– While remembering the late Paco Alonso during the latest Talk is Jericho, Chris Jericho recalled a hairy situation where he got in a fight with security at Mexico City’s airport alongside Haku. Jericho recalled that the fight began after he got in the face of a security guard who was giving him a hard time while he tried to make it to a flight on time, and how when he got out Alonso gave him a little ribbing just to let Jericho know he was aware of the situation.
Highlights from the story, as well as the full podcast, are below:
On running into trouble in the airport in Mexico City: “Paco kind of always had his ear too, over what was going on. I remember one time I was going to Acapulco, and I was the champion, the NWA Middleweight Champion. And I got to the airport. Now, this is in the days pre-9/11 when you could basically show up at an airport 15 minutes before your flight and just walk on. The security was really lax, and no one really cared, or whatever. And I was a little bit late for the flight, because the traffic was bad. I got to the security line, and I went to the front and the guy was kind of being a d**k to me. I think a little of that is because a lot of times they would see gringos, you know, white guys, they might be a little bit of — there’s a lot of bravado there, shall we say. And when I got to the front of the line and went through the security, the guy saw that I had a title. Because you always carry your championship title — [laughs] that’s my Vince McMahon schooling. ‘Championship Titles, pal! They’re not belts! Belts are something you buy at JC Penney’s to hold up your pants!’ So championship title, AKA belt. When I had the belt, he saw that it was in my bag, he took it out, he was all, ‘Ah, look at this!’ Of course has to show it to everybody. I’m like, ‘I gotta go, my flight leaves in 10 minutes.’ And something that I said, the way I said it, pissed him off. Because then he started like unscrewing the tube of the toothpaste, squishing it out to see if it had like, bomb toothpaste in there or whatever the hell it was. And I started getting mad. I’m like, ‘I gotta go, I gotta go!'”
On the situation escalating and Haku getting involved: “The guy started getting a little cheeky with me, so I got kind of in his face. Then another guard put their arm on me, I turn around and shove the guard, the guard kind of stumbled and fell down. I turn around and it was a girl, it was a woman guard. So then all hell broke loose, and everybody’s kind of surrounding me and yelling and screaming. And I hear this from behind me, ‘EY! What’s the problem, ey! You leave my friend alone!’ And it was King Haku. One of the toughest humans of all-time. Not just in wrestling, in real life. Ask any guy who the toughest guy in wrestling is, they’ll all say Haku. So Haku, I look and he’s running down the concourse. He’s about 320 at the time, 6’2”, just a beast, like a rhino running down there like, ‘Ey, leave my friend alone!’ So we’re gathered around, these guys are gathered around it’s like two gunslingers with three, four, five, six security airport cops gathered around us, and they’re kind of coming closer and closer and closer. And Tonga [Haku] picked one of them up kind of like Darth Vader in Star Wars where he picks the guy off the ground like his neck? Well, Tonga picked the guy up by his shoulder type of a thing. So then they pull the guns out, and some of the — we’ve got guns pulled on us. And party’s over.”
On being thrown in jail and getting out: “So we have to go to airport jail. Did you guys know there’s such a thing as airport jail, you ever heard of that? I have, because I’ve been in the one in Mexico City. And him and I sat there for I don’t know, an hour? Felt like ten hours. It could have been three minutes, but it felt like a long time. Because we don’t know what’s gonna happen to us. So finally a guy comes in, a very eloquently-dressed guy, speaks very good English. And he’s basically, ‘I don’t know what happened, I’m sure there’s a little bit of a brouhaha. I think you guys need to put together a little tip for our airport security guards and we’ll let you out of here.’ AKA, ‘give me some money, motherf**kers and I’ll let you out.’ So I think we pulled our money together, we had about $300 or whatever. And we gave it to the gentleman, the general manager, and he was like ‘I’ll be sure to give this to our airport staff.’ I’m like ‘Yeah, I’m sure you did.’ So he lets us go, we take a later flight to Acapulco. Craziness ensues, there’s a whole other story that comes with that.”
On Alonso’s reaction: “But bottom line is, it was a crazy night and when I got back to the office a couple days later, Paco goes, ‘Ahh, if it isn’t the King of the Airport. How was the airport? Good security in Mexico City airport!’ I thought, ‘Am I gonna get in trouble for this?’ But it was much more like the wild, wild west back then where guys were expected to be crazy, and Paco just kept an eye on everything. And obviously, someone told him about it, and he knew about it. And he was just giving me a little — it’s a very Vince thing to do. Just give me a little bit of knowledge to let me know, ‘I know what you did last summer, so all good but you might wanna tone it down a bit, King of the Airport.’
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Talk is Jericho with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.