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Chris Jericho & the Monday Night War

This week's episode of the Monday Night War focusing on Chris Jericho got me wondering:  does Y2J "deserve" his own episode of the series?  Sure, most of us love Jericho.  He's a fantastic promo and he's one of the elite performers in the ring in the history of the sport.  However, was he really so integral to the feud between WCW & the WWF that he "earned" (I keep using quotes because it's ultimately, pretty trivial) a focal entry into the series?  He was held back to where he never moved beyond midcard status in WCW, despite great performances, and after his AMAZING debut in the WWF, he was immediately shuffled into meandering, innocuous feuds with Bob Holly, Chyna, etc.  Even when he was put over Austin & Rock as the first WWF Undisputed Champion, he never seemed to be a major draw.

I'm not arguing his talent or ability, I'm just not sure he "moved the needle" enough to warrant his own episode of the show in the same way that Austin, Goldberg, the nWo, DX, Foley & the like did.  Am I missing something?

I will acknowledge that it's nice he gets some well-deserved recognition.  That, in and of itself, is pretty cool. 

Thoughts?

​Here's the thought process of original programming on the Network broken down for you:  

1)  Do we have enough existing footage of something or someone tangentially related to the subject at hand to base an episode on?  If yes, there's an episode.  If no, go to 2.

2)  Do we have the person available to shoot more footage to pad out the existing footage so we don't have to pay someone out of the company?  If yes, there's your episode.  If no, go to 3.

3)  Blame it on WCW if it failed or say it was all because of DX if it succeeded.  There's your show.  

End program creation algorithm.  

​Basically, Jericho is around, so he's suddenly important to the Monday Night Wars.  At this point they're just fluffing out the runtime anyway.  

Comments

  1. The MNW was the only period I ever really liked Y2J, but he wasn't that important to the era.

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  2. Honestly, that Monday Night War series is a huge disappointment and possibly the biggest collective piece of WWE Revisionist History that I've ever seen. And that covers a lot of ground. So really, who cares what the subject matter for each episode is.

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  3. On the commercial, didn't Kofi Kingston say Jericho was the secret weapon of the MNW or something? Surely Kofi wouldn't lie to me.

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  4. The countdown clock/rumors/hype for Jericho's debut were a pretty big deal at the time, in both the online communities I frequented and my actual social circles. I say his jump was a big enough deal to warrant an episode.

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  5. Jericho is one of the prime examples of someone that Bischoff didn't have a clue to do with and also represents how disorganized WCW was outside of the nWo stuff. Jericho basically used his TV time to go into business for himself and booked himself into a feud with Goldberg and the booking team didn't care until the fans got behind them and they kiboshed it. He got himself massively over and Bischoff and Goldberg wouldn't even do Jericho vs. Goldberg on an episode of Thunder. Money on the table, money on the table.

    Does that deserve a whole episode of Monday Night War? Considering we'll get so many of them we'll end up with "Public Enemy: How Their Jump to WWF Turned the Tide", why not?

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  6. exactly. Way too much focus on Vince vs. Ted Turner, as if Ted gave more than 2 minutes of thought to WCW each month during this period. First one wasn't too terrible. NWO one was full of revisionist history. DX one was the worst for revisionist history. Austin and Foley were good. ECW one was somewhere in the middle as far as BS. Goldberg one was full of BS, particularly about his career post 1st loss. Haven't watched Jericho one yet.

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  7. The cynicism contained in this post is so pungent and abundant I'm going to use it to insulate my house.

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  8. You need additional insulation?

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  9. I mean, my house is made out of glacier: https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/t31.0-8/10481194_10100562569159185_7397075978375928654_o.jpg

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  10. Jericho wasn't important to the MNW itself, but I'm all for celebrating the 1999-2001 era, so go for it.

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  11. Are you kidding me? Jericho's debut was pretty damn big (still one of the biggest pops ever) and really dented WCW at the time, basically validating that they were old and out of touch and political compared to the WWF (who would actually give him a mic and use him beyond the cruiserweight division).


    I can't think of another WCW crossover that was more important. They nailed his debut and it hit at a time when WCW and WWF were still at the peak of competition.

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  12. MikeyMike, WitnessOctober 27, 2014 at 8:23 PM

    The signing of Jericho did lead to the amazing upper midcard that helped make 2000 incredible.

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  13. Triple H's appearance on Jericho's podcast also pointed out that part of the reason why the first few months of Jericho's WWF run were underwhelming because he was still seen as "the enemy". I'd be interested to see if that gets factored in to the MNW episode. It's definitely worth noting that even though Jericho jumped ship he wasn't immediately accepted as a "WWF guy" by the locker room, which shows how tight those battle lines were drawn.

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  14. Fake Razor, Rick Titan should also have a place on the show.

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  15. Kofi thought Mr. America wasn't Hulk Hogan.

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  16. While huge, wcw was in the rear view mirror by then anyway, Jericho or no Jericho.

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  17. Jericho was near Rock-levels of over in 2000. He was definitely a reason people were watching for awhile there.

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  18. You could probably look at Nitro's quarter hour ratings in 1998 and see upticks on Jericho's segments. Of course, WCW brass probably gave the credit to Konnan or Scott Norton because they were wearing nWo shirts.

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  19. I'd rather see an episode focussing on Public Enemy than more Austin/DX/nWo stuff we have seen a million times before.

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  20. Dude this is wrestling. It is rigged (which is a good thing) But because its rigged, what does deserve have to do with anything? I mean, all the guys deserve your respect just for making it through the training...but deserving a fake belt in a fake "sport?" Not sure I even know what that means.

    (For the record, calling it a fake sport is not a slam...no more than calling Die Hard a fake movie. Though movie implies fairness anyway...anyway, you get what I mean)

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  21. Cool story bro.

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  22. To me, the episode wasn't even so much about Jericho himself, as it was about Vince getting to toot his horn about giving an opportunity that WCW wasn't willing to give.

    Somewhat like how Vince always talks about giving Austin the push that WCW wouldn't.

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  23. Big Show was way bigger. He was a main eventer in both companies. Jericho was a midcarder in both companies.

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  24. He's bigger in girth and that's it. His debut was no where near jerichos.

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  25. After all the years HHH spent actively holding Jericho down, he's not entitled to ONE SECOND of hitching himself to Jericho's bandwagon.

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  26. One of them debuted and feuded with Austin. One of them debuted and feuded with Road Dogg.

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  27. So you think show had a bigger initial impact?

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  28. Fucking duh dude.

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  29. No need for vulgarities. You're the one making the insane point

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  30. I mean, it's tricky. My earliest wrestling memory is being over my great Grandma's house -
    and I don't remember much, but I remember a dude in Yellow Tights, Fig
    Newtons, and an Oxygen mask. For a lot of us, this wrestling stuff is
    foundational to our understanding of drama and episodic televison and is
    quite possibly the first 'non-cartoon' thing we got into. But after that moment, I remember liking wrestling, but having a bad idea of where to find it - I remember Luger slamming Yoko, and that's about it up until the attitude era.

    And from there it's seered into my skull, and I would think many of us, the 28-49 year old life-long fans have kids,
    and want to share these moments and the history of their passion in a
    way that's a little easier than how we had to do it growing up.

    On one hand, I'm a 28 year old fan who doesn't need to re-re-re-live this stuff because, well, I lived it the first time...save for the first ever WCW match in WWE because I was busy touching my first ever boob. On the other, I'm not so self centered as to think that just because something is old hat to me, means it's crap for everyone. It's like being that asshole who says Bowling For Soup is shit because all they did was rip off nerf herder. Who the fuck cares, enjoy what you want to enjoy.

    I mean, if you're gone through every god damn thing on the network, and now only have this series left, maybe you need to see the outdoors or something.

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  31. But Shawn and HHH saved the WWE! They even said so!

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  32. Big Show debuted to a lukewarm feud with Austin, got fat, held the title for a cup of coffee, and did nothing of note until his feud with Brock in 2002.


    Jericho got the loudest pop ever during the middle of a Rock promo. His first feud was lame but he was main eventing by 2000.


    And the entire point was that he had been midcard in WCW so people were actually excited to finally see him in the WWF. I can't remember any fans back then who really gave a crap about Big Show. We had already seen him drag down WCW main events for years.

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  33. Well, he's not wrong.

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  34. His jumping ship was a big moment and also highlighted WCW's inability to create new stars. So it absolutely deserves it's own ep.

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  35. By the time Jericho was main eventing, wcw didn't even exist. I'm sorry you can't grasp reality.

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  36. X-Pac was a bigger jump than both of them in terms of what it signaled to fans.

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  37. What a ridiculous super smark perspective. Big Show debuted as a main eventer. Jericho had one segment with The Rock and feuded with Road Dogg, Chyna and other midcarders until the invasion ended. I do enjoy your revisionist history that made him a big money player. Very WWEish.

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  38. Jericho definitely became a main eventer in 2008 as a result of his feud with Shawn Michaels. After that he was always someone who could be plugged into a main event feud.

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  39. Jealousy over his pay too

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  40. Over the weekend I watched the the cruiserweight and Goldberg episodes and thought they were alright. Then I saw the next episode was Jericho and I was like "wait, didn't they just do him?" Because they covered Jericho & the Radicalz jumping ship in the cruiserweight episode. So my immediate reaction was that he really doesn't warrant his own episode. But of course there doesn't seem to be any intent to wrap this series up anytime soon, so sure, why not? But if you do Jericho you have to do Guerrero as well. And then Benoit, and Pillman, and... you know, probably just best to do Jericho.

    Seriously though, just do a Russo episode, then a final one called "The End of WCW".

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  41. That was a pretty neckbearded reply. Did you even watch wrestling back then?


    Find a fan who actually cared about the Big Show and get back to me. They fed him to Austin (and every other main event guy) and stuck him into a feud with The Big Boss Man.

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  42. No doubt. And that was during the heat of the wars. Show and y2j were formalities. Wwf was in clear control by then

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  43. Worst_in_the_WorldOctober 27, 2014 at 9:56 PM

    Big Show was definitely a bigger deal in WCW no doubt, but he immediately became a background guy in WWF. The guy was doing a comedy impersonator gimmick by what, 3 months in? Jericho was way more over and a bigger star in WWF during the Attitude Era than Big Show. I can't even see a point in time where it would be reasonable to argue that Show was a bigger star, other than I guess during Show's cup of coffee title run in late '99? Even still it was to feud with Bossman.

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  44. He didn't watch and if he did we was drunk while doing so to argue show Jericho. It's not an argument. It's stupid.

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  45. Worst_in_the_WorldOctober 27, 2014 at 9:59 PM

    Could you point me to the PPV in which Show had a match against Stone Cold?


    Show debuted in a segment with Austin the same way Jericho debuted in a segment with Rock. Neither guy had actual money programs with Austin or Rock after their debut.

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  46. Not sure you're making the argument you think you are. Trying cursing again for emphasis

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  47. You think Austin, Rock, Kane and Triple H were midcarders? Because Austin definitely main evented PPVs against these guys before the Invasion ended.

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  48. I'll give them a pass here because Jericho's debut was really cool and he was an entertaining part of both WCW and WWE (although he clearly wasn't a major player until after the Monday Night Wars had ended). Of course, WWE will use Jericho to reiterate their repeated claims that WCW didn't know how to use good talent. That's all well and good, although it is a lesson that WWE should pay attention to with their own roster today.

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  49. By the time Big Show was main eventing, it was 2002 and it was for a brief couple of months.

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  50. Yeah. And I'm pretty sure that Big Show lost to Mankind in the midcard of Wrestlemania that year.

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  51. To me (an admitted Jerichoholic), his appeal was that he had run out of fucks to give somewhere around the Eddie feud. He said and did what he wanted, and I just plain looked forward to his segments.

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  52. God damn it Meekin, the question was whether Jericho deserved his own episode. Nowhere in your rambling sel-congratulatory essay did you even touch on the subject. That's four paragraphs of read time you just stole, you fucking parasite.

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  53. If Jericho is getting an episode, there had better be one for the Oddities....

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  54. The 2000 upper midcard was a big reason WWE kept control of the Monday Night Wars. Jericho's the most visible member of that group and a huge defection that was one of the all time great Attitude Era moments. Hell yeah give him an episode.

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  55. Not sure if he deserves a whole episode, but his jump was a watershed moment for the Monday Night Wars. He represented all the frustration fans felt watching WCW where guys like him, Benoit, Malenko, Saturn, Guerrero, Mysterio, Raven, and a few others were just never allowed past a certain level. When Jericho jumped it showed that while WCW would taking aging stars, WWF was ready to take young guys and throw them right into the mix. When you add all those guys plus Kurt Angle you suddenly have the backbone WWF used to win.


    So his jumping actually was really important.

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  56. Wait, you actually read that?!

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  57. Unfortunately yes. He'd been making randomly good points lately. I brought it on myself.

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  58. I get it, but they really weren't treated better for years. It was just that the midcard talent in that 2000 era was super awesome.

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  59. Triple H needs to come out and say that WCW had him wrestle a couple matches and they couldn't see his talent, either.

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  60. I demand to know what Steve Lombardi thinks of Jericho's role in the Monday Night War!

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  61. Okay--so I agree that Jericho was somewhat misused by WCW. But looking back, he was only with the company from 1997-1999 and during his run won the Cruiserweight and Television titles at a time when those belts (especially the Cruiserweight championship) still meant something. WCW had never had a more stacked roster, but Jericho held his own. He was poised to enter the United States title picture at the time of his departure, along with folks like Booker T and Scott Steiner. Jericho almost certainly would have been pushed to the world title picture either when Russo came in in 1999 or when Sullivan took back over in 2000.


    So Jericho, Benoit, and Guerrero would have all been pretty successful in WCW from 2000-2001. Success in WCW during that time obviously wouldn't have been the equivalent of success in the WWF, but they would likely have all been champions much sooner. All of that said, Jericho clearly made the right choice. He was unhappy in WCW's climate and eventually (but not immediately) found happiness and success in WWE.

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  62. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomeryOctober 27, 2014 at 11:47 PM

    He hasn't already?

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  63. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomeryOctober 27, 2014 at 11:48 PM

    I'm surprised Billy Gunn hasn't got one yet considering how much the revisionist HHHistory has played up his importance.

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  64. Gunther the Nasty LoserOctober 27, 2014 at 11:52 PM

    I haven't watched it, but the preview talks about how he came from "the enemy," and Big Show says people wouldn't even talk to Jericho in the locker room. I found that really weird since Big Show was in the exact same position as Jericho, and at a heftier price and spot on the card, to boot. Methinks it was more to do with Jericho than the fact that he came from WCW.

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  65. Gunther the Nasty LoserOctober 27, 2014 at 11:54 PM

    Too bad we won't get a Radicalz-themed episode. Then again, not sure any more can be said about their situation when they jumped.

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  66. Gunther the Nasty LoserOctober 27, 2014 at 11:56 PM

    Current employment aside, does Angle deserve his own episode?


    The trifecta of E+C/Hardyz/Dudz?


    Divas?


    Evolution of Taker?

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  67. Gunther the Nasty LoserOctober 27, 2014 at 11:59 PM

    I can't wait till they show the episode on Russo, where he's praised for his WWF work by way of being reeled by Vince, and damned for his WCW work by way of no one knowing how to run the company.

    BRO

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  68. I've never seen him bring that up in one of those talking head segments. I'm sure he's on record somewhere.

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  69. I'd say Jericho, Benoit, Guerrero, Saturn, Malenko, and Mysterio were all treated much better *immediately*.

    Jericho was a cruiserweight in WCW yet got the biggest, most-hyped debut of the MNW, won the IC title by December, and was feuding with HHH, Angle, and Benoit throughout his first 18 months.

    Benoit won the IC title 2 months in, had 2 PPV main event world title matches with The Rock, and was feuding with Jericho, Rock, Angle, and Austin prior to his neck injury.

    Guerrero, Saturn, and Malenko were treated as big deals upon arrival, all 3 winning titles early into their run. Their success (or lack thereof) at the time had more to do with their individual circumstances than anything else. Eddie got hurt and went to rehab, Dean retired after about a year, and Saturn severely injured Mike Bell and then got injured himself.

    Mysterio was the centerpiece of the cruiserweight title scene for 2 solid years when he wasn't vying for the tag belts.

    None of them came in and won the world title immediately, but no one was going to do that with Austin, Rock, HHH, and (eventually) Taker at the top. In WCW, they were often afterthoughts, background noise while the announcers discussed the nWo. In WWE, they were heavily involved with the main eventers.

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  70. Jeff jarrett deserves his own episode.........lol. im actually a big fan of Jeff's breaking guitars, dont piss me off, and slap nuts thing. But im also a big fan of godfather and he was nothing but a midcarder too. But jeff jumped worked for each company TWICE during the wars and never moved the needle (well maybe he moved it down for wcw toward the end). Has anyone else worked for each company TWICE during the war?

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  71. I think most of Jericho's sour grapes come via the Goldberg feud to be honest. I think he'd have overlooked the bad backstage drama if that'd worked out.



    He saw himself as having a ton of value as a foil for Goldberg in an angle that would have got both of them over -- which I actually agree 100% with. Goldberg needed someone to give him a good match and give him legitimacy at the top of the card (the way Paige did later).



    Plus Jericho would have really got over the whole 'delusional heel who doesn't know when to shut up and gets himself into trouble' character he'd been trying to get over with guys like Dean Malenko, who were too physically similar to really make Jericho seem like the underdog.

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  72. Yeah, I see shoot interview after shoot interview being affected by these things too.


    Since the smarks are the market for these, the questions usually come from whatever the ongoing narrative is and fans (and the interviews) are getting older/new fans and don't even remember what happened anymore.


    It's funny to hear Eric Bischoff deny every smark interpretation of backstage WCW in his RF shoot, but fully accept the "Tony said butts in the seats and everyone tuned to RAW" notion, even though that's not what happened and it's just been repeated so many times it's become fact.

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  73. Raven. Twice in all three!

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  74. Props for answering but he wasn't in wwe twice or wcw twice during the wars. Only ecw twice, which wasn't part of the wars. They didnt have a chance unfortunately

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  75. I think he's very symbolic of WCW throwing away it's future. To let Jericho, Eddy and Benoit go in the space of six months in 1999/2000 is incredible. Their terrible 2000 would have been much, much improved with those guys in it

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  76. As someone who wanted all his WCW favourites in the WWF, it was a HUGE deal to me when Jericho jumped. Wasn't he the first real player to jump shit during that time? Other than Paul Wight? Even in hindsight, it does seem a significant moment

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  77. At Mania lost to Mankind in the mid-card, at Backlash, he lost to Mankind four matches from the top, at Over The Edge he was part of an 8 man tag teaming with The Union facing the Undertakers minions, at King Of The Ring he lost to Kane in 6 minutes in the second match of the show, he beat Kane in the 5th match out of 9 (the literal middle of the card) at Fully Loaded the next month, ant at Summerslam he won his first title, a tag title.

    TO SUM UP: MID CARDER.

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  78. It's a weird question to answer because his jumping ship was pretty insane, as was his trade-up value. He went from being the under-the-radar MVP who was never given any chances and had to basically book himself into prominence while avoiding the backstage politics to weeks of debut build-up leading to a mic battle with one of the biggest stars in the industry as his debut.

    But, yes, the follow up was... Hmm. Not much to work with there.

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  79. I'll be honest, when the Radicals showed up on RAW I knew the war was over. Now, that doesn't mean I thought WCW was going out of business. But the one thing the WWF lacked was real midcard talent outside of a few guys like Val and D'Lo, but when those guys showed up and started headline PPVS with HHH and the Rock I knew it was over. Those were the guys Russo was trying to turn to to help right the ship and when they left, it took the backbone out of WCW,

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  80. How was the episode, did it end with him debuting with Rock, or did it have that, and then skip over the middling period into the later years?

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  81. I just broke down his first several PPV's above, and he was definitely a mid-carder. A collossal waste though, to be honest. Not one of WWF's finest booking eras.

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  82. It’s so incredible that that basically should have been WCW’s
    upper card for the most part. Booker, Jarrett, Jericho, Benoit and Eddy feuding
    over the WCW title in 2000? That’s some decent shit right there.

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  83. That lazy piece of crap Konnan taking the TV title off of
    Jericho in 1998 was a dark, dark moment.

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  84. I'm trying to think, but probably you're right. For most
    of 98 WWF was still making do with what it had, while WCW was still snapping up
    everyone they dumped, from Neidhart to Brian Adams. Off the top of my head, and
    surely there MUST be someone else, the only person I can think of going from
    WCW to WWF in 1998 was the Big Boss Man.

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  85. Extant1979 Most Must-See BoDerOctober 28, 2014 at 5:23 AM

    X-Pac was the very first in 1998, then Big Show to kick off 1999, then Jericho.

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  86. Extant1979 Most Must-See BoDerOctober 28, 2014 at 5:24 AM

    Probably not, as he had no connection to WCW.

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  87. I've flagged the comment as inappropriate. I'm not sure what happens now, but hopefully it's prison.

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  88. X-Pac, of course! How silly of me to forget that in my post below.

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  89. Jericho's jump was hu-uge. The follow up was less than compelling, but as far as jumps go, or anticipation, that was one of THE events of the war as far as I'm concerned.

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  90. I still go with Jericho as my guy to beat Goldberg. Jericho was poised to be the HBK of WCW and he dropped the ball. The Jericho - Goldberg feud was the most money ever left on the table by WCW.

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  91. So you're saying that Mankind, Kane and Undertaker were midcarders. MAKES PERFECT SENSE!

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  92. Was he doing it before right after he debuted?

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  93. Super Smarks getting so upset.

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  94. I said Big Show was a mid-carder, due to him always fighting in the middle of the card and no higher. That's the difference between a mid-carder and a main-eventer.

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  95. So, in other words, that was exactly what you were saying. Ted, just admit it.

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  96. If you think someone can be a main eventer despite never
    being in the main event, that’s great. That’s the kind of rounding-up I do on
    my resume, but I expect higher standards from this blog!

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  97. Wow how did I forget that one - one of my bigger mark out moments

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  98. Exactly. That is basically the same fued Jericho had with Triple H two years later, except he was a babyface. He badgered and annoyed and insulted his way into a match and ended up turning in that career-making Last Man Standing match at Fully Loaded. 16 months later he's WWF champion and on his way to headlining Wrestlemania.

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  99. *Ahem* Former WCW Champion Kurt Angle?

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  100. Extant1979 Most Must-See BoDerOctober 28, 2014 at 7:32 AM

    Stupid invasion storyline...

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  101. It really wasn't a money feud. The whole thing was designed to be ended by a quick Goldberg squash, which kind of happened anyways (I think he got speared on Nitro). Pretendin this was going to be Hogan-Sting is just silly. Just something to fill time on TV and maybe a B-ppv non-main event like at World War 3.

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  102. I think Jericho's jump is important solely for the fact that it reinforced the perception that if you're young and up and coming, you go to WWF to be made into a star. Other than the Rock, WWF's main eventers were ALL guys who worked for WCW at one time and went on to bigger and better things in the WWF (Stone Cold, Foley, Taker, HHH... even Big Show for arguments sake). Jericho is significant though because he's probably the first guy that fans on both side of the war liked, and thought should be bigger than the opportunities WCW was giving him... He's also the jump that should have sent the message to WCW that the same mistake shouldn't be made with Benoit, Guerrero, etc., and we know how that turned out.

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  103. Ah, early 1999, when every internet wrestling news site and forum was nothing BUT Jericho updates and speculation.


    Now that I think of it, he was kind of the Daniel Bryan of his day. He was a guy that was pigeon-holed and held down, and we were all in disbelief that the guy in charge didn't see the talent.

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  104. I think Jericho has said that his attitude wasn't the best when he first jumped, and that a lot of his heat was his own fault

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  105. I still remember the rumors (which turned out to be true) that his first feud was going to be with Road Dogg.


    Even at that point, at seventeen and thinking that the "Attitude Era" was the greatest thing ever and that Road Dogg was decently charismatic, I felt like that was a crock of shit. Friggin' ROAD DOGG? If it weren't for "DX" (which meant being able to wear "South Park" t-shirts and make dick jokes), he'd have been out on his ass years earlier.

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  106. Poor Boss Man... he had obviously gotten into the best shape of his life, and he was a knowledgeable veteran that was decent in the ring, but the fans just did NOT give a shit about him. Before "X-Pac Heat", there was "Boss Man Heat".

    Vince: "Tonight, you're facing the Big Boss Man!"
    Audience: *crickets*

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  107. Yeah, I found that weird, too. You'd think Jericho would have mentioned it at some point over the last fifteen years.

    I'm with you, I think it was more about Jericho than where he previously worked.

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