There isn’t a more controversial debate in all of sports than who the greatest of all time is. Each sport has their legends, but trying to decide who the greatest of all time is can be extremely difficult. Where would you even begin? Is it who won the most? Who had the best statistics? What about who made the most exciting plays?
In the world of professional wrestling, this debate is even more complicated. The wins and championship are decided long before the men (and women) set foot in the ring, so championships can’t make the case for them. And exciting plays? Wrestlers like Matt Sydal (Evan Bourne in WWE) and Neville can do incredible aerial maneuvers in the ring, but neither of them are the best of all time. So naming the “G.O.A.T.” in pro wrestling is merely a matter of opinion. Here’s why Chris Jericho is the greatest of all time.
Chris Jericho Is the Greatest of All Time
In the Ring
In the ring, it’s impossible to deny that inside the ring, Chris Jericho is one of the best of all time. He’s had no shortage of incredible matches all around the world, for the better part of the last 25 years. He’s had great matches with everyone from Sami Zayn and Seth Rollins to The Rock and Triple H to Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit.
Jericho started wrestling as a cruiserweight (or a Super Junior in Japan), and over the years, evolved into a serious wrestler. Even his finishing moves have changed over the last 25 years. He’s went from the highflying Lionsault to the crippling Lion Tamer (Later modified into the “Walls of Jericho”) to the deadly Codebreaker.
Jericho has been having incredible matches for most of his career, and can get a good match out of anyone. His best matches, however, have come when he was in the ring with equally brilliant talent. That leads to the next subject.
Chris Jericho has absolutely left his mark on the world or pro wrestling. Since his debut 26 years ago, Jericho has had far too many huge moments to list here. But we’re going to try anyway. There was that time…
- He kicked out of a Taz suplex in ECW.
- He listed all 1,004 of his moves (Most of which were actually just an armbar)
- Chris Jericho vs. The World (It’s a conspiracy!)
- His “feud” with Goldberg
- His amazing WWF(E) Debut
- Calling Stephanie a filthy, disgusting, dirty, brutal, busted, bottom-feeding, trash bag ho
- “Winning” the WWF Championship from Triple H
- The First Undisputed Champion
- Throwing Shawn Michaels into the JeriTron 6000
- He invented Money in The Bank
- He invented everything
- The Save.Us_Y2J Return
And the sad thing is, we probably missed a few. Over the last 25 years, Chris Jericho has been doing his absolute best to be the best thing on wrestling television. And for the most part, he’s succeeded.
“I’ve Been Everywhere, Man”
Some guys achieve great success in promotion but can’t get anything going anywhere else. Diamond Dallas Page (DDP) was one of the best WCW originals, but his WWE career never really took off. Derrick Bateman struggled mightily to get over in WWE, but is currently a main eventer in TNA as EC3.
Chris Jericho didn’t have that problem. Everywhere he went, Chris Jericho held some kind of gold. Over the course of his career, he’s held a combined 37 championships in seven different promotions. Regardless of whether he was wrestling in Canada, Japan, Germany, Mexico, or the United States, Chris Jericho has gotten over. Even when the office has tried to hold him down (*cough* Eric Bischoff *cough*), Jericho has managed to get himself over with the fans.
A Man of Many… Scarves?
One thing that is consistently true for most people that are considered among the best of all time is that their gimmick constantly evolves. The likes of Triple H, Mick Foley, The Undertaker, and Shawn Michaels have experienced many career changes over the years, and it’s helped keep them fresh in the eyes of the fans. However, despite also wrestling during the “Attitude Era”, only one man is still wrestling full time.
The main reason that Chris Jericho is the greatest of all time has nothing at all to do with his ability in the ring. While Jericho is a world class professional wrestler, the biggest reason he’s the greatest of all time is how his character has evolved over the years. When Chris Jericho first showed up on American television, it was as the most vanilla, boring babyface. It’s so funny considering what he would become.
We’ve witnessed lionheart Chris Jericho, Y2J Jericho, Rock N’ Rolla Jericho, whacky heel Jericho, Best in the World Jericho, “cool dad” Jericho, and stupid idiot Jericho. The man has more variations than Barbie, and it’s helped him stay fresh despite being on TV since the mid-nineties. While most wrestlers have faded away or slid into a part-time role, but not Jericho. Jericho still shows up on Monday Night Raw every week, he still works the house shows, and he still entertains crowds around the world. This is especially impressive considering that he has written three best-selling books, hosts a weekly podcast, and is in a successful rock band.
Your move, Dwayne.