WWE and WCW: The Top 5 Greatest Feuds of Chris Jericho's Career
Chris Jericho is a name of legend in the WWE nowadays. A man who could retire today and be inducted at the top of a ballot into the Hall of Fame, Jericho still continues to deliver as a competitor in the ring and on the mic. He is a man who has feuded with the best and beaten the best.
These past few months, Jericho has been in a great feud with CM Punk that has evolved as all great feuds do from a simple war of words over the WWE Championship into a personal clash over family and reputation.
Through it all, Punk and Jericho have pulled two phenomenal matches—one at WrestleMania XXVIII and one at Extreme Rules—that have been everything they could have been hoped to be.
Now though, it seems that the feud may be dying down or completely done after Punk prevailed once again, developing his WWE Championship run into one of the greatest and well-built runs in years.
With the feud coming to an end, it can begin to be reckoned with the greatest of Jericho's feuds, of which Jericho has many. So many great feuds against everyone from the Rock to Triple H. Where does this feud sit within those great feuds? I honestly can't say at this point.
With how many great feuds Jericho has had here in his about 13 years with the company, I can list many that have shaped his career and defined him as a legend. With that said, the following are the best of the best of those feuds, the five greatest feuds of Jericho's career.
5. Rey Mysterio (2009)
Some might consider this feud too high here. Many other great feuds in Jericho's career could be in this spot; however, personally, I enjoyed Rey Mysterio's feud with Jericho more than any of them.
Mysterio is one of the greatest high flyers ever, and Jericho is, well, Jericho. In 2009, they feuded over the Intercontinental Championship in a series of contests that truly put over the very foundation of the great championship.
What made this feud even better was Jericho's obsession with Mysterio. People going after Mysterio and his mask is nothing new, but this was special. This was Jericho at his most villainous.
One of the greatest moments of the whole feud came when Jericho, disguised as a Mysterio fan, assaulted Mysterio as he came over to Jericho to perform his signature mask to mask with a fan. It was completely out of nowhere and really showed how ready Jericho was to do anything to get to Rey.
Their matches during this feud were all great, especially their match at the Bash, where they easily stole the show as only the second match of the night.
The two had a natural charisma going back to their WCW days, but Jericho was at his prime here. These two haven't had better matches with one another than during this feud, which is a huge statement considering how great these two are against one another.
4. The Rock (2001)
Jericho and the Rock were born to battle one another. Their styles on the mic and in the ring meld so well that it's crazy that they really only had this one year where they truly feuded.
This was a time where Jericho was just a developing star in the company. He was popular, but he certainly wasn't near the level of the Rock in terms of appeal.
This feud began between two faces with Jericho fighting to become World Champion for the first time in his career against the WCW Champion the Rock.
As Jericho pulled out wins and continued to prove himself, the fighting between these two intensified. They traded championships, and then Jericho became the first Undisputed Champion by beating Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin.
During this feud, which was not nearly as long as it should have been, these two tore it up on the mic and brought the house down in the ring. Their match at No Mercy is at least one of the top 10 best matches of Jericho's and Rock's careers.
The fact of the matter is that these two should have been able to fully battle one another for months on end; however, change was in the air in 2001. As WCW collapsed and Rock slowly disappeared from the scene, Jericho was faced with a new star to fight, one who he truly got to feud with.
3. Triple H (2002)
The man was Triple H. The Cerebral Assassin was on the rise in WWE, and he truly began to reach his apex in 2002. Jericho was on the rise too, but he was never pegged to be the man in the company.
In fact, Jericho's rise ended up being an elaborate way of transitioning the company over to HHH. That said, while the two were occasionally overshadowed (especially at WrestleMania), these two put a great show against one another consistently.
HHH had just recently come back into the company after eight months of rehabilitation from a serious tear in his left quadriceps muscle. His rise from his return on was straight to the top. He won the Royal Rumble and won the Undisputed Championship in a matter of months.
He won that title off Jericho, who he would then feud with for months. The two were a hit against one another, working every match to steal the show.
The feud evolved over time from being about a championship to being about Triple H defying authority, leading to the best match of the feud at Judgment Day, where the two had an amazing Hell in a Cell match.
That wasn't entirely the end, though, as Jericho ended up aligning with Triple H's fiancee later in the year, bringing back the feud for a little longer.
That said, it was brutal, physical and a great feud from the moment Triple H returned to the last match they had. These two have history together, and this was the absolute best of it.
2. Dean Malenko (1998)
OK, I admit, I had to say this feud from Jericho's WCW days. That is why I included his time in WCW into the article.
Dean Malenko was a man of few words and amazing wrestling in the ring. Jericho was a man of many, many words, though he could also go in the ring even this early in his career.
This feud may not have had the emotional depth of the previous three on this list, but what it truly had was pure entertainment on its side.
Jericho would rant and rave about what made him a better wrestler than Malenko. At the time, Jericho was the Cruiserweight Champion in WCW on probably the year of his WCW career.
Repeatedly, Jericho made it clear that he was better than Malenko, including claiming he knew four more holds than the "Man of 1,000 Holds" Dean Malenko, leading Jericho to list off a hilarious list of his 1,004 holds, mostly made up or armbars.
When he finally faced Malenko in the ring, he would beat him, causing Malenko to take a break from the company, during which Jericho continued to ridicule Dean. When Jericho had to defend his title against a masked mystery opponent, though, he had no idea that he was about to lose to Malenko.
The feud evolved off these two battling over the title and Jericho using his mouth to become one of the most entertaining stars in the entire company. It was fun, inventive (including Jericho campaigning to get his title back in Washington D.C.) and great from a wrestling standpoint.
Honestly, for those who don't know of Jericho's time during this feud, go back and watch, because it is right here where Jericho begins to become a star, and it's thanks to one of the greatest workers in professional wrestling history.
1. Shawn Michaels (2008)
For those who didn't expect this at No. 1, you probably were not paying attention during this feud.
Shawn Michaels and Jericho proved years back at WrestleMania XIX that they were the ideal opponents with exciting, innovative and surprisingly similar styles in some aspects, but it was here that they put all the pieces together to not just have an amazing match, but an amazing feud.
Jericho went on the greatest run of his career starting in 2008. It began when Jericho, a face at the time, took Michaels by the head and threw him straight into his Highlight Reel Jeritron 5000, putting Michaels on the shelf with an eye injury.
Jericho took this chance and began developing into a new man, the smooth-talking, suit-wearing, self-righteous heel. Jericho lost much of what made him a star in the first as Y2J and became something so impressive that it actually trumped his previous nine years in wrestling.
Michaels came back to get his revenge, and Michaels wasn't ready to fight. Jericho absolutely brutalized him in their match at the Great American Bash, leading Michaels to consider retirement. Jericho hitting HBK's wife, Rebecca, though, gave Michaels reason to fight one more time, but only in an Unsanctioned match.
The match was brutal and left Jericho bloody and broken on the mat by the end, ultimately losing to Michaels; however, an absolutely brutalized Jericho in a surprise turn of events inserted himself into the main event World Title match where Jericho left as champion.
This led to the final magnum opus match, where Jericho and Shawn battled in a ladder match at No Mercy. Here, Jericho sealed the deal, but only after both men gave one of the greatest performances of their careers.
There are very few men who can wrestle at the caliber of these two men, and the fact that Jericho and Michaels matched that wrestling in this amazing rivalry for excitement purely through their story is incredible.
This is far and away the greatest feud of Jericho's career and a feud that many should look to when asked how to really pull out a feud.
Thanks for reading!