|Jericho in June 2018|
Christopher Keith Irvine (born November 9, 1970), better known by the ring name Chris Jericho and he is best known for his various tenures in WWE as well as his one tenure in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and a short-lived tenure in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). His professional wrestling gimmick and on-stage music persona are both that of an over-the-top rock star, also known as The Painmaker. He is currently working with New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) and All Elite Wrestling (AEW). In NJPW, where he is a former one-time IWGP Intercontinental Champion.
Between WWE , Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), and World Championship Wrestling (WCW)—the three most prominent American professional wrestling promotions—Jericho has won 32 championships. He also found championship success while performing for international promotions in countries such as Canada, Japan, and Mexico. He is also a record ten-time Intercontinental Champion between NJPW and WWE, the WWE Intercontinental Championship nine-times and IWGP Intercontinental Championship one-time. Jericho has headlined multiple pay-per-view events during his time between WWE and NJPW, including a performance as the Undisputed WWF Champion at WrestleMania X8 in 2002 and as the IWGP Intercontinental Champion at Wrestle Kingdom 13 in Tokyo Dome in its double main event.
Early life Edit
Irvine was born in Manhasset, New York, when his father, ice hockey player Ted Irvine, had relocated to play for the New York Rangers. When his dad retired, they moved back to Winnipeg. His interest in professional wrestling began when he started watching the local American Wrestling Association events that took place at the Winnipeg Arena with his family, and his desire to become a professional wrestler himself began when he saw footage of Owen Hart, then appearing with Stampede Wrestling, performing various high-flying wrestling moves. In addition to Hart, Irvine also cited Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat and Shawn Michaels as inspirations for his becoming a professional wrestler.
His first experience with a professional wrestling promotion was when he acted as part of the ring crew for the first tour of the newly opened Keystone Wrestling Alliance promotion, where he learned important pointers from independent wrestlers Catfish Charlie and Caveman Broda. He also took a course in creative communication at Red River Community College, where he graduated with top honors.
Professional wrestling career Edit
Early career (1990–1994) Edit
At age 19, he entered the Hart Brothers School of Wrestling, where he met Lance Storm on his first day. He was trained by Ed Langley and local Calgary wrestler Brad Young. Two months later, he was ready to start wrestling on independent shows, making his debut at the Moose Hall in Ponoka, Alberta as "Cowboy" Chris Jericho, on October 2, 1990, in a ten-minute time limit draw against Storm. The pair then worked as a tag team, initially called Sudden Impact. He took the name Jericho from an album, Walls of Jericho, by German power metal band, Helloween. Jericho and Storm worked for Tony Condello in the tours of Northern Manitoba with Adam Copeland (Edge), Jason Reso (Christian), and Terry Gerin (Rhino). The pair also wrestled in Calgary's Canadian National Wrestling Alliance (CNWA) and Canadian Rocky Mountain Wrestling (CRMW). In 1991, Jericho and Storm started touring in Japan for Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling as Sudden Impact, where he befriended Ricky Fuji, who also trained under Stu Hart.
In the winter of 1992, he travelled to Mexico and competed under the name Leon D'Oro ("Golden Lion"), and later Corazón de León ("Lion Heart"), where he wrestled for several small wrestling companies, as well as the largest in the country, Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL). In CMLL, Jericho took on Silver King, Negro Casas, and Último Dragón en route to an eleven-month reign as the NWA Middleweight Champion that began in December 1993. After leaving Mexico, Jericho wrestled in Hamburg, Germany for six weeks as part of a tournament run by Rene Lasartesse. 1994 saw Jericho reunited with Storm, as The Thrillseekers in Jim Cornette's Appalachian Smoky Mountain Wrestling (SMW) promotion, where they feuded with the likes of Well Dunn, The Rock 'n' Roll Express, and The Heavenly Bodies.
Wrestling and Romance/Wrestle Association R (1994–1996) Edit
In late 1994, Jericho began competing regularly in Japan for Genichiro Tenryu's Wrestling and Romance (later known as Wrestle Association "R") (WAR) promotion as The Lion Heart. In November 1994, Último Dragón defeated him for the NWA World Middleweight Championship, which he had won while wrestling in Mexico.
In March 1995, Jericho lost to Gedo in the final of a tournament to crown the inaugural WAR International Junior Heavyweight Championship. He defeated Gedo for the championship in June 1995, losing it to Último Dragón the next month. In December 1995, Jericho competed in the second Super J-Cup tournament, losing to Wild Pegasus in the second round.
In 1996, Jericho joined the villain stable Fuyuki-Gun ("Fuyuki Army") with Hiromichi Fuyuki, Gedo, and Jado, adopting the name Lion Do. The stable was nicknamed "Team No Respect" for its members' brash mannerisms. In February 1996, Jericho and Gedo won a tournament for the newly created International Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, defeating Lance Storm and Yuji Yasuraoka in the final. They lost the championship to Storm and Yasuraoka the following month. Jericho made his final appearances with WAR in mid-1996, having wrestled a total of twenty-four tours for the company.
New Japan Pro Wrestling (1997) Edit
In January 1997, Jericho made his debut for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), who had a working agreement with WCW, as Super Liger, the masked nemesis of Jushin Thunder Liger. According to Jericho, Super Liger's first match against Koji Kanemoto at Wrestling World 1997 was so poorly received that the gimmick was dropped instantly. Jericho botched several moves in the match and complained he had difficulty seeing through the mask. The following six months, Jericho worked for New Japan unmasked, before being called back by WCW.
Return to NJPW (2017–present) Edit
On November 5, 2017, Jericho returned to NJPW in a pre-taped vignette, challenging Kenny Omega to a match at Wrestle Kingdom 12 in Tokyo Dome. The challenge was immediately accepted by Omega and made official by NJPW the following day as a title match for Omega's IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship. The match, dubbed "Alpha vs. Omega", will mark Jericho's first match outside of WWE since 1999. Journalist Dave Meltzer wrote that Jericho's WWE contract had expired and that he was a "free agent". NJPW also referred to Jericho as a free agent. In contrast, the Tokyo Sports newspaper described an anonymous NJPW official saying that Jericho is still under contract with WWE, and that WWE chairman Vince McMahon had given him permission to wrestle this match in NJPW. This was his first NJPW match in nearly 20 years. Jericho returned in person at the December 11 World Tag League show, attacking and bloodying Omega after his match, while also laying out a referee, a young lion and color commentator Don Callis. The following day at the Wrestle Kingdom 12 in Tokyo Dome press conference, Jericho and Omega would get into a second physical altercation. Because of the two incidents, NJPW turned the January 4 match into a no disqualification match. At the event on January 4, Jericho unsuccessfully challenged Omega for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship.
The next night, at "New Years Dash!", Jericho made a surprise attack after the final match, attacking Tetsuya Naito. On March 5, Chris Jericho confirmed on his Twitter accont, that he was done with NJPW. However, the rumors were false and Jericho returned to NJPW at Wrestling Dontaku on May 4 attacking Naito. This led to him defeating Naito to win the IWGP Intercontinental Championship on June 9 at Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall. After the match, Jericho attacked Naito, until his Los Ingobernables de Japon stablemate EVIL made the save. Jericho returned to the promotion on October 8 at King of Pro-Wrestling, attacking EVIL before his match against Zack Sabre Jr. On November 3 at Power Struggle, Jericho made his first successful title defense of the IWGP Intercontinental Championship against EVIL. After the match, Jericho attacked EVIL, until Naito made the save and afterwards announced he was the next challenger for the title.
On January 4, 2019 at Wrestle Kingdom 13 in Tokyo Dome, Jericho lost the IWGP Intercontinental Championship back to Tetsuya Naito. Following the match, in a post-match interview, Jericho announced his intentions for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. On May 5 at Wrestling Dontaku, Jericho returned to NJPW in a pre-taped vignette, challenging Kazuchika Okada to a match for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall. On June 9, Jericho unsuccessfully challenged Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Following the match, Jericho attacked Okada leading to Hiroshi Tanahashi leave the commentary table to make the save. On November 3 at Power Struggle, Chris Jericho made his return to NJPW, in a pre-taped vignette, challenging Tanahashi to a match at Wrestle Kingdom 14 in Tokyo Dome. The challenge was quickly accepted by Tanahashi, leading the match to be officially announced on the following day. On December 23, during an interview for Tokyo Sports, Tanahashi announced his intentions of challenging Jericho for his AEW World Championship, should he defeated him during their match at Wrestle Kingdom. On December 28, Jericho announced on his Instagram account that All Elite Wrestling's owner Tony Khan had granted Tanahashi a future title opportunity for the AEW World Championship. On January 5, 2020 in the second night of Wrestle Kingdom 14 in Tokyo Dome, Jericho defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, marking his first Wrestle Kingdom victory.
Personal life Edit
Irvine was born in the Long Island neighborhood of Manhasset, New York, and was raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Vince McMahon felt that by introducing him as "born in Manhasset, New York", American fans would more easily get behind him.
Irvine's father, Ted, is a former National Hockey League (NHL) player. Irvine has three children with his wife Jessica (whom he married in 2000): a son named Ash Edward Irvine, who was born in 2003 and identical twin daughters, Sierra Loretta "SiSi" Irvine and Cheyenne Lee "Chey" Irvine, born in 2006. All three have been guest experts on his podcast, Talk is Jericho, Ash on fish and the girls on literature.
Irvine has five tattoos, three of which are on his left hand. The first is the name of his wife, Jessica, which is tattooed on his ring finger. The second is the letter F, representing Fozzy, on the back of his hand, which he had tattooed in June 2011. On September 12, 2012, Irvine got his third tattoo, the album artwork of Fozzy's fifth studio album, Sin and Bones, on his left arm. Irvine had his fourth tattoo, a Jack-o'-lantern, done on September 28, 2012. Avenged Sevenfold vocalist M. Shadows, who collaborated with Fozzy on the track "Sandpaper" from Sin and Bones, also got a matching tattoo. Jericho then got a self portrait tattoo on his left bicep in July 2015.
Irvine is a Christian.
On July 5, 2004, he was awarded Manitoba's The Order of the Buffalo Hunt, for his achievements in wrestling and his commitment to working with underprivileged children.
On February 7, 2009, Irvine apparently punched a fan after she spat at him with fans outside Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria, British Columbia after a live event. Video footage, however, clearly showed he did not make contact with the woman. As a result of the incident, police detained them, but released them without charge. Police did not press charges against anyone in the brawl as it was "hard to determine who provoked who".
On January 27, 2010, Irvine and fellow wrestler Gregory Helms were arrested in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky after leaving a bar. A police report stated that Helms punched Irvine and the other passengers in the cab. Fellow wrestlers Christian and CM Punk bailed them out later.
Since January 2012, Irvine, along with former NFL Quarterback Tim Tebow and former Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones, have been co-owners of a sports training facility in Tampa, Florida called D1 Sports Training and Therapy.
In wrestling Edit
- Finishing moves
- Codebreaker (Running double knee facebreaker)
- Judas Effect (Running back forearm)
- Lion Tamer (Boston crab while kneeling on the opponent's back or neck) used rarely
- Walls of Jericho (Elevated Boston crab)
- Signature moves
- Backbreaker submission
- Backhand chop
- Baseball slide
- Diving double axe handle
- Diving back elbow
- Double underhook backbreaker
- Double underhook powerbomb
- Flying forearm smash
- Jericho Spike (Hurricanrana, sometimes from the top rope)
- Multiple kick variations
- Spinning heel
- Springboard drop to an opponent on the ring apron
- Standing, leg-feed or a running enzuigiri
- Multiple powerbombs sometimes followed by a pin
- Multiple suplex variations
- Belly to back
- Northern Lights
- One-handed bulldog
- Putting his foot on the opponent's chest in a pinning attempt, with theatrics
- Running back elbow, sometimes while performing a corkscrew
- Sleeper slam, sometimes as a counter to an oncoming opponent; used rarely
- Springboard plancha
- Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker
- "The Alpha"
- "The Best in the World at What He Does"
- "The Painmaker"
- Entrance themes
- "Super Liger" by New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW; 1997)
- "Judas" by Fozzy (NJPW; 2017-present)
Championships and accomplishments Edit
- New Japan Pro-Wrestling
- IWGP Intercontinental Championship (1 time)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Feud of the Decade (2000s) vs. Shawn Michaels
- Feud of the Year (2008) vs. Shawn Michaels
- Most Hated Wrestler of the Year (2002, 2008)
- Ranked No. 2 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2009
- Ranked No. 109 of the top 500 singles wrestlers of the PWI Years in 2003
- Wrestle Association "R"
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- 5 Star Match (2018) vs. Kenny Omega on January 4
- Best Pro Wrestling Book (2011) for Undisputed: How to Become the World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps
- Best on Interviews (2003, 2008, 2009)
- Best on Interviews of the Decade (2000–2009)
- Feud of the Year (2008) vs. Shawn Michaels
- Match of the Year (2008) vs. Shawn Michaels in a ladder match at No Mercy
- Most Underrated Wrestler (1999, 2000)
- Readers' Favorite Wrestler (1999)
- Wrestler of the Year (2008, 2009)
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (Class of 2010)