Creature Vs Creature: Chris Jericho Vs Dean Malenko—Greatest Rivalry Ever
Over the course of time, while wrestling has been an integral part of our life, we have been witness to many exciting, entertaining, enthralling, electrifying and emotional feuds.
Some feuds get registered in our minds solely due to the presence of big titles and conspiracy (Bret Hart-HBK), some due to the quality of their matches (Angle-Benoit), some due to quality of the promos (Stone Cold-Vince McMahon) and some due to their emotional quotient (Undertaker-Kane).
However, rarely has a famous well-remembered feud consisted of an upcoming midcarder and another midcarder, some good and solid matches, which were also been high on emotional quotient and included promos that are still seen and remembered, even after 12 years.
Yes, my fellow creatures, this was how the Chris Jericho and Dean Malenko feud came about in WCW for the Cruiserweight championship.
This feud enhanced and rocketed Chris Jericho from a floundering midcard position to a person capable of main-eventing. For some people, this was the most entertaining Chris Jericho they ever saw.
What makes this feud an even more interesting proportion that most of the time during this feud Dean Malenko was not present. Chris carried it singlehandedly for over two months.
Jericho was a heel at that time who always acted like a coward, while Malenko was a face. Even if Malenko was known as the iceman for his cold demeanor, this feud will go down as one of the funniest in history due to Jericho's promos.
Before this feud began, Jericho had been a two time Cruiserweight champion and Malenko had been a three time champion. Jericho became the champion for the third time at Souled Out beating Rey Mysterio and attacked him after the match putting him on the shelf or six months.
Then Jericho started claiming that he was better than Malenko in the ring, but still refused to wrestle him. Malenko, for his technical ability was known as the "Man of 1000 holds", so Jericho announced that he knew four more and thus was the "Man of 1004 holds."
At Uncensored, Jericho beat Malenko in a good match and defended his title, causing Malenko to leave WCW due to frustration. On 30th March episode of Nitro, Jericho proceeded to tell us all the 1004 holds he knew.
It is his one of the best promos ever, as every other move in his list was an armbar. Jericho proceeded to insult Malenko and his dead father in other comic ways while looking like a loser. He brought Malenko's portrait to the ring and insulted it with some awesome promo work.
By demeaning Malenko's father, he fuelled the emotional aspect of the feud. All this resulted in audience craving for Malenko's return to shut up Jericho.
At Slamboree, WCW had a battle royal with the winner facing Jericho for title. A masked man won and revealed himself as Dean Malenko, leading to an awesome live crowd response. Jericho even accepts this in his book.
Malenko beat him there and won the title, but was stripped of it because Jericho claimed that he was a conspiracy victim. He tried to visit the President to get the title result overturned. When refused a visit, he accused the President to also have been a part of conspiracy.
The conspiracy theory part was an instant hit and proved what Jericho was: a crybaby.
Finally, Malenko was stripped of the title and Jericho won it when he beat him by disqualification.
At Bash at the Beach, Jericho faced the returning Mysterio and lost when Malenko interfered, but next night was handed the title back because of that interference.
Malenko was fired but at Road Wild, but returned as the guest referee when Jericho lost to Juventud, with a little help from Malenko.
Why this feud is right up there with the best?
1. MAN OF 1004 HOLDS PROMO
2. CONSPIRACY VICTIM CASE
3. CROWD INVOLVEMENT WAS AMAZING FOR SUCH A MID CARD FEUD
4. MALENKO'S RETURN WAS WELL EXECUTED
5. THE MIXTURE OF COMEDY AND INTENSITY
6. LED TO THE ARRIVAL OF ONE OF THE BEST ALL ROUND PACKAGES OF ALL TIME: CHRIS JERICHO
Apart from all this, all the matches were good and the promos were fantastic. I am putting up some other promos and matches of this feud so you guys can check it out.
I decided to do a recap because I am not sure whether many of you remember this feud or not and knowing the context will help if you watch the video.
Lastly, I would like to wish all the other participants the best and may the best man win.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpATHo8PrGQ&feature=related (Jericho vs Malenko, Uncensored)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgX11Cci5WY (Conspiracy Victim)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUcTHmZ9luY (Man of 1004 holds)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BS8Eq3HZyHI&feature=related (Jericho vs Malenko, Great American Bash -1)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGTd_PGWUPs (Jericho vs Malenko, Great American Bash -2)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hn9j7fTVow (Promo with Dean Malenko's picture)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENT6asElNiM&feature=related (Malenko returns)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_XUpM3Os1M (Visit to Washington)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIBQGlTlhtM (Jericho vs Juventud, Road Wild with Malenko as guest referee)
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