I have never been a fan of Chris Jericho. But I can see why so many people are. Chris Jericho is undoubtedly one of the most charismatic and popular wrestlers of all time. A second generation Shawn Michaels is there ever was one. During his career, Chris Jericho has had hundreds of dazzling matches. But if I was to break it all down to only five, these would be the five greatest matches of Chris Jericho.
5) Chris Jericho vs Chris Benoit
At Summerslam 2000, Chris Jericho wrestled Chris Benoit on a two out of three falls encounter. Although its hard to put aside what Chris Benoit would later be accused of, the match itself, 10 years later, remains a true treasure for wrestling fans. Not many performers can put o good two out of three falls matches, which is why you don’t see many of them today. But Jericho and Benoit were both such strong performers that Vince McMahon felt secure putting them in a grueling encounter on one of his biggest pay per views of the year. Unfortunately, the match will be lost to criminal history.
4) Chris Jericho vs Rey Mysterio
The two gifted performers have met on several occasions before their 2009 pay per view encounter at “The Bash.” However, this was easily one of their greatest outings. The high flying action was just as good as their previous WCW matches, but those matches lacked veteran instinct, story telling and a red hot crowd. Chris Jericho was on the losing end of this Intercontinental Championship bout, but both performers won over the live crowd.
3) Chris Jericho vs Triple H
Former rival but still beautiful Stephanie McMahon accompanied the defending champion Chris Jericho to the ring against Triple H at Wrestlemania 18 in Toronto. It would be the only main event appearance for Chris Jericho. Regardless, of the one main event appearance and losing the match, the bout was as exciting as you would expect from these two titans of the industry. Unfortunately, the crowd wasn’t alive during this match, as they were blown up after the epic Hogan versus Rock match. However, Jericho was still one of the two true stars of the evening, wrestling in front of more than 60,000 rabid fans in his home country of Canada.
2) Chris Jericho vs Shawn Michaels
In 1987, “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat stole the show from the Hulk Hogan versus Andre the Giant main event at Wrestlemania 3. In 2003, Chris Jericho and childhood hero Shawn Michaels stole the show from the double main event at Wrestlemania 19. Just like Steamboat and Savage, the two men complimented each others wrestling style to the point that the wrestling was so crisp that it looked like dancing. The back story between Michaels and Jericho was heart felt and brought an intriguing level of honesty and drama to the match. From the match itself, to the incredible crowd, to the blue and white Safeco Field sign in the background, this was one of the most perfect matches of the early new century.
1) Chris Jericho vs Steve Austin
Perhaps Chris Jericho’s greatest moment in his career. Chris Jericho defeated “Stone Cold” Steve Austin at the Vengeance pay per view in late 2001, to become the first ever Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the world. Although the match was surrounded by yet another chapter in the Vince McMahon/ Steve Austin feud, the end result would always read the same. Chris Jericho defeated Steve Austin. It was a moment that defined Jericho, and cemented his career as truly legendary.
If you need any further evidence of how great Chris Jericho is, check out his mini feud with Hulk Hogan during the 2002 Smackdown era. Although the matches weren’t Jericho’s greatest, they certainly were Hogans. Much like Shawn Michaels, he could carry the larger and older superstar to watchable and interesting matches. Now that’s great.