell asleep from them, you would be the recipient of a free eyebrow shaving and bonus Lloyd Christmas haircut. But I was a fast learner and I’m proud to say that after fifteen years of wrestling, I still have the same eyebrows I had when I was soiling my diapers.
Wrestling is a hierarchy and the guys on top dictate what to do to the guys on the bottom. There is no specific rulebook issued to rookies explaining wrestling etiquette, but you’d better figure out the rules quickly and pick them up fast or you’ll be weeded out. Rule number one is you have to drink with the boys. If you didn’t feel like drinking, you poured some water into a beer bottle and carried it around as if you were. As long as you were smart about it, nobody noticed or cared.”
CHRIS JERICHO ON WHISKEY GARGLING AND BAR TRICKS:
“I learned that another important duty of a champion was to be the last man standing at the bar—and there were shortcuts to achieve that.
One of my favorites was to buy trays of shots for whoever was out that night. When everyone toasted and drank, I simply tossed every third shot over my shoulder. Or poured it into a nearby flowerpot. Or flicked it onto the floor.
At the end of the night, the ground underneath my feet was wet and sticky from all the alcohol I hadn’t drank, but when 6 a.m. rolled around and everybody was plastered, I was still standing—totally loadski, mind you, but still standing.
Hey, I was the champion and I couldn’t pass out—I had responsibilities, dammit!
Another of my favorites was to challenge random fans to whiskey-gargling contests. Whenever we went out to a bar, there were always people around who wanted to hang out and be one of the boys. These fans were usually filled with liquid courage and bravado and would always agree to have a Jack Daniel’s gargling contest with me.
What the poor fans didn’t know was that Curt Hennig taught me how to gargle Jack years earlier, but more important, Flair taught me how not to gargle Jack years earlier.
I would let the fan go first and he would dump the shot glass into his open mouth and proceed to gargle it back and forth for a respectable forty-five seconds or so. Now, as I explained in my wildly popular first book, A Lion’s Tale (available … well, you know the drill), gargling alcohol isn’t as easy as it sounds. Imagine swishing yellow Listerine around in your mouth for thirty seconds and then swallowing it. Now multiply that by a hundred and you get a small sense of what I’m talking about.
The fan would painfully swallow the aptly named fire water and look at me expectantly. I would then toss the hooch into my mouth, facing the fan with my left side, and begin to gargle. What the fan couldn’t see was me slowly dribbling the sweet amber out of the right side of my mouth, effectively spitting it out. By the time I reached my record-setting three minutes and thirty-nine seconds, I was gargling nothing but fumes, and even that was enough to almost make me bap when I swallowed my saliva. The poor fanboy never knew what hit him or why he was so much drunker than me, but suffice it to say that most of my foes were carried out of the club an inebriated mess.”
CHRIS JERICHO ON THE DRUNKEN FOUR HORSEMEN:
Special Quality—Being the last people in the bar, NO MATTER WHAT. Must be able to gargle Jack Daniel’s for over thirty seconds. Must party with anyone, no matter the age or sexual orientation, a rule that encouraged Raven to go on a midnight motorcycle ride with a seventy-two-year-old woman.”