Chris Jericho: The Best in the World
Whenever you start thinking about a list of the greatest overall WWE superstars you've ever seen, Chris Jericho should automatically come to your mind immediately.
The genius that is Y2J has done everything in his power over the last twenty years to provide something fresh and new to keep the fans of pro wrestling intrigued. With all the comedic catchphrases and nicknames he's created over the years, it's hard not to love the antics of Jericho.
Who can ever forget when Chris made his unbelievable debut in the WWE? Back when surprises still existed without internet rumors flying around, we were all able to be shocked and captivated by the arrival of the Ayatollah of Rock-n-Rolla.
You could feel the electricity all over the arena that night when the countdown clock emerged on the titantron. Shortly after, the name 'Jericho' was plastered on it and the fans in attendance erupted with excitement, knowing that it was now time for Raw Is Jericho.
Everybody was incredibly elated to see that Jericho had arrived in the WWE—everybody but The Rock. On that special night in 1999, Y2J and the People's Champ would show the wrestling world why they were two of the best mic talkers in the entire industry. Both men knew how to draw the crowd in, provide countless catchphrases to chant along to, and most of all, they both knew how to put a smile on every fan's face.
The arrival of Jericho has gone down as one of the most memorable debuts in the history of the WWE, and the chemistry between him and Rock is exactly the reason why.
Jericho Makes An Immediate Impact
Sure we all remember who Jericho interrupted on his very first night in the WWE, but do you remember who his first in-ring opponent was? If you guessed Road Dogg, then you're completely right.
On the inaugural episode of SmackDown, Y2J made a huge statement when he powerbombed Road Dogg through a table. He then proceeded to apply the Walls Of Jericho on him afterwards while a swarm of referees jumped inside the ring to stop him. The level of tenacity that Jericho showed that night told the entire WWE Universe that he wasn't there to play games. He was the real deal. One would say that he had....IT!
Jericho would then go on to have rivalries with the likes of Chyna, Eddie Guerrero, Kurt Angle, and Triple H. However, there was no better rivalry of Chris Jericho at that time than the one and only....Stephanie McMahon.
The constant berating of the boss' daughter by Jericho was unlike anything the fans of WWE have ever seen before. You would never expect Vince McMahon's daughter, of all people, to be the subject of some of the most embarrassing jokes and insults that were brought on to her in front of millions of people. You could feel the hatred and sustain between the two whenever they were on-screen together and it was absolute magic. I won't repeat any of the insults that were thrown towards Stephanie by Jericho here, but just think about what Hacksaw Jim Duggan screams out to the crowd all the time and you'll get the point.
Y2J Undisputed-ly Makes History
Shortly after this moment in time, Jericho made monumental history when he defeated the likes of The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin on the same night to become the first ever Undisputed Champion in the WWE.
Fans were incredibly shocked when this happened as many, if not all, thought the champion would wind up being Rock or Austin. The wins over the company's top two stars catapulted Jericho into ultimate heel status as fans were irate that their favorite star wasn't crowned champion. Looking back on that night now, I'm sure the WWE Universe realize that there was nobody who deserved that moment more than Chris Jericho.
A few months later, Jericho would then get the moment of his career when he took the Undisputed title into the main event of WrestleMania against Triple H. The battle those two had that night was something to behold as you can feel the tension between them boiling up by the second. The match will always be viewed, in my eyes, as one of the most underrated main events in WrestleMania history.
One other thing that you all may have forgotten about this very match was that Jericho didn't walk to the ring by himself. He had someone accompany him and cheer him on while he faced off against The Game.....
The Return of Jericho
After being away from the WWE for a few years, Jericho reunited with the WWE Universe in one of the best ways possible. The "passing of the torch" segment provided the fans with one of the most anticipated returns in WWE history. We were all finally taught what the code we've been seeing every week on Raw was. Chris Jericho was back to save the WWE from its sadistic champion at the time, Randy Orton.
After months of being loved by the fans, Jericho did something drastic that changed that very emotion. On one of the most memorable episodes of The Highlight Reel, he decided to attack one of his idols, Shawn Michaels. When Jericho threw HBK into the Jeritron 6000, you can hear the attending fans in shock and awe over what they just witnessed. That immediate heel turn ignited one of the greatest feuds in not only Jericho's career, but in the entire history of the WWE.
When Jericho accidentally punched Michaels' wife in the face, that brought the rivalry into a whole new spectrum. The hatred that built up in front of all our eyes really made for great entertainment. Jericho and Michaels had that undeniable chemistry that made you happy to be a fan of pro wrestling.
The List Is Born
Jericho has always had an incredible knack of creating something fresh for the WWE Universe to enjoy. Possibly the most popular creation of his was when he pulled out The List Of Jericho for the very first time. While explaining his grievances about the general manager of Raw at the time, Mick Foley, Jericho was interrupted by numerous tag teams and even a random fan in row 12, who were all subsequently placed on The List.
From that point forward, every time Jericho took out that list of names and raised that pen up in the air, the WWE Universe went absolutely crazy. Leave it to Chris Jericho to create something right out of thin air that becomes a monster hit every single week and NEVER gets old. That's the genius of Chris Jericho.
Perhaps one of the greatest moments in Raw history, Jericho decided to hold a Fesitval of Friendship for himself and his best friend, Kevin Owens.
The comedic chemistry between the two men prior to that night provided the best entertainment, despite being the "bad guys" on the show. Whenever the duo popped up on your television screen, you just KNEW you were about to have a laugh. (What's up, Tom Phillips? Or is it Ted? Or Nathaniel? Or Bryan? Or Robert?)
When Kevin Owens turned on Jericho at the Festival of Friendship, the fans were unhappy to say the least. What it turned into, however, was an entertaining rivalry that culminated into a WrestleMania match that the fans will always remember.
The Legend That Is Chris Jericho
Although I could go on and on about all the amazing Jericho moments that he gave to us over the course of his illustrious career, I would be sitting here typing for an eternity. The legendary status that Jericho has put himself into over the last twenty years is absolutely remarkable.
I mean, I could talk about all the times he called someone a stupid idiot or an ass-clown. I could talk about the memorable confrontation he had with Bob Barker on Raw. I could also talk about the time Shaquille O'Neal kissed him on the forehead and called him "Christina".
What I'm trying to say is that Jericho has given us all countless memories over the years. The level of respect I have for him is completely unparalleled for what he has done for the wrestling business.
Thank you, Chris, for all the phenomenal matches, for all the laughs, for all the catchphrases to chant along to, and for just being the ultimate entertainer for all these years. You will go down as one of the greatest competitors the WWE will ever have. Congratulations on all the success in wrestling, in music, and in the podcast world. You're the definition of an inspiration and you will ALWAYS be the best in the world at what you do.
Every single person who has watched you over the years will never EVERRRR be the same a-gain!