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Thoughts on Chris Jericho


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I've been watching Will's Jericho comp, and I have to say that watching a "Best of" set for Jericho makes him look really great. I know "best of" can skew things, but Jericho looks just as good as a Barry Windham type after watching a collection of his best matches. I think the knock on Jericho has always been that he can be inconsistent, but I hope people can agree that he is a guy who when he is completely on is really great.

 

The 2001-2003 heel run honestly looks pretty spectacular, which surprised me, I think because guys like Benoit, Guerrero, and Angle were the ones getting the majority of praise at the time (and I personally don't think Angle has ever been in Jericho's league, but I doubt many people agree with me on that). What makes the Jericho heel run so good is that he has really good matches against so many different types of opponents, and even when the matches aren't all that good, Jericho is putting on a good performance. The 2002-2003 matches with Hogan, Flair, Nash, and Michaels are not great matches, but they are all far better than anything any of those guys were doing with anything else at that point in time. Rock/Hogan from Mania smokes the Jericho/Hogan match from Smackdown, but that's a match that had the benefit of more time, more hype, Pat Patterson booking, etc., and the gap isn't as big as you'd think. The Flair match from Summerslam has a really game Jericho working with a really unmotivated Flair. The Nash match is a really strong carry job (seriously, Nash does nothing), and the Michaels match, while I think it was surpassed by the 2008 feud, did convince Shawn that he could come back full time. The Jericho/Christian team had some very good matches with Booker T and Goldust, and the match where Jericho dropped the IC title to Kane is by far the best Kane match I've ever seen. I also think Jericho was pretty clearly RVD's best opponent in WWE.

 

Even in 2004 when he wasn't being all that pushed and was mainly fodder for Evolution in six-man tags, he looks really good. There's an Edge match on RAW right around the time that they started teasing Edge's heel turn that is excellent and worth seeing also.

 

It's also interesting to point out that Jericho is in some ways the anti-Regal. Where Regal makes other guys confine to his style (which I think is a good thing, I love Regal), Jericho tends to work the style of the guy he's facing. You see a different Jericho wrestling Benoit and Eddy than you do wrestling Hogan, Flair, or Nash, and then another side against RVD, Edge, and Christian.

 

So I would definitely recommend picking up the Jericho set.

 

I would also say there's a huge improvement in WWE Jericho over pre-WWE Jericho. Looking back, even the majority of his WCW matches were really sloppy and haven't held up very well. The improvements he has made in WWE are pretty apparent, especially when watching the progression of a guy facing X-Pac at Unforgiven '99 and being out of position for several spots and killing the crowd every time they're starting to get interested, which is visibly frustrating X-Pac, to a guy carrying many guys to their best stuff.

 

Probably also a good time to talk about his 2009. I'd still say no one is better than Rey in WWE, but Jericho has had more good output this year with more opponents. This thread was actually partially prompted by the newest WON where Dave calls Jericho the best all around performer in the company.

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Not to hype my set but I loved putting it together with the exception of the Benoit matches because it was finished the August right after the Benoit tragedy. It's hard to think of Jericho as a true veteran because unlike an HBK or even HHH, he still hasn't lost his youthful looks but the guy has just been a master in the ring and mic and I hope and beg he has a good opponent for Night of Champions because I haven't seen him live since 1998.

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Yeah I've always enjoyed Jericho's work. Even when it's not "great", he was always a guy I enjoyed watching. I loved his WCW heel run with the Cruiserweights. I can forgive matches not being great or being sloppy in places if the characters are strong and the context is fun. His debut on RAW was one of my favorite "moments" in wrestling. It just had such an aura of being a big deal...we don't get that feeling anymore.

 

I've seen him live a couple of times, most notably in a very good match with Sabu in ECW at Extreme Warfare and then the next night against Scorpio at the Arena. I have Will's set but I haven't even cracked it, yet. It's one of those things I keep putting off (and that Horsemen set ain't helping any!). It's one of those sets I know I have waiting for me and it will be a lot of fun whenever I break into it (like secondcoming's Austin set).

 

As for 2009, he just seems to be going back to basic, old school storytelling that makes sense and builds logically. He's also subscribing to that Boris Malenko adage of "if everyone is shouting, talk quieter...if everyone is talking quietly, shout". He's going in such a different direction with his character and doesn't come off like the basic WWE cookie cutter wrestler. He may be the best performer in the company and if he's not, he seems to be the one who understands how to get stuff over the best.

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It really perturbs me when people say Jericho's WCW in ring work was better simply because it was faster (I'm looking at the guys at the oratory where this has been a minor talking point for years)

 

Jericho's selling and match layouts have vastly improved since joing WWE

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Guest Kenta Batista

I use to LOVE Jericho. It was in 2002 when he became boring and stale to me and from that point on I have never been interested in Jericho or his work. His best days are behind him. His prime was 1997-2001. Jericho is a stale act and is one of the reasons why I cannot watch WWE that much, he has his moments but overall Jericho is a character that does not interest me anymore.

 

Jericho's WCW work stands out to me as he had amazing opponents to work with in the ring and he was at his PRIME on the stick. Jericho was seriously the best midcard act in WCW. His level of competition in WCW was better as he had better workers to work with.

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Awesome post, Loss. It really matches up with my feelings at the time, as I was always very high on Jericho in WWE as a worker once he got going, even when he wasn't being pushed very hard and his role was more to put people over to groom them for something bigger. Even when he was burnt out in 2005, I still think he was better than 80-90% of the roster.

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I've been watching Will's Jericho comp, and I have to say that watching a "Best of" set for Jericho makes him look really great. I know "best of" can skew things, but Jericho looks just as good as a Barry Windham type after watching a collection of his best matches. I think the knock on Jericho has always been that he can be inconsistent, but I hope people can agree that he is a guy who when he is completely on is really great.

 

The 2001-2003 heel run honestly looks pretty spectacular, which surprised me, I think because guys like Benoit, Guerrero, and Angle were the ones getting the majority of praise at the time (and I personally don't think Angle has ever been in Jericho's league, but I doubt many people agree with me on that). What makes the Jericho heel run so good is that he has really good matches against so many different types of opponents, and even when the matches aren't all that good, Jericho is putting on a good performance. The 2002-2003 matches with Hogan, Flair, Nash, and Michaels are not great matches, but they are all far better than anything any of those guys were doing with anything else at that point in time. Rock/Hogan from Mania smokes the Jericho/Hogan match from Smackdown, but that's a match that had the benefit of more time, more hype, Pat Patterson booking, etc., and the gap isn't as big as you'd think. The Flair match from Summerslam has a really game Jericho working with a really unmotivated Flair. The Nash match is a really strong carry job (seriously, Nash does nothing), and the Michaels match, while I think it was surpassed by the 2008 feud, did convince Shawn that he could come back full time. The Jericho/Christian team had some very good matches with Booker T and Goldust, and the match where Jericho dropped the IC title to Kane is by far the best Kane match I've ever seen. I also think Jericho was pretty clearly RVD's best opponent in WWE.

 

Even in 2004 when he wasn't being all that pushed and was mainly fodder for Evolution in six-man tags, he looks really good. There's an Edge match on RAW right around the time that they started teasing Edge's heel turn that is excellent and worth seeing also.

 

It's also interesting to point out that Jericho is in some ways the anti-Regal. Where Regal makes other guys confine to his style (which I think is a good thing, I love Regal), Jericho tends to work the style of the guy he's facing. You see a different Jericho wrestling Benoit and Eddy than you do wrestling Hogan, Flair, or Nash, and then another side against RVD, Edge, and Christian.

 

So I would definitely recommend picking up the Jericho set.

 

I would also say there's a huge improvement in WWE Jericho over pre-WWE Jericho. Looking back, even the majority of his WCW matches were really sloppy and haven't held up very well. The improvements he has made in WWE are pretty apparent, especially when watching the progression of a guy facing X-Pac at Unforgiven '99 and being out of position for several spots and killing the crowd every time they're starting to get interested, which is visibly frustrating X-Pac, to a guy carrying many guys to their best stuff.

 

Probably also a good time to talk about his 2009. I'd still say no one is better than Rey in WWE, but Jericho has had more good output this year with more opponents. This thread was actually partially prompted by the newest WON where Dave calls Jericho the best all around performer in the company.

Loss echoes a lot of my thoughts here.

 

If you look at Jericho's top notch stuff, it's a very strong resume. You have Jericho vs HHH Last man standing from Backlash? 2000. I always loved this one and felt that Jericho/HHH had really good chemistry but only if Jericho was the face and HHH the heel. Otherwise, it didn't work.

 

Jericho vs Benoit which I feel has now become a signifigantly underrated and underrapreciated series

 

Jericho vs Kane from 2002 is one of Kane's top 3 matches ever and was Jericho/Kane's awesome, motivated answer to the Smackown six stealing all the wrestling thunder at the time. Terrific, smart match iirc.

 

The Jericho match with Nash and the stuff he was doing at the time is also signifigantly underrated and is a shining example of how good Jericho can be. No, they weren't the best matches of all time but they were pretty good matches and I love watching stuff like this where you see a wrestler putting on such a terrific show

 

Jericho's also been involved in a lot of great tags

 

Jericho vs RVD is unfortuantely foggy in my memory but it is iirc definitlely some of RVD's best work in the company.

 

The Rock match from No Mercy obviously worked because it's a top match from many fans' viewpoints.

 

And now Jericho vs Rey which has been a lot of fun. Depending on how you like your wrestling, it's probably one of the top 2 matches from the WWE this year with it arguably being the best. Excellent match that was constructed very well. My biggest markout moment being just a hint of the tease of a super frankensteiner from Jericho.

 

Jericho has taken almost everything out of his persona that one can cheer for in oredr to be a heel but yet has still remained entertaining and not a boring I want to change the channel type of wrestler. He is a wrestler you always have to keep an eye on because he's always capable of producing a stellar match due to his heart, ability to think in the ring and ring presence.

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One thing that doesn't get mentioned enough about Jericho were the freaking miracles that he dragged out of Chyna. There were only maybe a half-dozen guys who were ever capable of having watchable matches with her, but Jericho carried her to easily the best work of her career.

 

Jericho is a stale act and is one of the reasons why I cannot watch WWE that much, he has his moments but overall Jericho is a character that does not interest me anymore.

How much have you actually watched since his heel turn? Jericho's playing a almost totally different character than he ever did before, certainly not similar to any of his previous heel acts.
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I use to LOVE Jericho. It was in 2002 when he became boring and stale to me and from that point on I have never been interested in Jericho or his work. His best days are behind him.

I would beg to differ that he is actually in his prime now, both as a worker and as an act. His character now is completely different from anything else being presented and he's been a part of some of the best matches and, without a doubt, best feuds of the past two years, as Goodhelmet mentioned.

 

I also find no coincidence in the fact that his stuff stands out so much because he is doing classic wrestling angles and storylines. His stuff is what wrestling is at it's best. He's staying clear of the variety show, over the top aspects that is plaguing RAW and just sticking to the basics.

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Guest Hail Sabin

It might have something to do when I starting watching wrestling in 1995 but Jericho's had a hell of a career from carrying WCW during his Crusierweight reigns then his great run in the WWF to constantly having the best stuff on WWE ever since he turned heel. Chris Jericho is for sure in my Top 5 best workers of all-time.

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Guest Talon

Jericho's current heel character is perhaps the best work of his career. The whole "I am doing all the right things, you just choose to cheer for the anti-hero" and later the psuedo-legend killer character are spot on. I do fully expect an Edge face turn out of this whole Rated Y2J thing and they'll have an EXCELLENT series of matches in the Summerslam-Survivor Series stretch of time. It also gives a good contrast to Punk's heel character.

 

It's also funny given that outside of the "WWE Universe" Jericho, having met him on a couple of different occasions, is probably the nicest wrestler you'll ever meet. Very gracious, always willing to talk to the fans, never looking down on them, etc.

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Jericho is easily the best all around performer in the WWE right now and I'd only put Rey and Christian ahead of him in the ring (and really that's debatable). To me this is the best in ring year he's ever had. Very high end matches with CM Punk, the whole Rey series, the exchanges with Steamboat, the really great match v. Cena on his "last night on Raw." He's yet to have a real stinker this year and just seems to be clicking on all cylinders. He also has the most amusing taunts in wrestling.

 

Really the idea that Jericho's in ring peak was in WCW is pretty comical. I agree that he was an excellent mid-card act and probably should have been elevated. But he was sloppy throughout and there are precisely two Jericho matches from that run that stand out: a great little Nitro match v. Mike Enos which is really on offensive explosion from Enos and the super underrated match v. Eddie at Fall Brawl 97. Everything else runs together and more often than not it feels like Jericho is a big man trapped in a little mans body that can't connect on the spots and work at the pace of the other guys running circles around him.

 

I always loved him in 02-03. Thought he was the only good thing about Raw for big chunks of this period (well him and Goldust). I'd be lying if I said I remembered many of the matches Loss points to but I don't doubt them being good.

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Guest Kenta Batista

One thing that doesn't get mentioned enough about Jericho were the freaking miracles that he dragged out of Chyna. There were only maybe a half-dozen guys who were ever capable of having watchable matches with her, but Jericho carried her to easily the best work of her career.

 

Jericho is a stale act and is one of the reasons why I cannot watch WWE that much, he has his moments but overall Jericho is a character that does not interest me anymore.

How much have you actually watched since his heel turn? Jericho's playing a almost totally different character than he ever did before, certainly not similar to any of his previous heel acts.

 

I have seen everything from his re-debut all the way up to his match on Raw teaming with Edge against The Colons.

 

Jericho's act is stale. I am bored. I have been watching the guy for over 10 years and he has worn out his welcome with me. Jericho's character would probably be better if the WWE production tropes weren't present. JBL comes out in a suit, walks slow, talks serious, and runs down the fans while competing in matches he has been in a million times. The Jericho comes in and does the same thing. Orton then does the same thing minus the suit. Its just all stale to me, the WWE product as a whole does NOTHING for me. It all seems corporate and robotic and grey.

 

Jericho left and came back to wrestle Orton,Cena, and JBL? I am just NOT interested in those matches. I wasn't the first go around and 2009 Jericho doing the same thing is just lame. His stuff with Punk and Mysterio have been good and his matches with Michaels told an amazing story. Jericho/Steamboat at WM and Backlash were both fun. Aside for those 4 things I can't think of anything else Jericho has done to make me care about him. Him and Edge winning the tag titles just shows me exactly how stale they are.

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Guest DietSoda

It's also interesting to point out that Jericho is in some ways the anti-Regal. Where Regal makes other guys confine to his style (which I think is a good thing, I love Regal), Jericho tends to work the style of the guy he's facing. You see a different Jericho wrestling Benoit and Eddy than you do wrestling Hogan, Flair, or Nash, and then another side against RVD, Edge, and Christian.

It's funny reading this then hearing from someone like Jake Roberts who feels this very same thing is a BAD thing and the biggest knock against Jericho (who he thinks is like the most overrrated wrestler ever).

 

Nice post though, although I think Eddie G. is RVDs best WWE opponent.

 

I was never wild about Jericho's WCW work personally. I thought he was a crappy junior. Great, fun promo with some decent matches here and there but I'm not convinced his WCW resume was any better than say..Alex Wrights. He made a much better WWF heavyweight wrestler...

 

I also agree that his 2009 smokes his 2008. His series with Rey smokes the overrated series with Michaels from last year, plus he has had more good matches with more different opponents, I think.

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Guest secondcoming

How much have you actually watched since his heel turn? Jericho's playing a almost totally different character than he ever did before, certainly not similar to any of his previous heel acts.

I am sure to get roasted for this, but his "new" heel character kind of reminds me of heel JBL in a way...

 

pompous, arrogant, full of himself...but at the same time, he seems to look through the crowd...like he is so above them, he doesn't even have the time to hear their opinion.

 

I am lightyears above anything you can put in front of me...

 

"I am a wrestling God"

"i am the savior of WWE"

 

 

the main difference being that Jericho can back the talk

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Guest secondcoming

JBL would have never been able to pull off the miracle at Mania or have a killer PPV match with Steamboat or have the emotional tug of war on the microphone that was Piper-Jericho. I think you are equating the two because thier feuds with Rey are fresh in the mind.

nono...I am STRICTLY comparing their characters (promos alone)...Jericho is even getting a little fat so he kind of "feels" JBL-ish to me...again, CJ can work the shit over JBL no question

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Guest secondcoming

Ah ok. Even then, I never cared for JBL on the mic. With Jericho, I listen. With JBL... same shit, different opponent.

that's what i am saying though...It seems Jericho is making so more out of a very similar gimmick to me, while JBL couldn't do shit with it

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