The WWE Universe is home to some of the most hardcore fans in sport and wrestling superstars are well aware of what they get themselves into when they sign up to tour the country as part of the stellar roster.
Heel characters bare the brunt of it, and those who follow that path in the WWE know to expect torrents of abuse from the crowd every time they step through the ropes and into the ring.
WWE legend Chris Jericho has though this week revealed that during his time playing the heel role several years back he was involved in several real-life altercations with fans who failed to recognize the line between character and wrestler.
Appearing on Bill Apter's podcast Jericho spent a period describing his time spent portraying the 'hypocrite Jericho' character back in 2008. And the veteran superstar opened up about being "the most hated heel in the business."
"I was getting attacked in parking lots by fans and lots of different things like that where it went beyond just a normal 'heel'."
"This was a real deal. Something that even though people knew wrestling was a show they hated me, they thought I was real and they wanted to assault me."
It is testament to Chris Jericho that he was able to convince fans that he was as abhorrent outside of the ring as he was in it. Although the car park assault attempts probably what the WWE superstar had in mind when he was developing his famous character.
And Jericho went on to describe just what it took to get to the level where it was hard to tell where in-ring heel ended and real-life wrestling entertainer began.
"I really dropped into it. I'd taken some method acting classes when I was off from the WWE from 2005-07 and learned how to really drop in to a character."
Jericho's longevity in the WWE clearly has not come easy, and the superstar was aware prior to his heel turn that a dramatic change was needed as his Y2J character became stagnant.
The entire interview, which can be heard in full via this link, is a great insight into the work that goes on behind the scenes in order for a wrestler to take that step from talented athlete to bonafide superstar capable of stiring up emotions in the crowd.
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