Breaking the Code: Chris Jericho (Disc 2)
-So the Steelers took care of business and a taped Raw pretty much bored the hell out of everyone. What’s not boring? MORE JERICHO!!
CWC – October 1990
“Cowboy” Chris Jericho vs. Lance “Thunder” Storm
Nothing like an indy match with shitty quality to get us started but, let’s be honest here, this thing is as RARE as you get. Jericho grabs a headlock as my TV struggles to display both the yellow Rocker tights of Jericho and the hot pink ones of Storm. Speaking of Lance. he mounts a comeback and, after some jobbing around, Chris goes to work on the arm. Lance finally shows some life with a back body drop and a monkey flip out of the corner. Storm goes to work with an elbow and a suplex for two, keeping things very basic for obvious reasons, and Jericho gets a rollup for two before Storm gets a chinlock…see folks, he was boring even back then. By the way, a young Jericho + young Storm = 1/2 a Big Show. Jericho mounts a babyface comeback even though no one is playing the heel and goes to another chinlock. Chris busts out a hurricanrana but Storm rolls through for two and they fuck up something off the ropes (OK, they get a pass this time). Storm stays in control with a dropkick and some basic stuff before heading up top and hitting a high cross body for two. Jericho comes back with a crucifix (I’m a sucker for that move for some reason) but Storm hits a belly to belly for two anyways. See, this is how you can tell they are rookies, there’s no real flow to the match and no story. They both just make comebacks for no reason and that’s why the match has no heat. Jericho wakes the 70 people up with a cross body for two and hits a splash off the ropes for another near fall. Backslide gets two for Jericho and the bell rings for the 15-minute draw.
Time Limit Draw
-Nothing horrible and actually a great effort being that it was BOTH guys first match of their careers. Like I mentioned, the match had zero story and zero psychology but that comes with experience so you can’t really fault them for it here **1/2. Jericho is money on commentary though, as you might imagine.
Smokey Mountain Wrestling – March 1994
The Thrill Seekers vs. The Infernos
So we move to Storm and Jericho being partners and facing off with the masked team of the Infernos, better known as Brian Keyes and Anthony Michaels. Don’t concern yourself with Keyes but you might know Michaels as Snot Dudley, one of the original members of the Dudley Boys in the mid-90s. Unless they couldn’t get the rights, I have no idea why they wouldn’t show the bloodbath from Night of the Legends…although WWE is PG nowadays. Shucks. You can all rest easy knowing that Lance Storm now is rocking his world famous blond rat-tail and both men look to have put on weight (the good kind). Storm starts with Fire (I think), sticking and moving until he hits a dropkick and forces the heel to tap out. Brimstone (get it?) tries his luck against Jericho but fares no better and Chris elbows him to the floor off the second rope. Suplex gets two and Storm tags in for a double team before hitting a snap suplex and dropping an elbow for two. The faces trade off on Brimstone and both guys come off the same top rope with a double dropkick to get the pin.
Winners: The Thrillseekers
-Total squash to put the new babyfaces over huge and to showcase their innovative offense *3/4.
WAR – July 1995
International Junior Heavyweight Title
Lionheart vs. Ultimo Dragon
Lionheart is obviously Chris Jericho and, once again, I’m rocking the alternate commentary. This match is actually the one that put Jericho in ECW because Mick Foley was in attendance that night. Quick start and they wrestle to a stalemate in a spot that ECW would popularize in the states and we skip ahead to Jericho hitting a moonsault for two. Spinning heel kick puts Dragon on the floor and Jericho follows with a high cross body from the corner. Lionheart brings in Dragon with a suplex for two and follows that with a splash from the top for another two count. A slingshot back suplex almost breaks Dragon’s neck so Jericho goes to a sleeper for a slight breather. Tiger Driver gets another two as Jericho explains why the Japanese fans are so quiet and 1995 Y2J crashes and burns on another high cross attempt to the outside. Dragon feints on a dive to the outside and instead opts for a somersault senton to the floor. Jericho quickly recovers and hits a tombstone piledriver on the floor just to be a dick…ouch.
Jericho gets cocky back in the the ring and gets dropkicked to the outside where Dragon gets another somersault dive for a double KO. Now it’s Dragon’s turn to bring in Jericho with a suplex and a springboard moonsault gets two. Brainbuster gets another two for Ultimo so he grabs the Scorpion hold (otherwise known as the Sharpshooter) before Jericho breaks and comes back with a dropkick from the second rope for two. Chris looks to finish with the Lionsault but Dragon trips him up and locks on La Magistral for a near fall. They go into the Japanese trademark german suplex spot and end up in a sweet pinfall reversal sequence which leads to a dragon suplex for two. They head up top and Jericho dumps Dragon to the floor and follows with a dive that only hits a foot and 2010 Jericho laments the lack of selling on his part.
Back in, Jericho hits a Lionsault on Dragon’s back and gets a really cool roll-up for a very near fall. Another Tiger Driver attempt is countered by Dragon into a hurricanrana for two and Ultimo catches Chris with another one off the ropes for yet another two. Jericho quickly locks on a suplex for two and they head back up top again and Dragon falls on top for two. Powerbomb is countered by Jericho with a hurricanrana but Dragon rolls through for two and hits a double-arm DDT. Since they both have a death wish, they head back up to the top and Jericho hits a super powerslam in a cool spot. A moonsault only hits canvas however so Dragon looks for the Cancun Tornado (a corkscrew press), which also misses. BACK UP TOP WE GO and Jericho brings him down with a huge butterfly suplex and finally gets the win…talk about fast-paced.
-If you want to see two guys fly around the ring and not give a shit what happens to their bodies, then this is the match for you. If you take into account the time period here, this match is absolutely mind-blowing to American fans and really set the stage for the WCW cruiserweight division that would follow. As with most of these matches, there wasn’t really an overwhelming story or anything but they busted their asses and put on a great show ****1/4.
ECW – March 1996
Chris Jericho vs. Cactus Jack
Cactus, not known as the fun-loving guy he is today, starts off by doing the Fabulous Ones Strut with Stevie Richards and the Blue Meanie…oh yeah, I missed ECW. Jericho breaks up the party with a dropkick, pissing off Mick and earning a tsk-tsk. Token wrestling sequence kicks us off and Mick slugs away but Jericho hits a monkey flip and puts Cactus on the floor. Jack looks for some advice from the ringside Philly fans and, if it was hygiene tips, I suggest Mick ignore them. Back inside, Jack hammers away in the corner but misses a blind charge and a second turnbuckle dropkick puts Cactus back on the floor. Chris follows and crotches Cactus on the railing before getting rid of the flunkies at ringside. They fight on the apron and Cactus makes the mistake of lunging, smacking his head off the post and earning a headache. Cactus actually shows intelligence, clocking Jericho when he comes back out to the floor and adds a chairshot for fun.
Cactus takes an ill-advised breather but still manages to snap Jericho’s neck off the rope and allow Stevie and Meanie to take their shots. Back inside, Cactus lays in the knees and hangs Jericho in the Tree of Woe, which is never good news against mid-90s Mick Foley. Baseball slide puts Jericho on the floor once again where Cactus introduces him to the first row Philly fans…I can’t even imagine the smell. Suplex on the floor hurts Jericho so Cactus rolls him back in for a legdrop and a two count. Jack makes the mistake of laying a chair on Jericho, allowing him to recover, smack Jack in the face with it, and bring him off the top with a hurricanrana. A slugfest breaks out, won by Jericho, and a standing dropkick gets two. Big splash from the top also gets a near fall but Jericho ducks his head and gets planted with a pulling piledriver. Cactus Clothesline puts both guys on the floor and Jack hits the Nestea Plunge, sandwiching Jericho between his body and the railing. Chris recovers with a back suplex on the floor but makes the mistake of charging and Jack drops him across the railing. Trademark elbow from the apron puts Cactus in control and we head back inside for another pulling piledriver (sold VERY nicely by Jericho) but Jack takes too long on the cover and it only gets two. Cactus tries to plant him again but Jericho quickly ducks behind and hits a sweet german suplex to get the pin and the upset.
Winner: Chris Jericho
-Started off slow with all of Foley’s stalling and antics, but it got intense towards the end with the brawling on the floor and upset finish. Definitely a change of pace from the bloodbath ECW we’ve become accustomed seeing on highlight packages and a good match to boot ***1/4.
WCW Fall Brawl – Sept. 1997
WCW Cruiserweight Title
Chris Jericho vs. Eddie Guerrero
For the record, Jericho is the face here and Eddie is playing the rudo, on quite the roll as well. Eddie sinks into his role early, complaining about hair pulling and earning the ire of the crowd. Guerrero gets frustrated with the fast-paced stuff so he takes it to the mat, where Jericho matches him as well. Eddie tries to turn it into a brawl, slugging away with authority, but Jericho has an answer for that as well and takes it to the mat. Jericho works a cross armbreaker which Eddie battles as only he can and they exchange pinfalls, establishing equality on the mat. Jericho clotheslines Eddie on the top rope and follows with the Lionsault for two then grabs a top wristlock.
Eddie finally gains an advantage by dropping Jericho on the top rope and Guerrero launches an attack on Jericho’s back with a modified surfboard submission. Snap back suplex stays with the psychology and we get a surfboard WITH a dragon sleeper…good Lord. The crowd actually stays in the match despite all the submission stuff and Eddie rewards them with a slingshot senton for two. Guerrero even busts out the Gory Special to really complete the moveset but Jericho manages to counter and locks on his own before dropping Guerrero right on his face. Slugfest leads to Eddie walking the ropes (better than Taker’s Old School crap) but Jericho crotches him and puts Guerrero to the floor with a dropkick. Jericho tries a powerbomb from the apron, which is absolute insanity, but Eddie counters and both men crash and burn.
Back inside, Jericho catches Eddie with a sweet release german for two. They launch into a series of reversals and Eddie catches Chris with a uranage but Eddie waits too long and gets caught with a powerslam for two. Jericho launches Eddie across the ring and hits a spinning heel kick for two so Chris tries La Magistral but gets countered for two. Jericho gets pissed and hits a pair of powerbombs before trying a superplex but Eddie falls on top in a nice bump and the Frog Splash finishes things.
Winner and NEW Champion: Eddie Guerrero
-Yet another great match from Jericho with one of his best opponents. Eddie was in his glory as a cheating heel and it was pretty apparent that Jericho’s white bread babyface wasn’t getting over at all. In any event, a really great match that had the crowd into it to the very end ****.
WCW Superbrawl VIII – Feb. 1998
Cruiserweight Title vs. Mask Match
Chris Jericho vs. Juventud Guerrera
Being an annoying heel, Jericho attempts to wrestle with his title belt on and succeeds for a bit until Juvi boots him in the gut and Chris surrenders the title. Spinning heel kick by Juvi and he follows with a flying headscissors before hitting a springboard body attack (that’s code for “whatever that was supposed to be”). Juvi takes Jericho to the floor with a top rope rana and Jericho plays dead (in a comical way), hoping to earn a countout to keep his title. Juvi, obviously, goes out and gets him but gets his ass kicked back in the ring. Release German by Jericho and Juvi lands on his feet so Chris drops him on the top rope and a second rope dropkick puts Guerrera on the floor. In typical WCW style, the announcers totally ignore the match and talk about the New World Order. Jericho preps the ringsteps and uses them as a springboard on the floor but Juvi sees it coming and sends him hard into the railing. Back in, Jericho counters a springboard with a nice looking scoop slam piledriver, basically a Michinoku Driver without the sitout, for two. Jericho decides to try one of my favorite moves of all-time, the arrogant cover, for two. That move was actually included in a lot of the Smackdown games for PlayStation, although I’m not sure if it’s in the new ones…doubt it.
Juvi gets a victory roll out of nowhere so Jericho plants him with a kick and throws a temper tantrum before composing himself and hitting a delayed vertical suplex and a senton for two. Hey, would you like to know what Randy Savage and Lex Luger are up to right now? Bobby Heenan will tell you. Juvi tries a hurricanrana from the top and gets caught with an electric chair drop but Jericho makes the mistake of going up top and gets dropkick to the floor. Guerrera follows him with a MONSTER Air Juvi and Jericho wisely tries to head for the hills. Back in, Juvi gets a piledriver, hits the 450 (his finisher), and the ref counts three but Jericho had grabbed the ropes. The referee realizes his mistake and it allows Jericho to go on the attack but Juvi counters a powerbomb to a DDT for two. Springboard hurricanrana takes Jericho off the top rope for two and they go into a nice reversal sequence that ends with Jericho hitting a reverse suplex. Lionsault misses so Jericho goes for the Liontamer (Walls of Jericho) but we’re not done with ridiculous reversals yet. Finally, Guerrera tries one hurricanrana too many and Jericho sits down, locks on the Liontamer, and earns the victory.
Winner and STILL Champion: Chris Jericho
-So Juvi unmasks and is as ugly as you expect him to be…thanks Uncle Eric. Bischoff never understood how important the masks were to the Mexican wrestlers and essentially treated them like a gimmick instead of the cultural icons they really were. It did put Jericho over as a cruiserweight bully, which was the point, and it was a really good match with an intense finish ***3/4.
WCW Nitro – July 1998
WCW Cruiserweight Title
Chris Jericho vs. Dean Malenko
This was part of the awesome Jericho/Malenko feud that saw Jericho tap out Dean at Uncensored 98, causing Malenko to doubt himself and go home. Jericho took this time to insult Dean and every member of the Malenko family on TV each and every week for two months. Malenko returned in an awesome piece of business at Slamboree 98 where entered a number one contender battle royal dressed as masked wrestler Ciclope and won the title from Jericho, earning a MONSTER reaction from the crowd in the process. Since it was WCW and they screw everything up, Malenko was stripped of the title because he hadn’t won the battle royal “as himself” and Jericho won the vacant title by DQ at the Great American Bash.
Jericho attacks with a dropkick before the bell and they brawl on the floor. Back in, Dean catches Chris with a dropkick and Malenko hammers away. They head up to the top and Malenko shoves him off for a sunset flip but Jericho rolls through and gets the Liontamer, causing Dean to scurry to the ropes. Second rope dropkick pits Dean to the floor and Jericho follows with a plancha AND WE GOTTA TAKE A BREAK!!! We return with Jericho in control but Dean hits a leg lariat and a german suplex for two. Suplex attempt is reversed to an inverted suplex by Jericho but the Lionsault only gets two. Awesome reversal sequence leads to Malenko hitting a double underhook powerbomb and he gets the Texas Cloverleaf but it’s too close to the ropes. Chris crotches him up top and tries a superplex but Dean counters with an AWESOME DDT off the top rope…for two, thanks to the ropes. Jericho takes a powder and grabs an international object (the token “white athletic tape that’s supposed to have metal inside it”). The referee gets poked in the eye during the fracas and Dean gets ahold of the object, blasting Jericho and knocking him out. The referee regains his eye sight just in time to see Malenko with the object and calls for the bell in the cheap finish.
Winner and STILL Champion: Chris Jericho
-Well, it’s a Nitro match so it wasn’t supposed to light the world on fire but Dean was MONEY back in the 90s with any opponent so they managed to squeeze some good stuff into the 7 minutes they were given **3/4.
WWF Raw – August 1999
The Millennium Clock Expires
I’m sure you’ve seen this one a hundred times so I’m not going to bother to recap it. If you haven’t, shame on you because it’s an awesome verbal battle that should have propelled Jericho into the stratosphere of the main event. All the Jericholics out there (myself included) saw this and thought it was only a matter of time before Chris was the champ…little did we know it would take almost 3 years. In any event, definitely check this out and listen to crowd go batshit when Jericho’s name appears on the TitanTron.
WWF No Way Out – February 2000
WWF Intercontinental Title
Chris Jericho vs. Kurt Angle
Did I ever mention that this was a GREAT time to be a wrestling fan? Kurt is the European champion here (which is not on the line), your American hero, and earns more points by riffing on the Hartford crowd about the Whalers leaving. Chyna, Chris Jericho’s manager, gets her own separate entrance because she didn’t want to be seen as “just a manager” and thought she deserved her own entrance (that’s a shoot, brother). Did I ever mention that Chyna was batshit insane? Jericho’s sideburns are so out of control that they could have been given a push just based on look alone.
Fast-paced start leads to Jericho gaining the advantage with chops and a back body drop sends Angle to the floor. Second rope dropkick hits but Kurt suckers Chris outside and introduces his face to various objects around the ring. They brawl around the ring and Y2J clotheslines the post by accident, establishing our psychology for the match. Jericho counters a whip to the ringsteps by using them as a springboard and hitting a moonsault. Back inside, Jericho gets crotched on the top rope and Angle brings him off with a belly to belly for two. Angle is pissed now and slugs away before hitting a suplex for two and going to a resthold. Jericho fights out and gets a double underhook backbreaker for two but Angle comes right back with a german suplex for his own near fall. After a short break, Angle hits a single arm DDT to take control and works the arm until Jericho catches him with a spinning heel kick. Y2J counters an attempted Angle hurricanrana into a pair of powerbombs for two but Angle doesn’t just kick out, he floats over into a cross armbreaker in one fluid motion…which is why he’s awesome. Running around leads to an Angle Slam (called the “Right Angle” by JR) but Kurt takes time to celebrate and it only gets two, pissing YOUR American hero off. Angle grabs the IC title, most likely just to show it off to the crowd for some pictures, but the evil referee snatches it away and Jericho locks on the Wall of Jericho (the REAL one, not the shitty Boston crab he does nowadays) but Kurt powers to the ropes. We head outside for more brawling and Kurt grabs the European title but he is stopped by Chyna’s manliness so Jericho takes them both out. Tim White busies himself hitting on Chyna but meanwhile Jericho goes for a Lionsault back inside and Kurt uses the dropped IC title to bash in Jericho’s head. The pinfall is academic as Kurt becomes YOUR Euro-continental champion
Winner and NEW Champion: Kurt Angle
-I could have done without the Chyna involvement but I think the entire WWF in 2000 could have done without Chyna’s involvement. Remember, this was Kurt’s rookie year so this was a huge upset at the time and it’s one of those cases where the WWF really did have the next big thing. It was rare for these guys to get 10 minutes back in 2000, so props to Vinnie Mac and we got a damn good match out of it ***1/2.
WWF Raw – April 2000
WWF World Title
HHH vs. Chris Jericho
HHH was rather at this point, fresh off becoming the first heel to ever walk out of WrestleMania as the world champion. Adding to that, HHH was an authority figure thanks to his wife and was constantly bullying Earl Hebner and other referees (this becomes important later). Jericho earned this match by basically insulting Stephanie at every turn until HHH got sick of it and promised to kill him. Jericho launches into MORE insults before the match and pisses off HHH to the point where he puts up the title for a shot at kicking Y2J’s ass even as Shane tries to talk him out of it. Jericho, being the smart one, has also purchased the “insurance policy” of the APA to protect himself from any DX/Shane-O-Mac shenanigans.
Jericho starts off fast, hammering away and back dropping Hunter to the floor. Second rope dropkick puts HHH down once again but Jericho falls victim to the high knee and HHH takes over. Hunter punishes Jericho on the ring apron and a trip to the ring steps REALLY punishes him…nice visual from Jericho on that one. Back inside, Hunter gets a delayed vertical and the DX knee drop for two, causing Jericho to spit out blood in another neat visual. Running DDT cuts off a Y2J comeback and Hunter goes up top (really?) but stops to give Steph some lovin’ and Jericho pops up with a superplex. Nice back and forth leads a second rope missile dropkikc for two. HHH goes for the Pedigree after a boot to the gut but Jericho counters and tries for the Walls, which Hunter fights nicely and Y2J has to resort to a slingshot, sandwiching referee Mike Chioda in the process. Jericho heads up top and Shane finally interferes, crotching Jericho, but the APA goes into action and Shane runs for his life to the locker room and out of the match.
Steph slides the title belt into the ring but Jericho gets hold of it and clocks Hunter with it but there’s no referee so Earl Hebner comes flying from the back but can’t get there in time and it’s only a two count. I’m a sucker for that spot. HHH recovers with a facebuster and sees mortal enemy Earl Hebner in the ring, pissing him off and earning Earl a trip to the canvas. Jericho uses the distraction to hit a spinning heel kick and quickly hits the Lionsault, earning a fast count from Earl and his first world title…kind of.
Winner and NEW Champion: Chris Jericho
-OK, so Hunter forced Earl to reverse the decision later in the night under the threat of kicking his ass. Then, when Hebner did reverse the decision, HHH kicked his ass anyway and fired him…what a nice guy. I’m still not sure why Chris Jericho actually returned the title because it would have made more sense for him to hold it hostage. Anyways, the pop for Jericho’s win was HUGE and should have led to a big program with Hunter for the belt but that’s backstage politics for ya (note: HHH didn’t want to sell his “cruiseweight” offense). *** for solid work and good drama.
WWF No Mercy – October 2001
WCW World Title
The Rock vs. Chris Jericho
This is one of those lost classics that people really should have paid more attention to at the time an even today. Headlock/armbar (hold #4!) sequence gets things started nicely until Jericho gets pissed and hammers away. Rock recovers and answers in turn and both guys narrowly avoid each other’s finishes before a dropkick sends Rocky to the floor. Rock tastes the ring barrier and an elbow off the top gets two for Jericho back inside. Jericho cuts off another Rocky comeback and chops away before hitting a spinning heel kick and getting two. A pair of backbreakers hurts the Rock and Jericho gets a senton but gets sloppy on the cover an Rocky rolls him up for a surprise two count. Jericho drops him throat-first on the top rope but gets crotched heading up top and superplex puts both guys down for the double KO.
Rocky finally mounts his big comeback with a Samoan drop for two and punches Jericho so hard that Y2J flies out of the ring. Rocky kicks his ass in JR’s lap then lays in the kicks back inside and gets two off a clothesline. Jericho tries to serve up the chops but Rock sends him flying to the outside and drags Chris back in for a chinlock. Jericho fights out but falls victim to a slingshot and we head up top where Jericho gets the upper hand and hits a missile dropkick for another double KO…this is very well-booked match, with both guys showing good offense. Jericho gets the upper hand and picks up the pace with a neckbreaker and a hurricanrana for two. Rocky tries to fight back but Jericho avoids a suplex and hits a Jericho Bottom before adding a Lionsault…for two. Bulldog sets up a People’s Elbow attempt from Jericho but NO ONE does that to Rocky and he pops up with a sloppy dragon screw and the Scorpion King Deathlock, which causes Jericho to fight and desperately grab the ropes.
NOW Rocky is really pissed so he preps the Spanish announce table and delivers a Rock Bottom through it. Rock breaks the count and gets all intense on us, prepping for another Rock Bottom but it gets reversed (which the crowd CHEERS) and Jericho runs right into a spinebuster. People’s Elbow is smartly countered by Jericho grabbing Rock’s leg when he plants and Rocky tastes the Walls of Jericho in the middle of the ring. Stephanie runs (kinda) down the ring and slides a chair in to distract Jericho and he walks into a DDT. Steph tries to lead a Rocky chant but she takes a Rock Bottom…thankfully she had those funbags to cushion the fall. The referee tends to Steph and Jericho uses the distraction to hit a forward legsweep onto the chair Steph slid in and wins the title.
Winner and NEW Champion: Chris Jericho
-Rocky threatens to go heel on us by wielding the chair but then just hands it to Jericho to remind him he didn’t win fair and square…like Jericho gives a shit. There were plenty of mark out moments in this one with a hot ending, great false finishes, and a great story told. I told ya, it’s a forgotten classic ****1/4.
WWF Vengeance – December 2001
WWF Undisputed Title
Chris Jericho vs. Steve Austin
This was the finals of a one-night tournament that also included the Rock and Kurt Angle which culminated in a unification match between the WWF and WCW World champions. Of course, as I mentioned before, Vince refused to promote the one title as the WCW world title (since he killed the name off by flushing the biggest angle in wrestling HISTORY down the toilet) and so the title has no heat on it. As a side note, Steve Austin was going through some major issues with the creative team here, which will help to explain how the match ends. We get the finish of the Rocky vs. Jericho match with Jericho winning courtesy of Vince and winning the World title (NOT WCW, of course). Steve Austin runs down immediately and here we go…
Austin slugs away but Kurt Angle (who seemed to miss his cue by a few seconds) runs in and smacks Austin with a chair as revenge for beating him earlier. The Rock evens things up by delivering a Rock Bottom to Chris Jericho and chasing Angle off into the night. Jericho recovers first and goes to work on Austin but Steve fires back and introduces Jericho’s face to the corner a dozen times or so. Stunner is avoided but Jericho goes tumbling to the floor and Austin beats his ass out there for a bit. Stone Cold launches Chris into the ring post and exposes the cold, hard, unforgiving concrete on the outside but, in a stroke of irony, Austin is the one who smacks off the floor. They battle on top of the Spanish announce table (poor guys) and Jericho tries for the Walls but gets kicked to the floor and takes a suplex on the exposed concrete.
Finally back in, Austin only hits post on a corner charge and Jericho works the shoulder, as he should. Austin avoids a dropkick and gets a clothesline for two but Chris works smart and quickly grabs a fujiwara armbar to stop Stone Cold…using the ropes of course. Jericho heads up but preens for the crowd too much and only hits fist on his way down but he still manages to roll through a body drop attempt and lock on the Walls (now a wussy Boston crab but Austin fights to the ropes. After the break, the referee gets caught in crossfire and gets smacked to the outside, allowing Jericho to hit a Stunner (Rock Star Stunner?) and triggering the Vince McMahon/Nick Patrick (evil referee for hire) run-in. Ric Flair WILL NOT STAND FOR THIS and knocks out Patrick but Flair (16 time world champion) gets floored by Vince McMahon. Meanwhile, Austin sees this happening and kicks Vince’s ass before hitting a Thesz Press back inside and chopping away. Jericho tries coming back with a dropkick but Austin catches him in the Walls of Austin and Y2J taps very quickly…no referee though. Finally, Booker T emerges from the crowd, nails Austin with the title belt, and Jericho gets the pin to become the first Undisputed champion.
Winner and NEW Champion: Chris Jericho
-Since it was the second match for both guys it was understandably shorter than usual but the booking is enough to almost ruin the match for me. Basically, Steve Austin refused to job clean to Jericho so we ended up with this booking that has the 3rd Marine division running in and a finish that makes Chris Jericho mean nothing as champion before he even wins the belt(s). It was pretty good but all the interference and the weird finish hurt it in my eyes **3/4.
Final Word on Disc 2
This one is an easy “thumbs up” with 3 matches getting at least **** and some rare matches that you aren’t going to see anywhere else. It’s also interesting to see Jericho evolve as a performer from primarily a cruiserweight style to the main event style he worked with the Rock and Austin. Also, you get to see all the different places Jericho worked and how the atmosphere, ring style, and even the crowds changed along the way…it truly makes him a unique and diverse worker. Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at the last disc of the set and his most recent WWE work.