Chris Jericho is currently in the middle of what some might call a career resurgence. After a quiet few months at the beginning of 2016, post Wrestlemania Jericho has been reminding people why he is the best in the world at what he does.
Do you understand what I am saying to you? Jericho has a laundry list of accomplishments in the WWE, he was the first WWE/F Undisputed Champion beating both The Rock and Steve Austin on the same night. He is a 9 time Intercontinental Champion, 7 time Tag Team Champion, Triple Crown and Grand Slam Champion. To put it short Chris Jericho is a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame upon his retirement but these accomplishments are only a fraction of what makes Jericho the great that he is and for him to only be recognised for these reasons would be a crying shame.
Since his WWE in debut in 1999 Jericho has been the exception to the rules, in a world ruled by giants, Jericho broke the mould and paved the way for the smaller guys, something that in recent years has started to change the landscape of professional wrestling. If not for Jericho WWE might never have hired people like Rey Mysterio or Eddie Guerrero and they certainly wouldn’t have put the top titles on them. He was the first little guy who was bigger than his stature and that is something that can’t be undermined.
The fact that Jericho received such a big opportunity was in no small part thanks to his charisma, his biggest attribute as a professional wrestler. With age Jericho’s ring work will undoubtedly suffer but something that will stand the test of time is his persona. The fact that Jericho has remained relevant in his many years is a credit to his creativity and openness to change. He has constantly reinvented his character and as such has never become stale. Whether he is the “The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla”, “Y2J”, “Lionheart” or even “The best in the world at what he does” Chris Jericho will always entertain and make sure you’re invested in the product and he’ll do whatever needs to be done to achieve that.
One example that sticks out in my mind is one of his many returns in which he is placed in a tag match. Through the match he gets the crowd hyped before receiving the hot tag. At this point you expect Y2J to clean house but he flips the concept and does nothing, he climbs out of the ring and leaves, leaving the crowd angry with him and creating a memorable moment in the process. He didn’t say a single word and made the crowd flip on him, it was a ballsy move that few could have pulled off. This isn’t the only instance Jericho has done something like this though and it is something he has made comments on before. Though I struggle to remember the exact quote Jericho once said to be a good heel you need to create something great, do something the crowd wants to see and when they really want it and chant for it, you take it away and abandon it.
Chris’s constant reinvention of his character is a key example of this and shows his insight into the story telling aspect is nearing wrestling genius.
Of course character is only so much. In ring work is just as important, it utilizes the character and storytelling aspects and throws in a whole lot more to deal with. This is just another area Jericho excels in however.
The man is the wrong side of 40 and while that undoubtedly means he has to deal with the natural pitfalls of age Jericho still moves in the ring better than some of the guys half his age. He can still perform a Lionsault and he isn’t afraid to take a huge bump to help put over the new guy. A Ring General, Jericho can adapt well to a situation to ensure the match is worked well and ensures the best result. The man seems to have great chemistry with almost anyone he steps in to the ring with as he can put over the new guy while still retaining his credibility.
He is a legend that isn’t afraid to promote new talent. Chris Jericho is a company guy working to ensure the future performers have a great platform.
I could go on for hours about why is think Jericho is the best in the world at what he does but that wouldn’t convince you if you disagree with me. All I can say is that the man is a special thing in the world of Pro Wrestling and when he retires it will be a sad day for the WWE. If we’re smart we’d do well to enjoy the gift of Jericho while we still can. Drink it in man.
This article was written by Joshua Procter a Jerichoholic through and through. To see more by Josh, just search the staff section on the site or follow him on Twitter @Pegasaurus _Rex.