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Top 7 Chris Jericho Moments 2010-2020

November 6, 2020 | Posted by Steve Cook
Chris Jericho All Elite Wrestling

Experienced wrestlers face difficult challenges as they head into their third decade in the ring. They often find that their body won’t allow them to do some of the physical feats they could achieve at a younger age. Or, they can still do them, but not at the level that fans remember.

They have to use their intelligence to get by. Work smarter, not harder. If they want to remain viable on a major level, they have to evolve their character. You can get by playing the hits on the local shows, but you can’t on worldwide television.

Chris Jericho could have just kept playing the hits and kept coming back to WWE at intermittent intervals. Nobody would have faulted him for it. Instead, Jericho chose to expand his horizons. Maybe his in-ring moves weren’t as crisp as they once were. Maybe it was a good idea to go back to pants instead of the short tights. However, Jericho overcame these perceived negatives by evolving his character. Making things interesting. 

What’s a Y2J? Now we have Le Champion, the Demo God and Leader of the Inner Circle. Not to mention the Painmaker, or the Alpha. Chris Jericho is a man for a thousand occasions, and has managed to remain as relevant as ever during his third decade in wrestling.

We close out our look at 30 years of Chris Jericho with the top 7 moments from 2000-10.

7. Jericho Re-Invents Commentary

The Pandemic Era of pro wrestling won’t go down as the Golden Age, but there have been some notable highlights. One of them being Chris Jericho’s run on AEW commentary. The absence of Jim Ross & Excalibur from an AEW taping led to Jericho joining Tony Schiavone on commentary for a number of AEW Dynamite episodes. Tony Khan’s breathless hype of the pairing on social media might have seemed a little over the top at first, but it was tough to deny the chemistry of Le Champion & Skee-a-vone once you heard it.

Ross & Excalibur eventually returned from quarantine, but Jericho has still joined the booth from time to time since. It’s tough to say what the future holds for Jericho after his in-ring career ends. He’s always got a lot of different things going on, and I can’t even speculate when he would hang up his boots for good. But I can’t think of a better choice for a color commentator.

6. Alpha vs. Omega

Jericho had said on many different occasions that he would never wrestle anywhere other than for WWE. As I have said in way too many different columns on a wide variety of subjects to count, the very first rule of pro wrestling is “Never say never”. Times & circumstances change, and events that happened during this decade led to Jericho changing his mind.

His first non-WWE wrestling appearance since 1999 took place for New Japan Pro Wrestling, a company Jericho had worked for in the 1990s & was getting a lot of steam among hardcore American wrestling fans. Okada, Tanahashi, the Bullet Club & others had made NJPW a trendy online favorite, along with the kickass matches that Dave Meltzer ran out of stars to give. Adding Jericho to the mix only increased New Japan’s viablity in the North American market they were hoping to increase their presence in.

It was only natural that Jericho would target a fellow native of Winnipeg, a man that was challenging Jericho’s status as the biggest wrestling star of the city. The Alpha met Kenny Omega in the Tokyo Dome, and after all these years Jericho finally managed to garner a ***** rating from the dark overlord of Internet wrestling opinion. Truly, one of the great accomplishments of Chris Jericho’s career, and only possible if he finally had a good match at the Dome.

All sarcasm aside, it was impressive how Jericho once again reinvented himself & became relevant to a new audience. “The Painmaker” was nothing like Y2J, Super Serious Jericho or the scarf-wearing WWE Superstar of the mid 2010s. Has anybody ever done that aspect of pro wrestling better?

5. The List of Jericho

Chris Jericho has always loved making lists. I can relate! We discussed Jericho’s list of 1,004 moves in the 1990-99 edition, but I’m pretty sure that the List of Jericho ended up being even longer. Jericho had been offended by several wrestlers’ actions towards him in September 2016, and decided the only thing he could do to keep track of everybody that annoyed him was to make a list. If you made the List of Jericho, one thing was for sure…

You were going to get it.

Get what?

…It.

4. A Little Bit of the Bubbly!

Jericho became Le Champion at the 2019 edition of All Out, where he defeated “Hangman” Adam Page to become the first AEW World Champion. The best way to celebrate such a tremendous occasion? Give Jericho a live microphone! Jericho went on quite the diatribe on everybody backstage, culminating in what became one of the top wrestling memes of 2019.

Come on, when you read “A Little Bit of the Bubbly!” you say it exactly like Jericho does. Admit it!

3. The WWE Return where he said nothing

Chris Jericho’s debut and first return to WWE were known for their opening statements. Jericho’s debut promo is still one of the most well-remembered things that Chris ever did, and he tried to re-create that moment in 2007 with weeks of cryptic videos leading to his second coming to save us from Randy Orton. Jericho went back to the cryptic video well at the beginning of 2012, hyping 1-2-2012 as something big.

Unlike previously, Jericho had no mission statement describing his agenda going forward. He came out wearing a light-up jacket, looked very excited to be there, pumped up the crowd, then left. Some people absolutely hated this, while others saw it as Jericho trolling the crowd to perfection. It wasn’t the first or last time we’d see him do that.

2. Debuting with AEW

Chris Jericho going to AEW was one of those things that seemed like a surprise, but not really. He had already worked with Kenny Omega in New Japan, had already gotten to know the Young Bucks, and had worked in the same company as Cody for years. The Elite was a good start for AEW star-wise, but they still needed that big name that would draw attention in a positive way. 

Jericho was the right guy for the job. Say what you will about some of his creative sensibilities, but he’s always got ideas for everybody. Larry Csonka put it best when he said that Jericho was AEW’s Terry Funk. He’s worked with many of the company’s younger stars since the fed debuted, and they were all better for having worked with him. You always love it when a veteran does that for the next generation.

1. The Festival of Friendship

Jericho should have seen this coming. Kevin Owens’ past was littered with the remains of people he called his “best friend”. He did it to El Generico in Ring of Honor. He did it to Sami Zayn in NXT. Owens was not a man to be trusted at that point in time, but his friendship with Jericho in 2016-17 did seem like the kind of friendship that would last forever. Until Jericho decided to start making decisions for Owens, like accepting Universal Championship challenges from the likes of Goldberg.

Owens made his displeasure known. Jericho attempted to mend fences by putting together a Festival of Friendship. This showed his true feelings for KO, and it was quite the piece of business.

Owens seemed touched. So much so that he presented Jericho with a gift of his own. It was a new list! There was only one problem…Chris Jericho’s name was on it!

Jericho hadn’t done much to be likeable at this point, but Owens’ brutality against the man left us no choice but to cheer ol’ Y2J once again. Jericho & Owens’ issue wouldn’t lead to as much as they hoped for, and in fact led to Jericho finding somewhere else to work due to his feelings about how the program was handled.

On the bright side, it led to a lot of other moments on this list!

Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments or on the Twitter what you’d like to see covered next!

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Chris Jericho, Steve Cook