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[2001-04-05-WWE-Smackdown] Chris Jericho vs Triple H

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Y2J is limbering up in the back when he’s approached by Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley who wishes him “good luck” for his upcoming I-C title defense.  She says that may surprise him after he interfered and ruined her match with Trish Stratus on Monday, but claims she’s not petty and is going to let her husband deal with him, take the Intercontinental title and beat him within an inch of his life.  Jericho warns her that if she even thinks of interfering he’ll make her scream louder than her husband ever has.

Stephanie’s sneer is quality.  Jericho turns his back on Triple H on the apron as he makes his entrance, ‘the Game’ clubbing him from behind and then launching him at the ring steps.  He drops him throat first across the barricade before throwing him into the ring to get the match officially underway.  After losing to the Undertaker at Wrestlemania, Michael Cole says that HHH has something to prove here tonight.  Y2J charges out the corner and unloads with punches from the mount.  He backdrops ‘the Game’ over the top rope to the outside and then nails him with a springboard dropkick.  Big plancha off the top turnbuckle to the floor.  Jericho misses a missile dropkick and it looks like he hurt his knee when he came crashing down.  Triple H chokes him over the rope, Stephanie then slapping the champion across the face as the official admonishes Hunter for doing so.  Given his pre-match words to her, that one isn’t going to go down well!  DDT by HHH.  Sleeper hold, the fans getting behind Y2J.  He fires off some elbows to escape and starts to fight back, only for Triple H to cut him off with an eye rake.  Jericho ducks the clothesline and connects on the flying forearm.  The attempted backdrop is telegraphed and ‘the Game’ with a facebuster.  He delays on the Pedigree, Jericho countering it with the Walls, although he can’t fully step over so slingshots him over the turnbuckle into the ringpost instead.  Bulldog, Lionsault and now Stephanie is up on the apron.  Y2J grabs her, making out he’s going to clock her when Triple H tries to blindside him.  That fails and he gets put in the Walls again, this time Jericho having it fully locked in.  ‘The Game’ taps but it’s missed by the referee, Stephanie still on the apron distracting him.  Commissioner Regal runs out from the back with a chair, Jericho let’s go of the Walls to boot him and then nails him with the chair after he’d dropped it.  Stephanie ends up in the Walls and she starts tapping.  A hard unprotected chair shot by HHH saves her and a great near fall as Y2J kicks out of the cover.  Triple H doesn’t seem too bothered by that, just smirking.  He waits for Jericho to get to his feet, gives him the Pedigree and we have a new Intercontinental champion.

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This was a really good TV main event. Jericho works from beneath with HHH dominating but HHH sells and bumps for Jericho well enough to keep it competitive. Jericho looks like he’s about to win when he locks on the wall of Jericho before Stephanie and Regal interred. A hard chair shot to the head didn’t do it, but a Pedigree did. And we have a new IC champion. ***1/4

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