Now, I’m not going to lie. I’ve been surprised—and even upset—at WWE for not putting one of the major championship belts around the waist of Chris Jericho during his most recent run with the company.
To say that Jericho is underrated at this point in his career would be disrespectful to him. That’s because, in essence, calling someone underrated is failing to give that person the respect he or she deserves.
To me, Jericho has been the complete package for years, and you can make the argument that—even this far into his illustrious pro wrestling career—he’s as good as he’s ever been. Many longtime wrestling fans are quite aware of the Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah’s accolades.
Jericho has won the WWE Intercontinental Championship nine times. He’s a two-time WCW Champion, a three-time World Heavyweight Champion and—in case you’ve forgotten—the first undisputed champion in WWE history.
Jericho won that undisputed title in legendary fashion, defeating both the Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin on the exact same night at the Vengeance pay-per-view back in 2001.
In case you don’t appreciate that historical accomplishment, let me try to put it into some perspective: That could be considered the equivalent of a tennis player today beating Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in consecutive matches at a grand slam tournament.
Or perhaps you like basketball? Then consider what Jericho did against the Rock and Austin similar to beating LeBron James and Kevin Durant in a game of pickup ball.
But it’s not simply Jericho’s in-ring accomplishments that make him arguably the most complete wrestler in the business.
Everybody talks about CM Punk’s “pipe bombs” and how he’s the best in the world on the microphone. There’s no doubt that Punk has very, very few peers in the promo department.
However, I have no problem saying that Jericho gives him a run for his money every time. That was clearly evident when the two feuded for the WWE title this past spring.
Whether you think Punk or Jericho is the more polished talker, you can’t argue that the two put on some pretty solid promos during their rivalry. Jericho’s catch phrases are witty and plentiful. When he let them rip on a recent episode of Monday Night Raw (or should I say Raw is Jericho) during a promo with himself, Punk and Daniel Bryan, it was, to quote Michael Cole, “vintage Jericho.”
Of course, Y2J’s narcissistic persona and unparalleled mic skills have combined to make for one pretty badass character. From the bright light leather jacket, to the awesome blonde hair, to the cut physique (it’s evident that DDP’s yoga does wonders), Jericho is pro wrestling’s quintessential rock star—literally and figuratively.
I could go on and on about Jericho’s greatness. But before I make you anymore giddy or nauseous (depending on your view of Jericho), I’ll just sit back and hope that Jericho gets at least one more run with either the WWE or World Heavyweight Championship before he’s done.
After all, he’s 41 years old and has other commitments, like his band Fozzy. So I wouldn’t be surprised if Jericho’s back out of the squared circle sooner than later.
Hopefully, this future Hall of Famer gets the gold he deserves before he’s gone.