Saturday, July 21, 2012

*Remembering RAW: The Debut of Chris Jericho

(photo courtesy of
As the shift in power in the Monday Night wrestling wars began to settle on the side of the WWE, Vince McMahon made a major signing that signified said shift to his competitor, and to the world. Chris Jericho was snatched up from WCW, and the wrestling world would never be the same.

Jericho made his name in WCW's cruiserweight division, but many felt that his abundant talents were being grossly underutilized. This was a condition typical of many wrestlers working for Ted Turner at the time; there was just too many guys on the roster to give everybody their fair shake (see Chris Benoit & Eddie Guerrerro).

In the WWE, Jericho would be catapulted directly into a feud with the promotion's all-time most popular character, The Rock, and would go on to also become one of the greatest WWE superstars in his own right.

On that historic night, Jerichoholics were treated to the culmination of a weeks long "countdown to the millennium", which happened abruptly in the middle of an always classic Rock promo. Jericho was met with a massive ovation, which continued even as he berated fans and the WWE itself. His promos were just that good.

Jericho claimed to be wrestling's "most charismatic showman", and that assertion was not speaking out of school; he went on to become one of the most influential wrestlers of the 2000's. He would later become the WWE's first-ever undisputed champion, defeating both The Rock, and Stone Cold Steve Austin in the same match to unify both World Championships, his first of a total six World Championship reigns. He's also held the WWE Intercontinental Championship a record nine times, and now sits second on this list of all-time Monday Night Raw appearances.
(photo courtesy of

At the time of Chris Jericho's jump to WWE, he was one of WCW's most recognizable faces, with his untouchable microphone skills, hilarious gimmicks (such as the classic Jericho Personal Security guard angle with "Ralphus"), and sharp, stiff, and creative in-ring skills to boot. Jericho's jump solidified the evident WWE victory of the Monday Night Wars, as they had not lost to WCW's Monday Nitro in months, and were progressively pulling away in the ratings.

As significant an event as his debut was to the world of wrestling, it was especially significant in my young adolescent eyes. At that time I was a massive wrestling fan, and an avid Jerichoholic. While I may not watch wrestling with the same wide-eyed enthusiasm as i once did, events like RAW's 1000th episode offer fans like me a chance to relive those classic an nostalgic moments that had such a resonating effect on my youth.

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