On Aug. 9, 1999, The Rock paraded around the ring on Monday Night Raw, the attention of every person in the arena within his grasp. They were hanging on his every word, as fans generally do when The People's Champion speaks into a mic. To this day, cutting promos is the province of him and few others.
Suddenly, the "Countdown to the Millenium," something that had been appearing on the titantron sporadically for the preceding few weeks, ticked down to zero, and fans waited with bated breath to see what would happen. As pyros erupted and unfamiliar music became audible, one word was emblazoned in massive blue letters on the titantron.
The crowd erupted.
Chris Jericho, on his full WWE debut, then proceeded to go toe to toe with The Rock in a promo, something no one in WWE other than Stone Cold Steve Austin had ever been able to do. Suddenly, The Rock was not so alone in the territory of electrifying fans. That day, a star was born.
From that moment onward, Y2J never looked back. Something of a journeyman wrestler in the years of his career that preceded WWE, Jericho's supposed big break in WCW transpired to be a frustrating period in his career, as main event talents like Kevin Nash and Scott Hall strove to keep a stranglehold in their place at the top of the company, while Jericho and other talented performers like Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit, were stranded in the obscurity of an uninspired, overlooked mid card.
In WWE, Jericho was finally given the opportunity to flourish. In a company that granted more artistic license to young talent, he took every chance that was thrown his way, and in the 10 years since, has firmly entrenched himself in the hearts and minds of wrestling fans around the world.
He was, as you should all know (he never hesitates to remind people), the first ever undisputed champion. He is a record nine-time Intercontinental Champion. A trailblazing, magnetic, in-ring general, Jericho is a legend.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is his Bucket List.
Each and every one of us wants to hear the pyros erupt again. We want to hear the familiar tune of Adam Moneroff's "Break the Walls Down." And when these events occur, we expect to be "ignited, excited and delighted." WWE, it may be time to input the code: