If you follow wrestling in just about any capacity you’ve heard the name, Chris Jericho.
It’s fair to say he’s an icon in his own right. His career, spanning over numerous promotions and 3 decades, you would think that he always had the golden touch. The truth is he’s just a wrestler, like anyone else trying to make it. He, too, had to make a name for himself and pay his proverbial dues. Seeing how he achieved superstardom, let’s take a look at his WCW transition to WWE. What if he was booked as the megastar he always was? Rather than depart with a few lacklustre matches and debut with juvenile banter, what if Chris Jericho was booked to face the Rock in an ideal WWE debut?
History shows that the last matches Chris Jericho performed for WCW were losses. One to Buff Bagwell and two tag team matches alongside Eddie Guerrero to Kidman and Rey Mysterio Jr. To honour Jericho’s performance ability, why not make the third to last match a Tag Team contest? Jericho and Eddie Guerrero could have challenged Chavo Guerrero and Dean Malenko.
Jericho worked well with Eddie Guerrero and since this change is supposed to represent ideal booking, all wrestlers involved should have been protected and looked good doing it. Looking at past matches, this quartet had undeniable chemistry. Jericho’s team could lose but this display would have given solid proof that Jericho was destined for greatness.
His final matches should have been Singles bouts. To emphasize Jericho’s strengths, his penultimate match could have been against Diamond Dallas Page. Jericho was making claims at the time that if he got pinned, he’d quit WCW. Page could have easily elaborated on that notion and come out with a “We don’t need you anyway….” attitude. They could have had an intense match.
In the end, the win would have gone to Jericho. A win shows Jericho isn’t some chump. Page could handle himself enough to take a loss without losing momentum. Jericho was going places and this could have been the kind of match to prove it.
In his final showing, he should have been sent off by the hand of Booker T. To look at their matches, it was a rare exchange of energy that practically guaranteed satisfaction. They understood the pomp and circumstance. Their powers would combine resulting in nothing less than wrestling magic. Booker T could have issued Jericho a loss in hard-fought yet devastating fashion under the sentiment of good riddance to bad rubbish. It’s easy to see why WCW wouldn’t want to help Jericho out, but this sort of farewell would have made it clear to keen wrestling fans that Jericho can’t be stopped. He could take a loss in stride. We all know what happened to WCW. It’s safe to say Jericho made the right move at the time.
We didn’t see Jericho again until August 1999. Jericho, then the new property of WWE, debuted at SummerSlam in a throwaway promo counter “The Road Dogg” Jesse James. The Rock had a “Kiss My Ass” Match with Billy Gunn. It’s pretty safe to presume that Gunn could have been replaced with Chris Jericho without much complaint from fans. Yes, the instant exposure so soon could have been scoffed at but, with a proper send-off, a person would have seen why Jericho was allowed to cut the line. He’d take the “L”, probably under different stipulations, but prove he had the “street-cred” to play in WWE territory.
All in all, Chris Jericho was able to find his way. Yet, we would have recognized him earlier if people swallowed their pride and set him up for success. If things had gone differently, who knows how Chris Jericho’s career could have gone. Regardless, most don’t mind how it went or where it ended up. Let us raise our glasses. To Chris Jericho, may his legacy survive the Ages!