Has there ever been a more underrated WWE champion than Chris Jericho in wrestling’s modern era. As we take time to celebrate the former WWE Champion’s birthday, it comes to my attention the performer who continues to return from the road with his band, Fozzy may be the best mat man to not get the attention they deserved.
[adinserter block=”1″]Jericho is well known for his time in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW), and internationally in Canadian, German, Japanese, and Mexican promotions. He is known for his over-the-top, rock star persona – dubbed “The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla” – and for a contrasting run as an aloof villain in the late 2000s and early 2010s.
Jericho has won 30 championships between WWE, WCW, and ECW – the three most prominent American promotions in the 1990s and early 2000s. He is credited as being the first Undisputed WWF Champion, having unified the World Championship (formerly the WCW Championship) and the WWF Championship by defeating The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin on the same night in 2001. He is also the fourth WWE Grand Slam Champion and is currently the only Grand Slam Champion to have held every title in WWE.
Jericho has been a challenger to major world championships since the mid-1990s. In WWE, he is a six-time world champion, having won the WWF Championship once, the WCW/World Championship twice, and the World Heavyweight Championship three times. He is also a record nine-time Intercontinental Champion.
I used to think Jericho would fall in line as the next Shawn Michaels, and to some extent that did happen. The often brash, never a dull moment, always having an opinion Jericho has some of the greatest mic skills ever to grace the company and to this day (when he slides into the WWE for a brief stop) can still rile a crowd with his glow in the dark sequins and his gift for never shutting up.
Long gone are the days when he was able to carry the WWE and if given the chance, could have carried WCW. But if you want a wrestler who not only knows the business but understands the importance of putting younger talent over, Jericho is your guy.
And he may be one of the 10 best interview off camera for online and magazine print. If given the chance, he could hold his own with Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Roddy Piper and Randy Savage. I often wonder how Jericho would have held his own against the likes of Bob Backlund, Flair, Savage, Ricky Steamboat and Jack Brisco. They say a wrestler is judged by the talent he worked with. Certainly that list would have tested his abilities and maybe moved him higher up the ladder of the best of all time.
And if that is not enough, he is one of the greatest champions to ever come from Canada.
Never too far from a potential return to the ring, as reported by wrestlinginc.com, Jericho will join the WWE overseas tour next Monday and will be at the SmackDown taping on Tuesday at the Liverpool Echo Arena in Liverpool, England.
Jericho’s last stop in the ring ended fairly quickly.
[adinserter block=”2″]Jericho returned and attacked The Miz who had also returned minutes earlier. However, he was immediately attacked by The Wyatt Family. This set up a match between Jericho and Wyatt at Battleground, which Jericho won. Wyatt would challenge Jericho to a rematch at SummerSlam, which Wyatt won. On the September 8 episode of Raw, Jericho would face Wyatt in a steel cage match, once again in a losing effort. Later that night, Jericho would be attacked by Randy Orton in the training room after Jericho insulted Orton on the Highlight Reel the week before. Jericho would face Orton at Night of Champions in a losing effort.
If a return to the company for a tour of Europe is eminent, you have to wonder if he will have another short run with the WWE. When it comes to Jericho however, his greatest gift to us is how he always keeps us guessing what he will do next.
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