How do you stay close to a loved one after they pass away?
Some people will try and bring them up in conversation, others may even maintain the relationship by sending text messages to their number.
For Liz Rose, the answer was to keep up a hobby she shared with her brother – watching professional wrestling.
Little did she know 17 years later that she would be performing the entrance music for her brother’s favourite wrestler live as he walked to the ring.
“My brother loved wrestling and he loved Chris Jericho,” she said. “Greg wanted to be a wrestler, he was planning on going to wrestling school after high school. Then he was in a car accident.
“Moving forward with my life as a kid, wrestling was something I could look back on and have good memories. Going into adulthood, if I saw a match on TV I would watch it, it helped me feel connected to him.”
For years, simply watching wrestling on television was enough for the 29-year-old to maintain a connection with her brother.
But a quirk of fate made everything change when Liz had the opportunity to become part of the choir that performed Chris Jericho’s entrance theme at the All Elite Wrestling (AEW): Revolution pay-per-view on 29 February 2020.
Chris Jericho was the first AEW world champion. During his time with WWE, he became a six-time world champion and was the first “undisputed” champion.
He is also an accomplished musician with his band Fozzy. The video to Judas, which he uses as his entrance music, has been viewed more than 35 million times on YouTube.
While it is uncommon for wrestlers to enter the ring to anything other than their pre-recorded theme, for a wrestler as popular as Jericho, exceptions can be made.
Fans have called the performance “the best entrance of the year” and “goosebump-inducing“, while Chris Jericho himself said it was “the best ring entrance I’ve ever had in almost 30 years in the business“.
For Liz, her brother’s fandom of Chris Jericho made it all the more significant.
“It was extremely emotional,” she said. “I’ve been getting so many messages and comments from AEW fans, describing this as an important moment in wrestling, how this entrance had an impact on them.
“Over the course of my life I felt like I processed the grief in certain ways. It’s strange how after all this time, something like this happening can bring me back to how I felt as a kid.
“For me to think of my brother knowing I was a part of that moment in wrestling, proud I helped his hero… I felt close to him in a way I had not felt since he was alive.”
The opportunity would not have afforded itself were it not for a bit of luck and a viral video.
Meredith Bell, who knew Liz from local theatre in Philadelphia, became the architect of her future when her a cappella cover of Jericho’s entrance music became a Twitter hit in January 2020.
She told the BBC that Jericho contacted her directly and asked if she could rally up some friends to perform the song live at AEW: Revolution.
Meredith contacted Liz, who leapt at the opportunity – and when she found out about the significance this performance would have for Liz, she did something to make the moment even more special.
“Meredith had a necklace made for me before we left for the trip,” Liz said, “with a picture of Greg in it.
“She made a point to acknowledge how special this was for me. The group knew about it and was very supportive and kind. It was extremely emotional.”
After the performance, Meredith took to social media to share the story of Greg and Liz with the world. And once again her post caught the eye of Chris Jericho, who called it an “amazing story”.
And this brought everything “full circle”, Liz says.
“When he responded to the video,” she said, “it was shocking and overwhelming. I said a little prayer to my brother, and said that this is because of you.
“I never would have been into wrestling if not for him. It was an experience I got to enjoy through my love for him and his love for wrestling. It was an amazing moment.”
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