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If it's one thing I learned from Shawn Michaels, it's that I could have entertained you for years and years, I could have been a puppet dancing on a string with you manipulating my wires to the end of time and you still would not have respected me the way that you respect Shawn Michaels. You would never idolize me and adore me like that, and that is not fair. - Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho is one of those exceptional superstars that doesn't need a championship, of any sort, to exude greatness. He personifies excellence and has proven time and time again that he does have the total package.
The monumental "First Coming" of Chris Jericho is a staple of WWE programming, and it proved to be a rewarding test of patience. He has grown into one of the true gems of the WWE over the years, garnering the attention of countless fans around the world from the moment he debuted.
As Jericho endlessly climbed up the hierarchical ladder of the WWE, he would have thrilling confrontations with the likes of Triple H, The Rock, Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio and many other superstars. To put it bluntly, Chris Jericho has headlined countless WWE events with almost every marquee name that the business had had to offer. Along with a long list of incredible matches, Jericho has accumulated a laundry list of astonishing accolades.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter has bestowed upon him their endowments for:
- Readers' Favorite Wrestler (1999)
- Most Underrated Wrestler (1999, 2000)
- Best on Interviews (2003, 2008, 2009)
- Best on Interviews of the Decade (2000-2009)
- Feud of the Year (2008) vs. Shawn Michaels
- Match of the Year (2008) vs. Shawn Michaels in a Ladder match at No Mercy
- Wrestler of the Year (2008, 2009)
- Best Pro-Wrestling DVD (2010) for Breaking the Code: Behind the Walls of Chris Jericho
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall Of Fame (Class Of 2010)
He is the WWE's ninth Triple Crown Champion and their fourth Grand Slam Champion. He has been honored by the WWE's Slammy Awards with the "Superstar of the Year" (2008) award, in addition to being the recipient as one-half of the "Tag Team of the Year" (2009) award.
He cemented his legacy in 2001 as he became the first-ever WWE Undisputed Champion and was able to re-write history in 2009 as be bested his own record to become the unprecedented, record-breaking nine-time WWE Intercontinental Champion.
Jericho is one of the greatest all-rounded performers ever, and his aptitude is more than exceptional to place him on any fans' list as the greatest in-ring performer of all time. Of anyone to have plied their craft in a WWE ring, perhaps no individual came as close to the definition of an "all-around superstar" as Chris Jericho did. Jericho is a veritable wrestling chameleon, capable of adapting himself to any style of wrestling his opponents throw towards him. His unique arsenal, a myriad of offenses, proved he could brawl with the best of them, have aerial combats with the highest of flyers and take it to the mat with any technical purist. He is an absolute ace.
One of Jericho's finest assets was his ability to evolve along with the fans. Always changing his character—and subsequently, his physical appearance—Jericho would embrace and forsake his followers repeatedly as he took on one persona after the other: the extreme and talented "Lionheart"; the charismatic and beloved "Y2J"; the self-absorbed and arrogant "King Of The World"; the established and accomplished "Highlight Of The Night" and the refined and ingenious "Best in the World at What He Does" are some of his eminent monikers that come to mind.
Chris Jericho himself has gone on the record to state that one of the reasons he's had the success he so deservedly achieved thus far in his career is that he's always changed and adapted himself to his surroundings, and thus, evolved as a veteran only could. In fact, another reason as to why Jericho has remained relevant throughout the years is his convenient hand to avoid having any major injuries.
His rare ability to anger a crowd with disparaging remarks ranks him in the highest tier of trash-talking the business has ever seen, as he always knows how to antagonize any fan in every arena. Jericho's speaking abilities are equally as entertaining as his in-ring talent, and this is truly a testament to how verbally creative Jericho is.
As verbally expressive as he is, he need not remind us his place in history.
His versatility as an individual became axiomatic after he managed to write two New York Times best-selling autobiographies, A Lion's Tale: Around The World In Spandex (2007) and Undisputed: How to Become the World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps (2011). In addition, he is the lead-singer of the evidently-rising "Fozzy."
Chris Jericho certainly has some more years left in him and, as a seasoned veteran, he is now an authentic sure-fire first ballot WWE Hall of Famer.
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