-The First Shot-
Hello everyone and welcome to your 36th edition of The Shoot. As promised last week, your Wrestler Spotlight column has returned for its fourth installment. Today, someone will join the likes of Samoa Joe, Mitsuharu Misawa, and Scott Hall as a wrestler whose career I have covered. I could spoil it now, but I?ll make you wait until after Quick Shots!
Jim Ross gave us a status update on his contract with the WWE. It seems as if JR has to explain himself, what seems like, every single month. As soon as Jim does something, the internet immediately jumps on the ?he must be leaving the WWE? bandwagon. I have never seen as much speculation over one person’s contract in my life. It’s almost if they want Ross to leave and are waiting like vultures for any sign of his departure. I?m surprised JR has had this much patience in dealing with all of the allegations that have surfaced recently.
The Ric Flair ?WOOO? Lottery is gaining some attention outside of North Carolina. It appears that North Carolina’s southern sister wants a piece of the action now. Hopefully this thing takes off and goes nationwide. I?d buy a Ric Flair lottery ticket. Actually, I?d buy two? one to scratch and one to keep as a memento. I?d do that now, but I don?t feel like driving across four states to get one.
The Hulkamania tour is doing something rather unique. They are asking fans what match they would like to see based on the talent they have booked for the show. You can head to their website (http://www.hulkamania.com.au/) to cast your vote for a match you?d like to see. This is kind of what WWE’s Taboo Tuesday/Cyber Sunday should have been, where the fans voted on the actual matches and the WWE picks the most popular match. Obviously, they couldn?t do it with an entire PPV card, but it would be nice to see the fans book at least one match on a PPV.
Also, I?d like to offer my condolences to the Albano family as we lost Captain Lou Albano earlier this week. He was one of the true legends of professional wrestling and will be sorely missed by all.
-The Big Shot: Wrestler Spotlight ? Chris Jericho
As you can see from the title, Chris Jericho becomes the fourth wrestler whose career I will spotlight. Jericho is one of my all-time favorite wrestlers as I have enjoyed his work from ECW, Japan, WCW, and the WWE. There’s a lot of ground to cover in this 19-year professional’s career, but the best place to start, is always, at the beginning.
After graduating high school in 1988, Christopher Irvine began setting up wrestling rings one year later, however, in 1990, he would begin his official training for professional wrestling by enlisting in the Hart Brothers School of Wrestling. While there, he met a man named Lance Evers, better known to the wrestling world as Lance Storm. Irvine trained for two months and made his debut in October of 1990 where he wrestled Lance Storm to a time limit draw. After their Draw, Irvine would become a tag team with Lance Storm called Sudden Impact (which later became the Thrill Seekers in 1994). It was here where Chris Irvine became known as Chris Jericho as he derived his name from the Helloween album, ?Walls of Jericho?.
As a tag team, the two of them toured through Manitoba, namely in the Canadian National Wrestling Alliance and, in 1993, Canadian Rocky Mountain Wrestling where the duo became the first pair to win their North American Tag Team Championship. They would win these titles on two separate occasions. From 1994 to 1995, the tag team split and Jericho ended up feuding with Lance Storm over the CRMW Junior Heavyweight Championship, which Jericho won once. Jericho would then move up and win the CRMW Heavyweight Championship, having a single reign with it as well.
However, before departing for ECW in 1996, Jericho traveled to Mexico where he wrestled for the Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) promotion. In December of 1993, he won the NWA Middleweight Championship and had an impressive eleven month reign. In 1994, Jericho also traveled to Japan to Wrestle and Romance (Later Wrestle Association R which closed its doors in 2000) where he feuded (and later teamed) with Gedo. His teaming with Gedo lead to a WAR Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship reign. Jericho also won the WAR Junior Heavyweight Championship, where he lost it later to Ultimo Dragon. WAR also sponsored the Super J Cup in 1995 which Jericho also took part in where he lost the tournament after being defeated by Chris Benoit.
In 1996, Chris Jericho had a short stint in Paul Heyman’s Extreme Championship Wrestling. In June of 1996, Jericho won the ECW World Television Championship, but his reign would be short lived as less than a month later, Jericho lost the title to Shane Douglas in a fatal fourway match at ECW Heat Wave. Despite his short reign, his talents and wrestling abilities caught the eye of Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling and in August of 1996, Jericho jumped ship from ECW to WCW.
August 26, 1996, Jericho made his WCW debut and wrestled to a No Contest against Alex Wright. Jericho finally got his opportunity in June of 1997 where he defeated Syxx (WWF’s Xpac) for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship. Two months later, he would win it for a second time by defeating his debut opponent, Alex Wright. On January 24, 1998, Jericho would win the championship for a third time by defeating Rey Misterio Jr at WCW Souled Out. This was the beginning of Jericho’s heel persona as he attacked Rey’s knee with a toolbox after winning the championship.
After turning heel, Jericho feuded with Juventud Guerrera. The feud ended in a match that placed the WCW Cruiserweight Championship against Juventud’s mask. Jericho defeated Guerrera and forced him to remove his mask. After this, Jericho started one of his biggest feuds in WCW, the feud against Dean Malenko. During this period, Malenko was known as ?The Man of 1,000 Holds?. To get under his skin, Jericho became to call himself ?The Man of 1004 Holds?. Jericho refused to wrestle Malenko until their eventual match at Uncensored in 1998. Jericho defeated Malenko which lead to Malenko taking a Leave of Absence from wrestling. Prior to WCW Slamboree, JJ Dillon announced there would be a Battle Royal to see who would face Jericho for the Championship. ?Ciclope? won the Battle Royal and then unmasked as a returning Dean Malenko where he defeated Jericho for the Championship.
This began the Conspiracy Theory portion of Jericho’s WCW career. Malenko ended up vacating the championship where Jericho would go on to defeat Malenko for the vacant title at The Great American Bash. He would go on to lose the title to Rey Misterio Jr only to regain it from him during a presentation of the title to Misterio by JJ Dillon. Jericho would finally lose it to Juventud Guerrera before moving on to another championship.
In August of 1998, Chris Jericho defeated Stevie Ray for the WCW World Television Championship. Although Booker T was the official champion, Stevie Ray stepped to defend the title for his brother. This lead to Jericho calling out WCW World Heavyweight Champion, the undefeated, Bill Goldberg for the 1998 edition of WCW Fall Brawl. At Fall Brawl, Goldberg did not show up, instead, a midget dressed up as Goldberg came out to roman candles, wearing a homemade foam title belt. After making short work of the midget, Jericho claimed to be 1-0 against Goldberg. A few of these matches occurred and Jericho claimed to be 4-0 against Goldberg when it was all said and done. The storyline didn?t really go anywhere and Jericho eventually lost the TV Title to Konan.
Jericho wrapped up his WCW career by feuding with Perry Saturn which lead to Saturn wearing a dress. This lead to a dog collar match between the two where Saturn got his redemption by defeating Jericho. I guess wearing a dress is better than having a relationship with a mop!
In 1999, the WWF began to run a ?Countdown to the Millennium? clock on their Monday Night Raw program. The time on the clock would expire on August 9, 1999, which was a Monday Night. On that night, The Rock came out to cut a promo when the Millennium Clock appeared and ticked down to zero. Chris Jericho came out to proclaim that this was ?Raw Is Jericho?. From this point on, ?Lionheart? Chris Jericho was dead and ?Y2J? Chris Jericho was born.
Jericho began a feud with Chyna for the WWF Intercontinental Championship. He lost to her at the Survivor Series, but later won the championship at WWF Armageddon. The feud even saw the two of them partake in a controversial finish where two referees each proclaimed that Jericho and Chyna won the match. Therefore, they were co-champions until Jericho became the decisive champion at the 2000 Royal Rumble. Jericho lost the title one month later to Kurt Angle, who was also the WWF European Champion. This lead to a Triple Threat Match at Wrestlemania 2000 where each fall would decide a different championship. Chris Jericho walked out of that match as the new WWF European Champion, however, the title reign lasted less than 24 hours as he lost the title to Eddy Guerrero the next night on Raw.
By this time, there was much clamor on the internet about how Jericho should be the WWF Champion. The fans rallied behind Jericho and posts and opinions were everywhere citing the fans? wishes. On April 17, 2000, on Monday Night Raw, Chris Jericho wrestled Triple H for the WWF Championship. The storyline at the time showed that referees, namely Earl Hebner, were tired of physical abuse and when Triple H got in the face of referee Earl Hebner, Hebner shoved Triple H and Jericho capitalized with a Lionsault. After a fast 3 count, Jericho was the new WWF Champion, resulting in one of the loudest pops in Raw history. Triple H then convinced Hebner to reverse the decision, stating that he would never assault him again. Hebner did so and Triple H was awarded the title. The WWF wrote the decision off from their record books as a result.
In May of 2000, Jericho defeated Chris Benoit for his 3rd Intercontinental championship, but lost it back to him four days later on Monday Night Raw, but Jericho would get his revenge and defeat Benoit for his 4th IC title reign at the 2001 Royal Rumble. Jericho would successfully defend the title at Wrestlemania 17 against Regal, but lose it to Triple H on Smackdown. This was when Triple H and Steve Austin formed a team and became known as the Two Man Power Trip. Former rivals teamed up as Jericho and Benoit defeated Triple H and Austin to give Jericho his first WWF World Tag Team Championship reign.
In 2001, Jericho’s former employer, WCW, was purchased by Vince McMahon. During this time, several WCW wrestler contracts were assumed by the WWF and a WCW Invasion angle started with Shane McMahon claiming that he bought WCW from his father and would use it to compete with the WWF. Jericho remained on the side of the WWF, but The Rock questioned Jericho’s abilities during this time. At the time, The Rock became the WCW Champion. He faced Chris Jericho at No Mercy where he lost the belt to Jericho, however, they put their differences aside and defeated The Dudley Boyz to win the WWF Tag Team Titles. After losing the belts to Booker T and Test, they ended their partnership and The Rock defeated Jericho in a grudge match to regain the WCW Championship.
During this time The WWF decided that it was time to merge the WWF and WCW Championship titles into one single title called the WWF Undisputed Championship. At WWF Vengeance, Chris Jericho made wrestling history by defeating The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin in two different matches to unify both championship belts.
Jericho would hold the Undisputed Title until Wrestlemania 18 where he would lose the championship to Triple H. Jericho was then drafted to Smackdown during the brand split where he continued his feud with Triple H, even going as far to cost him the championship. Jericho would then go on to feud with Edge until he was drafted back to Monday Night Raw where he would win the IC title once again from Rob Van Dam. Jericho would then go on to team with Christian to win the Tag Titles from HurriKane.
At the Royal Rumble in 2003, Jericho selected the #2 entry into the Royal Rumble match in order to wrestle Shawn Michaels. This would culminate at Wrestlemania 19 where Shawn Michaels would defeat Chris Jericho in a match of the year candidate. After the match, they went to embrace to show respect and Jericho low blowed Michaels.
Ironically, after this, Jericho started a rivalry with Goldberg. The feud was based off of Jericho’s 1998 stint in WCW where Goldberg was called out, but the match never happened. At WWF Bad Blood, Jericho and Goldberg finally hooked up and as expected, Goldberg defeated Jericho. After this, Jericho and Christian held a competition so see who could sleep with who. Jericho pursued Trish Stratus which Christian pursued Lita. Christian ended up putting Trish in the Walls of Jericho which lead to match against Jericho at Wrestlemania 20 in which Christian won when Trish turned heel on Jericho and sided with Christian. Jericho would later gain redemption by defeating them in a handicap at Backlash one month later.
This would not be the last of Christian that Jericho would see. Jericho would go on to defeat Christian at Unforgiven for his 7th Intercontinental title, but that, too, would be short lived as he lost it to Shelton Benjamin at Taboo Tuesday.
Jericho’s next big opportunity was at Survivor Series. Jericho teamed with Randy Orton, Maven, and Chris Benoit to take on Triple H, Batista, Edge, and Snitsky where the winner who scored the pinfall would become the General Manager of Monday Night Raw. Chris Jericho won the match to become Raw GM. As General Manager, he stripped Triple H of the Championship and threw himself into the Elimination Chamber match for the newly vacated title, but Jericho would end up being eliminated by Batista. Jericho would then move on to Wrestlemania 21 where he competed in the first ever Money in the Bank Ladder Match, but ended up losing that as well to Edge.
By this time, ECW had been purchased by the WWE and thanks to some motivation by Rob Van Dam, Vince McMahon decided to put on an ECW Pay-Per-View. They even booked it from the Hammerstein Ballroom for that authentic feel. Jericho resumed his old ?Lionheart? nickname for the event and wrestled his first ever opponent, Lance Storm, in what was believed to be Lance Storm’s final match in his wrestling career. Lance Storm ended up defeating Jericho with help from Lance Storm’s former ECW Tag Team partner, Justin Credible. Despite being under the Lionheart gimmick, Jericho still used the Walls of Jericho on Storm during the match instead of the Liontamer. The ECW die-hard fans booed heavily at the move. There is a slight difference in the moves as the Walls of Jericho is a simple Boston Crab where the Liontamer is an elevated crab where Jericho would place his knee into the opponent’s back instead of turning them fully to sit down with the move.
By June of 2005, Jericho’s contract was just about up with the WWE. Jericho partook in a feud with John Cena which culminated in a match where John Cena would face Jericho in a ?you?re fired? match on Monday Night Raw. Cena won the match and Eric Bischoff, the then Raw GM, came out and ?fired? Chris Jericho. Despite signing a contract extension, on August 25, 2005, Jericho announced that he was stepping away from wrestling. After fifteen years and never once taking a break, he was mentally burnt out and needed some time away from the business.
In 2006, Chris Jericho toured with his metal band Fozzy. On September 30, 2006, there was an incident at the Delicious Rox Music Festival when Fozzy’s opening act, American Head Charge, went on stage. A bottle was thrown and the lead singer threw it back and hit a girl in the head. She suffered a severe laceration. Jericho went out to visit the girl while she was being attended to by paramedics. The two bands then got into a heated argument but were broken apart. The concert ended when the director said that the show was being shut down due to the authorities stepping in.
The band has produced three albums with a fourth album in the works. Earlier this year, Fozzy has signed with Riot! Entertainment. Under Riot! They will produce their 4th album, Chasing the Grail, which is slated for release in 2010.
Due to the popularity of the internet and ?viral videos? the WWE used that type of campaign starting in September of 2007. A cryptic message kept displaying on the titantron asking the WWE Universe to ?break the code?. Phrases such as ?Save Us_222? and ?Second Coming? could be seen in the videos. In November of 2007, Randy Orton was holding a ?Passing the Torch? ceremony, mocking the lighting of the summer Olympics torch. During this promo, the screen decoded to Save Us_Y2J. Jericho made his return to the WWE and claimed that he was here to save us from Randy Orton and reclaim the WWE Championship.
Jericho debuted a new finisher on Monday Night Raw against Santino Marello called the Codebreaker. It’s basically a double knee chest buster. On the March 10th edition of Raw, Jericho would defeat Jeff Hardy to become an eight time Intercontinental champion. On June 9, 2008, Jericho turned heel by attacking Shawn Michaels, re-igniting their previous feud. At Night of Champions, he lost the Intercontinental title to Kofi Kingston. He then held the final edition of his Piper’s Pit knockoff, the Highlight Reel, on July 28th where Chris Jericho underwent a complete transformation. He disowned all association with the Y2J moniker and started wearing a business suit, proclaiming himself as a self-righteous honest man.
After that, Jericho lost an unsanctioned match to Shawn Michaels at Unforgiven, but later entered the main event as a replacement for CM Punk and ended up winning the World Heavyweight Championship. Jericho later defeated CM Punk in a Steel Cage Match to retain the title and then went on to defeat Shawn Michaels at No Mercy to retain once again. Jericho would lose the title to Batista at Cyber Sunday, but would regain it from Batista a week later on Monday Night Raw. Jericho would hold the championship until Survivor Series where he lost it to a returning John Cena.
WWE then announced the return of the Slammy Awards where Jericho won the Superstar of the Year Award. In January of 2009, Stephanie McMahon came out and ?fired? Chris Jericho, but rehired him one week later after he issued an apology. Jericho went on to feud with Hollywood actor Mickey Rourke over his role as Randy ?The Ram? Robinson in the movie The Wrestler. This began a bunch of segments where Jericho would call out a different legend and berate them for trying to hold onto the spotlight, much like Rourke’s character in the movie. This culminated in a 3 on 1 handicap match at Wrestlemania where Jericho faced Jimmy Snuka, Roddy Piper, and Ricky Steamboat with Ric Flair in their corner. In the end, Jericho defeated all three of them.
After Wrestlemania, WWE held another Draft and Chris Jericho was drafted to Smackdown. Jericho then began a program with Rey Misterio Jr. Jericho ended up defeating Misterio for his ninth Interncontinental Championship. The feud escalated to a title vs mask feud, much like the previous feud with Juventud Guerrera in WCW. Jericho ended up losing the title back to Misterio at WWE The Bash.
During this time, the WWE decided that they would unify the Raw World Tag Team Titles and the Smackdown WWE Tag Team Titles. Carlito and Primo won and became the first ever Unified Tag Team Champions. However, Primo and Carlito’s reign would come to an end when they are defeated by the newly formed team of Chris Jericho and Edge. Edge received an injury to his Achilles tendon and it forced Jericho to pick a new partner. That new partner was the world’s largest athlete, The Big Show. Jerishow is still the current Unified Tag Team Champions despite the fact that they are split.
WWE’s newest PPV concept, Bragging Rights, places the Raw Roster against the Smackdown Roster. With Big Show being a Raw member and Jericho a Smackdown member, an argument ensued and the two will oppose each other in the 7 on 7 tag team match at the Pay-Per-View. On the October 19th edition of Raw, in order to promote the PPV, Chris Jericho once again faced his old rival, Shawn Michaels in which the match never took place as the two teams resulted in a giant brawl.
Chris Jericho’s resume is extensive. In addition to his 9 Intercontinental Championship, 5 world title reigns, 11 reigns as a tag team champion spanning across multiple promotions, 4 time Cruiserweight Champion, European, Hardcore, ECW Television, and WCW Television, he holds the honor of being the Ninth WWE Triple Crown Winner, and the Fourth WWE Grand Slam Winner.
He has also been voted Comeback of the Year, Feud of the Year, and Most Hated Wrestler of the Year in 2008 by Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Jericho also won Most Hated Wrestler in 2002 as well. In 2009, he was ranked #2 in the annual PWI 500.
Jericho also won Feud of the Year, Match of the Year, Wrestler of the Year, and Best In Interviews in 2008 by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. He also won Best in Interviews in 2003. He also won Reader’s Favorite Wrestler in 1999 as well as Most Underrated Wrestler in 1999 and 2000.
It is no doubt that Chris Jericho will be a future hall of famer, and will go down as one of the most charismatic performers of all-time.
That wraps it up for this Wrestler Spotlight. As I stated in my previous spotlight column, I plan to do these about once every 8 columns (two months) to break the monotony of just giving rants and opinions.
I also take suggestions from the readers as to who they feel I should spotlight next. In fact, I?m thinking that the next time the Spotlight comes around? to commemorate the ?Fifth Edition? since five sounds like a snazzy number and since reader participation was so great for the Armchair Booker series, I?m going to hold a ?Voting Tournament? of people I haven?t covered and have the readers vote who I will spotlight next.
Do not worry, I will give you a few weeks of advanced warning for this as I will actually construct the brackets based on reader picks. Don?t send your suggestions yet? we?ll kick this off in about a month or so!
With that being said, I hope you enjoyed this more than TNA’s Bound for Glory PPV! (Yay Segue!) Speaking of that? let’s head to the One Extra Round for picks, thoughts, and results.
-One Extra Round: TNA Bound For Glory PPV Picks-
The Motor City Machineguns vs. Lethal Consequences
Thoughts: This was just a typical short spotfest. Since Dinero had that family emergency, MCMG advanced to the Ultimate X Match. Nothing really special here, but the match did its job.
Bobby Lashley vs. Samoa Joe
WINNER: Bobby Lashley
PICK: Bobby Lashley
Thoughts: Wow.. this finish came from out of left field. They touted this match as MMA vs TNA and the whole thing blew over in seven minutes? This was really awful booking here.
Kurt Angle vs. Matt Morgan
WINNER: Kurt Angle
PICK: Matt Morgan
Thoughts: Easily the match of the night. Morgan proved that he can pull out an excellent match, but having Kurt Angle in there helped a lot, too. I?m hoping to see another match between these two soon. I was hoping Morgan would have gotten the rub, but it looks like the loss might actually do him more good in this situation.
Abyss vs. Mick Foley (Dr. Stevie is the guest referee)
PICK: Mick Foley
Thoughts: I was hoping that Abyss would snap and use the tacks to cause the DQ loss via match stipulation, but that wasn?t the case. Abyss ended up beating Foley? even after the botched pinfall. How embarrassing was that for TNA?
Taylor Wilde/Sarita (c’s) vs. Madison Rayne/Velvet Sky (w/Lacey Von Erich)
Thoughts: To be honest, I didn?t really care much about this match and ended up throwing a dart at the board to pick the winner. Glad the dart landed on the champs!
ODB (c) vs. Tara vs. Awesome Kong (w/Saeed)
Thoughts: I would have been convinced that it would have been Tara, but then the whole Kim Couture, walking off the stage, coming back, and not mattering worth a damn screwed me over completely. More weird booking.
Full Metal Mayhem
Booker T/Scott Steiner (c) vs. The British Invasion (c) vs. Team 3D vs. Beer Money Inc.
WINNER(S): Team 3D (IWGP) / British Invasion (TNA)
PICKS: Team 3D (IWGP) / Beer Money (TNA)
Thoughts: We decided to count this as ?2 matches? since there were 2 decisions in the match. Again, more crappy / weird booking by TNA. They didn?t even announce over the PA that 3D won the IWGP titles. They only said it to the audience at home and even they delayed saying it. I just don?t get TNA sometimes? I really don?t.
Kevin Nash (c) vs. Hernandez vs. Eric Young
WINNER: Eric Young
Thoughts: I am completely shocked here. Not shocked that Hernandez lost, but for once? TNA actually told a story in this match. I couldn?t believe it! The first thing TNA did right all night! (I know these picks are not in PPV match order). Hell, this was the first thing TNA did right in a LONG time. Nice job.
Amazing Red (c) (w/Don West) vs. Homicide vs. Suicide vs. D’Angelo Dinero vs. Daniels
WINNER: Amazing Red
PICK: Amazing Red
Thoughts: Wow..just wow.. how sick was that bump that Suicide and Daniels took? I literally held my breath hoping that they were okay. Daniels suffered a bruised neck and a partially separated shoulder from that bump. The bad thing is? it wasn?t even necessary to take that bump at all. Stupid decision by those two to do it.
AJ Styles (c) vs. Sting
WINNER: AJ Styles
PICK: AJ Styles
Thoughts: This finish came out of nowhere tonight. Again with another wonky finish. I have no idea what the hell TNA is thinking, but the whole point was the put over AJ Styles and they gave Sting the spotlight and we didn?t get an answer as to his career. Really stupid way to blow off your ?biggest? ppv of the year.
So yeah? this was just a horrible PPV and even some horrible predictions on my part.
So? after last week’s disappointing loss to the Broncos? holy hell did Brady light it up in Foxborough! 59-0 against the Titans and scoring 5 TD passes in a single quarter? a record that hasn?t been matched since 1950! And they did it all in the snow! Absolutely phenomenal!
In some culture news, if you are as big of a Mega Man fan as I am, then you must be excited that Capcom announced Zero from the Mega Man X series will be a playable character in the upcoming Tatsunoku vs Capcom game. This should be an even more phenomenal game. One of the animes I liked was Casshern Sins which is produced by Tatsunoku. To see Casshern against any robot from the Mega Man characters will be fun! If you?re wondering why, Casshern is known as the destroyer of robots and he killed quite a few of them in the Sins anime.
Speaking of anime, there is one I started watching today called Aoi Bungaku Series. Unlike most anime, this has a realistic feel. It’s based off of non-manga literary works by some famous Japanese authors. The art, the quality of the storytelling, and the overall emotion of the show is phenomenal? and that’s me saying that after seeing its debut episode? this should be a great series.
-The Final Shot-
That’s going to do it for me this week. If you would like to submit anything as far as column feedback, wrestling discussion, culture shock topics, anything? you can do so by using any of the methods below.
Until next week?