Earlier this year I wrote a series of themed articles on 5 great matches under 5 minutes in an attempt to aid the time-deprived of us during the lockdown months. As unfortunately, local and national lockdowns are still going on all over the world, what better way to celebrate Chris Jericho week at TWM by presenting 5 great Chris Jericho matches in under 5 minutes.
As you will no doubt read numerous times this week, Jericho’s amazing 30-year career has spanned numerous promotions all over the world in goodness knows how many 1000s of matches. I have scanned the archives for great little gems to give you an apply named shortlist to peruse at your leisure whenever you get five minutes of free time.
Thrillseekers vs The Infernos
Smokey Mountain Wrestling
March 19 1994
3 minutes 2 seconds
“Chris Storm… I mean, Chris Jericho”- what a way to make your debut in SMW, with the commentator getting your name mixed up. But not to worry, young Chris’ career didn’t suffer too badly due to this slip of the tongue, and here in his SMW debut against the team of Fire and Brimstone, he and Lance Storm made short work of their opponents.
The fan reaction for the debuting young Thrillseekers was excellent, and Storm seemed to feed off their excitement as he hit a middle rope springboard crossbody before hitting a picture-perfect dropkick. Jericho followed suit with a pair of signature moves: a spinning thrust kick and his middle rope springboard to the apron- hitting a shoulder block that would later be replaced with a dropkick.
As a team, they gelled excellently and connected with a double clothesline before picking up the win with a double dropkick off the top rope. A great showcase debut and who would have thought that 26 years later, Jericho would still be on the receiving end of the best and loudest crowd reactions of the night.
vs Eddie Guerrero
WCW Monday Nitro
August 11 1997
4 minutes 34 seconds
This one went 100mph from the moment the bell rang. This must have been the attitude from the WCW midcarders in the 90s as they knew they would be getting little TV time so they would go all out to impress as much as they can in their limited opportunities. This match summed up WCW in the Nitro era: excellent in-ring action from two workers who deserved a better push, the commentators ignoring most of the match and talking about Hulk Hogan, Lex Luger, nWo etc, and even the crowd starting a quiet- but still audible- “boring” chant. But this 4-minute beauty was anything but.
Jericho impressed early and hit his spinning heel kick but Guerrero got the (Latino) heat with a poke to the eyes and his knees up on a Lionsault. Everything they did was crisp and excellently executed. A massive German suplex brought Jericho back into it before he hit a Tiger driver and then a good old fashioned big swing.
Guerrero tried for a breather on the outside but Jericho kept coming and wiped him out with a big running plancha, but that was to be the last offence for our TWM man of the week as Guerrero crotched him on the top rope moment later and finished him off with a huge frog splash from the other side of the ring.
A great match. If only WCW gave guys like this 10 more minutes each week instead of Steve McMichael, Glacier or Vincent then maybe history might have been a little different for them.
vs Eddie Guerrero
WCW Monday Nitro
October 27 1997
4 minutes 56 seconds
I know it may be slightly cheating by including another Guerrero match but I couldn’t let this one off the list due to the excellent storytelling. Equally as good as their earlier encounter was for in-ring action, this one started a little slower due to Jericho being banged up from landing on his head the night before at Halloween Havoc in a match against Gedo. Yes, that is the same Halloween Havoc where Guerrero faced Rey Mysterio in one of the best matches ever. But in true WCW fashion, they made no mention of Guerrero’s outstanding match the night before- only that the winner of this match could be in contention to face Mysterio for a cruiserweight title shot in the future.
Guerrero worked the injury early but Jericho fought back and threw Guerrero halfway across the ring with a German suplex. Eddie flew a good 6 feet into the air before landing on that one. A Tiger Driver followed and in a call back to their match in August, Jericho crotched Eddie on the top rope this time and hit a big superplex but that seemed to hurt the injured Jericho more than Guerrero.
The finish to this was great. Jericho was heavily selling his injured neck and shoulder so Guerrero kept fighting him off and hitting big moves, but the plucky Jericho kept fighting and suplexed Guerrero out of the ring to get a breather. But alas, good as Guerrero was- he landed on his feet and ran right up to the top rope and squashed Jericho with another vicious frog splash for the win.
To show how deep the WCW roster was at the time some of the other matches on this edition of Nitro were Dean Malenko vs Rey Mysterio Jr, Fit Finlay vs Benoit, Hulk Hogan vs DDP, Booker T vs Curt Hennig and Ric Flair vs Randy Savage. Not bad for free TV huh?
vs John Cena
July 18 2002
2 minutes 38 seconds
Days before they met on pay per view at Vengence, the first-ever WWF Undisputed Champion Chris Jericho and a rookie John Cena met in a quick and red-hot opener from this edition of SmackDown!
Cena was in his early “Ruthless Aggression” form but was highly impressive here against Jericho, who had a point to prove after Cena had pinned him in a tag match the week before. Jericho made Cena look a million dollars as he flew around the ring for him: taking a dropkick, flying forearm, German suplex and a belly-to-belly suplex.
Jericho tried to lock in the Walls of Jericho out of desperation, but Cena powered out and hit a DDT. Jericho again tried a desperation Lionsault this time but Cena moved and nearly pinned him again.
Jericho’s desperation got the better of him and he hit Cena with a low blow in front of the referee to give Cena the win via disqualification. Jericho did eventually lock in the Walls of Jericho after the bell, but it was too little too late. The rookie John Cena had Jericho rattled and Jericho needed a desperate way out. An irate Jericho took a steel chair to Cena to finish off his frustrations at the embarrassment of being taken to the limit by a rookie. Another great example of in-ring storytelling by both Jericho and Cena this time.
Chris Jericho and Edge vs Bret Hart and John Cena
Monday Night Raw
August 09 2010
3 minutes 38 seconds
This was the night when the crowd were hot enough during the Nexus angle that the hard camera shook as the audience grew to a fever pitch as Team Nexus and Team WWE faced off.
In the build to the Nexus vs WWE 7 on 7 match at SummerSlam 2010, these four current and future Hall of Famers clashed in a tag team match with the overhanging threat of Nexus who were watching along at ringside.
The match itself was by the numbers as we waited for the eventual breakdown into chaos. Nexus were used as lumberjacks by Edge and Jericho as they threw Cena to the wolves time and time again, but when it was Jericho’s time to get thrown out he was originally left unscathed but eventually he and Edge fell victim to the 7 on 1 beatdown periodically taking them out of the action and bringing an end to the scheduled match.
So this left John Cena and Bret Hart to fend off all seven members of Nexus. But as the original NXT stars slowly climbed to the apron and honed in their two targets, Cena and Hart were joined by R-Truth and John Morrison, two other members of Team WWE. This made the fight a little more evenly balanced, but still 7-on-4.
Jericho and Edge were leaving together, seemingly done with fighting Nexus and leaving the remaining Team WWE stars to fall to the numbers game. But after shooting each other- and their outnumbered colleagues in the ring- a look, they met each other’s eyes, nodded, turned, and ran to aid their SummerSlam partners and throw the face/heel divide out the window. This was guerrilla warfare. This was an invasion. This was still their fight.
This heroic act of bravery resulted in a more evenly balanced 7-on-6 face-off that had the crowd at fever pitch, on their feet and shaking the building so much that the hard camera was visibly trembling in anticipation of the eventual fistfight that was about to erupt. Thankfully the commentary team kept silent throughout the closing building shaking moments as this did not need anything to add to the amazing moment.
We all know how tragically the Nexus angle ended, but this match and moment was one to remember- for good reasons.
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