Industry-Changer: Chris Jericho Continues His “GOAT” Resume

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Chris Jericho

On Saturday night, history was made when Chris Jericho defeated Hangman Page in the main event of AEW‘s All Out to become the very first AEW World Champion. For most, this is a career-changing win when you capture a world title. But for Chris Jericho, it is just another feather in the cap for his resume to be remembered as the “Greatest Of All-Time”.

There may not be a wrestler in its long history to adapt and change their persona so successfully time after time. And when it comes to counting on the amount Jericho has done it, it may be unable to count on two hands. Now the self-proclaimed (and factually accurate) “Industry-Changer” sits at the top of the AEW mountain as they prepare for war against the company that Chris Jericho made himself the household name he is today.

When it comes to who the “GOAT” is in professional wrestling, so many will name the likes of Ric Flair, Bret Hart, and Shawn Michaels, but the longevity and drawing power that Chris Jericho carries with him along with his list of incredible bouts has him in the conversation. Usually, accolades are not the standard for considering the “GOAT” of professional wrestling and while they are not the top priority, they do go a long way in the conversation.

Never-Ending Accolades of Y2J

Chris Jericho wants you to “Drink it in Maaaaan” as the incredible accolades of his career are some that cannot be matched by many others. “The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla” has been in every company there is to be in and found success in all of them before moving on. Whether it was ECW, winning the ECW World Television Championship, or WCW, winning the WCW Cruiserweight Championship five times, his legacy cannot be denied. Again, it was WWE where he made his name while becoming one of the companies most legendary performers in history.

WWE

The reigning AEW World Champion did it all in the WWE. His relationship with Vince McMahon may not be the same as it once was, but Jericho was truly once the “joker” in the deep deck of cards that is the WWE roster. Jericho could elevate the Intercontinental Championship before heading to the main event scene to tear it up. Or it could be him in his makeshift tag teams that stole the show week in and week out. The real start is his incredible history with the Intercontinental Championship.

Y2J has the most Intercontinental Championship reigns in the history of the WWE with nine total, defeating the likes of Chyna, Christian, and Chris Benoit to become the champion on separate occasions. Despite having the most reigns, his time with the title never lasted more than 111 days in any of his nine times possessing the title. His last Intercontinental Championship run in the WWE came in June of 2009 as he feuded with Rey Mysterio.

Then it was his time spent in the tag division, with a slew of different partners to hold the titles with. Chris Jericho was a 4x tag team champion in his time with the WWE, winning the tag titles with Chris Benoit, The Rock, Christian, and Edge. His most notable team may have been his allegiance with Big Show, aka JeriShow, where the reign began when Edge went down with an injury and Jericho found himself a new partner in the form of Big Show. This was in the prime years of Jericho returning after his year-plus off in 2006 into the end of 2007, as he had hit another level of heel while making the tag titles important.

Photo: WWE

And finally, his runs as the world champion in the WWE. Most can remember back to Vengeance in 2001 when Y2J beat both The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin in the same night to become the first-ever WWE Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion, carrying both the WWE Title and World Heavyweight Title with him before losing them at WrestleMania X8 a few months later. In his time in the WWE, Jericho captured six separate world titles with his last coming early in 2010 when he won it at the Elimination Chamber PPV.

Photo: WWE

The accolades and achievements go on for Chris Jericho, and with that are his classic matches that will be remembered forever. He is in the elite class of “Grand Slam” champions in the WWE and with that left his mark on the business forever. But he is the “Industry-Changer”, so his WWE accolades are just part of his greatness.

NJPW

Jericho sent shock waves through wrestling in November of 2017 when he challenged Kenny Omega to a match at Wrestle Kingdom 12. This would be the match that in all purposes created his relationship with The Elite, leading to him going to All Elite Wrestling. But the shock and excitement fans had when he challenged Omega was massive at the time as for the most part, the WWE star moved to NJPW for what was expected to be a one-off and became so much more. Jericho went on to NJPW where he had a classic with Omega in the Tokyo Dome.

It would just be a day later when Jericho attacked the IWGP Intercontinental Champion, Tetsuya Naito, making it clear he was far from done in NJPW. At Dominion, he would capture the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, moving his legacy even further up in history as he’d become the first to hold both WWE’s and NJPW’s Intercontinental Championships. “The Painmaker” would lose the title at Wrestle Kingdom 13, which seemed to many to be his last appearance in NJPW with him heading to AEW, but he had one more appearance before that.

Days after defeating Kenny Omega at Double or Nothing, Jericho faced Kazuchika Okada at Dominion this year for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. While it was a losing effort, the drawing power and ability Jericho has to change the industry really took shape when he hopped over to NJPW out of nowhere. It was this that all helped lead to him signing with All Elite Wrestling, and now being their world champion.

AEW

Chris Jericho
Photo: AEW

As known now, Chris Jericho is the inaugural AEW World Champion after defeating Hangman Page in the main event of All Out. Now, with his seventh world title to his name, Jericho looks to add the prestige to the new title as he leads AEW against his longtime home of WWE in the war that is real, even if fans do not want to accept that. With the TNT debut just a month away now, Jericho will continue growing his resume by defending this title with honor and doing everything he can to keep it – whether it is the Judas Effect or being Judas himself.

Reinvention Magician

The resume of being the “GOAT” for Chris Jericho doesn’t just touch the accolades, but once again his ability to reinvent himself time after time. For example, Jericho was able to get the littlest things over like the word “it” or the List of Jericho in his most recent run in the WWE. That was almost a decade after he was the one calling fans hypocrites while being an ungrateful bastard as the World Heavyweight Champion. But his newest reinvention of himself lists him as “The Painmaker”, the shift, the reason AEW is where they are.

Jericho asks for a thank you week after week, but still has not gotten it. Instead, the Judas of AEW now has changed his entire in-ring game to a more devastating, brawling style. Some say it is just because he is getting older, but Jericho is a genius and knows how to reinvent in order to be ahead of the game. His match with Hangman Page was another great one with him finishing Page with a shocking Judas Effect elbow. Haters will be there and challenge the greatness of Y2J until the day we can’t enjoy his greatness any longer. The AEW World Champion doesn’t care what people think, which makes him the true magician in the world we experience today. A twist in the story of a real-life theft of his AEW World title belt, just days after winning it, has already been turned into an angle by Jericho himself.

Chris Jericho has been and still is the total package as he continues to put together the resume to view him as the greatest of all-time. For Jericho, it doesn’t matter if he is breaking down the walls or bringing the Judas Effect to pro wrestling, we are continuing to see one of the last legends of wrestling. He just happens to be the AEW World Champion, which means that resume will continue to grow until he says so.

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.  AEW All Out aired on PPV on B/R Live and Fite.tv.

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