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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Chris Jericho: An analysis



In Ring Work: *****
Mic Work: *****
Character Work: *****

I'm convinced you could give this man a pornstar gimmick and he'd find a way to make it work.

I've always had a great deal of respect and admiration for Chris Jericho. The things this man has done in Pro Wrestling range from great to downright GOAT worthy. This was a man who could do no wrong. He started out in the WWF with his legendary Y2J gimmick, and then we saw him progress more and more as time went on. And then he left in 2005, and the rest is history. What this man has done in Pro Wrestling is incredible. But it's his WWF/E work that will always stand out the most to me.

When it came to being able to play his role properly and connect with the crowd, Jericho was able to accomplish it with little to no effort. His mic work was always on point. And although his in ring work now a days has suffered quite a bit due to his older age, he was an unbelievably good in ring performer in his prime. Jericho is the second person I've given a perfect five out of five rating in all three categories to. Lets waste no time and figure out why.

Character Work

To this day, Chris Jericho still goes by the name "Y2J". It's an iconic nickname in Pro Wrestling that will always be the first thing we think of when we hear the man's name. It was one of the all time great gimmicks, and for good reason. Chris was very easy to like, and at the same time easy to be annoyed with. So you never had any issue getting behind him as a face or hating him as a heel. I do have to point out that he had some trouble getting fans to hate him in this day and age, but to be fair, I think that has more to do with WWE wanting the man to be more entertaining with his craft. And I believe this because it's a common trend going on in all of WWE. Kevin Owens is only getting heat now because of his betrayal of Jericho. AJ Styles can't get fans to hate him to save his life and WWE has made no adjustments to his character that shows they're trying to make it happen. I can't even remember the last time Bray Wyatt got booed by a crowd, but WWE is still letting him do the same thing. So all in all, I don't blame Jericho at all for the lack of heat he got in his recent heel run. I'm sure he realized it, because he's made it well known how he feels about fans cheering for heels.

But enough about that. What couldn't the man do? He was capable of being funny as hell and thus extremely likable. He knew when to be serious and it showed through the way he presented himself when ever he was in the ring. If he was pissed off, you felt it. I think his look gave him an advantage in that you could buy him in the underdog role, and fans always bought into that idea when it was portrayed. As I said before, he was always able to connect with the fans. His charisma was simply off the charts. He was just the perfect guy to play the smaller but still very effective in ring performer who was crafty and knew how to get the job done. And as a heel, because he had that particular look, you bought the idea of him being a cowardly heel. And acting like a jackass was never difficult for him.

But with that said, if I would have done this review in early 2008, I would have never given this man a five star rating in character work. Because when he first came back in the WWE, I was excited as hell to see him back, but then I found myself being disappointed afterwords. He was the same Chris Jericho that we all knew and loved, but that was exactly the problem. I felt like there wasn't really anything new being brought to the table. And at the time, I didn't have the same perspective on Pro Wrestling that I do now. It was kind of like The Rock when he finally came back to the WWE. It was great seeing him again and I always loved his gimmick, but felt that he wasn't bringing anything new to the table. It was entertaining, but nothing out of the ordinary apart from what I was used to seeing him do. For the most part, it was just great seeing them both back.

So what happened that is now making me give this man a five star rating in Character work?

Chris Jericho's 2008 Heel Turn



I am going to go on record, and say that, in my honest opinion, this is the greatest heel turn in the history of Pro Wrestling. Not just WWE. Not just their entire history with WWF included. Not just WCW or ECW, the companies they own. I mean in all of Pro Wrestling, this is the greatest heel turn ever.

All that stuff I was just saying about how Chris Jericho wasn't really bringing anything new to the table was one of the first reasons why this was such a great heel turn. It was something I felt he desperately needed. But here's the thing. He didn't just turn heel. He completely changed his entire character around. His Y2J gimmick? Gone. His sense of humor and comedy? Gone. The Highlight Reel? Gone. This man went from being an energetic, wild and loud-mouth, to suddenly being a emotionless, depressed, sinister heel. The way he acted, the way he talked, the way he performed in the ring, everything about him completely changed. He even wore tights going forward instead of the pair that covered his legs. It was a complete gimmick change. He became a completely different person. He was almost unrecognizable. The only thing he kept was his theme music.

And it worked. And I mean it when I say this. It fucking worked exactly the way they wanted it to.

Here's the thing about this gimmick change that's so spectacular about it. In my last analysis, I pointed out how The Rock went from a terrible gimmick that he himself was terrible in to one of the all time greatest characters in the history of Pro Wrestling. It was something that fit his look, his strengths, his personality, it was something he was comfortable in. Jericho on the other hand had spent his whole WWF/E career being Y2J. It was his baby, his main gimmick, his entire life inside of WWE. He was never anything else. And he was incredible at it. I know that when he first came back, I wanted something different out of him, but a different gimmick wasn't something he necessarily needed. There were other fans who weren't as familiar with his gimmick who I am sure would have warmed up to him very quickly, and from what I understand a lot of them did. And once again, where the Rock's time as Rocky Mavia was short lived, Jericho's time as Y2J spanned through his entire WWE career at that point. That's a long time to be playing one character. So it was a HUGE risk. It could have easily failed. It would be like making Ric Flair no longer do his nature boy gimmick and do something completely different after he had spent decades doing it.

Not only did the gimmick succeed, it was arguably just as good as his Y2J character, if not better. Jericho was so incredible in this role that it forced WWE to push the man. Yeah, I read up somewhere (I can't find the article now so I can't confirm this, so take it with a grain of salt) that WWE apparently had no intentions of giving Jericho a serious push when he came back in 2007, that they were probably going to use him in the same role they were using Benoit before his death (and thank christ they didn't). This gimmick change was such a huge success that they ended up giving the man the World Heavyweight Championship just a few months later. He had one of the best feuds in years with Shawn Michaels. He was without a doubt the best pro wrestler WWE had that year. Just when we thought we were never going to get the same Jericho ever again when he first returned (just in case anyone thought that), we ended up getting something arguably better. His change in appearance helped him fit the part perfectly. He was so easy to hate in this role. And the facial expressions, oh my god the facial expressions were outstanding. Just look at this shit.



That's the man who not to long ago was happy and easy going, funny as hell, always smiling. Think about that for a moment.

What more can I say? We've talked about some incredible transformations from people through out WWE's history. The Rock as I mentioned earlier. Steve Austin with his gimmick change. Husky Harris becoming Bray Wyatt. Ryback going from a blithering idiot to an ass kicking machine, the list goes on. This was a man who went from one of the most iconic characters in Pro Wrestling history and turned into something you could argue was even better. It wasn't him wearing different masks or being different "personalities", this was literally a complete change in every possible way that doesn't involve surgically changing the mans appearance. The only examples off the top of my head of people going out of their comfort zone and into something different that worked out well are the Undertaker going from dead man to the biker gimmick, and John Cena from his rapper gimmick to his marine (sort of) gimmick. But those simply do not compare to this. It demonstrated the incredible range Chris Jericho had. And with all the things he has done in his career at this point character-wise, I'm convinced you could give him any gimmick you want, and while he may not hit it out of the park with all of them, he'll at least find a way to make them work. He's simply that damn good.

Mic Work

Oddly enough, I'm still not sure if I want to say his character work was the best part about him. He might be the best mic worker ever after the Rock.

First off, if I had to make a list of all the memorable sayings this man has come up with over the years, it would probably be more than a thousand (and Jericho fans will probably know what I'm referring to when I say that). He was so damn creative with the shit he said, and he always sounded great when saying it. It's unbelievable that, after the amount of times he's said it by now, I still laugh my ass off when he calls someone a "stupid idiot". His delivery, the timing in his promos when he says it, it's a joy to listen to the man.

He was always great with comedy. As mentioned before he always had great delivery and timing in his promos. And he had the perfect voice to go along with his character. I always loved the reactions that he gave in his promos with others. I do give WWF/E some credit for giving him great wrestlers in segments. Jericho and the Rock I felt always brought out the best in each other, because both were forced to get a lot more creative with their promos. Jericho knew how to push the buttons with fans to make them give him the reaction he wanted (except for now a days where cheering heels is apparently a popular thing now).

But then the character change happened. But that didn't stop him from doing literally anything he wanted.

I want to show you guys one of my all time favorite promos. Watch the whole video and look at what he is doing.



Is it his most entertaining promo? No. Is it the most memorable? Not even fucking close. Does he even doing anything that is worth mentioning here? No. Hell if you weren't a fan of the man, you'd probably say that this promo from him is boring.

That's why I fucking love this promo. It's a very basic promo. It's Jericho literally talking down to the people who believe in Shawn Michaels and the things he has done. It is him forcing fans to hate the man. It is him doing everything a heel should do. His facial expressions are outstanding. He talks at the appropriate pace needed to make this work. He doesn't drag on with his points, he does just enough to send the message needed. His insults are awesome. His delivery is simply perfect. He does nothing wrong in this promo (apart from one minor botch. Fuck off Maffew, leave greatness alone). And through all of this, he is advancing the story that is currently being told between him and Michaels.

This is why I love this promo. It's proof that you don't need a lot of emotion and a lot of heart to make fans care. It's proof that simply playing your character and talking in the matter that is appropriate and makes sense can make a promo extremely effective. There's no screaming or arguing or big time drama, it's simply a man on a ladder talking about why he's better than the other. There are so many legendary Jericho promos out there, but this one will always stand out to me.

Jericho was simply one of the best mic workers out there. Whether it was comedy or monotone seriousness, he was able to execute perfectly. Even when he needed to just be basic on the mic, he found a way to make it stand out in some form or fashion. What else can I say really? The man was simply perfect on the mic.

In Ring Work

Before I continue, I just want to point out that I am aware the man has had his stinkers now a days. But the thing to keep in mind is that he's been doing this shit for a long time, and with his current age, it's very hard for him to work at the pace that he wants. He can't go in long matches in the fashion he used to. And that's not his fault. Thus, I'm not going to hold that against him. Pacing is extremely important in making a match work. And if you are physically incapable of keeping up with the appropriate pacing of a match, then that I just can't fault them for that.

With that said, in his prime this man was unreal in the ring. He has a long list of fantastic matches that he deserves a ton of credit for making great. He was always a fantastic storyteller in the ring. He had the ability to blend in his high flying style with a technical in ring style and still be able to adjust based on his opponents size/strength. I always felt he was a great seller. His pacing when he was in his prime was incredible. His timing I thought was always great as well. He had a diverse and interesting moveset that allowed him to really get creative in his matches, and he didn't go overboard with high impact spots. For the most part, he always made sure there was at least a purpose to them and he made sure they played a part in the match in some form or fashion. He knew how to work the face and heel role. And he always had the best response to a wrestler botching...which was kicking them once and walking away.

Because of his strengths in the ring, he was able to pull out a great amount of classics under his belt. Just look at some of these incredible matches from him.





And there are so many more that I could name. I could name the Wrestlemania show-stealing match he had with Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 19, or even one of the greatest ladder matches of all time he also had with Michaels. I could name his epic ladder match with Chris Benoit at the Royal Rumble. He had some outstanding matches with the Rock as well. And hell, there's probably about five other matches he's had with Shawn Michaels that are outstanding. He has some memorable matches with CM Punk, Christian, John Cena, the list goes on.

And of course, there is that fact that he loves to mention: He's never been seriously injured. Ever. And that's absolutely incredible. With how long this man has wrestled for and how much he has done it, for him to have never been injured before is unheard of. I'm not using that as another reason to give him five stars, but that's just an astonishing feat.

He's done so much in the ring that it would be a crime not to give him a five star rating in this category. I have no complaints about his abilities as an in ring performer. He did everything he was supposed to do and then some. And it's resulted in a lot of classics under his belt.

Conclusion

Jericho isn't one of my all time favorites. But with that said, I cannot deny how insanely talented this man was as a Pro Wrestler. He was an outstanding in ring performer who knew how to perform based on his character and story to create compelling matches. As a mic worker he was nearly untouchable, creating a lot of legendary moments and one liners we still say to this day. And in regards to character work, this man actually has two legendary gimmicks under his resume as opposed to just one. And it's simply remarkable that he pulled that off in the fashion he did, mostly because the two characters are polar opposites. This man is a legend, and deserves to mentioned among some of the all time greats. Even if he didn't necessarily have the same impact on the business that guys like Hogan, Austin and The Rock did, just the things he has been able to pull off make him one of the all time most talented all around Pro Wrestlers ever. And I'm glad that I am at least seeing him being called such by many on this site, and I hope that will continue after he has retired (which hopefully isn't anytime soon).

And if anyone here wants to claim Jericho wasn't great in any of these categories, well...




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Last edited by AlternateDemise; 03-22-2017 at 07:02 PM.
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 06:38 PM
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Re: Chris Jericho: An analysis

Another great analysis

Y2J easily one of the greatest and most complete wrestlers all time.





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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 06:51 PM
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Re: Chris Jericho: An analysis

Personally I think his feuds with Michaels ( 2008 ) and Mysterio ( 2009 ) was his best work.

Please do a John Cena one soon
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Chris Jericho: An analysis

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Originally Posted by Cashmere View Post
Personally I think his feuds with Michaels ( 2008 ) and Mysterio ( 2009 ) was his best work.

Please do a John Cena one soon
Okay.
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Quote:
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WWE ending TNA's decade long year of dominance
Never change
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 07:06 PM
 
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Re: Chris Jericho: An analysis

Agreed, but I would actually give his character work six stars. No one's better in that department.
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Chris Jericho: An analysis

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Agreed, but I would actually give his character work six stars. No one's better in that department.
That's an interesting idea. I'll think about that.
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 07:13 PM
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Re: Chris Jericho: An analysis

In-ring and mic work deserve a perfect score.

But I think character work deserves a 4.5 or 4.75. It doesn't deserve a full score.

When he first started, he actually had problems being the man (i.e. main event heel) because he struggled to make people take him seriously, ala Triple H. People kept seeing him as a comedy guy, which made it difficult to book him equal with Austin, Rock, and Undertaker. Even Jericho in his book admitted that he had this problem throughout his career. It's the reason he kept falling into the upper mid card after he got main event pushes.

Granted, during the 2008 run, he did become a serious character; but he basically had to gut his entire character to make it happen. In addition, ratings dropped when he was champion, no? It's the reason they gave the belt back to Cena at Survivor Series 2008 (and ratings went back up thereafter).

I'm not saying that his character work was poor. I'm just remarking that it feels inappropriate to give him full marks for it.

Last edited by redban; 03-22-2017 at 07:14 PM.
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 07:23 PM
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Re: Chris Jericho: An analysis

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Originally Posted by redban View Post
In-ring and mic work deserve a perfect score.

But I think character work deserves a 4.5 or 4.75. It doesn't deserve a full score.

When he first started, he actually had problems being the man (i.e. main event heel) because he struggled to make people take him seriously, ala Triple H. People kept seeing him as a comedy guy, which made it difficult to book him equal with Austin, Rock, and Undertaker. Even Jericho in his book admitted that he had this problem throughout his career. It's the reason he kept falling into the upper mid card after he got main event pushes.

Granted, during the 2008 run, he did become a serious character; but he basically had to gut his entire character to make it happen. In addition, ratings dropped when he was champion, no? It's the reason they gave the belt back to Cena at Survivor Series 2008 (and ratings went back up thereafter).

I'm not saying that his character work was poor. I'm just remarking that it feels inappropriate to give him full marks for it.
Agreed about his character.

IMO, Jericho is always at his best when he's serious. When he's being a comedian, it's so stale and boring.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 07:24 PM
 
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Re: Chris Jericho: An analysis

In. The GOAT. Everything perfect.

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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 07:37 PM
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Re: Chris Jericho: An analysis



GOAT debut
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