My Praising of the one and only Ayatolla of Rock n Rolla
A mighty hola to you, kids. You’re probably aware of who it is, but if you don’t, then allow me. It’s your boy, Caliber Winfield. This week, I’m going to discuss one of my favourite wrestlers, who happened to just return, and also his 5 greatest matches.
Chris Jericho. The Lionheart, if you will. One of the greatest wrestlers of the last 10 years I’d say, and one of the all time greatest on the mic. The things he says, and the things he does are so goddamn funny. I’ve always hated WCW. They were my sworn enemy back when they existed. If I watched them, it was for 2 reasons, and 2 reasons only. The nWo and Chris Jericho. From insisting on wearing the Cruiserweight Belt during his matches, to having Rufus as his personal security, he really entertained. I recall during his feud with Dean Malenko, who at the time was The Man of 1000 Holds. Well, Chris came out and started to tout himself as The Man of 1004 Holds. He’d prove it too. By coming out and reading them from a list. ‘…move number 34, right arm bar. Move number 35, left arm bar…’ It was just brilliance! When I heard he was going to WWE back in the day, it was one of my happiest moments as a wrestling fan. His debut was picture perfect. Going tit-for-tat against the WWE’s best mic worker, The Rock.
I really felt during his time in the WWE, he never got much of the recognition that he deserved. Yeah, he defeated The Rock, and Stone Cold in one night to be the first ever Undisputed WWE Champion, but after that, what else good happened? He was bogged down with Steph as his manager, made to look a fool, and lost to Triple H at WM 18. After that, he never came close to the title scene again. Despite having awesome matches left and right. But that’s the E, right? Well, he left. Heartbroken as I was, I knew some day he’d return. Be it TNA, or WWE. Well, 2 weeks ago I was given reason to watch Raw again. The Ayatollah of Rock-n-Rolla has returned. A return that rang very similar to his debut back in 2000. I pray they do well with him this time. Because goddammit, he’s a talent with hard to find capabilities. However, I would like for him to grow his hair longer. He looks like Zack Morris.
Ugh. I was going to put these matches in order from 1-5, but I honestly couldn’t do it. Every time I’d watch a match, I’d want to put it at number one. So, in no particular order here are Jericho’s top 5 matches. There’s a good chance that the 4 Corners Match is my fav CJ match.
Chris Jericho [C] vs. 2 Cold Scorpio vs. Shane Douglas vs. Pitbull #2
4 Corners Match for the ECW World Television Title
Leave it to ECW to hold yet another top spot in one of my countdowns. Although I felt Pitbull 2 was a bit of an odd placement in this match, his heat with Shane, and the powermoves he used combined with the technical aspect of the rest really complimented it all. This really is a marathon match, and keeps you entertained for the whole 40 plus minutes. I think the look of Pitbull 2 is surefire proof of ECW’s strict anabolic drug policy. Shane Douglas is proving why he earns the title as one of the all time greatest heals. Honestly, I’d put him 2nd only to Flair. Check this match if you wanna see why. Something that always makes me squirm, is when someone is doing a sort of flying move with their back to an opponent, and the guy dropkicks him in the back of the head. I don’t care how long you’ve been doing this, that shit has to hurt so bad. Jericho, who was the TV Champ going into this match, is eliminated at 26 minutes after a Tombstone and a Tumbleweed. 5 minutes later Scorpio is gone, and it’s left to Douglas and Pitbull to settle their differences. It gets quite intense, and it’s also an historical match because it’s here where Francine turns on the ‘Bulls and joins up with The Franchise. An incredible match, anchored by 4 of ECW’s best. * * * * *
John Cena [C] vs. Christian vs. Chris Jericho
WWE Title Match – Vengeance 2005
This has 3 of my favorite wrestlers in it. From the get-go was just setting up to be an awesome match. Love how the action spills to the outside in order to pull off some big moves. Christian got rocked with the FU to the outside. Jericho takes that DDT on the belt quite harshly. The difference between WWE Triple Threats and most others, is that usually one guy will have something done to him and be laid out on the outside, while the other 2 mix it up in the ring. Keep changing guys every 5-10 minutes, and repeat till end. Well, with this one, they had that, but not that long. Especially the last 5-10 minutes of the match. It’s some of the finest triple threat wrestling I’ve ever seen. The suplex-powerbomb was awesome, proving that TNA aren’t the only ones. Jericho’s double pin was very cool. Christian’s tantrum after he couldn’t pin Cena damn near earned this match a full * on it’s own. Just great stuff. * * * * ¼
Chris Jericho & Chris Benoit [C] vs. The Dudleyz vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. Edge & Christian TLC 3 – Smackdown, May 21st, 2001
Great start with all the teams ganging up on Benoit and Jericho. Jeff took a sick bump when he left off Matt to crash into Bubba, but he answered with a ladder to Jeff’s airborne face. Jericho is on his own, as Benoit flew out of the ring and crashed into a table that once held Matt Hardy but not nano seconds before Benoit landed. Jericho with the nice bulldog off the ladder. The Ayatollah proving once again how awesome he is by putting Edge in the Walls atop two ladders. I’m not sure what would hurt worse, falling from the top of a ladder to the outside, or being crotched on the top rope. Christian looks really stupid with long hair. Incredible superplex off the ladder by Bubba to Jeff. Ooh, and Benoit joins us. He’s selling those ribs like a pro. Then pulls a Bruce Willis [which is just a random act of badassness] by fighting off Edge & Christian with chops, they over power him and go for the Conchairto. He, being wise, blocks his head, but what do they do? They go for the ribs. Benoit screams like the devil just drove JBL’s limo up his ass. Awesome 3D off the ladder through a table. Jeff Hardy finds the ladder that God uses, leap frogs it from another ladder, and sends his body through a table, but thankfully Bubba was laying there to help break Jeff’s fall. Matt gives D-Von one of the sickest Diamond Cutters, if not the sickest, I’ve ever seen. Falling 7 feet like that, head first, having it crash to the mat with the rest of your body finally catching up after what probably seems like forever, had to be a shitty deal. My favourite TLC Match. It was just an awesome wrestling match, with brawling, weapons, and ladders. It wasn’t a spot fest like the other TLC’s. This one gets a solid * * * * ¾
Chris Jericho vs. Triple H
Last Man Standing Match – Fully Loaded 2000
Damn near could be my favourite Jericho match. It’s the closest to number one that a number 2 place could ever be. Jericho comes into it just on fire, laying out Trips. Eventually Trip started to get the upperhand and really lay it to Jericho. But that’s the beauty of a Last Man Standing Match, and Jericho proves that so damn well. Triple H gives him his best, and then some. Only to have Jericho get up, time after time, after time. Now, for a good part of the LMS, it isn’t typical. There aren’t a lot of weapons, it’s just pure, awesome wrestling. Back when H brought it to every match. They were beating the hell out of each other with pure skill. Of course, come the last, oh, 10 minutes, they take it to the outside, after H has one of the best on screen blood gushes I’ve ever seen. Although I miss Triple H of this time, I am reminded of how much I HATED Stephanie. Now she’s amazingly hot, and not so annoying. Awesome backsuplex through a table. Well, H hits the table, Jericho’s head smashes the concrete. Great stuff. I miss wrestling like this. * * * * ¼
Chris Jericho vs. Kane vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Edge vs. Christian vs. Chris Benoit
Money In The Bank Ladder Match – Wrestlemania 21, April 21st, 2005
This was the debut of the MITB Match. Which gives the winner of it a WWE title shot for up to a year. It’s sort of in the same vein as the TLC’s. In the sense there’s a lot of bodies doing a lot of crazy shit. This match was no exception. To me, although this is a Jericho retrospective, the star was Shelton Benjamin. He flew through the air, and at times it looked as if he was able to slow down the speed of gravity. IE his back-flip over the top rope in the early stages of the match. Love that Christian and Edge have their moments of reunion. Love the move where Edge catches Shelton’s leg as Christian stands behind the Rated R Superstar, spins him around only to have Benji execute an mule kick, Edge ducks, and Shelton ends up implanting the very ladder that Christian was holding inside his chest. Awesome 5 man melee atop 3 different ladders. Benoit, awesome as always, selling that arm. Then dropping his skull from 15ft high onto Kane. I truly see nothing wrong with this match. * * * * *