Breaking the Code: Chris Jericho (Disc 3)
-So I took one day off from Y2J and I get 14 emails asking what the hell is wrong with me. I actually pulled my groin at the gym yesterday and wasn’t exactly up for a DVD review. Of course, you people wouldn’t understand that because you don’t have groins. ONWARD TO DISC 3!
WWF Smackdown – May 2002
No-DQ Match for the Undisputed World Title
Hulk Hogan vs. Chris Jericho
This was immediately following WrestleMania 18 when Hogan’s nostalgia act was RUNNIN’ WILD BROTHER all over the WWF. Of course, no one could predict how quickly he would go cold or how absolutely brutal he was in the ring without a carefully planned match like he had with the Rock. This match takes place in Pittsburgh so, naturally, I was there…yeah, it’s not very good. Hogan was in a feud with Undertaker at the time and the matches sucked, if you care.
Hogan gets a pretty good pop on his entrance from the Pittsburgh faithful since he only won the title 10 days earlier from HHH. Hogan establishes that he is, indeed, very strong and they work a headlock before Hulk launches into his real basic offense and works the arm. Jericho gains control with a back suplex but takes too much time on the top rope and gets slammed off. Hulk gets an old school 10-punch in the corner but Jericho goes low to break that up and chops away in the corner. Blind charge misses and Jericho tumbles to the floor but still manages to run Hulk into the ring post and hit a double ax off the top. Y2J chokes him out with some athletic tape but misses a charge against the ropes and Hogan makes the comeback but misses an elbow drop, allowing Jericho to hit a Lionsault…but HHH’s music hits. You see, the storyline was they could not touch one another or face being firing so Hunter just heads over to the announce position. Jericho stays in control with a DDT for two but Hogan Hulks Up and hits the big boot but Jericho counters the Legdrop into the Walls of Jericho which causes Hogan to fight to the ropes. Jericho gets frustrated so he whacks Hulk with a chair but now the Undertaker’s music hits (just as HHH predicted) and distracts Jericho a second time. Of course, Undertaker isn’t really here and Hogan takes advantage with a roll-up for the win.
Winner and STILL Champion: Hulk Hogan
-This must be a sentimental favorite of Jericho to be included because the match was pretty bad since Hogan was essentially useless in the ring due to injuries and being 80 years old. Y2J actually called into Mark Madden’s radio show after this one and complained about the Pittsburgh crowd not being into the match but really, with main events like this one, it’s easy to see why *3/4.
WrestleMania XIX – March 2003
Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels
Well, you knew this one was going to be on here. Jericho thinks it’s funny that he called HBK “old” even though he’s only 5 years older than him. Jericho credits the ridiculous facial hair to a beard-growing contest he got in with Zack Wylde. They start off with a wrestling stalemate to establish equality and Jericho discusses how your position on the card determines if you can steal the show. They pick up the pace a bit and a Jericho slap pissed off HBK so he dumps Chris to the outside and hits a baseball slide. Jericho calls it “vintage Shawn Michaels” and says at least he didn’t say Alicia Fox and Striker responds with “I wonder if Alicia Fox will be relevant once this DVD comes out?” WOOOOOOO!!
Jericho rolls though a high cross body for two and hits a spinning heel kick before chopping away. Bulldog is countered by Shawn chucking him to the corner and he goes to the figure four…it would have been nice if HBK would have kicked him in the leg or something before going to the hold. Anyways, Y2J boots Shawn into the corner and dumps him but HBK skins the cat back in, tosses Jericho, and follows with a plancha to the floor. They brawl into the aisle and Jericho gets the Walls on the outside to hurt Shawn’s back (as usual with his matched) and Chris rams the back into the ring post to hurt it further. Second rope dropkick puts Shawn on the floor again with a nice bump so Jericho drags him back in the ring and hits a vertical suplex for two. Y2J works the back like a mofo and Jericho admits to stealing the arrogant cover from a Japanese guy back in WAR. Shawn mounts a comeback by turning a back body drop into a DDT but Jericho hits a flying forearm and has the balls to kip-up…oh snap. 2010 Jericho admits to practicing that for an hour because he had never done it before. Anyways, HBK kips up for the real deal, makes the babyface comeback, and hits a moonsault off the top for two. Very nice pinfall reversal sequence leads to another wrestling exhibition that shows off how good these guys really are and Jericho puts HBK down with a clothesline.
Y2J hits a Lionsault for two and, in a cool spot lifted from Jericho’s earlier days, Shawn tries a hurricanrana but Chris sits down and turns it into the Walls. Since Shawn Michaels is not Juventud Guerrera, he gets to fight to the ropes and gets a roll-up for two. Jericho gets pissed and hits a backbreaker before heading up top for an elbow. Y2J actually hits Sweet Chin Music, earning the ire of the crowd but it only gets two. HBK pulls out a comeback and they have a slugfest so Shawn tries the Walls but can’t hook it so he slingshots Jericho into the corner. Jericho actually explains that he changed from a Liontamer to the Boston crab because guys were too big and bulky in WWE plus they couldn’t do the spot where they fight towards the ropes….very cool. Both guys tumble off the ropes for the double KO but Shawn recovers first and heads to the top rope. Jericho, being the wise heel, kicks the referee into the ropes to crotch HBK and tries a superplex but gets dumped and Shawn hits the flying elbow. Michaels tunes up the band but Jericho ducks it and applies the Walls to Shawn’s injured back but he still manages to fight to the ropes. Jericho starts getting frustrated and blindly charges right into Sweet Chin Music but Shawn is hurt and can only get two. Jericho sends HBK into the corner for his signature spot but Shawn manages to duck behind him and hook a roll-up for the 1,2,3.
Winner: Shawn Michaels
-Chris Jericho, ambassador for Good Sportsmanship, bootkicks Shawn in the balls after teasing a face turn…gotta love it. It’s not Jericho’s best match ever but it’s still a great contest and well worth seeing ****.
WWE Raw – August 2005
Loser Gets Fired Match for WWE World Title
Chris Jericho vs. John Cena
It’s kind of weird seeing John Cena with hair after all these years. Cena attacks right away but Raw GM Eric Bischoff gets involved early and Jericho gets a quick two with his feet on the ropes. Suplex hits and Jericho hammers away in the corner but he misses a blind charge into the corner and tumbles to the outside. Cena brings Jericho back in but suffers a low blow from Uncle Eric…will our hero survive? Find out after this commercial!
We return with Cena fighting out of a chinlock but Y2J stays on top with punchy-kicky and gets a spinning heel kick for two. Surprise small package pisses Jericho off and hits a clothesline for two. Superplex attempt is blocked by Cena but he takes a high-risk attempt with a high cross body and only hits canvas. Slugfest triggers dueling crowd chants and Cena makes the comeback, trying for the FU but Jericho slips up and locks on the Walls. Cena fights to the ropes after an intense period in the submission move and hits the FU but his back gives out and Cena can only get two when he recovers. Uncle Eric hands Jericho some knuckle dusters, which send Cena to the moon but SuperCena kicks out at two. Bischoff argues with the referee on the apron so Cena slingshots Jericho into the GM, hits the FU, and sends Jericho off into his hiatus from wrestling.
Winner and STILL Champion: John Cena
-Jericho is dragged off into the sunset kicking and screaming like a little girl, just like he wanted. Match was typical 2005 Raw main event level **3/4.
Save Us, Y2J Segment
So Jericho returns in November 2007 after taking two years off and manages to have a worse wardrobe than when he left. I won’t recap the whole return interview but it’s good because all of Jericho’s promos are good.
WWE Raw – March 2008
Jeff Hardy vs. Chris Jericho
It’s amazing how effective the WWE Machine really is. Witness Jeff Hardy, world champion/over in WWE and boring/can’t draw a dime in TNA. A brawl erupts right away and Hardy strikes first with a split leg legdrop for two but Jericho dumps him to the floor for a commercial break. We return with Jericho missing a blind charge and tumbling to the floor, allowing Hardy to hit a dropkick and run the rail but he goes SPLAT off the announce table. Y2J works the back and plays the heel but Hardy comes back with Whisper in the Wind for two. Jericho recovers with a northern lights suplex which triggers a pinfall reversal sequence and Hardy rolls through a high cross for two. Hardy looks for the Twist of Fate but Jericho counters and hits a Lionsault for a very close two. Jericho looks to finish but gets surprised with the Twist of Fate but manages to avoid the Swanton and hit the Codebreaker for the win and title.
Winner and NEW Champion: Chris Jericho
-Not really a great match or anything but notable because it’s Jericho’s 8th IC title **1/2.
No Mercy 2008 – October 2008
Ladder Match for the World Heavyweight Title
Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels
Long-time readers will know how annoyed I get when the champion is introduced first just because he’s a heel…it sucks. They start off fast with Shawn looking for Chin Music early but he gets a little overanxious and hits the ring post on a charge. Second rope dropkick puts Shawn to the floor and Jericho whips him to the ladder but HBK uses it like a springboard and takes down Y2J. Jericho throws him to the post and is tries to use the ladder as a weapon but gets his face smashed. Shawn tries a ladder shot but Jericho counters and hooks the Walls in a homage to their WrestleMania match. Jericho takes another ladder to the face inside the ring and HBK tries for the belt but it’s far too early and Chris dumps him into the ropes. Y2J adds some shots with the ladder but Shawn counters a bulldog by shoving Jericho into a ladder, wrapping his knee in it. That gives Shawn a target and he drives the knee into the ladder and locks on the figure four (ON THE WRONG LEG ARRRRRGH!! The straight leg, Shawn, the straight leg!). Jericho uses the ladder to the break the hold then guillotines HBK on it in a cool spot. Jericho gets even sicker by closing the ladder on Shawn’s head and trying for the belt but HBK stops him and tosses Jericho on top of a ladder in the corner, sending him to the floor.
Repeated ladder shots to the kidneys hurt Jericho and HBK puts him on the announce table before heading up a ladder. Jericho recovers however and follows Michaels up the ladder and both guys go crashing through the announce table in very nice spot. Both guys drag themselves into the ring and Jericho gets shoved off a ladder in the corner and Michaels follows with a flying elbow but he hits the ladder, hurting the arm. HBK recovers and tries for Chin Music but Jericho breaks it up with sick shot with the ladder. Lionsault with a ladder on top of Shawn makes me cringe further and Y2J pins Shawn under the ladder and makes a belt climb attempt. This proves to be a VERY bad idea as Shawn tips the ladder and Jericho takes a REALLY painful bump all the way to the floor…good Lord. Shawn…almost…gets…the belt but Y2J manages to crawl in and shove him off for the double KO. Both guys climb opposite sides but Jericho falls and gets stuck in the ladder, necessitating a Lance Cade run-in to take run interference. Cade is not a good goon though and gets taken out with Sweet Chin Music but it gives Jericho time to recover and Michaels has to scurry up the ladder to stop him. Both guys unhook the belt and have a tug-of-war in an awesome, innovative spot but Jericho manages to headbutt HBK to the mat and yank down the title to stay World Champion.
Winner and STILL Champion: Chris Jericho
-A really great ladder match that had all sorts of sick spots and drama without resorting to that “slow climb” crap that most of these matches have. Cade’s run-in at the end was kind of unnecessary and killed a bit of drama and Shawn still doesn’t know which leg gets hurt in the figure four, but the rest of it was money in the bank, baby ****1/2.
WWE Extreme Rules – June 2009
No Holds Barred Match for the Intercontinental Title
Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho
Jericho, the best heel of the last 5 years, cuts a promo from the crowd (“Don’t touch me!…I’ll knock you out!”) and promises to rip Rey’s mask off TONIGHT. Rey attacks immediately and they tumble to the floor where Mysterio uses the announce table as a weapon and uses a flip to avoid the ringsteps and dropkick them into Jericho’s knee. Hurricanrana off the ring apron causes Jericho to roll back in the ring for safety but Rey Rey springboards in with a legdrop for two. Y2J gets his stuff together and drops Mysterio on the top rope before adding a guillotine on the bottom rope for two. Second rope dropkick is countered by a Mysterio dropkick and a 619 around the ring post leads to a splash from the top to the floor which puts both guys out. Back in, a springboard legdrop gets a near fall and Rey looks to finish with the 619 but Jericho avoids it and they go into a pinfall reversal sequence. Another picture perfect sequence leads to a Walls attempt but Rey gets out of it and kicks Jericho’s head off for two. Y2J fires off a clothesline to gain control to he tosses Rey like a child out of the ring and Mysterio splats off the floor. Face-first suplex hurts Rey and Jericho rolls him back inside a near fall and Y2J goes for the mask, causing Mysterio to scurry away. Charge by Jericho only hits ring post and Mysterio launches himself through the ropes with a dive to take out Y2J Again back inside, Mysterio picks up the pace and gets a hurricanrana for two and tries for the 619 but a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker stops him cold and gets two for Jericho.
Jericho hits a powerbomb but the Lionsault misses and the 619 does not. Rey looks to finish with the springboard splash but Jericho pops up and catches him in mid-air with the Codebreaker in an awesome spot…for two. Y2J decides a weapon is the way to go and he grabs a chair but Mysterio kicks it back in Jericho’s face for two. Arabian facebuster from Rey gets two and a drop toe hold sends Jericho’s face into an open chair. Rey uses the chair as a springboard to try a hurricanrana but these guys should know Jericho has that one scouted and he sits down into the Walls. Rey manages to get hold of the chair while in the move and smacks Chris with it, sending him into perfect 619 position. Jericho sees him at the last second and uses a innovative counter, he yanks Rey’s mask off. Mysterio is so shocked that he falls victim to a roll-up and, three seconds later, Jericho is a nine time IC champion.
Winner and NEW Champion: Chris Jericho
-A very well-booked, fast-paced counter that both put Jericho over as a bullying heel and Mysterio as the speedy underdog. Add to that a bunch of cool spots and a good pace and you got yourself a great match ***3/4.
WWE Smackdown – November 2009
Chris Jericho vs. The Undertaker
Jericho tries to attack early but gets his ass kicked in the corner and clotheslined to the outside. Legdrop on the apron stuns Jericho and Taker works the shoulder. Old-school rope walk is counted by an armdrag and WE GOTTA TAKE A BREAK!! When we return, Jericho hammers away and hits a second rope missile dropkick for two. Y2J forces Taker to the outside where he taste the ring barrier and Jericho chokes him out on the ropes back inside. Punchy-kicky all over the place and it eventually triggers a yay-boo slugfest leading to snake eyes from Taker but Jericho surprises him with a dropkick for two. Taker has had enough and tries a chokeslam but has to settle for a big boot instead. Y2J manages to avoid the Last Ride and hits the Codebreaker but Taker, of course, kicks out so Jericho stupidly tries a Tombstone, which is easily countered. Y2J goes to a chop block to bring the big guy down and hits the Lionsault but Taker no-sells it and tries a chokeslam but Jericho wriggles out of it and applies the Walls of Jericho. UT rolls around on the mat to counter the hold and manages to trap Jericho in Hell’s Gate and gets the submission win.
Winner: The Undertaker
-Not sure why this one was included but it’s your standard Undertaker TV match, lots of punching and kicking with a zombie sit-up somewhere **1/4.
WrestleMania XXVI – March 2010
World Heavyweight Title
Chris Jericho vs. Edge
Wrestling sequence leads to Edge hitting a lariat and stomping away before Jericho comes back and throws punches in the corner. Baaaaaack body drop for Edge sets up an early spear attempt, but Jericho runs to the outside where they brawl. Y2J catches Edge with a baseball slide and guillotines him on the bottom rope before adding a backdrop suplex for two. Jericho misses a blind charge and hits the post, allowing Edge to hit a dropkick but Chris stops that by dumping Edge onto the ring ropes. Jericho tries his springboard dropkick but misses and Edge sends him into the announce table. Back inside the ring, they fight to the top rope where Edge slams him and hits a cross body, but it’s rolled through by Jericho for two. They trade finisher reversals (a little early for that, no?) and the Lionsault misses so Edge hits an Edge-O-Matic for two. Enzuigiri from Jericho is followed by the Impaler DDT from Edge, both for two counts, but Edge gets caught with the Codebreaker after trying a spear.
We finally hit the heat segment, as Jericho goes to work on the injured Achilles tendon and is basically just a big dick about the whole thing. He gets the Walls of Jericho but turns it into a half-crab, which really doesn’t work the Achilles, but whatever. Edge makes the ropes and hits the Cactus clothesline over the top but he allows Jericho to recover and grab the title belt. Edge accidentally bumps the referee, allowing Jericho to smack him with the “championship” (it’s a fucking belt!) and get a two count. The crowd is hopeful, but Edge walks into another Codebreaker and that’s all she wrote.
Winner and STILL Champion: Chris Jericho
-So much for that Royal Rumble win, eh big guy? It was another solid match but it wasn’t long enough, which is odd to say on a four hour show. Edge spears Jericho through the ring barrier after the match because he’s a poor sport like that. Good enough for me though ***1/2.
Final FINAL Word
You definitely cannot go wrong with watching a bunch of Jericho’s matches, as he consistently brings the goods and is able to work almost any style asked of him. I was much more interested in the early stages of his career (up until 2000) than I was the ten years following but Y2J is never boring. The third disc had a few too many TV matches which felt like filler but the ladder match is one of the best you’ll see. Not only are there great matches on here but you actually get a biography too, something that WWE has started to get cheap with. In any event, if you love Jericho you’ve probably already bought this DVD but if you’re only a casual fan I still recommend it because you can watch a guy evolve as a worker throughout the world. Chris Jericho might actually be the last guy we EVER see who can lay claim to working all over the world and three different major US promotions. So the bottom line is: Get the DVD, watch the documentary, skip the TV matches on the second two discs and prepare to be entertained by Y2J.