In True Form, Y2J is the Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla
Born Christopher Keith Irvine, the son of NHL hockey player Ted Irvine, Chris Jericho would go on to amass among the most successful wrestling careers in the history of professional history. While amassing plenty of wrestling gold, Jericho would also join the band Fozzy and accomplish his two major childhood goals– become a professional wrestler and become a rock star.
Born in Manhasset, New York, but raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Jericho gained a love for wrestling at a young age watching American Wrestling Association events held at Winnipeg Arena. After witnessing a video of Owen Hart performing high-flying moves for Stampede Wrestling, Jericho knew he wanted to become a professional wrestler. At the age of 19, Jericho joined the Hart Brothers School of Wrestling and began training to become a pro wrestler. During training he would meet Lance Storm.
Within a few months, Jericho and Storm began working Tony Condello in tours of Northern Manitoba– working with talents such as Adam Copeland (Edge), Jason Reso (Christian), and Terry Gerin (Rhino). In 1991, Jericho would head to Japan to join Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling.
In the winter of 1992, Jericho would wrestle in Mexico for several small promotions before joining the country’s biggest company, Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL). While in CMLL, Jericho would face the likes of Silver King, Negro Casas, and Ultimo Dragon, which led to an 11-month reign as the NWA Middleweight Champion– beginning in December 1993. After leaving Mexico, Jericho would spend six weeks in Germany before going back to Japan. While in Japan, performance for Wrestle Association “R” (WAR), Jericho would also wrestle some for Jim Cornette’s Smoky Mountain Wrestling.
After being recommended by Chris Benoit and Perry Saturn– and Mick Foley handed him a tape of Jericho’s match with Ultimo Dragon while in WAR– Paul Heyman signed Jericho to Extreme Championship Wrestling. He would quickly win the ECW Television Championship, beating Pitbull #2 in June 1996. He would also wrestle Taz, Sabu, Rob Van Dam, Foley (as Cactus Jack), Shane Douglas, and 2 Cold Scorpio during his time in ECW. These matches grabbed the attention of World Championship Wrestling.
Jericho joined WCW in August 1996. By June 28, 1997, Jericho would defeat Syxx in Los Angeles, California for his first WCW Cruiserweight Championship. He would win the title a second time on August 12, over Alex Wright. Jericho became a heel after he forced Rey Misterio Jr. to submit to the Liontamer as Souled Out for his third Cruiserweight belt. After the match, Jericho attacked Misterio’s knee with a tool box; Misterio would then need six months to recover– according to the storyline. This led to a small feud with Juventud Guerrera. The fued culminated in a Title vs Mask match, where Jericho was victorious and Guerrera was forced to unmask. After this victory, Jericho began collecting “trophies” from all his wins– including Guerrera’s mask, Prince Iaukea’s Hawaiian dress, and a headband from Disco Inferno.
Jericho then began a long feud with Dean Malenko, where he claimed to be a better wrestler but refused to fight Malenko. Malenko’s technical abilities had earned him the title of the “Man of 1,000 Holds,” so Jericho claimed to be the “Man of 1,004 Holds.” After defeating Marty Jannetty on the March 30, 1998 episode of Monday Nitro, Jericho pulled a long pile of paper that listed each of these 1,004 holds he knew. This classic, comedic promo included many fictional holds and it seemed like almost every other hold was an arm bar.
Jericho finally faced Malenko at Uncensored, beating him. Malenko then took a leave of absence. During this time, Jericho would come to the ring with a portrait of Malenko to insult and demean him. Just before Slamboree, General Manager J.J. Dillon announced that there would a Battle Royal to determine the number one contender for Jericho’s Cruiserweight title later the same night. Jericho accepted with the idea that the winner would be too tired to win again. During the match Jericho came down to ringside to announce the contenders in an insulting manner. A wrestler who looked like Ciclope won the match, when Juventud Guerrera shook his hand and eliminated himself. It turned out that it was actually Malenko in disguise, who would go on to defeat Jericho. Afterward, Jericho would blame everyone form the WCW locker room, to Dillon, Ted Turner, and went as far as blaming President Bill Clinton.
Jericho defeated Malenko at Great American Bash for the vacant title, after Malenko was disqualified for hitting Jericho with a chair. At Bash at the Beach, Jericho took on a returning Misterio in a No Disqualification Match. Misterio would win after a still suspended Malenko interfered. Jericho would, however, regain the title the next night. He would drop the title for a final time to Juventud Guerrera at Road Wild.
Jericho would beat Stevie Ray for the World Television title on August 10. He then started calling out and challenging World Heavyweight champ Goldberg, but never actually faced him. While Jericho felt a squash match against Goldberg would be a huge draw; Goldberg, Eric Bischoff, and Hulk Hogan didn’t agree– according to Jericho this was a major reason he left WCW. After losing the TV title against Konnan and a series of bizarre matches against Perry Saturn, Jericho would appear in his final WCW match at a house show on July 21 in Peoria, Illinois. He teamed with Eddie Guerrero to lose a tag team match versus Billy Kidman and Rey Misterio Jr.
Jericho signed with World Wrestling Federation on June 30. After seeing a millenium countdown clock at a post office, Jericho received the green light from Vince McMahon to use the clock as his introduction to the WWF. On the August 9, 1999 episode of Raw is War, the clock struck all zeroes and out came Chris Jericho while the Rock was cutting a promo on Big Show. Jericho came and welcomed the fans to “Raw is Jericho.” He proclaimed he was “here to safe the WWF,” referring to himself as Y2J– a play on the Y2K scare that existed at the time. The Rock proceeded to mock Jericho for his interruption.
Jericho’s first major feud was with Chyna for the WWF Intercontinental Championship. At one point, Jericho and Chyna were declared co-champs after two different referees declared each of them the winner. Jericho won the title outright at Royal Rumble. Subsequently, he would team up with Chyna which led to him making a face turn.
By 2001, former WCW and ECW wrestlers, that were signed to WWF after McMahon had purchased WCW and saved most of the ECW property from bankruptcy, joined forces to invade the WWF. Jericho, though he had wrestled in both those promotions, stayed loyal to the WWF. However, he began to show jealousy toward the Rock as the Invasion angle was coming to an end. After he became the top contender for the WCW World Heavyweight title by beating Rob Van Dam, Jericho would defeat the Rock at No Mercy for the title– pinning after debuting a new finishing move, the Breakdown. This was Jericho’s first world title. At Survivor Series, Jericho and Rock were both part of Team WWF in an elimination match against Team WCW/ECW. Jericho almost cost WWF in the elimination match after he turned on the Rock. On December 9, at Vengeance, Jericho defeated the Rock for the World title (the WCW belt unbranded after Survivor Series). After Stone Cold Steve Austin beat Kurt Angle for the WWF title, the two faced off later that night in a unification match. Jericho would also defeat Austin that night, becoming the first-ever Undisputed WWF World Heavyweight Champion. He would repeat the feat of beating the top faces of WWF by beating Rock at Royal Rumble and Stone Cold at No Way Out. He would headline Wrestlemania X-8, losing the title to the returning Triple H.
Jericho would have a classic match against Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania XIX. Michaels would come out on top, but Jericho would kick Michaels in the crotch after embracing Michaels. He would then enter a rivalry with the now signed Goldberg, stemming from Goldberg’s refusal to face him in WCW. He claimed no one wanted Goldberg in the newly named WWE. After there was an attempt to run down Goldberg with a car, Co-Raw General Manager Stone Cold Steve Austin, investigated and found the driver was Lance Storm. He put Storm in a match with Goldberg. After Goldberg won, he got Storm to admit it was Jericho who had him drive the car. At Badd Blood, Goldberg settled the score and defeated Jericho.
Jericho began a romance with Trish Stratus which was actually a bet with Christian (who was pursuing Lita) on who would sleep with their girl first. Stratus overheard everything and slapped Jericho who actually was beginning to have real feelings for her. After he saved her from an attack by Christian, the two faced off at Wrestlemania XX. Stratus would interfere and help Christian win the match, then they would kiss on the ramp– finishing the betrayal on Jericho.
In his time at WWF/E, Jericho would win the Intercontinental title a record nine times. During his entry into WWF/E, Jericho also joined the band Fozzy. Their first two records were a mix of cover songs and some originals, but since then they have put out three albums of nothing but originals. Jericho would also stop beign a full-time wrestler around 2009, when Fozzy started to seriously tour.
Since that time, Jericho has still make erratic appearances on WWE shows, focusing mostly on making music and touring with Fozzy. Using the skills he learned in entertaining live crowds while wrestling, Jericho has successfully been able to do the exact same thing with crowds all over the world.
Proving how much of a professional and great performer he is, Chris Jericho and Fozzy put on an extremely entertaining performance in front of thousands of people on June 21, 2014, at the El Paso Downtown Street Festival. While admittedly, most of the crowd had never listened to a Fozzy song, the crowd was so entertained that they constantly chanted Fozzy throughout the whole performance.
On June 30, 2014, Chris Jericho made a surprise return to WWE Raw– interrupting The Miz’s return speech. After he hit Miz with the Codebreaker, Jericho was surrounded and attacked by the Wyatt Family.