Hot take - Chris Jericho is the GOAT

Not sure why this doesn’t get talked about more. Nobody, and I mean nobody in the history of the wrestling business has reinvented themselves more often, done so successfully, and done so over decades like Jericho has. The undertaker is the only one who can stake a claim to this.

The Lionheart in WCW, Y2J in the WWE, first ever undisputed champion in WWE history, the flashing leather jacket gimmick, the whole list thing, the Kevin Owens storyline to put him over, and now as a faction leader with the inner circle. I realize other people got bigger, sold more merch, and are more famous. The Rock for example. However, the Rock was the same exact character with the same exact catch phrases for years. The same with Hulk Hogan other than the heel turn and the NWO direction for a few years.

Face, heel, tag team partner, faction, short hair, long hair, fit, fat, young, old, it doesn’t matter, Jericho has always knocked whatever character he was playing at the time out of the park. He’s the goat, period.

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1000% agree.
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It ends up being a bit of a weird conversation to have, as Jericho isn’t at all underrated. But at the same time, I don’t think he’s given the appreciation for being really & truly as good as he is and on so many levels.
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I would even go as far as to say that nobody can work - and even control - a crowd like Jericho can.
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I still say the absolute best example of this that I’ve EVER seen was on the second episode of Dynamite. The members of the Inner Circle hit the ring at the end of the first episode, laying everyone out, only for the crowd to go bananas.
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(Remember just how hot AEW crowds were?)
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Specifically, they’re chanting “WE THE PEO-PLE!” at Hager.
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Beginning of the second episode of Dynamite the next week rolls around and Jericho is introducing everyone in the faction. He gets to Hager and the crowd goes bananas again. “WE THE PEO-PLE!” clap, clap, clap-clap-clap. “WE THE PEO-PLE!”
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They’re actually starting to take over the promo and it’s not letting Jericho get the heat he wants.
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Then out of nowhere, he breaks stride, turns away from the camera, faces the crowd, and exclaims (I’m paraphrasing a little, but this pretty much it) “That was a stupid catchphrase by bad creative!”
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The ENTIRE place goes almost immediately silent.
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I’ve never seen someone utterly destroy a white-hot crowd in just one sentence.
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I’d always appreciated Jericho, but that was the moment I realized “holy shit…this dude is on such another level”.

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He’s the GOAT all around performer plus he isn’t afraid to put people over. How many versions of Jericho has he even gotten over? Seems like at least every 2 years he tweaks something, gets it over and then takes a break only to come back with something better. How many of his catch phrases in AEW alone are on shirts? Hell he has his own champagne.

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Austin
Bret
Taker
Shawn
Flair
Rock
Hogan

Jericho doesn’t cross the threshold of these guys but he’s in the top ten probably.

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Jericho has to be on Bret and Taker’s level at this point. He has drawn probably better than both of them and has reinvented himself better than even Taker was able to. He is also just as good a worker as Bret and a better promo than both of them.

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As good a worker as Bret…dear lord

Jericho has consistently changed his style. He has consistently adjusted his style and had good matches in all organizations he has wrestled for over decades (ECW, WCW, WWF, AEW). He has wrestled technical matches, lucha style matches, gimmicked matches, and now at 50 he is still putting on good matches.

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Bret Hart isn’t even Jericho’s galaxy at this point. Jericho has done it way longer, reinvented himself way more times, and been a star in multiple organizations. Hart never got over in WCW and while injuries were a big factor his career ended early. Jericho is 50 and still at the top of his game. He carried AEW early on as the champ and look at the way he has managed to make himself look good while putting MJF and Sammy Guevara through the Inner circle/Pinnacle feud.

If we are talking about merch sales and popularity, than the goat is Hogan or Rock. If we are taking into account longevity, impact on the business, reinvention, innovation, and work it’s Jericho and Taker and nobody else comes close.

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For this group, I’d probably go:

Flair
Hogan
Austin
Taker
Rock
Shawn
Jericho
Bret

There are lots of variables at play though.

He also got a WCW truck driver over, RIP Ralphus

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How old are you?

Genuine question

It’s all relative to your personal preference. Bret in his day could put you to sleep just by picking up a microphone. However there’s very few guys I’d rather watch as far as in ring performers than Bret.

Jericho is very solid all around. Definitely the best at reinventing himself, and staying relevant for over 20 years.

Neither is my goat but those aren’t bad picks either way.

Holy shit hea been wrestling for over 30 years

All time merch sales, even given inflation, are Austin, Rock, Cena and then Hogan. Keep in mind during Hogan’s biggest point there was no internet ordering.

Had no idea ralphus passed away I remember jericho said he tried to get him on his podcast & ralphus big leagued him ignored his email lol

Bret and Kurt Angle are my personal goats.

I love Jericho though. So I woukdnt fight with ya about it.

Definitely not the GOAT but still very good. Always thought he was a little underused, especially in 2002-2005 when he was wasting away as a midcarder on Raw during the HHH/Evolution run. He should’ve been on Smackdown with Eddie, Rey, Angle, Brock, Benoit, etc.

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I’ve always thought he had a strong case. No one else could go tit for tat with the Rock on a mic, and Benoit in a ring except for Jericho.

A bit torn on this.

In regards to being an all around and reliable talent he is an A+. In regards to being a “star.” I always felt he was a B+. He was still never at that upper level. Dont think he has ever had that "it’ factor for lack of a better word to be the leading man in wwf world. Strong supporting player, hell yes. Hell even be a main rival for the main guy, I buy that too.

He died last year. Jericho seemed jealous, from what I remember in his first book.