After finishing Jericho’s previous book, “The Best in the World (At What I Have No Idea)”, I was pretty confident that if he chose to write a fourth book, I wouldn’t be picking it up. I found it boring, lacking in substance and purely a money-grab. Yet, here we are. You can blame Kindle for temporarily dropping the price to $4.99.
Before I get started, I want to preface this by saying that I’m a big fan of his work as a pro wrestler and have often said that he has one of the best minds in the industry. He’s always on top of his game looking for a way to differentiate himself from his peers by reinventing his character over and over again. Outside of the ring, he has an incredible work ethic. When not wrestling, he fronts the metal band Fozzy, runs his own podcasting network, and dabbles in both comedy and acting. He even just announced a joint rock and wrestling cruise to set sail next year! Being the busy man he is, you’d think he’d have a wealth of interesting stories and anecdotes, right? Well, about that…
No Is A Four Letter Word is structured like a self-help/motivational book as Jericho looks to bring out the best in his audience and share some of the advice he’s received in the past that helped make him successful. While the book has some decent advice, the problem lies in many of the embarrassing, downright uninteresting stories he chose to share. Stories about fighting traffic to meet Keith Richards, hiding in a bathroom stall to listen to Yoko Ono pee, accepting a phone call from Paul Stanley, throwing up on an airplane or making awkward conversation with Paul McCartney were so.. dull. He even equates a chapter about using his celebrity to get a flight upgrade to “not taking no for an answer”. What did I just read?
It’s not all bad, however. Jericho tells some interesting stories about WWE head-honcho, Vince McMahon that to be honest, only made me want a book about Vince’s life and career even more (someone make “An Oral History of Vince McMahon” happen, please). It may be just where my interest primarily lies but when Jericho chooses to talk about wrestling, the book seems to really hit its stride. Behind-the-scenes tales about working WrestleMania with Fandango, his feuds with The Wyatt Family, AJ Styles and Kevin Owens were real high spots, but still lacking when compared to the gold standard of his first memoir, A Lion’s Tale.
For a profession as physically demanding as wrestling, I recognize the importance of establishing a career (or many careers) outside of the industry. My problem with this book is that I just flat out don’t care about anything else this man does. I know that may sound harsh, but I was bored to tears during the chapters about Fozzy, his podcast or his many, many, many stories about KISS. My God, do I ever hate KISS.
If you’re a fan of wrestling books, Jericho’s first, “A Lion’s Tale”, is one of the absolute best wrestling memoirs available and I urge you to pick it up. Anything after that is diminished returns.