Lion Heart, Corazón de Léon, Y2J
225 pounds, 6-foot
November 9, 1970 in Manhasset, New York
The son of former NHLer Ted Irvine (Rangers, Kings, Blues 1967-77), Chris
Jericho has become one of the top wrestlers in the world today.
As the WWE is now quick to point out, Jericho was born in Manhasset, NY, but
he grew up in Winnipeg. Jericho enrolled in the journalism program at Red
River College, graduating in 1988. Introduced to Stampede Wrestling and the
then-WWF at the age of 16, Jericho quickly realized that he wanted to get
involved in the wrestling industry.
A year after graduating from college, Jericho was setting up rings for
promoter Bob Holliday. At 19, he entered the Hart Brothers School of
Wrestling in Stu Hart's Dungeon. Two months later, he was ready to start
wrestling on independent shows, making his debut in October 1990. He took
the name "Jericho" from the Biblical reference as well as a Helloween album,
Walls of Jericho.
Jericho worked for Tony Condello
, working the tours of Northern Manitoba
that would become the stuff of legends with future superstars Edge
. He also wrestled in Calgary's CNWA and Rocky Mountain
In the winter of 1992, he traveled to Mexico where he wrestled for several
small wrestling companies as well as EMLL. In EMLL, Jericho took on Silver
King, Negro Casas and the Ultimo Dragon
en route to an eleven month reign as
the NWA Middleweight Champion that began in December 1993. His burgeoning
wrestling skills also took him to Japan in 1994 where he competed for the
WAR promotion, facing the likes of the Gedo and Ultimo Dragon to whom he
lost the WAR International Junior Heavyweight title.
1994 also saw Jericho reunited with his former teammate from Rocky Mountain
Wrestling, Lance Storm
as the Thrillseekers in Jim Cornette
Mountain Wrestling organization. In 1995, Jericho began wrestling for the
Philadelphia-based ECW promotion, winning the ECW Television title in June
He met WCW head Eric Bischoff
at Antonio Inoki
's World Peace Festival.
(Jericho lost a triangle match that involved Konnan
and Bam Bam Bigelow
at the big card, held in Los Angeles in June 1996) Fellow Canadian Chris
had given Bischoff some good PR on behalf of Jericho, and Bischoff
encouraged Jericho to contact him. Jericho arrived in WCW in August, 1996.
In his debut match, Jericho defeated J.L. (Jerry Lynn
Participating in WCW's highly competitive Cruiserweight division, Jericho would
win the title on several occasions between June 1997 and August 1998,
defeating the likes of Syxx (Sean Waltman
), Alex Wright and Rey Mysterio,
However, his career remained stagnant in WCW until he began throwing temper
tantrums in the ring after losses and turned heel. His newly-found arrogant
attitude and mic skills coupled with his already well-known in-ring skills
soon made him one of the most popular stars in WCW, sometimes to Eric
Jericho would feud with Dean Malenko, Booker T
(over the WCW Television
title, a belt Jericho won from Booker's brother, Stevie Ray) and Bill Goldberg
Or rather, Jericho tried to feud with Goldberg, cutting several promos but
the match never actually took place.
Upset at his treatment and lack of opportunity with WCW, Jericho left WCW
for the WWE in late June 1999 and debuted in August 1999. Jericho's debut
came in the middle of a Rock
promo, firmly establishing Jericho as a
By the end of 1999, Jericho found himself in the Intercontinental title
hunt, but found himself in the strange situation of having to battle a
, in order to gain the title. Even stranger, he and Chyna ended
up teaming together to defend the title after a disputed pinfall during a
December, 1999 title match.
In April 2000, a month after winning the European title in a match involving
and Chris Benoit at WrestleMania
, Jericho had seemingly defeated
for the WWE World title but the decision was soon overturned by the
referee at Triple H and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley threatened to fire the
On December 9, 2001 at the WWF Vengeance
pay-per-view, however, Jericho
would return to the World title scene. First he defeated the Rock to win the
WCW World Championship. Then in the main event, Y2J beat "Stone Cold" Steve
to unify the WCW and WWF World titles, becoming the Undisputed World
Jericho's reign as champion ended at WrestleMania 18
when even an alliance
with Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley couldn't help Jericho get by Triple H. After
the loss, Jericho went into a tail-spin, losing on every pay-per-view he
appeared on until SummerSlam 2002 (including a "Hell in the Cell" rematch
against Triple H at Judgment Day).
A month later, however, Jericho rebounded by defeating Rob Van Dam
Intercontinental Championship. He also began teaming with Christian and the
pair won the WWE Tag Team titles (Raw Brand). Jericho would still engage in
the singles ranks (a Match of the Year candidate against Shawn Michaels
and being part of the Elimination Chamber match at SummerSlam 2003
both stand out).
However, Jericho found his latest tag-team splitting up over a woman: one
. After making a bet that he could sleep with Trish before
Christian could do the same with Lita
, Jericho found himself falling for
Trish. Unfortunately, his friendship with Christian suffered. Battling his
former partner at WrestleMania 20
, Jericho was blindsided by Trish of all
people, who decided she liked being with Christian better. Before his feud
with Jericho could continue, Christian was on the shelf with an injury,
leaving Y2J to battle Tyson Tomko
Edge's Intercontinental title would also be on Jericho's "To Get" list, but Edge would retain the I-C title at SummerSlam
in a Triple Threat match involving Batista. September's Unforgiven
, however, would see Jericho defeat a returning Christian for that very title in a ladder match.
That reign would end at Taboo Tuesday when Shelton Benjamin defeated him. Switching gears, Jericho, Chris Benoit, Maven and Randy Orton would try to take down Evolution, defeating the Triple H-led group at the Survivor Series.
The feud with Christian and Tomko continued until WrestleMania 21 when Jericho came up with the idea for a "Money in the Bank" ladder match, which was won by Edge.
Jericho then decided to set his sights on the Intercontinental title, which was held by Shelton Benjamin, to whom Jericho had lost it at 2004's Taboo Tuesday. On the "Highlight Reel" on April 11th, the two men had an altercation, leading to a showdown at Backlash 2005 where Jericho lost in his quest to regain the title.
Jericho and Benjamin would team together to battle Muhammad Hassan and Khosrow Daivari. However, Jericho would leave Benjamin in the lurch, saying that he had more important things to be concerned with. Instead of feuding with Benjamin, however, Jericho turned to teaming with Raw newcomer John Cena.
Jericho would turn on Cena after a bout against Christian and Tyson Tomko. Jericho then took aim at Cena's World Championship, becoming a thorn in Cena's side. Jericho would lead a team of lumberjacks during a lumberjack match between Cena and Gene Snitsky and then later challenge Cena to a battle of the bands (Jericho would forfeit saying the Cleveland audience was biased against him).
Of course, more important than a musical showdown was the upcoming World Championship match that would pit Jericho against Cena at SummerSlam. Jericho lost that match as well as a rematch the next night where the loser would be fired.
Jericho was, at least for now, gone from WWE, but instead of wrestling, he has turned his attention to his rock band. For, in addition to performing in the ring, Jericho also performs on stage, as lead singer (under the moniker "Mongoose McQueen") for the rock band, Fozzy.
The band released their first album, Fozzy in 2000.
As well, Jericho also tried his hand at acting. His first flick Android Apocalypse, came out in 2006, he appeared with the Groundlings comedy troupe in Los Angeles, and in July 2006, starred in the play Opening Night in Toronto.
In the fall of 2007, Jericho's autobiography, A Lion's Tale came out, coinciding with cryptic messages on WWE television. Then, on November 19, Jericho returned to WWE TV on Raw to confront Randy Orton at the end of the program, setting off a feud and a full-time return to the ring. Jericho took the success of his New York Times best-seller into Armageddon to face Orton for the WWE title. Just when it seemed Orton would submit to the Walls of Jericho, JBL ran in and kicked Jericho, resulting in disqualification for Orton and a new feud for Jericho.
JBL came out of retirement and he and Jericho brawled all the way to the following month's pay-per-view. At Royal Rumble, JBL took the match but got a bloody beating for it when Jericho nailed him with a chair to get disqualified. Jericho would beat JBL a couple weeks later on Raw.
On the title front, Jericho missed winning a title shot at WrestleMania 24 when Triple H won an Elimination Chamber match at No Way Out, but did manage to beat Jeff Hardy for the Intercontinental title on Raw.
More important than his championship would be the fact Jericho inserted himself into the feud between Shawn Michaels and Batista, (who were getting into it over Michaels retiring Ric Flair), and his eventual heel turn. Jericho, who refereed the match, claimed Michaels faked an injury against Batista at Backlash, which allowed him to get the duke. Jericho and Michaels met at Judgment Day, which Michaels also won. Over the following weeks, Jericho would make like he respected Michaels. But on a Raw edition of the Highlight Reel, Jericho, after inviting Michaels down to the ring and calling him his mentor, completed his heel turn by smashing Michaels's head into the Jeritron 3000.
Michaels got a measure of revenge when, in spite of his "injured" eye, he distracted Jericho in his title defence at Night of Champions, which allowed Kofi Kingston to end Jericho's three-and-a-half month championship reign. This would just intensify his feud with Michaels feud, which began in the spring, and take it into the autumn.
At Great American Bash, Jericho got the best of Michaels, pounding his prone opponent until the referee called the match and awarded Jericho the victory. Jericho proclaimed he ended Michaels career, and at SummerSlam, Michaels, accompanied by his wife Rebecca, announced his retirement. Not happy with that, Jericho stormed into the ring and demanded that Michaels admit he retired because of Jericho. Jericho would try to sucker punch Michaels, but instead ended up hitting Rebecca.
This would goad Michaels back into action, and the two met again, this time in an unsanctioned match at Unforgiven. This time, Michaels beat on Jericho until the ref stopped the match. But a rejuvenated Jericho would return later in the evening to take CM Punk's place in the World Heavyweight Championship Scramble, and come out on top to take the belt.
This set up a ladder match between he and Michaels for the title at No Mercy. The two put together another outstanding match, with Jericho coming out on top to retain his belt. But his reign didn't last out the month, as he fell to Batista at Cyber Sunday. Although Jericho regained the title days later on Raw, he lost it again, this time to John Cena, later the same month at Survivor Series.
Jericho's next feud would be a strange one, as he traded promos with The Wrestler star Mickey Rourke, who challenged Jericho to a match at WrestleMania 25. Although Rourke backed off, that didn't stop Jericho from attacking several retired WWE legends, whom he compared to the movie's broken-down fictional character Randy "The Ram" Robinson. Jericho apparently did his job generating heat, but perhaps too well, as he got into an altercation with hostile fans outside a Victoria, B.C., arena following a show. Jericho's message was obviously received by Ric Flair, who, on behalf of fellow legends Jimmy Snuka, Ricky Steamboat and Roddy Piper, accepted Jericho’s challenge for a handicap match at WrestleMania 25.
There, Jericho made fairly quick work of "The Superfly" and Piper, but had his hands full with Steamboat in the Elimination Handicap match. Looking almost like "The Dragon" of old, Steamboat nearly got the duke on Jericho, but ultimately, Jericho was able to hit the Codebreaker to get the pinfall. Feeling even more cocky after disposing of Flair from the ring, Jericho called out Rourke, who was sitting at ringside. Rourke reluctantly entered the ring, but Jericho obviously took him too lightly, as Rourke ducked his punch and then connected with a left hook, dropping Jericho to the canvas.
Steamboat got some satisfaction the next day on Raw, helping defeat Jericho in a 10-man tag team match. The following week, Jericho was drafted to SmackDown. That, however, didn't stop him from having another go at Steamboat, and the two faced each other at Backlash, in Steamboat's first singles pay-per-view match since 1994's Bash at the Beach. Steamboat gave Jericho a good run for his money, but Jericho was able to win by submission with the Walls of Jericho.
Jericho next set his sights on Intercontinental gold, but lost to champion Rey Mysterio at Judgment Day. But in a not so extreme No Holds Barred match at Extreme Rules, Jericho would unmask Rey before rolling him up to win his ninth Intercontinental Championship.
-- compiled by John Milner and Richard Kamchen
CHRIS JERICHO STORIES
Jan. 3, 2015: The scoop on Jericho's busy life
Oct. 28, 2014: Third time's the charm for Jericho books
Jan. 19, 2012: Jericho breaks his silence for return to Winnipeg
Feb. 25, 2011: Jericho wrestling's renaissance man
Feb. 5, 2011: Jericho's latest book an Undisputed winner
Feb. 1, 2011: Jericho's Undisputed no Lion's Tale, but comes close
Sep. 28, 2010: Jericho DVD well worth the wait
Aug. 12, 2010: 'Nexus angle has been genius': Jericho
Jan. 28, 2010: Jericho, Helms arrested for public intoxication
Sep. 23, 2009: Smackdown, Big Show, Fozzy on Jericho's mind
Sep. 19, 2009: Jericho a proud 'puppet master' to the masses
Nov. 26, 2008: Jericho itching to get back to Winnipeg
July 7, 2008: Chris Jericho answers your questions
July 1, 2008: Jericho adds highlights to his reel
May 3, 2008: Jericho & Edge talk cheers & jeers, eh?
Dec. 30, 2007: Jericho hits the gym for ring return
Photo gallery from WWE Raw in Fort Lauderdale, November 19, 2007 with Jericho's return
Nov. 19, 2007: Jericho primed to "Save_us22" tonight
Nov. 14, 2007: Jericho still pumped for book promotion
October 23, 2007: Review: A Lion's Tale worth pulling
October 20, 2007: Jericho coy about return to ring
March 27, 2007: Chris Jericho's Mania memories
Mar. 23, 2007: Chris Jericho road tour 2007 kicks off
Feb. 4, 2007: Jericho wrestling with possible return to ring
July 7, 2006: Jericho to provide marquee mayhem
May 24, 2006: Jericho opens up on acting
May 21, 2006: Chris Jericho changes his spots
Nov. 19, 2005: Jericho a McCartney fan
Aug. 18, 2005: Jericho set for Sunday, dreams of DVD
July 22, 2005: Jericho draws big crowd in Winnipeg
July 2, 2005: Jericho weighs in on NHL
May 30, 2005: Jericho shares travel tales
May 26, 2005: Grapplers give Calgary props
March 15, 2005: Jericho, Fozzy evolve together
July 6, 2004: Jericho honoured with Buffalo award
July 6, 2004: Jericho falls short at Raw
July 3, 2004: Jericho will receive honours
Apr 16, 2004: Jericho loses roots
Apr 16, 2004: Jericho all Fozzy
Apr 10, 2004: Jericho romance on the rocks
May 4, 2003: Y2J: The mouth that roared
May 27, 2002: Can't get enough of home crookin'
May 27, 2002 : Villainous Chris Jericho loves wreaking havoc in his old stomping grounds
November 28, 2001: Jericho, Benoit on their time in Mexico
June 2, 2001: Jericho comes home to Winnipeg
June 1, 2001: Jericho: Wrestling 'ain't no ballet'
May 27, 2001: Benoit and Jericho have grappled their way to the top
May 22, 2001: Jericho nervous about title bout in 'Peg
Dec. 6, 2000: Video review: Jericho video the best e-e-e-ver
Nov. 3, 2000: Music review: Fozzy plain stinks
July 31, 2000: Chris Jericho weds
June 26, 2000: Jericho named Sexiest Manitoban
May 29, 2000: Jericho came tumblin' down
May 28, 2000: Jericho, Benoit mastered craft in Hart dungeon
Nov. 26, 1999: Jericho taming the WWF
Aug. 21, 1999: Wrestling in Jericho's blood
Aug. 10, 1999: Jericho makes his WWF debut
July 14, 1999: Jericho's dad a proud papa
June 30, 1999: Jericho signs with the WWF
March 10, 1999: Jericho's future up in the air
Sep. 25, 1997: Fan Q & A with Chris Jericho