Chris Jericho has had some of the most memorable moments of all time during his run with the WWE. He spent 20 years with the company, and while he had so many different memorable matches, promos and skits, very few things can compare to his WWE debut and nothing was ever greater than his final match ever in the WWE.
Chris Jericho’s First WWE Match
Chris Jericho wrestled his first WWE match on August 26th, 1999 in a match against Road Dogg. He was a heel against the D-Generation X member, taking advantage of many underhanded tactics to get the upper hand over his opponent. However, the match was not a good one, and saw Jericho actually lose in his debut match by disqualification, for powerbombing Road Dogg through a table which is somehow against the rules.
Even Jericho was not impressed by it. The match had huge fanfare, being his debut in the WWE and taking place on the first ever episode of Smackdown. He was only told on the day who he’d be facing, and was given Blackjack Lanza as his agent for the match. As somebody coming from WCW, he never had any experience with anyone help producing his match. However, it didn’t help having anyone helping the two. In his second book “Undisputed”, Jericho wrote;
Unfortunately, even though my agent, Blackjack Lanza, did the best he could to help us, my match with Road Dogg was mediocre at best.
The match came just weeks after he had one of the most incredible debuts of all time. On the run up to his first appearance after leaving WCW, videos started appearing with a countdown clock to the new millennium. These were common in 1999 as people prepared for the year 2000, but this appeared during the summer, with the clock ending during the August 9th episode of Raw is War, in Chicago.
The clock counted down to zero during a promo with The Rock standing in the ring. Fans seemed to have been tipped off about the debut, with some already holding signs emblazed with “RAW IS JERICHO” on them – which would later become Y2J’s catchphrase. He had a battle on the mic with The Rock, which did rub some people the wrong way backstage but created one of the best moments in WWE history.
Chris Jericho Last WWE Match
Chris Jericho’s last WWE match was the Greatest Royal Rumble match, in the 2018 WWE Pay-Per-View in Saudi Arabia, named “The Greatest Royal Rumble”. Chris Jericho was the final entrant in the match, making a surprise appearance as the number 50 entrant.
Chris Jericho was a surprise entrant and one of the biggest WWE Superstars in the match. It was his first appearance since his backstage segment with Elias at Raw 25th Anniversary, and the last time he was seen on TV as a WWE superstar.
Despite his stardom, he did not perform well in Chris Jericho’s last match. He only eliminated one man (Shelton Benjamin), and was eliminated by the eventually winner of the match, Braun Strowman.
After his last match in WWE, Chris Jericho went on to wrestle for NJPW. He had already faced Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 12, in a battle over who was the best wrestler from Winnipeg.
After leaving WWE, Chris Jericho went to wrestle five more times for NJPW. He faced Tetsuya Naito twice, winning then losing the IWGP Intercontinental championship. Between them, he defended the Championship against EVIL, before facing Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Dominion 6.9 in 2019.
His last NJPW match came a year later. The Painmaker Chris Jericho’s last match in NJPW was against The Ace of the Universe Hiroshi Tanahashi, in a main event match at Wrestle Kingdom 14. Tanahashi even claimed that if he won the match, he would earn a shot at the AEW Championship (which Jericho held at the time). It was also the origin of the now famous term “The Forbidden Door”.
“Isn’t it the champion over there? If I win and the other side says” one more time “, I can say” if it’s a belt, “then the forbidden door will open,”Hiroshi Tanahashi on facing Chris Jericho at Wrestle Kingdom 14.
Jericho would defeat Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom, and to this day Hiroshi Tanahashi has yet to appear in AEW. However, Jericho has also not appeared in NJPW since that match, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is expected that Jericho will return to NJPW once the travel issues to Japan are sorted out.
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Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.