FATP: Why Chris Jericho is truly “The Best in the World”
What’s up boys and girls? It’s been a few weeks since I last wrote anything for the site, so I wanna apologise for that. Things kicked off and I wasn’t able to dedicate my time to writing. Everything’s starting to clear up a bit now, so I’ll be back fresher and brighter than ever for everyone here at PWMania.com!!
This week, I’m going to focus on one of the few men in WWE who actually understands how the wrestling business works. That man’s name is Chris Jericho.
Jericho has already been wrestling for over 20 years, despite the fact he’s just turned 41. He’s wrestled all over the world for pretty much every promoter. Whether it’s in Canada, Mexico or Japan, whether it was for CMLL, WCW or WWE, Jericho has seen it all, done it all and pretty much won it all.
He’s a 6-time World Champion, a record-setting 9-time Intercontinental Champion and a 7-time Tag-Team Champion, as well as being a former European and Hardcore Champion. It’s easy to argue that the only meaningful accolade missing from Jericho’s resume is winning the Royal Rumble. He’s done everything else and won every title that actually means anything.
Jericho’s one of a kind because he continually takes time off when he needs to, instead of getting too burnt out by the hectic WWE schedule. He takes breaks when he feels the need to, that’s why he’s never had a serious injury in his wrestling career. He took a 2-year break between 2005 and 2007 and he had another 18-month break between September 2010 and January 2012.
As well as being a smart man and a tremendous wrestler, Jericho is also one of the smartest minds in the business. Wrestling is full of people who’ll step over anyone to get what they want and they don’t care how they do it. Jericho is at the top of his game because he’s exactly what he says he is – he’s “the best in the world at everything he does!” I’m not going to bullsh*t anyone and say that Jericho hasn’t stepped over people, because he probably has, however, Jericho understands one thing – wrestlers come and go, but the business needs to survive.
That’s why, since his return earlier this year, he hasn’t won a “big” match. When Jericho came back in January, the early rumours doing the rounds were that Jericho was slated to win the Rumble and he’d go on to challenge Punk for the WWE Title at WrestleMania. Instead, Jericho put Sheamus over and the Great White ended up winning the event. As WWE rolled on to the Elimination Chamber, once again, the spotlight was on Jericho as the fans thought he’d be in with a chance of winning the title. Yet again, Jericho selflessly put someone else over, as Punk kicked him out of the chamber, allowing Punk to retain.
Then, as everyone hurtled along the road to Wrestlemania, most of the IWC got the match they wanted at Wrestlemania. CM Punk, 1-on-1, against Chris Jericho. It’d be a wrestling match for the purists. It wouldn’t have the brawl aspect of Cena vs Rock or the emotion of Taker vs HHH, it would just be two straight-up wrestlers going at it to see who was truly “the best in the world!”
Despite their Mania encounter being a back-and-forth match, Jericho again put Punk over on the grandest stage of them all. Although he’s good as a babyface, I think he performs better as a heel. Jericho’s so cocky and arrogant that he’s got the ability to make you love him or hate him. He’s good at what he does and he’s not afraid to tell anyone about it either!!
Then it comes to building towards Extreme Rules. Jericho ups the ante and brings up “personal details” about CM Punk’s father, claiming that he was an alcoholic and that Punk’s sister was a drug addict. Jericho also alleged that Punk was a bastard. The point of Jericho doing this is two-fold. 1: It’s to make the audience hate him. 2: It garners sympathy for the babyface so that you want to pay to see Jericho get his ass kicked. So, we arrived at Extreme Rules in Chicago and what happened? In a physical match, dominated by Jericho, Punk overcame the odds once again to retain his WWE Title.
Right now, we’re heading towards WWE’s latest PPV, Over the Limit, and Jericho is once again involved at the top of the card, this time in the Fatal 4-Way Match for the World Title with Sheamus, ADR and Randy Orton. Do I see Jericho getting at least 1 big PPV victory under his belt before leaving? Yes. Do I think it’ll happen? No.
At this stage of his career, Jericho doesn’t NEED to win any more titles. Jericho understands that his job is to ELEVATE the younger stars who will be the future of the WWE. By elevating younger stars, it makes them look more credible when they’re up against men like John Cena and Randy Orton. If every WWE superstar took the same approach to the business as Jericho did, WWE wouldn’t have to rely on veterans like HHH, HBK, Taker or Rock to sell WrestleMania and they wouldn’t have to bring back people like The Rock and Brock Lesnar to challenge their current roster.
Wrestlers come and go, the business lives on. What is WWE going to do when there’s no stars to take the place of Cena, Orton, Punk, Jericho or Bryan? In a word, they’ll be pucked! (see, I cleaned up the language there!) John Cena in particular is booked far too strongly for my liking. When was the last time he put over a younger, up-and-coming star, and not an established name like Punk or Rock? No, I can’t remember either!
The galling thing about it is that Cena isn’t a stupid man, he understands the business. If there’s anyone who has any influence over Vince McMahon or creative, it’s Cena. He should go to the boss and say “Look, if we don’t put these guys over, we’re going to have no-one to sell WrestleMania in the next 5-10 years.” As bat-shit crazy as Vince is, he’s also the greatest wrestling promoter that’s ever lived. He knows he needs to find 5-8 guys who can be the foundation of the company for the next 10-15 years.
Right now, there’s only one man who’s consistently helping to elevate the stars of tomorrow and his name is Chris Jericho. That my friends, is why he truly is “The Best in the World”.
What do you think? Whether you agree or disagree, get in touch with me on Twitter @georgec1982 and let’s talk it out.
It’s now time for this week’s Wrestling ThrowBack, which has been chosen by one of Britain’s most under-rated female wrestlers, Bacardi. She’s an amazing performer and has all the tools to go as far as she wants to. If you wanna check out what she can do in the ring, subscribe to her official YouTube channel here. She’s also on Twitter @BacardiWrestler. Tell her I sent ya!
For the ThrowBack this week, Bacardi’s chosen a compilation of some of Jake’s best ever promos. Jake’s one of the best talkers ever in this business and this video shows why! Enjoy my friends!
See you next week!