16 Years On: Why Chris Jericho Is Still The Best Thing About WWE

16 Years On: Why Chris Jericho Is Still The Best Thing About WWE
By Mark Farrelly

WELCOME TO. RAW. IS. JERICHO!

In December 1999 Chris Jericho interrupted The Rock to announce his Word Wrestling Federation arrival, and set out on what has been a remarkable 16 year run with the biggest company in 'sports entertainment.'

While many of us have an abundance of fond childhood memories of Y2J's antics, those whose interest in wrestling has waned over the years may not realise just how bloody brilliant the first ever unified champion still is. His latest run in the company is probably best described by Frank Dee, while chatting on his podcast recently with Teddy 'We're guna have ourselves a tag team match' Long:

His back must be hurting because this guy has been carrying the Raw brand on his back for the last few months. Bottom line. Jericho is the most entertaining thing on that show. Period.

Over the course of 2016 Jericho has developed one of this best heel characters to date. Equally pathetic, funny and vindictive. In Kevin Owens, he has found the perfect partner in crime. Their chemistry as tag team was bubbling along nicely before Owens was catapulted into the main event, when he won the vacated WWE Universal Title a couple of months ago.

While he and Seth Rollins have duked it out for the belt, it's really been Owens' 'best friend' Jericho who has stolen the show.

Last night's Hell In A Cell match between Rollins and Owens produced some moments in which you could imagine your 10-year-old self losing his shit over. Particularly the intervention of Jericho, who ran down and locked himself in the cell when the officials were replacing the injured referee. Needless to say, he was heavily involved in the rest of the match.

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A blind man can see that the WWE will end up pitting Jericho and Owens against each other but hopefully they don't tear them apart too soon. As a team, their segments on Raw have stolen the show. Calling interviewers wrong names,  constantly putting Canada over and feuding with Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masteron.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arD7-5l0JkA

Which brings us to The List.

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'The List, you say?'

The List is basically the Fr Noel Furlong's list of enemies joke from Fr Ted except stretched out over a couple of months. For pretty much no reason at all, Jericho just started adding people to The List of Jericho; a list of mutton-heads, barbarians and stupid idiots.

It has quickly become the most entertaining gimmick in the WWE (Not sure what that says about the rest of the show), with Jericho randomly adding anyone who crosses his path.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDh-0KU6mf0

Let's be honest, wrestling is 90% silly catchphrases and random shit like 'The List'. While The Rock rolls into town every year or two and throws out the usual 'Finally..' 'If ye smell..' and 'It doesn't matter what your name is...' rehashed lines, Jericho's ability to keep coming up with new material is truly unrivaled. As Jim Ross recently noted:

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Of all the guys that I signed and managed there, no one thinks outside the box and is more willing to reinvent themselves than Chris Jericho.

I just think he's willing to go outside the box and changes. That's what happens a lot of talents, they're not able to change. They've got the same movesets, the same sequences, the same everything, and he's always willing to change a little bit. And sometimes it's just little nuances like his scarf.

The scarf is great, to be fair. His series of 'stupid idiot' outbursts have been even better. Needless to say, Jericho is now almost too good at being bad. No matter how hard he tries the crowd just won't boo him. In fairness, why would you when playing along is so much more entertaining?

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JVxbG0mJy0

Given the success of his band Fozzy, along with other commitments outside of the WWE, it's unclear how much longer Jericho's current run will last, so we must enjoy it while we can.

One thing is for sure, almost two decades after that first encounter with Rocky, the Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla still truly is 'The best in the world at everything he does.'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGsBRImD0po

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