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Wrestler Jericho plays it safe on new 'Downfall' game show

| June 22, 2010 9:00 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Pro wrestler Chris Jericho is willing to take hits in the ring but will be playing it safe as host of ABC's new game show "Downfall."

"Downfall" is staged atop a 10-story downtown Los Angeles building, with contestants vying for prizes and up to $1 million cash by taking a trivia quiz. Players face the risk of being pushed off the roof - strapped into a decelerator harness - if they lose.

Jericho is on the rooftop, too, but tethered to a platform to avoid an unexpected trip.

"It's scary when you get up there and stand on the edge," Jericho said. "That's the reason I'm the host. I don't ever have to go over the edge - unless the show gets canceled, in which case I'm the first one that gets thrown over."

Jericho's sense of humor has been on display elsewhere, including regular appearances on VH1 and E! and as guest host on shows including "The Best Damn Sports Show Period" and "MadTV."

He draws parallels between his World Wrestling Entertainment experience and "Downfall" beyond their show business elements. The game show begins its six-episode run tonight at 9 PDT on ABC.

"They're both high-intensity, energetic games," Jericho said. "You're putting something on the line."

Besides the suspense, he said, "Downfall" is also an "amazing spectacle."

The show's setup includes a huge conveyer belt that sends replicas of prizes, up to and including cars, as well as contestants' personal mementos crashing to the street.

"As a kid, you want to stand and drop eggs or GI Joes off the building and see if they fall apart. That's the primal instinct that makes the show so interesting," Jericho said.

But, he hastened to add, no players were harmed in the filming of the show.

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