Wrestler of the Day – June 13: Chris Jericho

It’s time for the man with so many nicknames that I can’t pick one: Chris Jericho.

Again there are too many matches to do a timeline so here are a bunch of great Jericho matches in no particular order.

When Jericho was still relatively new to the WWF, one of his first major feuds was with HHH, who he met in a last man standing match at Fully Loaded 2000.

HHH vs. Chris Jericho

If you’ve already forgotten the stipulation here, lay off the drugs and fast. They start off immediately and the crowd is still as hot as they were to start the show. See what a great opener and a great crowd can do for you? HHH picks up a piece of the table destroyed earlier and beats on Jericho with it as we’re on the floor 40 seconds into the match. Well at least they’re not wasting time getting to the violent part. Stephanie looks completely delicious here.

This is just a glorified brawl at the moment which is fine. That’s what a match like this is supposed to be like so it’s perfectly fine. HHH pulls the bandages off of Jericho’s ribs and works on the ribs. Why would you wear tape to the ring? It’s a bullseye there. If they weren’t taped, the opponent might work on the knee otherwise or something like that. Ross just sounds like he has latent homosexual feelings towards HHH.

I mean seriously, he’s always going off about him and I just keep thinking he’d love nothing more than to humble him and then get humbled by him. Stephanie beats on Jericho a bit as this is all HHH otherwise. The ribs are at least offering a bit of a story to the match. They’ve been on the floor for the majority of the match here. They mention that the mats are more or less pieces of carpet out there. Don’t tell Bill Watts they exist.

This protecting the wrestlers a bit is just freaking evil and can’t be allowed to ever happen again! HHH hooks an abdominal stretch that would have Monsoon rolling over in his grave. In other words, it’s about as traditional as you could possibly imagine. Jericho gets a shot in and the crowd EXPLODES. This is one of the best crowds I’ve seen in a long time.

Jericho makes a short comeback and goes for the Lionsault but HHH gets the knees up and then hits a DDT for about 8. Again being smart, HHH uses a sleeper. I usually hate that move but here it makes perfect sense to use it. That gets 9 or so and HHH is PISSED. He hits a Pedigree and lays on the top rope like Shawn used to do. After a 9 count that takes about a minute to do, Jericho is up AGAIN. HHH gets a chair and lands a few shots and goes for a Pedigree on it but a low blow saves Jericho. It was thunderous apparently. DANG.

HHH’s head more or less explodes with blood after a chair shot. I mean he’s bleeding BAD. Fans are completely into this too. Jericho cranks it up a bit here by going into his sequence of stuff and ending with the bulldog onto a chair. We’re back on the floor again with Jericho dominating. Just as I say that Jericho goes into the stairs. This is pretty freaking good. And never mind that as Jericho gets a counter.

This back and forth stuff is working quite a bit. Uh oh HHH is getting the announce table ready and they both get a shot with monitors so they’re both down. Both guys get up at nine and back in the ring Jericho hooks the Walls. HHH taps like crazy but it means nothing. Just like in the cage, why should ropes get a break when ropes mean nothing? Oh ok it doesn’t. That makes things a lot better.

Jericho pulls him back to the middle which means nothing really. Stephanie comes in and gets some Walls too which makes her top fly up which isn’t a bad thing at all. We’re on the floor again which is ok in a match like this as that’s the point. HHH swings the newly found hammer at Jericho but it hits the post instead. HHH takes a slingshot into the post which is always a cool bump.

They get on the table and HHH hits a jumping belly to back suplex where his back lands squarely on the edge of the table which means he would be hurt a lot worse, or at least I would think so. HHH gets up just in time to beat the count while Jericho is out. As Ross puts it, he was up at ten and down at eleven. Ok on another look, Jericho doesn’t hit anything but the floor on the last bump so that’s fine.

Rating: A. These two beat each other up something fierce out there. The key to it though, as always in a great match: I didn’t know who was going to win until the very end. The cut on HHH’s head was AWESOME though and the blood helped a lot. These guys always had good chemistry together, but at some point in their careers, Jericho needs to beat HHH clean in a big match. There were plenty of times where Jericho almost had it, and that’s what made this work. It wasn’t a match where the ending was obvious because it wasn’t, and that’s what made this great.

Next up is a match that you often hear listed among the best ladder matches of all time. From Royal Rumble 2001.

Intercontinental Title: Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho

It’s a slugout to start with Jericho getting a very early advantage. Benoit tries the Crossface but has to escape the Walls instead. Jericho misses a charge and hits the post before missing the springboard dropkick and crashing to the floor. Benoit posts him and goes for the ladder but stops to send Jericho into the steps. We’re only three minutes into the match though so Jericho stops Benoit’s climb. A ladder shot to the face puts Benoit down and the referee tells them they have thirteen minutes left.

Jericho lays the ladder across the top rope and of course goes face first into it as a result. Good to see that even Canadians follow the first law of wrestling. Benoit tries a suicide dive but Jericho puts up a chair, causing Benoit massive head trauma. Jericho tries to ride the ladder from the apron onto Benoit on the barricade but the other Chris moves out of the way. A ladder to the face stops Jericho again and now Benoit swings a chair.

Back in and Benoit loads up a ladder in the corner before ramming Jericho face first into it. Jericho gets up and puts the ladder in the corner again before tying Benoit’s legs between the rungs for a kind of Russian legsweep off the middle rope. Benoit comes right back with a dropkick to send the ladder into Jericho’s face and a hard belly to back suplex. The ladder is placed on the top rope again and Benoit’s face is whipped into it HARD. Jericho immediately follows up by see-sawing the ladder into Benoit’s face. Almost every one of these shots would be classified as FREAKING OW MAN.

A missile dropkick puts Benoit down again but he saves a climb attempt by Jericho. Benoit suplexes Jericho out to the floor and both guys are down again. Benoit goes up again but has to stop to kick Jericho away. Jericho gets up anyway and bends Benoit backwards into the Walls ON TOP OF THE LADDER. Benoit falls on his head but still kicks the ladder over to stop Jericho. AWESOME sequence there.

Jericho drills him with the ladder and goes up, but Benoit immediately pulls him down into the Crossface. Jericho taps out but it means nothing other than pleasure for Benoit here. Benoit sends him shoulder first into the post but Jericho comes back by sending Benoit face first into the ladder. The ladder is moved to the corner and both guys climb, resulting in Jericho being superplexed back down.

The Swan Dive hits the mat though and Benoit is in big trouble. Jericho puts the ladder on top of Benoit’s ribs, but the champion shoves it over anyway from the mat, sending Jericho face first into the buckle and out to the floor. Benoit goes up again but gets shoved out to the floor, allowing Jericho to sprint up the ladder and win the title.

Rating: A+. Take two Canadians, give them a ladder and 19 minutes and this is what you should expect. These two beat on each other HARD and the match was excellent as a result. They came up with some new stuff while mixing in basic stuff like HIT THE GUY IN THE FACE WITH A LADDER but it was so intense that it became a classic. Check this one out.

Another HHH match, though this time in a tag team from Raw on May 21, 2001.

Tag Titles: Steve Austin/HHH vs. Chris Benoit/Chris Jericho

Here we go. Austin vs. Jericho gets us going and one of the belts is laying in the ring. Austin takes over with pounding boots but Jericho snaps off a cross body for two. A top rope elbow to the head scores for Jericho and he works on Austin’s arm. HHH comes in and the Canadians take over. Benoit chops Austin HARD and then hits a snap suplex for no cover. There’s a superplex for two as HHH saves.

Jericho comes in to even things out but it lets the champions take over. Benoit is like screw that and pounds them back, hooking the Crossface on Austin. HHH comes in with a big chair shot to break it up but Benoit kicks out to a big pop. Benoit goes into the steps for no count as he kicks out before the one. Austin pounds away on him and it’s off to HHH who hooks a cheating abdominal stretch.

Make that a sleeper as Benoit is in big trouble. Benoit manages to fire off a suplex to put both guys down and an enziguri is good enough for the hot tag to Jericho….but the referee doesn’t see it. The fans don’t like that at all. Jericho goes off with Austin on the floor as HHH hits the Pedigree. There’s no referee though so Jericho goes up and takes HHH’s head off with a missile dropkick.

There’s your hot tag to Jericho and he takes on the now legal Austin and HHH at the same time. Thesz Press is countered into a spinebuster and then the Walls but HHH makes the save. That right there, that save, resulted in HHH tearing his quad off the bone and would put him out of action until January of 2002. You could see HHH’s leg just stop moving. His leg is dead weight now.

HHH is like screw this potentially career ending injury and goes to set up the announce table. HHH loads up the Pedigree but Jericho counters into the Walls on the table, and remember that HHH has a torn muscle. FREAKING OW MAN!!! Benoit hits the swan dive on Austin but there’s no referee. Stunner to Benoit gets two as Jericho pulls the referee out. Lionsault gets knees and HHH finds the sledgehammer from somewhere. The second Lionsault hits but the hammer hits Austin and Jericho gets the pin and the titles as the place erupts!

Rating: A+. WOW this match holds up really well. After Jericho gets that hot tag, this is full speed ahead the rest of the way. The energy in this is great as they did everything they could to keep the Canadians down but in the end, HHH messes up to end it. Notice one very important thing here: Jericho had Austin (presumably) beat with the Lionsault, so it’s not like they got dominated the entire time and won on a mistake by the other team. That’s huge and it makes Benoit/Jericho look far stronger as the new champions.

We’ll jump ahead several years now to 2008, with Jericho as the World Heavyweight Champion and defending against Shawn Michaels in a ladder match at No Mercy 2008.

Raw World Title: Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho

Big match intros are out of the way and we’re ready to go. Shawn goes for the arm to start but then says screw this and tries Chin Music. Jericho moves and Shawn charges shoulder first into the post. Out to the floor and Jericho throws Shawn at the ladder but Shawn climbs it quickly and comes off with an even quicker cross body. Jericho throws him into the post shoulder first again and goes for the ladder.

Shawn drop toeholds him though and Chris’ face hits the ladder. There’s a second ladder but Jericho takes Shawn down and hooks the Walls on the floor. For some reason he lets it go and brings the ladder into the ring, but Shawn teeter totters it into his face. Back in Shawn climbs up but Jericho shoves him off and into the top rope. The ladder goes into Shawn’s face and Jericho is bleeding from the lip a bit.

There are two ladders in the ring now. Shawn counters the bulldog and sends Jericho’s leg into the ladder. Shawn lays a ladder across the bottom rope and drops Jericho’s knee onto it before hooking up a Figure Four. After it’s broken, Jericho kicks one end of the ladder into the post so that it bounces back and hits Shawn in the shoulder and then into the face. It might have been to the previously injured eye. Jericho slams a ladder on Shawn’s head in a FREAKING OW MAN moment.

He climbs up but Shawn shoves it well enough to make Jericho stop and kick him away, causing Jericho to fall off and land on his feet. Chris puts a ladder on the top rope in the corner with the top of it pointing into the ring. Shawn throws Jericho onto the ladder and he falls out to the floor. Out to the floor and Shawn sets up the mega ladder. He hits Jericho with the ladder a few times to keep Jericho down and loads up the announce table.

Jericho is placed on the table but gets up and climbs up the ladder after Shawn. He gets in a few shots and tries a belly to back through the table. Shawn shifts his weight and lands on top of Chris, but they’re both dead anyway. Back in the ring and Shawn goes up, looking to ride the ladder down onto Jericho. The champ is ready for him though and dropkicks the ladder into Shawn, crotching him.

Jericho loads up a superplex but Shawn shoves him off. He tries the elbow but Jericho pulls the ladder onto himself so that the elbow hits the steel coming down. FREAKING OW MAN! Shawn tries the superkick but Jericho pulls up a ladder and slams it into Shawn’s head. Jericho puts the ladder on Shawn and hits the Lionsault onto it, which would seem to take a lot more out of Jericho than Shawn.

He puts the ladder on top of Shawn and tries to go up but Shawn kicks the ladder forward, sending Jericho crashing down with NOTHING to catch his fall. He’s holding his knee on the floor while Shawn slowly climbs. Jericho gets back in and shoves the ladder over, sending Shawn into the ropes. They both climb and slug it out but Jericho gets his leg caught in the ladder and is hanging upside down. Cue Cade for the save so Shawn superkicks him down. Jericho is back up and it’s another race. They both grab the belt and it comes unhooked and it’s a tug of war. Jericho headbutts the bad eye to pull down the title to retain.

Rating: A. Yeah it’s great. You knew this was going to be rated very highly coming in. Everyone loves this match and it’s not hard to see why. Both guys are masters at this and they beat each other up very well in the process. As with most great ladder matches, the matches where it’s about the guys and there happen to be ladders involved are much better than the other way around. Great match and a great ending. This would have been a lot better live I think.

One of Jericho’s best feuds in his later runs was against Rey Mysterio, who he fought in a title vs. mask match at the Bash.

Intercontinental Title: Chris Jericho vs. Rey Mysterio

And if Rey loses he has to unmask forever….again. Does anyone else think some of Rey’s masks look like Klansmen hoods? This feud more or less brought the title back to life as it was the wrestler’s title again instead of just a stupid prop for guys like Santino. We’re told Rey has never wrestled a match without his mask and then are told he had to earn it after he started wrestling. I love continuity issues in WWE.

Jericho goes straight for the mask which is a very nice touch as instead of just trying to beat him he’s being pure evil and trying to humiliate and end Rey. I love that. Jericho does that slingshot into the bottom rope which is a nice move. All Jericho so far. He hooks a crossface chickenwing of all things which is a nice throwback.

You can tell these two have a lot of chemistry as they’re flowing very well. It’s odd hearing Ross clearly getting pissed off so easily as it’s clear he’s not liking having to more or less mentor Grisham when he thinks he should be the top guy. Jericho shouts at the referee to ASK HIM. Nicely done. Aww that’s so cute: they still think Rey won the Rumble and the world title. It never ceases to amaze me how they can’t tell him apart from Eddie. They look nothing alike.

Rey hits a seated senton to the floor but might have hurt his knee. He’s finally on offense though as he’d been dominated for about 6 minutes or so. Jericho catches a springboard into a powerslam. It’s always cool when wrestlers use something different than their usual stuff. You’re allowed to mix it up at times and it makes things better when you do so. Allegedly Rey has always been the smaller guy in every match he’s ever had. That’s not surprisingly actually.

Jericho gets the Walls, more or less guaranteeing a lack of a submission. When’s the last time he won a match with that? And shockingly enough Rey gets to the ropes. That move has less heat than Vickie’s vagina. 619 misses and Jericho takes his head off with a clothesline. He then blocks a rana into a powerbomb.

Rey has gotten blocked every single time here and it’s been great. Lionsault misses and I mean actually misses instead of him landing on his feet. Codebreaker gets two as the crowd is WAY into this and for good reason. Jericho and Rey go up top and Jericho just kind of falls backwards. Uh, ok? 619 hits but the West Coast Pop is countered into the Walls again. And of course they don’t work as we get a pinfall reversal sequence.

In a GREAT ending that throws back to the Extreme Rules match, Jericho rips the mask off again but Rey has ANOTHER mask on underneath so while Jericho is expecting him to stop dead he keeps going to hit the 619 and springboard splash for the IC Title. THAT is what I mean when I say great storytelling and psychology.

Rating: A+. This was a VERY well booked match that I’d bet a large sum of money on Jericho and Rey planning the majority of. The ending there was downright inspired and showed Rey outsmarting Jericho and capitalizing on it. The match being awesome helped a lot too as these two just can go out there and nail it every time with this being no exception. Screw it this is an A+.

Going back to HHH for a bit, Jericho would defend the Undisputed Title against him in the main event of Wrestlemania XVIII.

WWF World Title: HHH vs. Chris Jericho

HHH won the Rumble to get this show. Drowning Pool does HHH’s entrance and it SUCKS. That’s meant to be an old school rock song, not a bad metal version. The big story here is that HHH got tired of his wife Stephanie being all annoying and saying she could do whatever she wanted because anyone that opposed her would have to deal with HHH so he yelled at her, sending her over to Jericho. If you actually believe Jericho has anything resembling a chance here, I feel sorry for you. He does get a face pop though. Oh and HHH’s repaired quad is “hanging by a thread”.

Stephanie starts screeching as soon as the bell rings. Jericho takes him to the corner to start and bends the leg around the rope to a bit of an effect. HHH fires back with some right hands and the fans don’t seem to care. A backdrop puts Jericho down as does a clothesline. HHH comes back with the jumping knee to the face but hurts the bad leg in the process.

Jericho hits a backdrop to send HHH to the outside as they’re getting close to plodding territory. The champion spends too much time posing and is sent into the barricade for his troubles. A suplex on the floor lays out Jericho but HHH takes too much time loading up the announce table, allowing the champion to kick the bad leg out. Back inside now and HHH gets all CEREBRAL BABY and goes after Jericho’s leg.

After a good look at Stephanie’s rocking cleavage, there’s a figure four by HHH. Stephanie digs her nails into HHH’s eyes to break it up though, causing HHH to go after her. Jericho charges into Stephanie by mistake and into the ring she goes. HHH loads up the Pedigree on his wife but Jericho hits a missile dropkick to break it up. HHH’s leg is wrapped around the post a few times and Stephanie kicks him in the leg for good measure.

Back in again and Jericho cranks on the leg. The match isn’t bad so far but it’s doing nothing to draw my interest. The leg is wrapped around the post again and there’s the Figure Four around the post (on the correct leg and everything!) for good measure. Back in and HHH is taken down to the mat to stop a comeback bid before Jericho puts on an Indian Deathlock. HHH finally kicks Jericho away, sending him shoulder first into the post.

There’s a neckbreaker to Chris but he’s up first anyway. A clothesline gets two for HHH as Stephanie cheers for Jericho. The facebuster puts HHH down but he hurts his own leg again. The spinebuster gets two for HHH but Jericho is still up first. HHH is sent over the corner and out to the floor where Jericho loads up the announce table again. Jericho tries to put him in the Walls on the announce table ala the night HHH tore his quad but HHH fights out. Instead he loads up a Pedigree but Jericho backdrops him through the other table.

Back in and Jericho hits the Lionsault for two and there are the Walls for good measure. Jericho pulls him away from the ropes so HHH crawls again to make them. Stephanie offers a distraction so Jericho can bring in a chair but HHH counters with a DDT onto said chair. The crowd is DEAD for this. Stephanie comes in for no apparent reason and we finally get to see HHH Pedigree her. A chair shot to the head puts HHH down for two so Jericho loads up a Pedigree of his own. That gets countered into a slingshot and the real Pedigree gives HHH the title back.

Rating: C+. The match itself was ok but the crowd really drags it down. The problem with this match is that it went on after EVERYTHING else tonight and everyone is so freaking tired that no one cared. It didn’t help that HHH might have been a more obvious winner than Austin four years ago so we had to sit through 19 minutes until we got to the clear finish. The match itself was nothing special either. It was Jericho kicking him in the leg for the whole match before HHH escaped the Walls and hitting the Pedigree to win it. The match isn’t bad, but it’s completely lacking anything memorable.

Let’s do some WCW. From Clash of the Champions XXXV.

Cruiserweight Title: Eddie Guerrero vs. Chris Jericho

Jericho is defending and Eddie is freshly heel. Feeling out process to start with Eddie sending Chris down to the mat. Jericho comes back with two straight armdrags and a dropkick, sending Eddie over to the referee to complain of a hair pull. We get a rare power display from Jericho with a gorilla press followed by another dropkick, sending Eddie running to the corner on his knees.

Guerrero heads outside but somehow sneaks in on Jericho to take over. A slingshot hilo has Jericho in even more trouble and a top rope hurricanrana gets two for Guerrero. Jericho drops him throat first across the top rope and puts on a giant swing of all things. Eddie rolls to the floor so Jericho tries a dive, only to get caught on the ropes to miss everything.

Jericho has something left though as he suplexes Eddie over the top and out to the floor in another big crash. Back in and Eddie superplexes Jericho down for two but he has to escape a powerbomb. Jericho grabs a release German suplex for two and they trade some fast rollups for two each until Jericho reverses a sunset flip into a cradle to retain the title.

Rating: B-. These two almost always had good matches together and this was no exception. Guerrero was the better one in the ring at the moment as Jericho was still getting the hang of this level though he certainly didn’t look lost out there. Both guys looked very good out there though.

Back to WWE from the first episode of NXT.

Daniel Bryan vs. Chris Jericho

Jericho is World Heavyweight Champion here. In a weird error, Bryan’s graphic lists him as being from Vegas but the announcer says he’s from Washington. Odd indeed. Bryan can’t get a handshake to start. Jericho slaps him and it’s on. They trade dropkicks and we go back and forth a bit. Keep in mind the idea here is that this is Bryan’s debut so you have to factor out that he’s US Champion as this is being written.

Barrett cuts a quick promo here where he kisses up to Jericho a bit more but doesn’t say what he’s actually learning. Bryan throws some kicks and goes for the knee. Daniel controls here as Cole begins his indy bashing stuff and his war against the internet. Bryan speeds it up and knocks Jericho to the floor.

And there’s the highlight reel moment of the first season as Bryan DIVES through the ropes but Jericho catches him in a belly to belly to slam his back into the edge of the announce table which must hurt beyond belief. Back in the ring Bryan gets a leg lock and Jericho is in trouble. Codebreaker out of nowhere though and Bryan is down. Walls end it soon after.

Rating: B. All things considered, this was mind blowing. Factoring in that this was his mainstream debut, this can only be classified as a success. Solid match here either way and that counter spot was great. Seeing a guy like Bryan giving Jericho a legit scare here with a nice leg lock thrown in was something no one expected. This was great all things considered.

In 2001 Jericho went on one heck of a heel run over the idea that he couldn’t win the big one. Here’s his shot at the big one, from No Mercy 2001.

WCW World Title: The Rock vs. Chris Jericho

Feeling out process to start and Rock grabs a headlock. Jericho grabs an armbar but shifts over to chopping instead. Rock Bottom and Walls are both countered so Jericho dropkicks him to the floor. Back in Jericho hits a top rope back elbow for two. They’re starting kind of slow which says to me that they have a ton of time to work with. They chop away in the corner but Rock walks into a spinwheel kick to take him down for two.

Senton backsplash puts Rock down even more. Rock fires off a jumping clothesline but walks into a Stun Gun. Belly to belly by Rock puts both of them down. It’s been mostly Jericho so far but Rock is hitting enough stuff to stay in there. There’s another suplex and a Samoan Drop for two. Jericho knocks him down so Rock nips up. Rock knocks him to the floor for a bit. Back in a vertical suplex gets two for Rocky.

Rock throws him to the floor and once we’re back in, Rock throws on a chinlock for awhile. Jericho gets catapulted into the corner so Rock can load up a superplex. Chris knocks him off and a missile dropkick puts both guys down. Jericho wins a slugout and a rana gets two. Rock comes back but Jericho catches him in a Rock Bottom. Lionsault gets two as this has gotten awesome.

Jericho loads up a People’s Elbow but Rock moves. Because, you know, it’s an elbow. Rock hooks a Sharpshooter and the Canadian is in trouble. Jericho finally gets to the rope and the fans aren’t sure what to do. Out to the floor and it’s Spanish Announce Table time. Rock Bottom puts Jericho through the table and the place pops big. Back in the ring and Rock stalks Chris.

Another Rock Bottom is countered but Rock manages a spinebuster and loads up a People’s Elbow of his own. Jericho picks the ankle into the Walls and Rock is in trouble. Rock reaches for the rope but Jericho pulls him back to the middle. And here’s Stephanie because what’s a great title match without a McMahon? She throws in a chair and Rock DDTs Jericho. She cheers for Rock so Rock brings her in for a Rock Bottom. Jericho catches Rock in a Breakdown (Skull Crushing Finale) onto the chair for the pin, the title and a BIG pop from the crowd.

Rating: A-. I’m bringing this down a bit because of Stephanie. I mean there just was no need for her to be in there. It was minor but what in the world does she need to be there for? Jericho winning is still huge, but it should have been without her out there. The chair is fine, but why did we need her? The match was GREAT otherwise though with them mirroring each other perfectly.

Jumping ahead nearly twelve years, Jericho was the opponent for a returning CM Punk at Payback 2013.

CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho

Jericho comes out to CM PUNK chants but it’s not anti-Jericho. Punk gets a big reaction but it’s not thunderous. I’m thinking the fans don’t love his mutton chops. Cole lists off some famous wrestlers from Chicago including One Man Gang (not exactly a big deal) and the Crusher (from Milwaukee) but nothing about the LOD or Lex Luger. They trade control on the mat with Jericho being booed out of the building. Back up and Jericho grabs a headlock for very early control.

Punk counters into a headlock of his own and they chop it out. Jericho stomps Punk down into the corner and is booed for the first time in years. Punk is sent to the outside for a baseball slide but he counters the springboard dropkick with a guillotine. Back in and Punk hits a top rope ax handle and hooks a top wristlock. Off to a shortarm scissors as it seems like they’ve got a lot of time to work with here.

Back up and Punk is sent into the buckle to give Jericho a breather. Some shoulders put Punk down as does an ax handle but he avoids the Lionsault. A swinging neckbreaker gets two for CM and the fans are cheering for both guys. The corner bulldog is shoved away to give the Canadian two and there are the Walls of Jericho. Punk crawls through and hooks the Anaconda Vice but Jericho gets his feet onto the ropes.

Punk calls for the GTS but Jericho counters into the Walls which are countered into a GTS which is countered into a rollup for two. A Codebreaker gets two for Chris and it’s time for the main event strike off. Punk kicks away at Jericho’s head and hits a leg lariat to put Jericho down. The knee in the corner sets up the Macho Elbow but the GTS is only good for two. Another Codebreaker is broken up and Jericho is sent to the outside. Punk hits the suicide dive but Punk counters the springboard clothesline into the Codebreaker…..for two. The place is going NUTS on these kickouts now.

Jericho pins back the arms and drives in elbows to the face as the fans chant THIS IS AWESOME. Jericho hits a good 25 elbows and Punk is in big trouble. The Walls are countered into a small package for two more and they slug it out with Punk getting the better of it. A standing hurricanrana is countered into the Walls so Heyman begins to pray. Punk punches Jericho’s sore arm to make it a half crab before fighting up and hitting a pair of GTS’s for the pin at 21:27.

Rating: A-. This was the kind of match that Punk needed to have in his return. The fans weren’t completely hating Jericho but he was clearly the heel in the match, pretty much by default. Punk is going to be a huge face by fan response alone so turning him wouldn’t be a problem at all. This was the great match you would expect from these two on this stage.

Back to WCW again when Jericho was the Cruiserweight Champion and had basically cleared out the division. He would defend the title against the winner of a battle royal. Ciclope of all people won the match in a huge upset. In theory at least.

Jericho hits the ring immediately but Ciclope unmasks to reveal…..DEAN MALENKO! The place goes NUTS in one of the loudest pops WCW ever had.

Cruiserweight Title: Dean Malenko vs. Chris Jericho

Dean shows more emotion in a fifteen second burst than he did in his entire career, stomping Jericho down in the corner and a suplex puts him down again. A dropkick sends Jericho out to the floor and Dean follows him out with right hands to the head. Back in and Dean opts to fire off more punches instead of rolling Jericho up when he has the chance. A quick hot shot gives Jericho a breather and a backsplash gets two.

Jericho suplexes his down and gets another two off the arrogant cover. The Lionsault gets the same and we hit the chinlock. Dean fights up and tries the Liontamer on Jericho but Chris quickly makes the rope. A top rope back elbow to the jaw gets two on Malenko but the top rope hurricanrana is countered into the top rope gutbuster. The Cloverleaf gives Dean the title back.

Rating: A. The match was decent though nothing great, but the story here is the emotion. This whole story was built up on the emotion the fans felt for Malenko and wanting to see him make Jericho eat his words. It’s a classic story: hero falls, villain reigns and runs his mouth, hero returns to vanquish the villain. No unexplained turns, no politics, no swerves (ok maybe one with the disguise) and possibly the loudest reaction ever in WCW. Clearly there’s nothing to this storytelling idea though right?

Back in 2012, Jericho would challenge CM Punk for the title, culminating at Extreme Rules 2012.

Raw World Title: Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk

It’s a Chicago Street Fight. They’re both in street clothes which is at least something different. They do big match intros and Punk is ungodly over. They stare each other down and it’s a brawl to start. Punk stomps him down into the corner and they head outside. Punk throws two chairs in and grabs a kendo stick, drawing an ECW chant. He gets in a few shots and tries a baseball swing at Jericho but Chris hits the floor.

Back in a clothesline puts Jericho down and it’s back to the stick. Punk’s sister is here in the front row and his parents are here somewhere. Jericho hides behind the referee and pokes Punk in the eye to take over. Out to the floor again and into timekeepers’ area but Punk gets in a shot. A headbutt puts the champion back down and he goes over in front of Punk’s sister.

Jericho gets in her face and gets slapped. He charges at her and that makes Punk snap. In something I’ve never seen before, Punk rips the top off the announce table and puts Jericho through the top of it. He tries a piledriver but Jericho shoves him off and takes over again, ramming him into the barricade which gets two in the ring. Chinlock time but it doesn’t last long. We lose a turnbuckle and Jericho fires off on Punk’s back with the kendo stick.

Jericho heads to the floor and finds a beer under the ring. That gives Punk a chance to catch his breath and he comes back with kendo stick shots to the back. Jericho comes back again and they go to the corner with Punk knocking him into Macho Elbow position. That only gets two as this is getting good. GTS is countered and Jericho throws him into a chair wedged between the ropes for two.

Codebreaker puts Punk down and Jericho smiles. He doesn’t cover but sets up the Walls. It’s the Liontamer and Punk is in trouble. Now it’s just the Walls because the Liontamer is too hard to get out of. Punk gets the rope but Jericho doesn’t let go because it’s a street fight. The champ finds a fire extinguisher under the ring and Jericho is kind enough to look over at him so it can be blasted into his face.

They go to the floor and Punk fires off some kicks. Jericho is laid out on the table so Punk goes up top and almost falls off the top. Now the Macho Elbow hits in a great looking dive. Jericho is holding the back of his head and seems mad at a chair. Back in the ring that somehow only gets two so Punk throws on the Anaconda Vice. Jericho tries for the kendo stick and gets in enough shots to Punk’s head to break the hold. Punk hits him in the ribs with a chair but Jericho grabs it for a Codebreaker which gets two. Jericho tries a GTS but Punk counters into a slingshot into the exposed buckle. GTS keeps the title at 25:10.

Rating: B+. This took awhile to get going but the near falls at the end were great. I don’t think anyone expected Punk to lose here and it wouldn’t have been right for him to. There’s no need for this feud to continue now as Punk has pinned Jericho and made him tap so there’s nothing left to prove. I’m not sure where either of them goes next but it should be interesting. Very good match.

One more Shawn match, from Unforgiven 2008.

Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels

This is unsanctioned and it’s pin or submission only. In essence, it’s no holds barred. Cole says Shawn told him of a Bible verse which talks about the Walls of Jericho coming down. That’s a great line. Why is there a WWE referee in an unsanctioned match? Couldn’t anyone referee it/not need a referee? Shawn takes his cowboy boot off to whack Jericho with it as he’s going after the eye just like Chris did to him.

They’re into the crowd already and it’s been all Shawn. The injury is to the triceps, not the elbow. Jericho is bleeding from the nose so Shawn hits a slingshot into the post. Shawn’s chair shot misses and Chris sends him into the table (doesn’t break it) to take over. Now we get a breakable table set up but instead Jericho just throws it at Shawn to keep him down. Chris tries to powerbomb him through the table but Shawn fires off punches. Jericho just drops him face first onto the apron instead to keep the advantage. That looked painful.

Back inside now and Jericho works Shawn over with a chair. Jericho wedges said chair in the corner but misses a charge into the opposite corner, ramming into the post. Jericho can’t suplex Shawn over the top through the table as Shawn lands on the apron. Back in Shawn nips up and just chokes Jericho down. The elbow hits and Shawn is all fired up. Sorry for the play by play but this is one of those matches where you almost have to have all of the individual details for the other stuff to make sense.

Shawn sets for Chin Music but stops to punch Jericho more. Off to a Crossface but Jericho manages to send his head into the chair, reinjuring the eye. Jericho peppers the eye so Shawn fires off right hands. Shawn tries a piledriver but gets reversed into the Walls instead. Shawn gets to a rope but THANKFULLY the referee doesn’t break it. Instead HBK finds a fire extinguisher from somewhere to spray in Chris’ eyes to break the hold.

They go to the floor and Jericho goes into the barricade as it’s all Shawn here. There’s a suplex on the ramp and both guys are down. Here’s Lance Cade and Shawn beats him up too. Cade gets in a shot to the arm though and Jericho wraps the arm around the post for good measure. Jericho hits the arm with a chair as Shawn is in real trouble. They set to Pillmanize the arm but Shawn kicks Cade into the ropes to crotch Jericho. Chin Music puts Cade down and clocks Jericho with the chair, sending him to the floor through the table.

Shawn works over Jericho with the chair now and loads up the announcers’ table as per wrestling law. Cade is laid out on the table while Jericho is on the floor. Shawn sets to go up top but instead coems down and puts Jericho on top of Cade on the table. Here’s your HUGE spot of the match as Shawn drops an elbow onto the back of Jericho and pops up somehow. That was awesome!

Back in the ring Shawn whips Jericho with the belt and won’t let up. He pulls Jericho’s arm around his own neck (Jericho’s arm is around Jericho’s neck) and pounds away at the eye as the referee is begging him to have mercy. Shawn just doesn’t care and goes back after the eye until in an unsanctioned match, the referee stops it, drawing a very mixed reaction from the crowd.

Rating: A-. This is one of those matches where blood would have really improved things. Having Shawn in a white shirt and having him covered in Jericho’s blood to end it and looking down at himself and not caring how far he let it go would have been a great ending. That being said, it’s still a great revenge match as Jericho did everything imaginable to make the fans hate him and it worked. Good stuff here, although the lack of a clearer finish hurt it.

What would a veteran be without a big match against Ric Flair? From Summerslam 2002.

Chris Jericho vs. Ric Flair

Flair is a legend, Jericho is a young punk. This led to Jericho running down Flair over and over again so Flair destroyed a bunch of Jericho’s band Fozzy’s equipment as they were performing on Raw. Jericho takes him into the corner so Flair slaps him in the face. Feeling out process to start as Flair looks to be in a dancing mood tonight. A backdrop puts Flair down and a belly to back suplex does the same.

Back up and Flair hits some LOUD chops to take over. They head to the corner and it’s Jericho firing off some chops of his own to set up a Flair Flip in the corner. A clothesline puts Flair on the floor and Jericho hits an elbow off the top to crush him against the barricade. Back in and Jericho fires off punches before doing a little dance. The Canadian gets two off a middle rope missile dropkick and chokes Flair with some tape. Flair fires off some chops but gets dropped by a single right hand.

Jericho goes up top but Flair pulls a page out of every opponent he’s ever had to slam him down. Chris misses a charge into the corner and Flair backdrops him down. NOW we go to school but Jericho escapes a suplex and tries the Walls. Flair rolls out but Jericho hits an enziguri to put Naitch down again.

The Lionsault misses and Flair goes back to the chops to take over. Flair tries a half crab but Jericho escapes and puts Flair in the Figure Four. Ric makes the rope but taps out anyway, which isn’t a submission apparently. There’s a rule clarification if you ever need one. The referee goes to tell the timekeeper that the match is still going, allowing Flair to hit a low blow and put on the Figure Four for the submission. Don’t bother setting up the move or anything Ric.

Rating: C. I’m sorry for not having much of note to say but it’s almost impossible to add stuff to good matches. Nice match here as Flair gets to be the dirtiest player in the game again but it wasn’t anything spectacular. Jericho was still awesome as a heel and it felt good to see Flair make a comeback and beat him in the middle of the ring. This was at a point when Flair could still look decent in a pair of trunks so it wasn’t an embarrassment at all.

Over the years, Jericho has lost to John Cena a lot. Like, A LOT. There was one time where things went differently. From Smackdown on the Fourth of July, 2002.

Chris Jericho vs. John Cena

Dig that totally generic rock music for Cena! Cena charges in but gets beaten down quickly. He spears Jericho down and pounds away and they go to the floor. Back in the ring Cena hits a slingshot and spinebuster for two. He’s got a fire in his eyes and you can see the star in him if they mold him properly. Jericho heads to the floor and suckers Cena in to take over. He takes too much time coming off the middle rope though and jumps into a dropkick.

Powerslam gets a very close two. He counters the Walls and this a DDT for another two. A corner splash misses for the American and Jericho takes him down with the bulldog. Lionsault misses and Cena hits his second high angle spinebuster for two. However Jericho is too good for him as he backflips out of a belly to back and hits a Flashback (sleeper drop) and pins Cena with his feet on the ropes.

Rating: B. Very fun match here which at the time was shocking. Remember that this is Cena’s second match on TV and he’s taken Jericho and Angle to the limit. They would fight again at Vengeance and Jericho would actually get beaten fairly clean. As a little trivia, to the best of my knowledge, this is the only time that Jericho has ever beaten Cena one on one on TV or PPV. Think about that for a minute. They’ve fought so many times and Jericho only won the first one.

One more WCW match, from SuperBrawl VIII.

Cruiserweight Title: Juventud Guerrera vs. Chris Jericho

This is Jericho’s title vs. Juvy’s mask. Jericho won’t take his belt off. Heenan: “It’s his binky.” He backs Juvy against the ropes with it on and the referee seems ok with it. Juvy slides between the ropes and hits a spin kick into the belt which hurts Jericho far worse. He finally takes the belt off and we’re ready to go. They hit the mat for a bit until Jericho takes over with a knee to the chest. Juvy is backdropped to the apron but comes back in with a springboard spinwheel kick.

A springboard hurricanrana takes Jericho out to the floor and the referee starts counting. Jericho gets caught raising his head up to make sure no one is looking before staying on the ground. Juvy sees through the goldbricking and splashes him from the ring. Back in and Juvy flips out of a German suplex but gets dropped chest first onto the buckle. Jericho throws him to the floor and tries to use the steps as a launchpad, only to be sent face first into the barricade.

Guerrera’s springboard is caught in a tombstone for two as Jericho is getting frustrated. The arrogant cover gets two and Jericho is getting frustrated. A delayed vertical suplex and a senton get two and Jericho hooks a backbreaker submission. Jericho gets two off a clothesline and the frustrations continue. Juvy’s top rope hurricanrana is countered into an electric chair but Jericho spends too much time posing and gets dropkicked to the floor. Air Juvy (love that move) takes Chris down again and the 450 hits back inside for the pin despite Jericho grabbing the ropes.

The referee waves it off and Jericho uses the opening to chop block Juvy’s leg. Guerrera grabs a DDT out of nowhere for two and a springboard hurricanrana gets the same. Jericho takes him down with a reverse suplex but can’t hit the Lionsault. The Liontamer is countered into a cradle for two but another hurricanrana attempt is countered into the Liontamer for the submission.

Rating: B-. This was another good win for Jericho but Juvy did a great job at flying all over the place and making the match exciting. Jericho was on a roll at this point and was such a horrible person that you can’t help but cheer against him. It’s a good match but we’re still waiting on the big showdowns with Malenko and Mysterio.

Jericho rips Juvy apart during the unmasking and tells him to put it back on. For the life of me I don’t get WCW’s thinking about this. Why would you want to give away such a lucrative merchandise opportunity like the mask? Jericho takes the mask for his trophy case in a gimmick someone should bring back.

We have to have a Kurt Angle match. From No Way Out 2000.

Intercontinental Title: Kurt Angle vs. Chris Jericho

Angle is European Champion here but it’s not on the line. Jericho is IC Champion and has Chyna with him. She has that giant phallic gun with her. I wonder if she was trying to say that yes, I am indeed a man with that. Jericho gets a GREAT pop. Please Vince, give us a Jericho title run with him as a face.

Angle is apparently an idiot, an ignoramus, and an imbecile. Jericho has an I of his own: the Intercontinental Title. That’s simple but the delivery is what makes it. Naturally this starts off fast paced as the Attitude Era was still around for the most part. Meaning of course, we go to the floor.

These two plus Benoit always had mad chemistry together and it was clear they were the future. Well kind of I guess. Jericho was. Benoit….maybe. Angle is hard to place in a pantheon of greatness. Crowd starts an ANGLE SUCKS chant. That’s ahead of its time as Edge hasn’t started the more famous chants yet.

I know I haven’t given much commentary here, but dude, it’s Angle vs. Jericho. Do I need to tell you that this match is awesome? Jericho hits that spinning heel kick that he does quite well at. In a lucky botch, Jericho messes up the follow through on the forearm but he landed on Angle so it looked intentional.

As Ventura said, sometimes it’s better to be lucky that good. They go into some swank submission vs. pinfall stuff and it’s sweet stuff. Angle gets the Slam out of nowhere when it was A, still a legit finisher (ankle lock was still about 5 months away) and B, MUCH faster and harder, gets two. We get a Liontamer which shifts into the Walls. Angle goes to get a belt and swings at Chyna. She gets rammed into the steps.

I’m no doctor but it seems to be a bad case of dramatic convenience. My diagnosis would be a short apology to Jericho. Possible side effects include a brief bit of jobbing. Take a Lionsault and call me in the morning. Back in the ring, Angle gets the belt up to block the Lionsault for the pin and the title to make him the 2nd Eurocontinental Champion. Another referee comes down to do nothing of note.

Rating: B+. This is another pairing that gets a higher than normal starting grade. Just based on who they are, they get an automatic B. This was a very nice opener as you have two guys that you know can go and it worked out fine. Again though like I’ve said before, it’s Angle vs. Jericho. Did you expect anything worse than a good match?

There’s only one way to close this out as Jericho made a career out of talking about one night for over twelve years. From Vengeance 2001.

World Championship: The Rock vs. Chris Jericho

Yeah the WCW Title is the World Championship, which actually sounds more encompassing than the WWF Title, but why use logic? This was a pretty solid feud back in the day, if nothing else for the promos. Jericho is heel here. Seeing Rock bust out armdrags and leapfrogs makes me appreciate him even more. Remember, he’s about the same size as Batista or so. Imagine a guy Batista’s size doing athletic things like that. I love that springboard dropkick that Jericho does. It’s just awesome looking.

This is more of a fight than the last match as the angle was more built up in this pairing. Jericho hits a sleeper like five minutes in which is odd. Jericho is no Dolph Ziggler though so it doesn’t work. Lionsault gets two as Jericho is FREAKING. We hit the floor and this has more or less been all Jericho. Like I said earlier, he was probably at the best he ever was in his career around this time and he’s getting to showcase it here. I love when guys break a count that isn’t happening.

How often do count outs consistently get threatened? Jericho gets DDTed through the table. Didn’t look as good as it sounded. The replay makes it look a bit better. It’s fun watching Rock throw punches. Jericho hooks a Breakdown, which is more commonly known as a Skull Crushing Finale. Jericho hits the People’s Elbow, and when I say hit I mean misses completely and almost gets hooked in the Sharpshooter.

Somehow he gets the Walls, but since he’s a heel at the time it doesn’t work at all. Actually he has a Sharpshooter on Rock. Same result though. Rock hits the Rock Bottom out of NOWHERE. That was sweet. And here’s Vince. At least it makes sense in storyline terms. Rock goes for the Elbow, but stops to fight Vince.

He drops a regular elbow and of course Jericho gets up because IT IS A REGULAR ELBOW DROP. Jericho gets a low blow and Rock Bottom to win the world title. Ok then. Hearing it called the world champion is odd to say the least.

Rating: B-. This was a different style than the previous match which is a nice touch I think as it was for a different title. I’d hardly think it was intentional, but it came off pretty well. Jericho was great in the ring, but I still want to see him wrestle as a face champion. It really could work.

Austin is here NOW for the title match. Jericho isn’t even back to his feet yet when Austin is stomping him.

Undisputed Title: Chris Jericho vs. Steve Austin

Nearly immediately, Angle is here and hits him with a chair. Rock is here and hits a Rock Bottom. I guess this makes us even? The fans chant for HHH, who was semi-advertised for the show. He was in a short video earlier and that’s about it. He’ll be back in about a month to the loudest pop I have ever heard. We hit the floor for a bit with Austin dominating. Ok make that a LONG bit. Jericho goes for the Walls on the remaining table but it doesn’t work of course.

Jericho hooks an armbar despite Austin LIMPING to the ring and having Angle working on the knee the whole match. The Walls go on and there goes the referee since this is still an Attitude-Era style. HHH chant again. Jericho hits a Stunner. Vince brings out another referee, Nick Patrick in this case. I’m SHOCKED! They’re OVERBOOKING A TITLE MATCH! Flair is here and the old guys go at it, foreshadowing their match at the Rumble. Austin hits McMahon to a BIG pop.

See, it still worked to an extent. Jericho taps to the Walls (you read that right) and there’s no referee. BOOKER FREAKING T comes out and blasts Austin with a belt. And yes, THAT is how they end it, and I never realized this was Austin’s final match as a world champion. Yeah, Austin leaves the title picture other than a one off rematch at No Way Out like this, thanks to Booker T. WOW. Jericho holds up both belts with Ross freaking. Wow this came off bad at the end.

Rating: C-. This was overbooked to Nebraska and back. Even once Flair came in, I was hating it. Booker costing Austin the title is fine to build a storyline, but at the same time, it just didn’t work for me. The match wasn’t terrible, but it’s a total letdown, which fits this show perfectly.

Jericho is great in the ring but he might be even better on the mic. The guy is just hilarious and one of the best talkers of all time. He’s a complete package and one of the top B-List guys in history. I hesitate to put him near the top of a list as he was never THE guy, but suggesting that he’s anything but great would be ridiculous.

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1 comment

  1. The Wolf says:

    Jericho should have won more matches. His entrance, matches, and promos were all great, too bad he never really won thaat much to be the guy.