wrestling / Columns

Top 7 Chris Jericho Moments 1990-1999

October 9, 2020 | Posted by Steve Cook
Chris Jericho WWE Debut 1999

I have enjoyed ranking tag teams over the past several weeks. We have at least one more thing to do on that front, but I’m going to put that off for a little while. There is other business to attend to, which we will handle over the next few weeks.

This week, All Elite Wrestling is celebrating Chris Jericho’s 30th anniversary as a professional wrestler. I can relate, as I’ve been celebrating 30 years as a wrestling fan over on thechairshot.com. This seems like the perfect time to reflect on Jericho’s best moments as a pro wrestler, which, frankly, are too many for one column. So we need to break this thing down into three parts, via three decades.

So here are Chris Jericho’s best moments in the first ten years of his career.

7. A trip to Dairy Queen with Jim Cornette

Corny was running Smoky Mountain Wrestling in the early to mid 1990s, and got a video in the mail from Lance Storm. Lance was wrestling Chris Jericho on the tape, and Cornette decided he needed to sign both of them as a tag team. A pretty good idea. Jericho & Storm were both new to the US, and Jericho had a camera to capture moments, which led to this moment that still gets talked about to this day.

6. ECW TV Title 4-way

Jericho came into ECW as a heavily hyped talent, and the fans treated him as such. He won the Television Championship early in his stay, and he lost it shortly after in a fairly important match. This is where Francine turned against the Pit Bulls and joined with the Franchise Shane Douglas, becoming his head cheerleader. One of the epic matches in ECW history. Jericho didn’t actually play a huge part, other than being the champion that lost his title. He would find other titles to win.

5. Jericho vs. Greenberg

WCW let people do what they wanted from time to time. If they weren’t involved in major storylines, they could go balls-out and have incredible matches. Chris Jericho decided to go a different route. He wanted to feud with Goldberg. Goldberg wasn’t terribly interested in this at the time, as his mentors were telling him that cruiserweights weren’t to be bothered with. Which was fine, as Goldberg’s apparent indifference added to the drama.

A midget dressed as Goldberg got squashed at Fall Brawl 1998. People enjoyed it. Eventually Goldberg speared Jericho on an episode of Nitro, which was more than certain people thought Goldberg should have given Jericho. A wrestling company trying to make money would have made Jericho vs. Goldberg a match, but WCW never thought of it because they were WCW. As much as I love WCW, this was one of those things where they messed up.

4. The Conspiracy Victim

Jericho felt like he was the victim of a conspiracy in WCW, and he probably wasn’t the first one. He was the first one to take it to Washington. He didn’t have much in the way of results. Dean Malenko beat him pretty good. But he didn’t know he would have to face Dean Malenko on that night, and America was all about democracy in the 1990s, so he took his case to the Library of Congress! An amazing piece of business that could not be replicated in 2020.

3. The Night of Legends

So there was an angle leading into this match. The Thrillseekers (Chris Jericho & Lance Storm) were the top new tag team in the Smoky Mountain Wrestling territory. Jim Cornette wanted to have the Heavenly Bodies test this team to see if they belonged, and had the Bodies attack them backstage at an event to prove that point. While preparing for that match, Jericho decided to try out a shooting star press, and broke his arm in the process.

This led to Jericho getting beaten like a rented mule by the Bodies during this match, and bleeding buckets because that was what SMW babyfaces did back in the day. A heroic showing from Jericho, and the Bodies made the Thrillseekers in that match. The only problem? Jericho couldn’t wrestle for months afterwards, and the Thrillseekers were never a team again. D’oh!

2. The Man of 1,0004 Holds

You have to go 4:30 into the video before seeing the greatness. Chris Jericho ran Dean Malenko out of WCW. It was a thing that happened. I was a huge fan of all the cruiserweight stuff that was happening in WCW at that time, and I remember Dean Malenko getting run out of there like a scalded dog. He got owned by Chris Jericho, and he couldn’t handle it. I have pretty thin skin myself, so I can identify with Dean here. Dean was embarrassed about being outwrestled by Chris Jericho, so he went home. Jericho wouldn’t let that go un-noticed. He let everybody know how much better he was than Dean Malenko, including the fact that he knew four more holds than the Man of 1,000 Holds.

He tried to share his list of holds on WCW Monday Nitro. It got interrupted by commercial breaksb & nonsense from announcers, but he tried to share as much of that list as he could. Mike Tenay is still wondering what the rest of the list entailed.

1. The Countdown to the Millennium Man

Was there ever a better WWF/E debut than this? I know that some folks had some great vignettes introducing them. But, I think a countdown until a debut works more than some overly acted vignettes. People were hyped for the end of that countdown that ran over various shows, and people were hyped for the debut of Chris Jericho in the World Wrestling Federation. Which is kind of insane, considering Jericho’s placement in WCW when he got out of his contract. Jericho was always a fine mid-card guy in WCW. Nobody there thought of him as a main event guy. The Internet was high on him, and I was as well even though I didn’t discover the Internet opinion until Owen Hart died and I needed to dive deeper into Internet opinion.

When the countdown ended, and JERICHO appeared on the TitanTron, Chicago lost their minds. The man interrupted The Rock, for heaven’s sake, and it seemed fitting. Rock got his comeback, and that seemed like the next big feud. Jericho seemed like the big star of the future to me, and everybody else I talked to at the time.

Then WWF had to kick him down a notch. But that doesn’t matter for this countdown. Chris Jericho ended the 1990s as the biggest future star in wrestling. Few would argue that.

Thanks for reading! Next time we’ll delve into the second decade of Chris Jericho!

article topics :

Chris Jericho, ECW, WCW, WWE, Steve Cook