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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Chris Jericho -- Lost In Transition
March 8, 2005 by Justin Kraemer


The World Wrestling Federation was at its prime at this point in time. Devout WWF superstars successfully killed WCW and ECW (collectively known as the alliance) at Survivor Series 2001, leading into Vengeance 2001 (formerly Armageddon but was renamed for 2001 following September 11th). That night we saw the unification of the world heavyweight and WWF championships, in a series of matches between Chris Jericho and The Rock, Kurt Angle and Steve Austin, and ultimately Chris Jericho and Steve Austin. We all know how it ended, with Chris Jericho the first ever undisputed champion. But truth is, this reign is in my view very, very disputed.

Earlier on in the year we saw Triple H, one of the top players in the game (and no pun intended) go down with a torn quad. Hunter would be sidelined at least 6-8 months and that is where we begin. If you start from that very match - Chris Benoit/Chris Jericho vs. Triple H/Steve Austin, you can tell it's the beginning of Jericho's time to shine. Jericho would wind up in a Triple Threat match at the King Of The Ring between his partner Benoit and Austin for the WWF championship. This match would also go down as the match where Chris Benoit injured his neck requiring, over 15 months absence.

These two incidences are, in my opinion, why Chris Jericho got the major push he received. He was simply put into Triple H's boots while he was out. Think about it. Stephanie McMahon was "ECW Owner" - she would have had Triple H over at that time in a heart-beat. So we'd have seen The Rock vs. Triple H headlining PPV's down the road, not Chris Jericho. He never would have seen the gold. Chris Jericho would never have gone anywhere because they had no other solid heel they could push, who wasn't a WCW alumni that the crowd liked (or liked to hate) except him.

Then look at this, Royal Rumble 2002. Triple H returns, wins the Royal Rumble, then makes the miraculous win at WrestleMania X-8 to win the Undisputed World Heavyweight Championship. Now look at Chris Jericho, forced into exile amongst the mid-card and hasn't come nearly as close as he once did to the WWE or World Heavyweight Championships. Before you think - what about New Year's Revolution or SummerSlam 2003" Do you really consider those legitimate shots" They were a chance for us to believe Goldberg, Randy Orton, or Batista would win it only to have our dreams shattered.

Now you may disagree with my views here, and that's quite frankly OK. I'm using current WWE logic on an event from nearly 3 years ago. That's right kids, it's been three years since Jericho's seen that title and people still are talking about it. But in reality, or in my view at least, it would have been all about the Game.

by Justin Kraemer ..


Rhey wrote:
Jericho earned that title, dammit! People are still talking about it today because he was he first ever Undisputed Champion. THE FIRST!!!!!!! He deserved to hold that tile every day he had it, and should have had it so much longer!!! As good as Triple H is, Jericho is hat much better.
metalgamer12 wrote:
I completely agree with you Justin. Everyone on the WWE roster can do better without Triple H but sadly he gets special treatment from the boss. Just like Jericho, other talent have been screwed from the title, such as the one who deserves the title the most: Edge. Dave Batista, Randy Orton, Shelton Benjamin, Chris Benoit, Maven, Shawn Michaels and numerous others even including Ric Flair have also been ripped off. And about Summerslam 2003 hoping Goldberg would win the title, Lita has said that the WWE needs to focus on the talent they have(Jericho, Orton, Batista) instead of bringing in new ones(Goldberg, Lesnar)."
sfhardrock wrote:
Oh yeah, baby, I'm back! It looks as though I've quite a few posts and that's alright, I'll catch those topics later on. Right now, this caught my eye for some strange reason.. maybe because I am one the greatest Jerichoholics to ever... EEEEEEVER have the pleasure of watching this great star in the ring. Ok, I lie, I may not be the greatest Jerichoholic, but damn it.. I'm a big fan! And what better way to make my postin' return than to comment about one of my favorite superstars"

First off, I'm saddened to admit that it's because of Triple H that Jericho isn't as big as he should be today. Yes, the only reason Jericho became the first Undisputed Champion is most likely because Triple H was out for quite a while. I'm just surprised Triple H didn't get the title on his first night back! It is disappointing to see one of the greatest athletes and entertainers (admit it, Jericho MAKES Raw) being pushed so far down that so few can remember the great times in ECW and WCW. I think WWE is trying to make fans forget about the whole Undisputed title reign that Jericho, think about it, is it a coincidence that when Jericho beat Triple on Raw, Triple H demanded the match be put out of the record books just because of a referee's fast count"

I haven't heard any comments about his U.C. reign ever sense he lost the belt. Well, once when it was going into New Year's Revolution (great promotional build-up, by the way.) Why should Chris Jericho, the Ayatollah of Rock & Rolla', be forced to lower his standards and compete in a ladder match that would probably end up with Edge winning anyway" I'm sorry, I enjoy Edge and think he deserves a title reign, but I don't think a Triple H vs. Edge or Batista vs. Edge would catch people's eyes. Jericho vs. Edge, however, can raise many eyebrows. Seeing as how both are athletic and could give a hell of a match when need to, as well as being good on the mic in their own unique ways, the fans could get into it.

Final comments.. Jericho IS Raw.. we should keep it that way and give Triple H some time off to get in shape and perhaps build up a new, tougher, meaner version of Evolution to build the younger stars like Maven, La Resistance, or Snitsky.
USC0Dave wrote:
I completely agree with your article, Justin, and I for one really don't care why it is Vince decided to put the belt on him, only that Jericho got the belt at some point in his career. I would love to see him get the Heavyweight Title again at some point, but at least he has been to the top of the mountain once. That is more that can be said for RVD and Booker T, two other guys who, in my opinion, should have both held the top belt a long time ago. Now, I don't keep up with the "backstage politics" stories, so I don't know what the reasoning was, but last year, the WWE paid some respect to two of its best longtime ring veterans by giving the WWE Title to Guerrerro and the World Heavyweight Title to Benoit. I was glad that happened, and I don't care why it happened. Guys like Guerrero, Benoit, and Jericho deserve to have a World Title belt on their resumes. Now if only they can somehow maneuver RVD and Booker T into a title run or two!
RuthlessGattman wrote:
Ok, I read Justin's comments and have to comment on this. RVD and Booker T truly are heavyweight title contenders. However I only see Booker getting the title. RVD has to imprve his promos or he'll just be another guy with a title. Yes, he has amazing ring skill and his four second promos are hilarious, but I doubt he'll be a good face champion. If he were heel, then he'd be able to cut great promos. He can brag about his skills and not care whether the fans think his views are true or not. He'll be worth more money there.. he'll be worth more money elsewhere.

Maybe to get him started, have Paul return and manage RVD. Unlike Brock, RVD has skill and the fans have come to know and love him. With Heyman as his manager.. or Bill Alfonzo.. RVD's matches can go from tag team to heavyweight division. From competing against the Bashams to competing against JBL and Cena. (Perhaps a false ECW campaign where the two/three try bring back the ECW division")
wrote:

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