WWE's Chris Jericho Talks WrestleMania 26, Being A Villain, and More

Come Sunday, the Smackdown villain will defend his World Heavyweight Championship against Edge during WrestleMania 26 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Phoenix.

The contest isn't getting as much hype as the other matches on the card, such as Undertaker versus Shawn Michaels or Bret Hart against WWE honcho Vince McMahon. But its participants definitely have the possibility of putting on one of the most memorable performances at the pay-per-view, as both are at the top of their respective games.

It's definitely one of the reasons why you should make a trip out to the West Valley and attend the show. (According to the WWE, tickets are still available for Sunday click here for more info). Need more? New Times spoke with Jericho about how Mania is one of the most thrilling events one can witness, as well as why he digs being a bad guy.

New Times: What's it like competing at WrestleMania?

Chris Jericho: It's huge because its biggest show of the year. All the fans know it, all the performers know it. And if you can go out there and steal the show at WrestleMania like Shawn Michaels and I did at WrestleMania 19, you know you've done something special, because there's only been 25 WrestleManias, and thus only 25 show stealers. If you can be in one of those, it generally cements your spot in history.

NT: Are you going to steal the show this weekend?

CJ: I'm going to try. I've done it once before and I'm gonna see if I'm destined do it again.

NT: What it's like attending WrestleMania?

CJ: Wrestlemania is extremely exciting. It's like the equivalent of going to the Super Bowl or the Stanley Cup finals if you're a hockey fan. It really is the epitome of what we do as performers, and the fans know that. It's the biggest show of the year. WWE fans know they're gonna see something special if they come to a WrestleMania.

NT: Is it better to be a hero or a villain in professional wrestling?

CJ: The most important thing is to have people excited and involved in what you do. It doesn't matter if you're a heel [wrestling parlance for a bad guy] or good guy. As long as people are excited about what you're doing and enjoying what you are doing, and paying money to see you and reacting, that's the most important.

NT: Which do you like better?

CJ: For me I love a babyface, but its more fun to be a heel, and its easier to make people really hate you than it is to make them like, but its also a lot harder to stay hated, because the best bad guys always become good guys after a time: Darth Vader, Hannibal Lecter, or The Joker.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.