Top 10 Chris Jericho Moments
After a suspension most considered unnecessary, Chris Jericho returned to Monday Night Raw tonight. Although this return may not be amongst his best, it certainly is nice to have him back.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the 10 defining moments of Jericho’s career.
10. WAR – Ultimo Dragon – July 1995
Chris Jericho had made a name for himself on the international scene long before ever becoming the “Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla.” In Mexico, Jericho wrestled under the moniker “Corazon de Leon” or “Lionheart”, a gimmick which has continued to stick with him throughout his career. It was on these trips to Japan and Mexico that Jericho developed his signature style that made him a favourite among wrestling purists for nearly two decades.
During his tours of Mexico, Jericho met Japanese wrestling legend-in-the-making, Ultimo Dragon. With his influence, Dragon brought Jericho to Japan where the two took part in a series of unforgettable matches that continue to influence light-heavyweight wrestlers to this day.
In particular, it was their July 1995 clash in WAR (Wrestle and Romance) that drew the interest of one Mr. Paul Heyman and the rest, as they say, is history.
9. The ECW TV Championship
It’s a moment few might include in a top 10 list for Jericho, but it was matches and accomplishments like this which made Jericho a legendary competitor. On June 22, Jericho upset ECW Mainstay Pitbull #2 to capture coveted ECW TV Championship.
ECW played an integral role in helping Jericho develop his personality and skills in the ring. Competing with the likes of Chris Benoit, Taz, and 2 Cold Scorpio, Jericho added a technical aspect to his game, rounding out what was already a stellar move set.
Capping off an emotionally charged match was a top rope flying hurricanrana and an embrace between the two great wrestlers.
8. The Chyna Feud
After Jericho made his monstrous debut in the WWE, there was a lot of anticipation as to who we might see him compete against. A debuting verbal tirade on The Rock had people intrigued and a potential feud between the two had fans salivating. Instead, the WWE went in a …different route.
His first feud of note was against Chyna, who was fresh off becoming the first female to ever hold the Intercontinental Championship. Jericho in his over the top sexist attitude took offense to Chyna holding the championship and the two competed in a series of entertaining bouts over the championship.
After co-holding the title with Chyna, Jericho finally claimed it as his own at the 2000 Royal Rumble, winning a triple threat match that also included Hardcore Holly.
7. The Man of 1004 Holds
Jericho took part in numerous unforgettable feuds during his WCW tenure, but it was the Dean Malenko rivalry that proved how charismatic and talented Jericho was to the WCW audience. The two men had heated back and forth matches throughout the summer of 1998 and added some well-booked, excitement to WCW.
Perhaps my favourite moment was the unforgettable “Man of 1004 Holds” segment. After defeating Marty Jannetty and retaining his WCW Cruiserweight Championship, Jericho pulled out a lengthy stack of papers. He proclaimed it to be a list of 1004 holds he knew, of course making him better than Malenko. The only problem was that nearly every other hold on the list was an armbar. The segment sat right on the border between ridiculous and hilarious, as most of Jericho’s comedy does.
6. The 2012 Return
Even if we had seen Jericho do it before, seeing him make his return is an excitable affair. In January of 2012, Jericho again returned to the WWE using a series of mysterious videos that left fans to ponder their true meaning.
Fans exploded with excitement as an invigorated looking Jericho made his entrance. He slapped hands with fans and looked genuinely happy to be returning. That was until the famous microphone magician…had nothing to say. This went on for nearly a quarter of an hour before Jericho made a bizarre exit from the arena, leaving fans puzzled yet intrigued. Some call it brilliant, others call it stupid. We’ll leave it up to you to decide.
5. Shawn Michaels Feud
Since childhood, Jericho had worshipped the ground Shawn Michaels stood on. His in-ring style imitated that of Michaels and even their looks were eerily similar.
That is until Jericho’s ego got in the way. He went from wanting to be like Michaels to wanting to surpass him. The two took part in a heated rivalry that led to one of the greatest Wrestlemania matches of all time. Although the two took part in an amazing rivalry in 2008, it was this feud and match that will be remembered as legendary.
4. The 2007 Return
The rumours ran rampant for weeks leading up to that November 2007 Monday Night Raw. Could it be? Could the man fired over two years before finally be returning?
Binary encoded vignettes aired saying things like THE ANSWER IS THE CODE and 2ND COMING. As WWE champion, Randy Orton was the initial target of the return. Jericho claimed to be returning to save the WWE from Orton’s “monotonous robotic voice” or “child bearing hips”.
3. His first WCW Championship
It was a night Chris Jericho certainly will never forget. After building a feud around the fact that Jericho “cannot win the big one”, The Rock and Jericho faced off during the WCW Invasion angle at No Mercy 2001.
It was a match of epic proportions that Jericho fans still talk about to this day, even if Jericho’s tactics were less than respectable.
When Jericho finally “won the big one”, there was a look of jubilation in his eyes which cannot be faked. Wrestling was Jericho’s life and finally he was getting the credit he so rightfully deserved.
2. The Y2J Problem
Chris Jericho’s WWE debut in July of 2009 was the dawning of a new era in professional wrestling. The days of shocking debuts and surprises were over. The internet gave fans an entirely new look behind the curtain and they seemingly knew what was going to happen before the writers even did.
Everyone and their mother knew it was going to be Jericho who walked through that curtain on August 9, 1999. The building was filled with signs welcoming Jericho to the WWF. This is why it was so crucial that Jericho and The Rock put on a stellar performance, and so they did. A hilarious back and forth verbal battle took place that fans will never forget.
1. The Undisputed Champion
Could it have been any other moment? Jericho never let anyone forget that on December 9, 2001 it was him that beat Steve Austin and The Rock in the same night to capture the WWE Undisputed World Heavyweight Championship.
The win made Jericho a main-event star for the following decade. Jericho’s title reign would last until Wrestlemania 18, when Jericho finally main event his first Wrestlemania, losing the championship to Triple H.