WWE Chris Jericho: The Top 10 Matches of Y2J's Career
Chris Jericho is without a doubt one of my all-time favorite wrestlers. The combination of his in-ring ability and mic work made him one of the most entertaining superstars to watch, whether he was in the ring or cutting a promo backstage.
Throughout his nearly 20 year career, Jericho has entertained millions of fans. He is a 29-time champion, including being a six-time World Champion and a record nine-time Intercontinental Champion. He was the first ever Undisputed World Champion and is the fourth of eleven Grand Slam Champions, having won major, secondary and tertiary title in WWE.
Jericho has proven time and time again that he is one of the best performers in the business. He consistently put on the best matches on any given night and made sure that the crowd got what they were paying for.
This list takes a look at the top 10 matches in Jericho's career. As you will see, it is not just his ability to go out and win matches, but even in his losing efforts he makes the other superstars look good and puts himself through damage to achieve just that.
Feel free to comment after viewing the list and let me know what you think of the list. Thanks for viewing and enjoy!
10: Chris Jericho vs The Rock, Stone Cold: Vengeance 2001
Alright, so this is actually two matches, but they occurred one after another and resulted in one of the biggest moments in Jericho's career.
At Vengeance, there was a four-person tournament to unify the WWE and WCW World Championships to crown the first ever Undisputed WWE Champion. Stone Cold had already defeated Kurt Angle to retain the WWE Championship when Jericho and The Rock squared off for the WCW Title.
After some interference from Mr. McMahon, Chris Jericho was able to shock the world and defeat The Rock after delivering a low blow and a Rock Bottom to the People's Champ himself. Before Jericho can celebrate his win, Austin makes his way to the ring. Here's where it gets crazy.
Over the next 10 or 12 minutes, we get interference from Kurt Angle, The Rock, Mr. McMahon and Booker T. Though Jericho was exhausted from just competing in a match with The Rock, he is able to take advantage of the Booker T interference, where he had hit Austin with the WWE Title, and picked up the victory.
Though the final match may not have been one of the best, Jericho's performance against The Rock, as well as overcoming the odds and defeating the two biggest superstars in WWE at the time, makes this one of his greatest accomplishments.
9: Chris Jericho vs John Cena: SummerSlam 2005
I almost cringe at putting John Cena on this top list, but this match is significant as it is the first real match where the older generation of fans began to turn on Cena, rooting for the "bad guy" in Chris Jericho.
Jericho controlled the momentum of the match earlier on, showing that he was the more technical wrestler of the two. Eventually both men were taken down by a big superplex, and the playing field was leveled.
Jericho seemed like he was going to pull out the victory, but Super Cena prevailed. Chris Jericho was "fired" and stayed away for years, making his return as the "savior." Though it marked the end of an era for Jericho, he went out with a bang
This match really helped put Cena over as a powerhouse and the superstar who could overcome the odds and defeat any opponent. By defeating Jericho, Cena's legacy started and continues to grow today. He has one man to thank for that.
8: Chris Jericho vs Chris Benoit vs Kurt Angle: WrestleMania 2000
In 2000, Kurt Angle was on a fast rise to the top of WWE, winning both the Intercontinental and European Championships. He was placed in a match with Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit, with the first person to score a pinfall or submission winning the Intercontinental Championship and the second victor scoring the European Championship.
In a well paced match with three of the most technical wrestlers in WWE history, Kurt Angle got the short end of the stick. Benoit picked up the fist victory by pinning Jericho, only to have Jericho turn around and pin Benoit, leaving both of them to walk out of the arena with WWE gold and Kurt Angle to walk out with nothing.
This technical showcase not only proved that Jericho was one of the best overall wrestlers in the sport, but it also freed up Kurt Angle for a chance to pursue the WWE Championship and become a top star in the company.
7: Chris Jericho vs. Eddie Guerrero: Fall Brawl 1997
This match was centered around the Cruiserweight Championship, which Jericho was defending.
When you think of a cruiserweight match, you normally think of high-flying and fast paced action, but that was not Jericho's plan of attack.
Throughout the match, Guerrero tried to pick up the pace and use his speed to top Jericho. However, whenever Guerrero began to gain momentum, Jericho would do what he does best and take the match to the mat.
The match moved at a very odd pace for a cruiserweight match, but it worked extremely effectively and kicked the night off with a bang.
Eventually, Guerrero won the match with a Five-Star Frogsplash, becoming the new WCW Cruiserweight Champion. Both men would then go on to become future World Champions and have extremely successful careers.
6: Jericho and Benoit vs Stone Cold and Triple H: Raw 5/21/01
Though this match will go down in history as the match where Triple H tore his quad, it was one of the biggest tag team matches in WWE history.
Austin and Triple H were the two top heels in WWE at the time, not to mention the most dominant superstars on the roster. The team of Jericho and Benoit, though fan favorites, were the extreme underdogs.
The match was great from start to finish, with the crowd behind Jericho and Benoit the whole time. As the match progressed, you could sense that the crowd became more and more convinced that they could pull out the upset win.
The match ended with Jericho locking in the Walls of Jericho on Triple H on top of the announcers table while Austin delivered a Stunner to Benoit in the ring. Jericho rushed to the ring just in time to make the save and hit a lionsault only to have Triple H enter with a sledgehammer. Instead of attacking Jericho, Triple H turned the sledgehammer on Austin, allowing Jericho and Benoit to pick up the win.
The crowd went nuts and for a good reason. This was one of the best matches they could have ever asked for.
5: Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match: SmackDown 5/24/01
This match aired just three days after Jericho and Benoit's epic match against the Two Man Power Trip, in which they won the WWE Tag Team Championships. This was Mr. McMahon's way of trying to retaliate against the Chris' and get the titles off of them. The champions were placed in a match against The Hardys, The Dudleys and Edge and Chistian.
Benoit injured himself midway through the match after attempting a diving headbutt and landing on a table. He was helped to the back and Jericho was left to defend the titles against three other teams by himself.
When all seemed lost, Benoit reemerged from the back with taped up ribs to even the playing field again. Even after taking a conchairto to the injured ribs, Benoit was still able to climb the ladder while Jericho prevented the others from interfering, allowing the champions to retain their gold.
This was one of the best TLC matches in history, and it was shown on free TV.
4: Chris Jericho vs Chris Benoit: Royal Rumble 2001
Way back when the Intercontinental Championship was a prestigious title, Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit put on one of the best ladder matches in WWE history. Some even put this match higher than the Shawn Michaels/Razor Ramon ladder match from WrestleMania X. Though I don't think I would go that far, it's right up there with it.
This match started differently than most ladder matches, with actual wrestling for several minutes without the inclusion of a ladder. The two also really focused on trying to wear their opponent down before trying to climb the ladder, something that doesn't tend to happen in today's ladder matches.
Some of the biggest spots of this match include a Walls of Jericho on the top of the ladder (see photo) and a spot where Benoit dove through the ropes at Jericho, only to receive a brutal chair shot to the head.
Jericho picked up the win, and though it was one of the greatest ladder matches of all time, I still don't think it was Jericho's best Ladder match.
3: Chris Jericho vs Shawn Michaels: WrestleMania XIX
This is the first of two matches between these superstars on this list.
Y2J was trying to finally take a step above Shawn Michaels and become a bigger superstar than HBK. This match would be the first step in solidifying Jericho as one of the best WrestleMania wrestlers of all time.
This matched kicked off with back and forth action that kept the fans on the edge of their seat, wondering who would gain the first upper hand. Jericho eventually took control, working on HBK's surgically repaired back, something that played off of both storyline and real life injuries in Michaels' career.
Eventually, Jericho became too cocky, and Michaels won the match with a roll-up. After the match, Jericho went to shake Michaels' hand and instead kicked him in the groin, getting the last word and gaining more heat as he left ringside.
The best part of this match was when the fans stopped paying attention to Micheals and Jericho as the face and heel and started going crazy for every amazing move these two pulled off. That truly says something for both of these performers.
2: Chris Jericho vs Triple H: Fully Loaded 2000
This was only the second ever Last Man Standing match in WWE history, but I still think that it is the best one yet.
The feud between Triple H and Jericho was fueled by hatred. Jericho caused Triple H to lose his spot as No. 1 contender and continued to terrorize his wife Stephanie. Triple H retaliated and attacked Jericho with the sledgehammer, causing Jericho to enter the match injured.
The match was brutal and saw excessive use of chairs, a Walls of Jericho on Stephanie and blood, lots of blood. Triple H controlled most of the match and eventually put Jericho through the announcer's table, barely making it to his feet before the 10-count.
Though Triple H walked out of the match on top, Jericho proved that he could hang with the biggest, baddest and toughest in the WWE.
1: Chris Jericho vs Shawn Michaels: No Mercy 2008
This match was the culmination of the months long feud that was one of the best in WWE history.
Jericho attacked Michaels, throwing him through the Jeritron 5000 and injuring his eye, and the two started a feud that would include some of the best promos and matches that these two had ever participated in.
As the feud continued, it also intensified. At SummerSlam, Jericho "accidentally" punched Michaels' wife, adding an even more personal element to the feud. Michaels got his revenge in an unsanctioned match at Unforgiven, but Jericho one-upped him and won the World Heavyweight Championship later that night.
With Jericho now holding the title, Michaels set out to not only get revenge, but to win the World Heavyweight Championship as well.
The two met in a ladder match. Though Jericho has always been considered a mat wrestler, he and Michaels shinned in what would be the match of the night.
Unlike most ladder matches that rely on several big spots to carry the match, this match had all the elements of any great match, including the deep storyline and well rounded wrestling that included normal elements as well as the use of the ladder.
In the end, Jericho decisively walked out on top as not only the World Heavyweight Champion, but also as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time.