Chris Jericho has had a number of finishers in his career, but which one ranks top out of them all?
In his long career, Chris Jericho has been an innovator. He has had a number of gimmicks, including Le Champion, suit wearing Jericho, Y2J and many other top gimmicks. As well as a selection of fine gimmicks, the former WWE Champion has also had a selection of finisher moves.
Chris Jericho’s finishing moves have changed over his 30 year career and are some of the most memorable in the history of wrestling.
In this article we will look at all the finishers he has used over his career and rank which ones are the best and which ones simply don’t cut the mustard.
Chris Jericho’s Finishers
Coming in last on the list of Chris Jericho’s finishing moves is the less-used Breakdown move. He used the move early on in his first run in WWE, between his debut in 1999 and 2001, but has used the move since early in his career also.
The move’s technical name is a Full Nelson Facebuster.
Chris Jericho would hook his opponents arms above their head in a Full Nelson Hold, before placing his leg in front of his opponents and pushing forward, sending them headfirst into the mat.
The didn’t last long for Jericho and was not an impressive finisher in the least. It did not have the impact nor the showmanship of his future finishing moves and with huge moves like the Chokeslam and Stone Cold Stunner appearing weekly on TV, the Breakdown looked weak in comparison.
The name “Breakdown” came from Jericho’s entrance music. The music stars with a countdown before the singer yells out “Break the walls Down!” before continuing with the song. WWE put together the words “break” and “down” from the intro to create the name for Chris Jericho’s short lived finisher.
The move has most recently been used by The Miz, who calls his version of the move the “Skull Crushing Finale”.
The most fun move on the list but sadly not Chris Jericho’s best finisher. The move is a springboard moonsault, taking the word “Lion” from Jericho’s “Lionheart” nickname and when he first started out was an incredibly flashy and innovative move.
However over the years the move has become less special and Jericho’s execution has become worse as the years went on.
He only busts it out occasionally now, but rarely wins matches with it. It is on the low end of Chris Jericho’s finishers and will likely be retired before too long when Y2J becomes to old to perform it any more.
4. Judas Effect
Fans of AEW may be shocked to see the Judas Effect so low down on this list. It’s a finish move Chris Jericho used to win the AEW Championship against Adam Page with and has won countless matches with this incredibly dangerous move.
The move is a simply one, which takes away from it’s specialness. It is a snap discus elbow to the skull, with Jericho starting facing his opponent before spinning 180 degrees and launching his elbow into their head.
It is a quick move with him able to pull it out in a flash, but it’s simplicity is a drawback. Many wrestlers use an elbow as a set up move for something bigger, so seeing him win championships with the Judas Effect finishing move can at times be anticlimactic.
The Judas Effect is named after the song “Judas” by the band Fozzy. Chris Jericho is the lead singer of Fozzy and used the song as his entrance music.
It replaced his iconic “Break the Walls Down” WWE theme when he left the company in 2018, and he has been using Judas as his entrance music since his NJPW debut.
3. Walls of Jericho
Chris Jericho’s WWE finisher he used for the entirety of his run was the famous Walls of Jericho. The move was a simply Boston Crab submission hold that had been used throughout the years, but nobody could make it into a main event finishing move like Chris Jericho.
The move has been used to win multiple championships and has turned the Boston Crab into a move that is now associated with Chris Jericho.
While this is an impressive feat, making such a common move thought of as being innovated by one wrestler, it’s common nature mean’s it is not as impressive as other Chris Jericho finishing moves.
The move only came together due to the failure of another Chris Jericho finisher. Because he moved out of the cruiserweight division in WCW to the main event in WWE, he could no longer perform the Lion Tamer on the larger opponents.
This meant he did a simpler, safer looking version of the move, which turned out to be his Walls of Jericho move.
The name “Walls of Jericho” is a play on words of Chris Jericho’s last name and the tale of the destruction of the walls of Jericho in the biblical story of the Battle of Jericho. It does not reference an event in the story but simply the felling of the walls of the city of Jericho.
2. Lion Tamer
The precursor to the Walls of Jericho in WCW was Chris Jericho’s finisher during him in the WCW Cruiserweight division. He employed a modified Walls of Jericho when facing wrestlers his own size or smaller, which became impossible on wrestlers larger than him like The Big Show.
Instead of a simple Boston Crab, he put his knee into the back of his opponent while contorting him into an incredible painful shape.
It was much more brutal looking than the Walls of Jericho and is definitely Jericho’s most painful looking submission finisher of all.
The name comes from Jericho’s nickname at the time. He was known as “Lionheart” in WCW, so the name Lion Tamer was created from that.
The best of Chris Jericho’s finishers has to be the Code Breaker. He adopted the move during his 2007 return to the WWE, where he interrupted Randy Orton’s “passing of the torch” ceremony in his bid to “save” the WWE Universe from his title reign.
While this return never ended in a WWE Championship for Chris Jericho, he did come out of it with a new finishing move which he uses to this very day in AEW.
The name “Codebreaker” came from the vignette’s that aired prior to his return, challenging fans to “Break the Code” to find out which WWE Superstar was coming to Monday Night Raw.
The Codebreaker is a double knee facebuster, a move where Jericho grabs the head of his opponent, leaps into the and grabs onto the back of their head while lifting his knees into their faces. He then pulls their head down into his knees before the impact of the mat forces them to flip back and land on their back.
It is a devastating move and one that made it’s debut for Chris Jericho in his first match back in 2007 against Santino Marella on Monday Night Raw.
The move is the best Chris Jericho finisher for some very important reasons. It looks great, it’s impactful and it’s a move you don’t see anywhere else. No-one else does the Codebreaker, with the closest thing really at the time being Carlito’s Backstabber.
In addition, the Codebreaker can be done to anyone. He struggled to put the Lion Tamer on to taller opponents, hence the invention of the Wall of Jericho.
However, the Codebreaker can be done to any man, woman or child of any size. Because Jericho pulls their head down to complete the move, even the Big Show could take the move if he had to.
It also has the “out of nowhere” factor. This means that, similar to Randy Orton’s RKO, the Codebreaker can be used at any time, in any situation, to help win Chris Jericho the match.
As Chris Jericho’s finisher it is effective, it is surprising and it can be used on anyone. It is the perfect finishing move and Chris Jericho’s best finisher by far.
What do you think about Chris Jericho’s finishers? Let us know in the comments which you think is his best one or click below to read more great articles.
2 thoughts on “Ranking Chris Jericho’s Finisher’s From Best to Worst”
Overall I do like the list but for me would switch the Codebreaker and Liontamer….I understand why you have them in the order you do and your reasons make perfect sense…at the time he started doing the moves the Liontamer looked really good especially in cruiserweight division…also I feel like I had seen wrestlers use a version of Codebreaker before Y2J
That’s a fair reason! Obviously the list is subjective so it’s entirely personal preference, although I see your point – the Liontamer looked incredible when he was using it against the small guys, like he was about the break their backs!