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Barry Windham vs Chris Jericho

Barry Windham vs Chris Jericho  

26 members have voted

  1. 1. Who will you rank higher?

    • Barry Windham
      22
    • Chris Jericho
      4


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This felt like an interesting comparison. Jericho has had the better and more successful career. Barry Windham was a much better professional wrestler.

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I just remember my instinctive distaste when you asked me if I voted for Jericho during our overnight marathon GWE pod. I would never have that reaction to Barry Windham.

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I am interested in whether post-2016 has been a net positive or negative? I see a strong case in both directions.

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A slight positive for me actually. I liked him dropping his counter-fu bullshit after the awful series with Styles and embracing his bloated faux rock stardom. It seems things have gone off the rails lately in AEW, but he had a solid few years there.

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Jericho has spent 25 years as the 7th best guy in every promotion he's in, whereas Windham had about 7 years where he could have been the best guy on the planet if he wanted to and a lot of years where he decidedly didn't. I don't find either particularly compelling for a high-end GWE case, but I'll probably vote for Barry and probably won't vote for Jericho. 

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Washed up, out of shape Barry and Jericho are not someone I'd go out of my way to see. Totally in-shape Jericho is not someone I'd go out of my way to see - there's far too much stink in his career. Barry, on the other hand, has some corkers in his resume and always seemed like a true great even if he didn't put in the effort(?) to maintain that.  

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Unlike the Casas vs Funk comparison, this one is easily Barry, Jericho has always been awful and should be nowhere near a top 100.

Have watched a lot of late 92/93 heel “Lone Wolf” Barry and he’s as good as he ever was during that period. 

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I can see why someone would be a fan of Jericho and his career. I just am not. At any point. At all. Especially not now where he honestly talked the company from day 1 for me, I thought him being the champion of the hot alternative wrestling company from the get go was one of the dumbest moves they could make. Barry is really good though and at his peak this guy could GO. Pretty one sided contest imo.

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Jericho is an odd cookie. He could go out and have the MOTN (He and Christian was my MOTN on a WM full of highly acclaimed matches) and had many different periods in his career where he was a highlight of the show, having many good feuds against Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio, Christian, etc. But there are quite a few clunkers in there. I really dislike the series with Punk whether it be the WM, Extreme Rules or Payback '13 matches. In fact most of what he did after the Jerishow run is on my "do not watch" list. The New Japan run was a step up with a shockingly great match against Omega, a solid match with EVIL, who isn't exactly a top wrestler, and a fun match against Tanahashi. Same with AEW. Some good, but more bad sprinkled in, like the Orange Cassidy Mimosa match. 

 

With Barry Windham, I've only seen good things. Although that is due to selective picking as I don't see the point of actively watching bad wrestling on purpose but I do acknowledge that Windham had his low points. Right now, I'm going for Windham but both will be in the low half of my 100. 

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What's clear here is that there seems to be consensus on valuing the tools a wrestler has in their personal kit over what they're able to produce over their careers with what they do have. Jericho significantly overachieved based on natural talent. Windham significantly underachieved. Perhaps for voting purposes, it's better to be super talented and not hit your potential than to have more limited in-ring talent and exceed it.

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6 minutes ago, Loss said:

What's clear here is that there seems to be consensus on valuing the tools a wrestler has in their personal kit over what they're able to produce over their careers with what they do have. Jericho significantly overachieved based on natural talent. Windham significantly underachieved. Perhaps for voting purposes, it's better to be super talented and not hit your potential than to have more limited in-ring talent and exceed it.

Ah, if only the bell never had to ring.

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42 minutes ago, Loss said:

What's clear here is that there seems to be consensus on valuing the tools a wrestler has in their personal kit over what they're able to produce over their careers with what they do have. Jericho significantly overachieved based on natural talent. Windham significantly underachieved. Perhaps for voting purposes, it's better to be super talented and not hit your potential than to have more limited in-ring talent and exceed it.

If we were looking at this from a Baseball WAR standpoint, Jericho was way more valuable than Windham, even if there is no doubt who had the better tools.  If it was just a 2-4 year gap, I could argue for the better tools guy being more valuable but this is 1983-2003 for Windham and 1990-present for Jericho.  Jericho takes that. 

Maybe the more interesting question is when did both guys become replacement level?

For Windham that is 1993, but 10 solid years.  For Jericho, at least in the ring, that was probably 1997 to sometime around 2010-2012, but Jericho also has done really well in AEW from a drawing perspective and helping the company solidify itself.  So still Jericho if that is the main factor.

Who am I voting higher?  Windham, since I'm not worried about getting wins.

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Did Windham really underachieve? I could understand that argument if the territory system never collapsed, but what was Windham supposed to be post 88? The NWA champ? The WCW champ? He was never going to be the NWA or WCW's answer to Hogan. He could have been a great worker for longer, but that's about his ceiling for me. 

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Ultimately Jericho has 1 year I really really enjoy (1998 WCW), and 20 years where I'm either indifferent to him or actively dislike him and want to avoid him entirely, with a sprinkling of matches over those 20 years that I enjoy. Whereas with Barry, I'd be pretty happy to watch some of his work from really any period of his career except The Stalker/New Blackjacks/NWA run in the WWF.

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Is it time to revisit the narrative about Windham being an underachiever or not achieving his potential? He had a stretch from 86-93 (maybe earlier) where he was awesome, as a babyface and a heel.

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Really what does Jericho overachieving and Windham underachieving career wise have to do with who was a better worker? Windham was a natural talent IN THE RING and Jericho wasn't. Windham had loads of great matches and performances during his prime. Jericho didn't. Jericho had more charisma and was a better talker and a smaller guy during a time when size mattered less and less. Is Jericho being an overachiever overblown? Is anyone rating Miz over Windham because he wrestled WrestleMania main events and had multiple world champion runs? It seems like an apples to oranges comparison. Jericho, less talented worker who had a more successful career with less quality in-ring work versus Windham, super talented worker who never became a huge star or the goat in-ring. Somehow that equates to valuing potential talent over output? Windham smokes Jericho on in-ring performance.

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3 hours ago, Cien Caras said:

Is it time to revisit the narrative about Windham being an underachiever or not achieving his potential? He had a stretch from 86-93 (maybe earlier) where he was awesome, as a babyface and a heel.

I think the narrative makes sense when most people think he could have been the top guy, foundation of JCP/WCW for years to come. Even when he became NWA Champion, it was a few years late and the NWA/WCW relationship was in a weird spot. Plus, he was rarely even headlining house shows as NWA Champ, let alone any big events.

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7 hours ago, Loss said:

What's clear here is that there seems to be consensus on valuing the tools a wrestler has in their personal kit over what they're able to produce over their careers with what they do have. Jericho significantly overachieved based on natural talent. Windham significantly underachieved. Perhaps for voting purposes, it's better to be super talented and not hit your potential than to have more limited in-ring talent and exceed it.

This is interesting because I’m not super involved in this one. I’m too young to be on the nostalgia train with Barry, but what I have seen makes me think he was significantly over placed in 2016. Not that he wasn’t good, but he finished 25th and I always thought that seemed way too high. As I’m diving deeper maybe I’ll disagree, but he is at present very much not one of my guys. Jericho, on the other hand, has coincided with my fandom almost perfectly. He was a prominent performer having his best years of his career at the apex of my “nostalgia years”

 

But I still like Barry better because Jericho as a performer has so many things that actively leave me cold. 
 

Jericho to me can be defined by the phrase “Jericho thinks he’s _____ then he really is”. And there are so many words I can fit into that blank? Smarter is probably the biggest one for me, but all of better, more athletic, and more clever all fit like a glove. He constantly over reaches in a variety of ways, and, for me, it tends to lead me to roll my eyes more often then to think he’s actively great. He’s had some great performances, but as someone who tries to evaluate the wrestler on how well they adjust to things, it’s hard for me to like Jericho much.

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4 hours ago, Cien Caras said:

Is it time to revisit the narrative about Windham being an underachiever or not achieving his potential? He had a stretch from 86-93 (maybe earlier) where he was awesome, as a babyface and a heel.

In addition to what @strobogo said, he was washed up as a worker by his mid-30s. That's a time when a lot of all-time greats are really hitting their stride. His 86-93 was indeed awesome, but unless you think it belongs in the conversation for greatest seven-year run of any wrestler in history, it's hard not to view his overall career as a bit of a letdown.

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8 hours ago, ohtani's jacket said:

Did Windham really underachieve? I could understand that argument if the territory system never collapsed, but what was Windham supposed to be post 88? The NWA champ? The WCW champ? He was never going to be the NWA or WCW's answer to Hogan. He could have been a great worker for longer, but that's about his ceiling for me. 

He was supposed to be a world champion off of the strength of the 1988-89 heel run and then he was supposed to feud with Flair in a role reversal from their 1986-1987 series. When he went to the WWF, he was supposed to feud with Hogan. That was the moment that made him an underachiever. He was on par as a star with Sting and Luger as a star in 1988. He wasn't at that level before that or after that.

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8 hours ago, Tim Cooke said:

If we were looking at this from a Baseball WAR standpoint, Jericho was way more valuable than Windham, even if there is no doubt who had the better tools.  If it was just a 2-4 year gap, I could argue for the better tools guy being more valuable but this is 1983-2003 for Windham and 1990-present for Jericho.  Jericho takes that. 

Maybe the more interesting question is when did both guys become replacement level?

For Windham that is 1993, but 10 solid years.  For Jericho, at least in the ring, that was probably 1997 to sometime around 2010-2012, but Jericho also has done really well in AEW from a drawing perspective and helping the company solidify itself.  So still Jericho if that is the main factor.

Who am I voting higher?  Windham, since I'm not worried about getting wins.

Fair enough. For me, this comes back to the difference between greatest and best. I'd consider Windham a #1 contender on a Best Wrestler Ever list. I see him as a level below that in a Greatest Wrestler Ever conversation. 

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4 hours ago, Cien Caras said:

Is it time to revisit the narrative about Windham being an underachiever or not achieving his potential? He had a stretch from 86-93 (maybe earlier) where he was awesome, as a babyface and a heel.

Not really. To me, he should have been the greatest wrestler of all time. He had more potential than as a good hand that sometimes flirted with main events.

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9 minutes ago, Loss said:

Fair enough. For me, this comes back to the difference between greatest and best. I'd consider Windham a #1 contender on a Best Wrestler Ever list. I see him as a level below that in a Greatest Wrestler Ever conversation. 

Greatest wrestler vs greatest career is something nobody is agreeing about on which they are voting for.

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7 minutes ago, Loss said:

He was supposed to be a world champion off of the strength of the 1988-89 heel run and then he was supposed to feud with Flair in a role reversal from their 1986-1987 series. When he went to the WWF, he was supposed to feud with Hogan. That was the moment that made him an underachiever. He was on par as a star with Sting and Luger as a star in 1988. He wasn't at that level before that or after that.

The upshot of that, to me, is that Flair would have wrestled Windham a bunch of times in 1990 instead of Luger. I just think it's unfair to pin expectations on a guy like Windham when there was no longer a territory system for the NWA champ to tour. I suppose he could have been a bigger star in early WCW but it's hard to envision much changing. All I can imagine is that he headlines a few more shows. Can we envision an alternate timeline where Windham is a big time player in the Monday Night Wars? 

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