wrestling / Columns

Ask 411 Wrestling: How Many Times Has Jericho Reinvented Himself?

November 5, 2016 | Posted by Mathew Sforcina
Chris Jericho

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Hisashi Shinma, WWF President: Shinma was one of the bookers of New Japan, and his run as WWF President from 78 to 84 was set up by Vince Sr to do a few things. One, strengthen the ties between NJPW and the WWWF, as Inoki would pay big money for WWWF guys to do tours for him. Two, make the WWWF seem international and huge by having an international president. Three, give an explanation for when WWWF/WWF guys appeared in NJPW and vice versa. Four, allow a local to discuss WWWF matters when it was taped and shown on Japanese TV.

Brock/Goldberg/Shane: … Oh yeah, Survivor Series, so it’s interbrand… I’m still calling the interaction to be at the Rumble, this is about the video game, plus I’m not sure how happy Goldberg would be for them to muddy this match.

The Trivia Crown

What Am I? I’m a title, which has been held by at least ten world champions, and a few people famous for being really great wrestlers who were never world champion. The first champion won it after a tournament, where he beat a future Horseman to win it. The champion with the most reigns, and the champion with the longest amount of time holding the title, both of them are currently under employ by WWE. Someone has held the title under two personas. The final champion won and lost the title in different but vaguely similar ways. At least two sets of brothers have held me, as have Royalty, Misters and Men. A title that got far too close to Erik Watts, what am I?

Maraviloso has the answer for us.

What Am I? I’m a title, which has been held by at least ten world champions, (IVAN KOLOFF, RIC FLAIR, RICK STEAMBOAT, DUSTY RHODES, STING, THE GREAT MUTA, STEVE AUSTIN, BARRY WINDHAM, SCOTT STEINER, LARRY ZBYSZKO, DDP, LEX LUGER, ETC.) and a few people famous for being really great wrestlers who were never world champion. (PIPER AMONG THEM) The first champion won it after a tournament, where he beat a future Horseman to win it. (DANNY MILLER, WHO BEAT FUTURE HORSEMAN OLE ANDERSON) The champion with the most reigns, and the champion with the longest amount of time holding the title, both of them are currently under employ by WWE. (BOOKER T AND ARN ANDERSON) Someone has held the title under two personas. (JIMMY VALIANT AND “CHARLIE BROWN”) The final champion won and lost the title in different but vaguely similar ways. (JIM DUGGAN, WHO FOUND THE TITLE AND WON IT, BUT WHEN WCW WAS RESET, THE TITLE WAS “GONE”) At least two sets of brothers have held me, (THE STEINERS AND BOOKER T/STEVIE RAY) as have Royalty (BOOKER T, STEVEN REGAL), Misters (MR. WRESTLING, PAUL ORNDORFF (WONDERFUL), DICK SLATER (EXCITEMENT, UNPREDICTABLE) and Men (Z-Man/STEVEN REGAL WAS A REAL MEN’S MAN). A title that got far too close to Erik Watts, (HE LOST IN THE FINALS OF ONE OF YOUR TOURNAMENTS TO PAUL ORNDORFF) What am I? WCW TV TITLE

So then, let’s see if I can make this one easier.

Who am I? I’ve wrestled on WWF, WCW, and ECW PPVs. I’ve won World Heavyweight and World Light Heavyweight titles. At one point I was in a stable with two future WCW Champions, albeit under a different name and gimmick for one. My final appearance as my first WWF gimmick involved a inter tag team fight. I was drafted from the bench to Raw during the first ever WWE Draft, although that wasn’t where I ended up for most of the rest of my run in the company. Last seen in WWE as a talking head on the network, and whom held one belt a lot of times, I am who?

Getting Down To All The Business

First off, a book just came out recently explaining how Donald Trump has basically turned into a pro wrestler in order to get this close to becoming US President. The Audiobook version was just released, and you can find out all about it at donaldtrumpisawrestler.com, and hopefully find some interesting reading to explain what the hell’s been going on in US politics recently.

*awaits being yelled at from both sides*

Remember, as an Aussie, my opinion about American politics doesn’t count, but go check the book out anyway.

RRK has a simple enough question to officially start us off with questions.

Who is going to win the royal rumble?

When things aren’t going your way, you revert. When you find yourself on shaky ground, the safe, logical thing to do is to retrace your steps and get back to where you were secure and safe. So, with that logic, there’s only one guy who can win the Royal Rumble, and-

Indeed. WWE’s ratings are stagnant at best, and if there’s one thing Vince is these days, it’s stubborn and stuck in his ways, and if he needs a solution, if he decides he wants to get his company back on track, Cena becoming 16 time World Champion on the grandest stage of them all is right in his wheelhouse. Cena wins the Rumble here, wins whichever belt needs the ratings boost the most (because really, who doesn’t want to see Cena beat Owens again?)

and then can go on to become a 17 time champ in his last reign at WM ’18.

Moving on from the possible start of a running gag, Paul asks us to drink it all in, Man…

How many times has Chris Jericho reinvented himself? Not simple turns, but overhauled his whole character.

Did I do a ES on Jericho?

*googles*

Twice!

Anyway, so the distinct Jericho characters would be…

Sudden Impact/Thrillseekers/ECW/Lionheart WCW
Conspiracy Victim/Ralphus/Raw Is Jericho
2000 Babyface Jericho?
2001 Undisputed Champ Jericho?
$1 Canadian Jericho?
Best In The World Jericho
Troll/Sparkly Jericho
List/Scarf/KO Jericho

Five definite overhauls, three possible, it depends on what constitutes an overhaul in this context. It’s really not that many, the thing is that they’ve been so different, so drastic that he stands out as being a guy who ‘constantly’ changes when he hasn’t really done it all that often, considering.

Travis asks a question I’ll need your help with, readers.

My question is concerning seating at WWE Raw, SD and PPV events. It looks like the 2nd floor and balcony seats are pretty far from the ring and the crowd looks rather small. I have never been to a WWE live event as in Iowa we get maybe the occasional Raw or SD but primarily only house shows. I want my first time to be at something kinda big, like a PPV probably but seating is expensive. Is it really clear what the wrestlers are doing from the balcony seats? Do they show the matches on the titantron so you can at least have an idea of what’s going on? Obviously if one couldn’t see at all they would probably never sell tickets beyond a certain spot, or maybe they would. Do they show the matches on tvs by the concession stands like they do baseball games? Is it really hard to tell what’s going on in the ring throughout the building ?

Having never attended a WWE taping, I cannot say how the view looks for sure, although to my understanding the tron, if it’s there, shows a decent view of the action, albeit just not when they go to a camera shot involving the tron, as they don’t want to Droste effect it.

But I may well be wrong. Readers, specifically those who have attended WWE televised events with the tron, if you’re in the balcony, what’s the view like? Please share your knowledge with us! I’ll buy a virtual round for everyone!

Hey, that brings me to Jason

First-time asker. Thanks for the great read each and every week! My question is about beer. One of the things that amazed me most about Austin was his ability to catch beers that were tossed into (and sometimes over) the ring; but Stone Cold wasn’t always an on-camera beer chugger. When did Austin take his first drink on WWF tv? When did he add catching beer inside and outside the ring to his routine? Bonus points if you can tell me who was the individual tossing all the beers.

I’ll take the bonus points first, as the guy tossing the beers was Mark Yeaton, who for many years was the WWE Timekeeper/Bell Ringer/Ringside coordinator. He has a twitter. He was let go from the company in 2014 as a cost cutting measure that was also a “No one is safe” reminder.

The best beer catching moment, for me, was when Jericho dropped his.

That said, the first written reference I could find to Austin having a beer on TV was the night Mick Foley wrestled Terry Funk for the #1 contendership to the WWF title, taped April 28, 1998 on Historyofwwe.com. But I was sure Austin drank a beer with Tyson at WM, but apparently not, having rewatched it, beers weren’t there. So… It might actually be that match, the first Austin beer drink being from a plastic cup.

Have a beer before you watch that.

In terms of tossable cans, the first ever Austin drinking a beer after a match? I cannot believe I found this, but it’s the Raw after Fully Loaded 1998, after Austin and Taker retained the tag titles against the New Age Outlaws.

Have another beer before you watch that.

So yeah, I am fairly sure after that night, Austin would add getting tossed beers.

David asks about marriage.

Hi, I remember in 2000 there was a storyline where edge was engaged to Val Venis sister. Val was the European champion at the time and they wrestled each other on raw and Val won the match. Afterwards edge and Christian and Val are in the ring and edge says that Val won’t be his best man cuz Christian will be and they hug and Val isn’t upset. After that edge is gonna be the judge for a divas bikini contest I believe at the royal rumble and all the divas are trying to hit on him to gain an advantage and he’s running away from them because he was engaged. I don’t believe it was ever brought up after that. Was edge at the time really engaged to Val’s sister or was it all a story? Was there supposed to be a payoff? Why was it never brought up again? This is my favorite column. Thanks for reading.

Edge was indeed engaged and married to Val’s sister, the marriage lasting from November 2001 to March 2004. And yes, this angle did run in the start of 2000, Jan 10th was the hugging it out, then on Smackdown right before the Rumble, to quote historyofwwe.com again, quote:

Gangrel (w/ Luna) defeated Edge via count-out when Luna and the other participants in the Miss Rumble contest all attempted to seduce Edge, believing he was to be one of the judges for the competition

As for dropping it, Venis was involved in other feuds, and E&C were set to set up TLCZero at Wrestlemania 2000 with the Hardyz and the Dudleyz, so there wasn’t really anywhere to go with it. Quite possible, given this was Kreski, they probably established it so they could toss in Val Venis if they ever needed a 6 man tag, and/or to set up a feud 18 months ahead.

No payoff was ever leaked though.

Pedro wants my vote choice for best role for a wrestler.

I guess you’d like to ask Michael Orneas for help in order to answer this one: Who is, in your opinion, the most successful wrestler’s character in movies..?? (Mine is Roddy Piper’s John Nada, fron “They Lives”)

That is a very strong choice, and I’d probably say is the best role for a wrestler whose character is similar to their wrestling persona, but in terms of most successful, The Rock’s the highest paid actor in the world right now, I think by default you have to go with him, Furious 7. But in terms of overall success…

Dave Bautista as Drax, come on down.

I’d say give money to Disney before watching that, but I think it’s impossible to have not given them money if you have ever had money at some point in your life.

But I guess we’ll find out if Ornelas reads me or not, if he gives an opinion on this topic below.

Michael has feedback from last week, which leads into a question.

Last week there was a question about the crowd totally being taken out of a match due to shock and you asked for feedback. While not a match I’d have to say when Nexus beat down the WWE roster, especially Cena, during their “debut” assault. The crowd seemed stunned and didn’t know how to react. Which also leads to my question:

1) What do you think was botched more, the nexus invasion or the WCW invasion? I think many might say WCW by default but I’d do go with the Nexus angle being mishandled more. Could have built up a whole new batch of stars(and they probably should have made Barrett champ if even for a few weeks and I’m a big Cena defender) and instead started off hot and buried the whole angle in a few short months.

There’s a reason that image exists, namely that I occasionally cheat on my Goddess with other Deities the InVasion is without doubt the most botched angle of all time.

I understand that the Nexus could have been a big thing, and that’s 8 or so careers that were impacted on, to greater or lesser degree, by that angle being botched.

But that’s the thing, 8 guys were impacted directly, a few more on the other side. The InVasion was meant to create what, 30 or so stars, directly lead into the new era of the company via launching the brand split, and ensure the security of the company for years based on bringing all the wrestling fans into one place, plus all the money that could, would be made from the angle in the short term.

Remember, with even the crap they came up with, even with all the horrible booking, the InVasion PPV beat many Wrestlemanias in terms of profit.

The Nexus had a hot start and then got bogged down in the John Cena show and by being dragged back into being just another bunch of guys. The InVasion should have started as hot as one could possibly start an angle, given it was something people had wanted for years, and yet was mismanaged and botched at almost every turn.

Which I’m sure you all already know, this is hardly new information. But no, Nexus was not worse. The InVasion will be the gold standard for screwing up an angle for generations to come.

Hopefully.

Because I’d hate to see something worse than it.

Sensation bows to my Google-Fu.

Massive Q, greetings from Arizona. Recently I decided to relive the experience of Monday Nitro. I have now watched every episode from the start at Mall of America and PPV in between. I just stumbled across the “amazing” Halloween Havoc 2000, and it had me wondering, “Who are these fake Stings?” My google-fu is no match for yours, so I defer the question to you. Thank you in advance

Cleary. They were Bill Eadie, Chris Harris, and a third guy who isn’t important.

Evil Jeff wants to twist my arm.

just a quick(ish) one – I have vague memories of early WCW running an arm wrestling contest in the centre of the ring, hosted by Jesse Ventura. I can’t remember any of the participants, just that we occasionally got clips in the UK on broadcasts of WCW Worldwide. Anyhow, my question is – who was this tournament designed to get over, and did it ever reach a natural conclusion? Considering the time period I would assume either Rick Rude or maybe Scott Norton..? Thanks chap

You’re talking about the “Jesse “The Body” Ventura Strongest Arm Tournament”, which happened twice, once in 1992, then again in 1993. The brackets were as following:

1992 (Nov/Dec)

1st Round

Ron Simmons defeated “Stunning” Steve Austin (November 7, 1992)
The Barbarian w/Cactus Jack defeated Arn Anderson w/Michael Hayes (November 14, 1992)
Van Hammer defeated Vinnie Vegas (AKA Kevin Nash) (November 21, 1992)
Vader w/Harley Race defeated Nikita Koloff (November 28, 1992)

2nd Round

Ron Simmons defeated The Barbarian w/Cactus Jack (December 5, 1992)
Van Hammer defeated Vader w/Harley Race (December 12, 1992)

Finals

Van Hammer defeated Ron Simmons to win the tournament (December 19, 1992)

1993 (Nov/Dec)

1st Round

The Equalizer defeated Van Hammer
Ice Train defeated “Stunning” Steve Austin
Sid Vicious defeated Max Pain
Davey Boy Smith defeated Awesome Kong w/Col. Rob Parker
Bye-Vader (Sid was out of the company over the Arn Anderson incident)

2nd Round

Ice Train defeated The Equalizer
Vader defeated Davey Boy Smith

Finals

Vader defeated Ice Train to win the tournament

According to the kayfabe, Jesse Ventura put together the brackets by picking who he thought had the strongest arms. I assume it was worked, because Van Hammer winning makes no sense otherwise.

Van Hammer would go on to be an arm wrestler on a few shows after that, as well as feud with Tony Atlas. Whereas Vader’s win…

Was just another accolade to add to the pile, but then he wasn’t meant to be in it, but for that, they were pushing Vader strong up to Starrcade for the big emotional Flair win.

Dusty asks about angles that just didn’t work.

This question was inspired a previous question about Hogan-Flair. It seems to me that that angle was destined to fail no matter where/when/how it occurred. Until the Broken Saga, I put the Hardy rivalry in that category too. I can’t put a finger on why, but it just seems like some angles, despite looking amazing on paper, fail based on some set of cosmic circumstances out of the control of any involved. The Invasion would not be an example of this, as it was definitely screwed up by the people involved. So the question is, are there any angles you consider to have fallen into that same category? Thanks.

Hogan/Flair worked just fine in WCW until Hogan refused to let Flair get the win so they could build to the giant third match, but point taken.

‘My Name Is Stone Cold..’ seems a good choice, as the logic and work behind the angle ran into everything else in the universe deciding to just go ‘Nope’.

But I dunno, I tend to remember angles where one person clearly sabotaged it, or angles that would have been awesome but never happened due to outside factors, angles that just didn’t work out… Readers? Do you have choices to cover my mental blanking?

Speaking of opinion, Connor asks about worstness.

Is Great American Bash 1991 the worst show of all time?

Objectively, as these sorts of things go, there’s a certain amount of standards of expectation. Because I’m sure somewhere out there, there’s been a wrestling school show where every rookie has sucked, or some obscure indy fed where everyone had an off night since they were in front of 20 people in Middle’O’Nowhere, Idaho, and those cards have sucked worse. But GAB 91 is meant to be a new era, a Flairless restart to the company, so it’s failure, coupled with the rebellion by the fans, certainly give it legs in the discussion of worst shows of all time.

If it wasn’t for the tag match, WWECW December to Dismember would be up there too. But the ‘winner’, for me? Heroes Of Wrestling.

Have a brain injury before you watch that, or else it’ll give you one.

In fact, I think even just clicking on it has given me one, as I have to draw this edition to a close, see you all next week, hopefully with more goodness to share. But hey, you got some stuff to argue about…


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