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Opinion

Why Chris Jericho Is The Absolute GOAT

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As a kid growing up watching WWE throughout the Attitude Era, if you asked me who the greatest wrestler of all time was I would undoubtedly have said Stone Cold Steve Austin. The man who defined the most popular era in wrestling history and the reason we tuned in every week. But put 20 people in a room and ask them who the G.O.A.T is … you would likely get 20 different answers. Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, HBK and The Undertaker are just a few of the names that are regularly mentioned, but what actually makes somebody the Greatest Of All Time?

(Outside of being Jinder Mahal, of course.)

Is it how much money they made the company? How many championships they won? Their in ring ability and technical prowess? Their character? Ability to entertain and captivate? In my eyes its a mixture of all of the above, and its exactly why I believe Chris Jericho should hold the mantle of being the G.O.A.T.

A little bit of history first. Jericho made his wrestling debut way back in 1990, making a name for himself around Europe and Mexico but it wasn’t until he joined ECW in 1995 that he started receiving widespread attention. It was during this time that he caught the eye of WCW where upon signing he developed into the brash, whiny and cocky kid that we loved to hate … Europe and Mexico may be where he honed his craft, but WCW was where he truly became Chris Jericho.

WCW had a tendency to not realise what they had until it was gone, and Jericho became their latest in a loooong list of missed opportunities when he signed with WWE in 1999. In what I will always see as the one debut to have the single biggest impact on the company, Jericho debuted on RAW by interrupting The Rock as he was cutting a promo on the Big Show. If you want to get noticed what better way to do it than by going toe to toe with the face of the company? He instantly became must see TV, and that’s one of the best things about him, over 20 years in the business but still to this day he is just as relevant as that first night in 1999.

Im going to take a look at some of the reasons why I firmy believe Chris Jericho is the G.O.A.T :

Chris Jericho--the GOAT

An A4 piece of paper that’s more over than most of the roster

Always reinventing and evolving

One of the things that sticks out for me with Jericho is how much time he takes off, which you may think is a bad thing but its more the way he does it and what happens when he returns. Take John Cena and Brock Lesnar for example, when they take 6 months off they don’t bring anything new to the table after returning, they’re still just Cena and Lesnar. They go straight into the title picture and its just more the same old rubbish that pisses off the fans. But when Jericho comes back he isn’t labelled a part timer because he reinvents himself and mixes things up. Here’s some examples :

  • In 2007 after 2 years away, he came back with a new finisher – The Codebreaker – which he still uses to this day. Its a move which has become synonymous with the name Chris Jericho.
  • He then became even more arrogant and condescending than ever before, always wearing a suit, talking slowly and quietly with patronising tones. He was one of those heels who the crowd actually cared about hating.
  • More recently he went back to the Jericho of old by wearing the flashy jackets and being more of a rock star than ever before. The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla was back and better than ever.
  • Now we have arguably his finest creation and the stand out highlight of the last 12 months – The List of Jericho. The fans love it, it’s something we can join in with and is funny literally 100% of the time. Also, calling somebody a ‘Stupid Idiot!‘ really isn’t that good is it? It’s hardly insulting at all. But Jericho? He somehow made it every bit as good as The Rock calling somebody a Jabroni, Goldberg telling you that ‘You’re Next!‘, or Edge introducing the ‘You Suck‘ chants for Kurt Angle.
  • The Scarf. I know what you’re thinking … ‘how is a scarf a reinvention?’ and to be honest at the start i was thinking the same thing. But it was because Jericho made it so. He made a simple scarf part of his character, not just his look. It became something he would back and forth with other wrestlers over and it was another wildly entertaining and funny quirk.
  • Japan. After mastering North America, Jericho returned to Japan, where he’s become an out of control, disrespectful heel in the mold of another great gaijin, Stan Hansen.

His ability to keep things fresh and still be relevant after such a long time should be a wake up call for a lot of the newer guys on the roster, Jason Jordan for example, who hasn’t even begun to find himself yet. If this guy can get a reaction to A SCARF then what exactly is your excuse?

Chris Jericho--the first GOAT

WWE would never … EEEEEEVER be the same again

An incredible CV

When you look at the names mentioned in the GOAT conversation, you start to see a trend emerging. They all had great singles runs and were great champions. Jericho has more than earned his spot alongside those names by winning a whole heap of championships down the years – Hardcore Champion, European Champion, U.S Champion x 2, Intercontinental Champion x 9, World Heavyweight Champion x 3 and who could forget when went down in history as the first ever Undisputed Champion by defeating The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin in the same night. He was also the fourth ever Grand Slam Champion and while in WCW won the Cruiserweight Championship 4 times and was the WCW TV Champion on one occasion. You can certainly say he has been there, done that and got the championship belt to prove it.

He has also been a part of some very memorable and super entertaining tag teams, winning the Tag Team Championships on 7 different occasions teaming with Edge, Chris Benoit, Big Show, The Rock and Christian. It just goes to show Jericho’s versatility, not only was he was able to carve out many successful solo runs but continued to achieve at the highest level as part of a team, even if those teams did end up capitulating and feuding with each other!

The company have clearly never lacked any faith in him despite his ventures outside of WWE sometimes taking precedent, his band Fozzy for example, and always recognised his passion, drive, commitment and ability to let him still be one of the top guys.

WWE SmackDown AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho

Short Sleeves & Gloves vs Topless & Scarf in the battle of men who cant dress themselves properly

He’s all about the future

There comes a time in every WWE superstars career where they have to make way for the next bright young talent to take their opportunity, and Jericho is no stranger to this. He is a company man, he will always go out of his way to put somebody over if its in the best interests of WWE. He has been instrumental in helping to put over the likes of Dolph Ziggler, Braun Strowman, Shelton Benjamin, Cena, Owens and even Fandango in one of the biggest Wrestlemania upsets in history!

The most impressive thing for me in all of this is that he is still putting on these great matches to put other talent over at the ripe old age of 47 ! We saw this most recently at NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom 12 show, the first time in a very long time that Jericho had competed in another companies ring, in an exhilarating match against Kenny Omega. Now strictly speaking, Omega doesn’t need Jericho to put him over as he’s already one of the best in the world right, but what Jericho did do was put NJPW over. Sure they’re a company on the up, but without many household names to speak of Jericho brings huge star power and helped to get a lot more eyes on the company than they ordinarily might have. If you haven’t seen this match or its build up yet do yourself a favour and find it online, Jericho was able to throw off the shackles of PG Era WWE and was able to be the non conformist, potty mouthed, deceiving and cheating heel that we all knew he had in him.

A huge advantage that Jericho has over other veterans is that over the years he has come to understand that sometimes a loss can be instrumental to building bigger crowd reactions in the long run and be beneficial for everybody involved as it gets the fans more invested in the rivalry. He doesn’t feel the need to always be on top, to always win his feuds or to look like the stronger man if it comes at the expense of better talents. Nothing makes him happier than helping to secure WWE’s future, the company that have given him so much over the years, by making the next top guy look good. He brings with him a crafty, wily veteran instinct into every match and doesn’t just give the other guy the win, but actually teaches them during the match and essentially trains them while on the job. He is right up there with Kane as one of the most sought after workers in WWE, as going face to face with him is an experience which makes everybody better in the long run.

The List of Chris Jericho

The grandaddy of The List

One of the best talkers ever

Listen to any Jericho promo today and you would never think that it was once a very  different story. There was a time when he was more Sycho Sid (I beg you to click this link) than Paul Heyman on the mic, but hard work, determination and the willingness to learn from those around him helped him to become one of the greatest talkers in WWE history. Although he honed the majority his ability in WWE you have to give a lot of credit to WCW, where he had to cut a tonne of 30 second advertisements informing the viewers of events in the local area. If it wasn’t for these videos his personality may well have gone unnoticed.

During his time with WCW, he cut one of the most infamous promos of all time which really put him on the map. He took to the microphone to mock the legendary Dean Malenko, whose superior technical knowledge had him dubbed as the ‘Man of 1,000 Holds‘. Jericho referred to himself as the ‘Man of 1,004 Holds‘ while unravelling an impossibly long list in the middle of the ring. Although nearly every other hold of the 1,004 were variations of arm bars, he opened an awful lot of eyes with this promo, playing the role of an arrogant, delusional heel to perfection. Before long, Jericho’s reputation as one of wrestling’s best trash talkers was cemented and we have been treated to some fantastic verbal spars with The Rock and HBK, and hilarious moments with Booker T, Kevin Owens and Stephanie McMahon to name a few.

chris-jericho-raw

That’s a 42 year old man doing that, I’m 28 and can barely run without dying

One tough S.O.B

Jericho is known for being the same outside of the ring as he is inside of it – tough as nails and willing to stick up for what he believes in. He has had some well documented real life issues with fellow WWE stars and once notoriously took on Goldberg in a backstage altercation. He and Sin Cara clashed while on tour in Europe for unknown reasons and he recently went face to face with Brock Lesnar at Summerslam, out of concern for his friend Randy Orton, and lived to tell the tale. So not only does he clearly have big brass balls but he’s also honourable to boot.

He has never backed down from a challenge, evident from his personal differences with other superstars, but also in terms of his career. He had a nice, cushy midcard place in WCW but gave that up to try and crack the big leagues in WWE. A massive gamble considering he had only been WCW TV Champion once before, and a Cruiserweight before that. What we’ve seen plenty of times in other sports is that moving up weight classes can be a terrible idea and have a huge dampening impact on a career. But nevertheless, Jericho stepped out of his comfort zone and made a break for it, and what a decision that turned out to be – it was a mere 2 years later that he was entrusted to become the first ever Undisputed Champion.

Always one for innovation, Jericho was the man responsible for creating the Money In The Bank ladder match and has appeared in the match 5 times since its inception in 2005. A veteran of many TLC, Elimination Chamber, Cage and Ladder matches he is no stranger to high risk matches full of spots and bumps. For a guy well into his 40’s he can still go in the ring with the absolute best, evident from his flying crossbody off of the top of a Steel Cage onto Bray Wyatt as recently as 2014 and allowing Dean Ambrose to slam him down onto hundreds of tacks in the Ambrose Asylum match. He has credited DDP Yoga as a primary reason for why he is still going after suffering a herniated disc injury in 2011 while competing on Dancing With The Stars, and claims to feel better than ever. Hopefully with this kind of support he can keep going well into his 50’s, I just don’t want it to become desperate and embarrassing like when Ric Flair was still trying to wrestle in 2011/12. Jericho’s legacy is too great to tarnish, I hope he recognises once enough is enough and finally gets inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame.


There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that Chris Jericho is the Greatest Of All Time. Do you disagree? Do you know what happens when you disagree that Chris Jericho is the G.O.A.T? You know what happens when you say somebody else is?

Do you?

Non believers …. YOU JUST MADE THE LIST !!!

As ever, please comment and share !

 


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Opinion

AJ’s Controversial? Wrestling Opinions 10.12.21

AJ feels like spouting off about a few wrestling topics that bug him. How controversial are they though?

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As Eric Bischoff, President of WCW once said, Controversy Creates Cash…no I’m serious; it’s even the title of a book that he did. Everyone has their hot takes on professional wrestling and some are always wide eyed and kind of shocking to some. There are some of us that will have same opinions or chastise me on a show or an article maybe but hey, don’t hate the player, hate The Game.

Maybe there are some that the readers at home agree with or you want to also be the one to chastise me, @PhenomenalAJB on Twitter. This one is going to be fun!

#1- There are more things than just WWE/AEW and are better majority of the time

There are many people that will rant, rave and complain that the mainstream product is so bland and boring and the classic, “Who even watches this trash?” Whether you love the flippy dippy do’s like I don’t or long drawn out storylines that peter out very quickly because fans aren’t invested in a story or character. To those people, I will say something very bold, very confusing and very… very controversial…

THERE ARE OTHER COMPANIES YOU CAN WATCH ON VARIOUS PLATFORMS IN VARIOUS MEANS ON YOUR OWN TIME!

I don’t know how and I don’t know why that this is even a topic. “TNA has been dead for years” No it hasn’t. Pay $1 USD for Impact Plus on YouTube so you can watch it without commercials at 8:30 Eastern. “Two hours is too long!” NWA and MLW both go for an hour on their respective YouTube Channels as well and if you want to watch, you can hop in at any time. Everyone has something for everyone and you might find your new favorite wrestler in a matter of minutes into an episode. I would never have known who Eli Drake (now LA Knight on SmackDown Live), Alexander Hammerstone or even in the early stages of TNA Impact, AJ Styles, was! You can watch more than what is broadcasted on your TV. Is it easier? Of course but, there is so much more than just the popular option.


#2- Belt Collecting now is just redundant and moronic

Back in 1996, Ultimo Dragon famously has a picture of him holding TEN championships looking like an amazing superstar with amazing defenses. What people don’t know is, that was because eight championship belts were united in a tournament called “The J-Crown Championship” with the adage of ‘All or Nothing’. He lost them one by one but, it was to show that he was the best Junior Heavyweight (or Cruiserweight/Light Heavyweight) out of everyone in various promotions.

People after that really haven’t belt collected other than unifying championships to a grand caliber… then Austin Aries showed up. Aries kind of revised the gimmick and brought it back to light. Newer fans might have thought this was cool but older fans kind of groaned and grumbled. I was one of them but, nothing is original in anything anymore so it’s a fresher concept at the time back in 2018. He did surpass Ultimo with ELEVEN championships but it seemed everyone started doing it to an extent after. Matt Cardona, after being released from WWE, started doing it, getting up to six championships before dropping them. As of right now, not necessarily solo belt collecting, The Bloodline has a stranglehold of the World Championships for both Singles and Tag Teams, we had Becky Two Belts, Bayley wanted Dos Straps but nothing makes this worse than Kenny Omega’s stint as a belt collector.

I am not and will never be a Kenny Omega fan. I don’t see the appeal, I don’t see the amazement or anything like that out of him. I’m impressed he did three 35+ Minute IWGP Championship matches against Okada because that takes a lot of stamina to do so but, that’s about it. When he won the AEW Championship, alright. That’s fine. Nothing wrong with that since he helped build the company up. The Triple A Megas Championship… nothing too wrong here. I hate that he had five defenses in two years but he vacated it due to his injuries. It wasn’t until Don Callis and Omega popped into Impact and made the Hogan Era of TNA look like a dream… okay ALMOST but still. Kenny defeats Rich Swann and Moose in two different matches and has everyone else carry the belts while holding the AEW Championship. I understand heel tactics and mentality but at one point in an interview about going for the Impact Championship, he compared it to a common Comic Book and the AEW Championship as Superman Issue #1. I understand trying to be a heel in this story but you boost your clout, not rain on what you are going after. Heel or Face, belt collecting has just been a cluster within itself in the past four years and it honestly needs to stop.

#3- Overuse of Certain Moves

This one is a more recent problem that I have seen and no, I wish EC3 paid me to say this but it is true and very annoying to even bring up but here I am, wishing for Carter money and a fifth Rum & Coke…

Stop. Overusing. Moves. Because you think. They were cool.

If I had a shot for every time a Canadian Destroyer, Superkick, Suicide Dive, Avalanche (Insert High Spot here), Dual Dropkick spots where they cancel each other out or opposing members do back to back high spots on the prone partner spot… I would not have written this article due to death… even if it was water, I would have died due to drowning. They don’t look cool anymore when everyone does it. It’s bland. When Petey Williams wrestled in his last return to Impact, the Destroyer looked very… stale. Superkicks are the new DDT apparently (another Finisher turned common everyday move) and most people that do dives mess it up in some way shape or form whether it’s their feet get caught in the ropes, they didn’t get a full launch or they overshoot it. Having your own move special to you is difficult now but different wrestlers do their own styles or the pay homage to a family member or a wrestler that they interact with or ask permission… or asked to stop.

How’d you feel if you watched WCW and WWF in 1997 and saw DDP do the Diamond Cutter and HHH did the Pedigree Pandemonium and say they do the same move? That is exactly what happened too if Dallas didn’t ask Hunter to stop using it. We might not have the RKO out of nowhere or an iconic move that seldom bigger names use today.


That’s my list. I said before if you agree with my list and if you don’t and want to throw hate my way… @PCTunney is the hate mail account so enjoy!


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Opinion

AJ’s Thoughts: Five Potential Returns

With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?

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With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?

With everything going on with WWE, the one thing we have all been hyped about are all of these returns. Dakota Kai made her return at SummerSlam alongside Io and Bayley and now on last SmackDown, Karrion Kross and Scarlett made their returns in a big way against Drew McIntyre and showed the Hourglass to The Bloodline.

With all of that, there have been things in the pipeline saying Triple H’s foot isn’t off the pedal so these are 5 returns from either NXT, main roster or even Try-Outs that I would love to see happen with the new regime.

1. Johnny Gargano

Now this is a name that people have been saying, “Maybe Impact or MLW” but, what about a return? Gargano didn’t renew his contract, most likely to be with his family which is a valid and amazing reason, will never disrespect that. If he were to return, there would be a handful of great reasons. Maybe a singles run with the Intercontinental or United States but with Ciampa getting limelight in the main roster from RAW, what if we get a tag team reunion?

WWE is hurting for Tag Teams and what better than to scare off The Bloodline, loosen  the stranglehold of championships with some Do It Yourself action. DIY reunion could be amazing, especially with newer faces showing up to get championship aspirations like Kross and Ciampa. Want to break the hierarchy? Do It Yourself.

2. James Storm

This one is a little bit weird and off. On one hand, who doesn’t love the Tennessee Cowboy, Jimmy James Storm? On the other, he is 45 and getting some nagging injuries as of late. So why would I say Triple H should bring James Storm back and give him something for the main roster? One of the things I said for Gargano, we have a lack of something and The Usos might need to watch two things in the rearview.

Watch your Money and your Alcohol.

Beer Money showing up in WWE would be amazing in my personal opinion. The Bloodline jump Roode, someone in a hoodie or jacket comes up and jumps them to even the fight and as soon as one Uso remained in the ring, the figure goes down and the old stomping goes off and we hear “BEER…” and Roode looks around and gets hyped up and shouts, “…MONEY!”

3. Big Cass



Since his departure from WWE, he has done something I have said since they split him off from Enzo. Take him through the Kevin Nash School of How To Big Man. ROH and Impact are great examples that he actually cleaned up and worked on what he has to do to be good in the ring. He can work the microphone, he can work the ring so we got a new big boy to take on the WWE once again.

Now I could have said Enzo and Cass to rejoin but, I’m sure the antics of Enzo will get Cass in deep water along with the fact that I already made two tag team predictions, we don’t need another. Cass brings a lot to the table and was kind of unproven in WWE because he was just the big enforcer to the more charismatic Enzo. Give this man about six months in the ring and you have your next MASSIVE problem in the IC or US Championship scene or even more.

4. Bronson Reed



The big man from down under is a former NXT North American Champion. He looked to have a good push going with that championship but he got release. If you wonder where he went… he actually made a pit stop in Impact Wrestling as JONAH with the most fire theme song in recent history I swear… I will link the theme song and Trips… please. Get rights to this theme song. I will be a bigger Bronson Reed fan.

Bronson to me is the weird man in all of this but, I think with Triple H involved, he could get something going for him with a good singles champion run or a big threat to go through like a gatekeeper of sorts. Big boy with a great amount of athleticism? Can’t really hate on that considering the last time we saw athletic bigger people were Keith Lee and… what was that one guy? Sherman Tank with a Ferrari Engine…?

5. Bray Wyatt

And the last one is the obvious one in all of this. Yes… we have Judgment Day as the somewhat supernatural dark group but we know the true successor of the supernatural and that is “The Eater of Worlds”, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. This time around, I don’t think we will get the Jekyl and Hyde, Mister Rogers gimmick. I believe this time around we get full darkness and mayhem. We get the darkness and the theory of reverting back to your prime.

To make a refresher… Miz went back to being the cocky narcissist after fighting The Fiend. Finn turned back to the Prince and much more. With guys like Edge returning, maybe we see the return of the Heel Ultimate Opportunist, maybe a Fiend fight with AJ Styles to get the TN-AJ perhaps. Possibilities are endless and with a great mind like Wyatt for character and execution, I think Hunter will pick up the phone and Let Him In.

– There are clearly others that I could say, or maybe even didn’t think about, but hey, that’s the Chairshot way of Always Using Your Head. Those are just five returns that could happen and hopefully you read this before RAW or SmackDown and who knows if I get any of these right, maybe I missed an obvious one or maybe we get a giant signing that nobody thought possible. Let me and all of Chairshot know!


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