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  June 26, 2000



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Jericho named Sexiest Manitoban
By DOUG LUNNEY -- Winnipeg Sun

Chris Jericho at a WWF press conference in Winnipeg in August 1999. -- C.Procaylo, Winnipeg Sun files
He's flamboyant, muscular and has blond locks that many women would kill for.

He calls himself Y2J and the Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla.

Now Chris Jericho can add the title of Manitoba's Sexiest Man.

The brash World Wrestling Federation superstar edged Winnipeg Blue Bomber Troy Westwood atop the list of 10 men in a Winnipeg Sun poll of 400 participants, conducted by Viewpoints Research.

"This is a huge honour, for sure," the 29-year-old Jericho said in a telephone interview from Tampa, Fla.

Having the right look helps in pro wrestling, said the 6-foot-1, 231-pound Jericho.

"I don't know if you want to look sexy, but you don't want to be out there with a big pot belly, balding with clammy white skin," said Jericho, who's proud to have Winnipeg announced as his hometown whenever he greets his "Jerichoholics."

Jericho will marry Jessica Lockhart of Minnesota in Winnipeg on July 30. They met two years ago while Jericho was with World Championship Wrestling.

Jericho (real name Chris Irvine) graduated from Westwood Collegiate in 1988, and then from Red River Community College in creative communications.

He made his WWF debut only last summer, but his athletic in-ring ability and amusing interview presence quickly "put him over" with fans. He learned the ropes at Stu Hart's "dungeon" in Calgary before touring Japan and Mexico, which led to contracts with Extreme Championship Wrestling and WCW.

HAVING FUN IN THE RING

Having fun in the ring has been a key to his appeal.

"If you go see a band in concert and they're just standing around and not having any fun, it doesn't translate to the audience. How are you supposed to enjoy it?" offered Jericho, son of former NHLer Ted Irvine.

"Every time I go to the ring, I consider it a big party and I'm the party host."

Jericho garnered 13% of the vote, just ahead of Westwood at 12.5%.

"I think it's really cool," Westwood told Sun football writer Paul Friesen. "I mean, Chris Jericho is a stud, so it's pretty cool to be up there.

"I'm glad I beat out the premier, that's for sure."

Westwood was asked if his sister, a successful model, will be impressed by his selection.

"I'll be throwing it more at the guys in the locker room than I will at her," he replied. "I might send her a copy of it.

"As a kicker, you never want to push anything too much. I don't want to get taped to a goal post. I'm sure Bobby Gorgeous (nickname for Bomber receiver Bobby Gordon) will have some argument on the whole thing."

Behind Westwood was Guess Who singer Burton Cummings (7.3%), and curler Jeff Stoughton (6.3%).

Troy Westwood of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. -- John Woods, Winnipeg Sun
"That's too funny. I'm flattered," Stoughton said, adding he'll have to endure plenty of sarcasm from his wife, Susan, teammates and friends.

Stoughton, a young-looking 36-year-old, has spent much of his illustrious curling career in front of TV cameras as a former world champion.

"I don't think (appearance is) a major concern with anyone who's playing," said the skip of four provincial and two national winners. "They don't want to come across as grubby, but you want to be presentable because you are in the public eye."

Stoughton never considered himself a hot item with the girls in high school.

"No, I was curling too much back then. I didn't have time," he said.

Trailing Stoughton was Premier Gary Doer (5.8%) and Mayor Glen Murray (5.3%).

The Sexiest Manitobans
Results from the Winnipeg Sun Viewpoints Research poll, which asked 400 Winnipeggers who the sexiest man/woman in Manitoba is:
1. Pro wrestler Chris Jericho 13%
2. Winnipeg Blue Bomber Troy Westwood 12.5%
3. Guess Who singer Burton Cummings 7.3%
4. Curler Jeff Stoughton 6.3%
5. Premier Gary Doer 5.8%
6. Mayor Glen Murray 5.3%
7. Moose assistant coach Scott Arniel 3.3%
8. Fashion mogul Peter Nygard 3.0%
9. CJOB radio host Charles Adler 2.8%
10. Winnipeg Goldeye Brian Duva 2.5%
Doer, tongue in cheek, blamed his posting on a recent Sun advertising campaign that featured his head on a SUNshine Girl's upper body and a hockey player's lower body. In the same campaign, Murray was featured with the torso of a Blue Bomber and the curvy legs of a SUNshine Girl.

"It's the billboards that sunk me," said Doer, 52.

"I owe it all to the Winnipeg Sun's billboard posters," Murray, 42, chimed in mock praise.

Rounding out the group were: Manitoba Moose assistant coach Scott Arniel (3.3%); fashion mogul Peter Nygard (3%); CJOB morning radio host Charles Adler (2.8%); and Winnipeg Goldeye Brian Duva (2.5%).

"If I'd known I was going to make this list, I would have taken better care of myself," jested Adler, 45.

"I'm honoured to be in such good company. I'm glad that Glen, Gary and Burton finished ahead of me, because if they didn't, I'd think the thing was rigged. And I've always have been opposed to vote rigging."

'PETER NYGARD LOOK'

Adler has adopted a "Peter Nygard look" recently, sporting new Armani sunglasses and a leather jacket.

"It seems the farther west I go, the sexier I get," Adler joked. "I definitely got more acclaim in southern Ontario than in I did in Montreal, and definitely more here. Who knows ...? Weyburn may be next. This is getting to feel pretty good."

Those who made up the "other" or "don't know/refused" category were 9% and 30%, respectively.

"Any time you can be in the same category as Burton, that's OK with me," Jericho summarized. "If you can get Doer, Cummings and Jericho on the same list, what a party that would be.

"We should arrange a sexiest man in Manitoba reunion in 10 years. We could sell out the baseball stadium just like the Guess Who did."

More on Chris Jericho




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