For over 20 years, Chris Hero has been solidifying his name in pro wrestling with runs in Ring of Honor, tours of Japan, his WWE run[s], time in CHIKARA, PWG, CZW, TNA and many more independent promotions around the world.
The last time that Hero had a sanctioned match was at the NXT UK TV tapings in 2020 pre-pandemic. In April of that year, he was released from the company. Since departing WWE, Chris went on to launch his ‘Can Chris Hero Save Wrestling?’ podcast that is co-hosted by Conrad Thompson. The podcast has been on hiatus for several months and Chris provided an update on the podcast and explained that there haven’t been new episodes because he was in the process of moving. He and Conrad are trying to figure out details of a relaunch.
So I just moved a couple months ago from Orlando. I now reside in Charlotte, North Carolina. Yeah, so we’re just trying to figure out the details of when we pick back up and I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve had a number of shows that I’ve liked a whole lot and I just really like it.
Hero has a storied wrestling career that has seen him travel the world twice over. While speaking to him, I asked if he’s taken the time to reflect on what he’s done throughout his career. He said that in the moment, it can be easy to get lost in what’s happening but there have been times when he has taken a moment to appreciate what wrestling has done for him.
I feel incredibly appreciative and grateful to have done all the things I’ve done, and it is hard in the moment to just kind of see the bigger picture but I’ve tried to do that over the years. Whether I’m in Japan in a hotel room all by myself, I take a look out the window and I’m like, ‘Man, this is crazy.’ You know it’s normal for me right now but this is just crazy, you know? Or the two different times I was with WWE, fired both times, but just getting to travel and do that kind of stuff and just be exposed to audiences all over the world. It’s just, man it feels great because I know what it feels like to be on that other side and to be appreciating wrestling from that aspect so that I can recognize it on the other side just helps me enjoy things all the more.
POST Wrestling’s own John Pollock reported that Chris Hero was backstage at Ring of Honor’s Best in the World pay-per-view and worked as an agent.
Chris confirmed that during our conversation and detailed what it was like to help out and be around friends that he had not seen in quite some time. He pointed out ROH and PWG World Champion Bandido as a talent who caught his eyes and heaped praise onto Jonathan Gresham for his Pure Title match with Mike Bennett at the event.
I have a number of friends that work for Ring of Honor behind the scenes, in front of the camera and it was really cool for me to be able to be even just a small part of that. To see them back in front of fans is awesome. Just to interact with people that I hadn’t seen for a while, to interact with people because as you know, it’s been a crazy year and-a-half but that was the first wrestling show I had been to since everything shut down, so it was great for me to go to a show, to be able to be helpful in certain areas, without the pressure of having to perform myself or having to call a match or having to decide which place I’m gonna take a booking for, whatever, whatever. I didn’t have to worry about any of that. I could just help out, I helped agent, produce, whatever. Helped kind of relay information back and forth, got on the headsets, talked to the production team, that kind of stuff and some of that I’m familiar with it, some of it I’m not familiar with so it was also a learning experience for me to try to figure that stuff out and I really enjoyed it, I thought they did great and Bandido, he’s the future man. He’s PWG Champion, he’s Ring of Honor Champion. I know y’all haven’t seen him without his mask but he’s a handsome gentleman as well. He’s just fantastic so, I think him being the face of Ring of Honor right now or sorry, the eyes of Ring of Honor right now. I think they have a bright future. Once they start hitting it regularly with fans, I think people are — you know, people kind of slept on Ring of Honor. They’re like, ‘Oh, they’re doing stuff’ but I don’t blame ‘em. It’s hard to watch wrestling without an audience. It is hard, so they just have a crop of talent that’s exceptional, from the old school guys like The Briscoes or Homicide or you’ve got this new talent like Bandido, like I said, [Jonathan] Gresham with his Pure — man, they got some really good things going on and I’m excited for them to get back [to] it.
Following up on that response, Hero explained that he is eager to get back in the ring. On several occasions over the past year, he has explained that he is waiting for the right time to come for his return. Nonetheless, he is “itching” to get back in the ring.
Brother, I am itching [to get back in the ring] all the time, you know? But I’m also patient enough to realize I’ve sat out this long, I’ve waited this long. I’m not gonna pull the trigger until it’s the perfect thing. I don’t know when that is but I’ll know it when it happens and man, I am thirsty. I just wanna get back at it. I see so many people I wanna work with, so many people I just wanna kick the sh*t out of. So many people that [are] previous opponents, new opponents, there’s so much I wanna get back at.
Hero had several stints with WWE and during his latest run, he spent a lump sum of time in NXT UK. He worked with the likes of Kenny Williams, Dave Mastiff, Mark Andrews, A-Kid and Tyler Bate.
He does look back fondly on his time with NXT UK, specifically the British Rounds match and working with Tyler Bate.
I did wrestle him [WALTER] once for NXT UK, but it was technically my first match for them. It was at an Axxess, Mania weekend and it was one of those like 10 AM in the morning, like you gotta get ready for TV but it feels like TV but it doesn’t feel like TV and it wasn’t an epic match. We had a couple good things but it wasn’t — that was my introduction into coming into NXT UK, and there were a handful of people I was always like, ‘Oh, I can see the trajectory of me and this guy meeting up.’ I think probably my favorite two NXT UK accomplishments were having the [British] Rounds match, I had a European Rounds match. That was cool because you’ve got [William] Regal and [Robbie] Brookside and Johnny Saint and all these guys that I got to go have that first one under the WWE banner, and then also I had a match with Tyler Bate that was 25-ish minutes and I first wrestled him when he was 17 so it was cool to kind of come full circle and he’s such a stud, he’s so good.
When Hero does make his return, he wants to be a part of an organization that will have him in that player/coach role. He admitted that he can’t help but be involved in that manner and he wants to be included in conversations about what is going to happen on the show or be asked for his thoughts about what things are planned for said show[s].
I can’t see myself wrestling somewhere and not caring about what else goes on-on the show. I just — I can’t help it. I’m not gonna completely give unsolicited advice because I know that sucks when you’re just like, ‘Dude, I didn’t ask your opinion. I don’t care if you think it sucked.’ But I would like to work with companies in more than just performing. I’d like to, at least, what I mean by this is I’d at least like to have a seat at the table when it comes to having conversations about, ‘Oh, we’re thinking about doing this or what do you think about this?’ And I like to use my experience to kind of give my opinion. If they take it, cool. If not, cool, but I think I can be very helpful for a number of companies so it will be exciting to do that. I know people look at me as the older brother, the uncle or whatever that will come in and kind of pass down a little wisdom but, you know, I’m gonna start knocking people on their ass again. I got so much more to do.
Several months ago, Eddie Kingston guest appeared on Wrestling Observer Radio and shared that he and Chris Hero did not get along for a period of time. Kingston did credit Hero for opening his eyes to wrestling outside of the U.S. and being able to be under Hero and Cesaro’s umbrella.
While things are not all water under the bridge, Hero appreciated the sentiments from Kingston and recalled the chemistry they had in the ring.
What do they say about broken clocks? They’re right at least twice a day, right? Yeah man, I do have fond memories of my first few matches versus [Eddie] Kingston and I thought that little under the surface-level resentment between he and I-I think made for good chemistry and we never took liberties with one another. I never actually tried to end his career, he never tried to end mine but we were giving each other 100 percent and there was a time when we were pretty close and friendly and then there’s a time when we weren’t so it is fun to look back on some of those, a younger version of myself and kind of reflect back on that so, that’s about all I gotta say about that.
As our conversation came to a close, Chris gave his take on who he would be pick to be the first group of talents inducted into the Ring of Honor Hall Of Fame. He listed Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, Bryan Danielson, The Briscoes and former GHC Heavyweight and Triple Crown Champion, Kenta Kobashi.
Oh man, Christopher Daniels, Bryan Danielson… and I’m gonna give Samoa Joe the nod over [CM] Punk and the only reason I’m gonna give him the nod over Punk is because I was not there for Punk’s ROH run. He left and I came in-in 2006, so not to demean or diminish anything he had done, I just was not there for it and then if you gotta have a tag team, you gotta have The Briscoes, right? And if you have to have like an attraction, a special attraction, it’s gotta be [Kenta] Kobashi. So that’s my — what did I say? I said Daniels because I mean he’s the O.G. that started it all with them, Danielson, Samoa Joe, Briscoes, Kenta Kobashi
The full interview with Hero and myself and be watched via the player at the top of this article or on the Andrew Thompson Interviews YouTube channel.