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HHH v Chris Jericho


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HHH v Chris Jericho - WWF RAW 04/17/00


The match is more of a vehicle to drive the angle where it wants to go than anything, but I guess it is still a match. Nice start with Jericho catching HHH off the ropes with a forearm and taking it to him quite aggressively. In fact, the offense and false finishes are the strongest part of this match -- Jericho's armdrag off the top rope is a thing of beauty and HHH countering a vertical suplex into a stun gun variation on the ropes is pretty cool as well. They do a nice job structuring the match within the eight minutes or so they have to work with, and they manage to do the match in four parts in that short period of time -- Jericho cleans house, HHH bails and counters a vertical suplex to come back, HHH works over Jericho but goes up top and Jericho catches him and then working to the finish from there after a couple of good nearfalls. Those are spots, though, and where this match lacked was the transitions. HHH drops Jericho's neck on the ropes to put him in control, but Jericho still tries to comeback after that, only for HHH to duck out of the way of his moves, when he may have been better off staying down and selling. There's also the problem of the overuse of the steel steps outside the ring. The beginning and ending stages are the best parts of the match, with the middle being far too weak in contrast, as Jericho's comeback rallies the crowd and they pop huge for his nearfall off of the missile dropkick. HHH in control takes the pace the crowd is into and slows it down a little, but that's benefitted by this being a short match, and that can also be written off as HHH trying to wear down Y2J.


This was what should have been the start of Jericho's upper card push, but we all know what happened from here. Reversing the decision and putting the belt back on Hunter didn't hurt anyone involved at all, and his mic work after the commercial break where he bullies Earl Hebner is great, but HHH couldn't get his heat back soon enough -- I think everyone expected that, but I don't think they expected it to happen at the end of the very same show! Knowing the path Jericho has taken in the five years since this happens makes it all the more depressing, because the crowd really took to him as a top guy naturally.

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