What can be said about the man who has essentially done it all? He is an author, an actor, a musician, a podcaster; he has captured championships and feuded with Hall of Famers, and through it all has generally kept his cards close to his chest.
This is the man known as Chris Jericho.
When he isn't putting people on his list or interviewing them on his Highlight Reel (in front of the obscenely expensive Jeritron 6000), Jericho is not only a major part of the company every time he has returned from an absence, but always takes strides to make those around him appear just as good if not better than him.
Whether he was facing Fandango or Bray Wyatt, Jericho did what at the time was believed to be best for business, and in the process made everyone around him look like stars.
At 46 years of age, Jericho has remained as relevant as ever. While he may soon depart once again to pursue his musical commitments, during his most recent tenure he has provided fans with entertaining television both on his own and with his one-time best friend Kevin Owens.
Here are five little-known facts about the former Intercontinental, tag team, world and WWE champion, Chris Jericho.
#5 Owen Hart was Jericho's wrestling inspiration
Two men that Jericho has always identified as being an inspiration for him growing up were Ricky ‘The Dragon' Steamboat and ‘The Heartbreak Kid' Shawn Michaels. So his biggest inspirations were two of the greatest workers of all time.
Like so many other wrestling fans, he has stated that Steamboat’s match against Randy ‘Macho Man' Savage at Wrestlemania III was a show-stealer, despite the fact that Andre The Giant and Hulk Hogan were given the spotlight.
Also read: Chris Jericho net worth and salary
Jericho had the opportunity to work a couple of programs with HBK during their time together in the WWE as well.
What isn't stated as much is that as a child he would watch another young Canadian wrestler, and that man's abilities added to his interest in wrestling. At local wrestling events, the late Owen Hart stood out to Jericho, and after watching Hart wrestle, Jericho was convinced that this was what he wanted to do with his life.
In fact, five years after seeing Owen compete, Jericho enrolled in the Hart Brothers’ School of Wrestling and moved onto the independent scene only a couple of months after training at their facility.
#4 He was originally scheduled for the Wrestlemania 2000 main event
When Jericho first joined WWE, fans will recall the hype and fanfare surrounding his debut, and his subsequent initial banter with The Rock. However, after that debut, it appears his Y2J character was being pushed towards the background rather than becoming a focal point of the main event.
There was great speculation as to his future and his involvement in the main event scene within the WWE. When Triple H faced Cactus Jack in a Hell in the Cell match at No Way Out 2000, it was supposed to be a retirement match Foley, a grand send-off that was only fitting for the Hardcore legend.
What some may not know is that Jericho was originally slated to be in that fatal four-way main event at Wrestlemania 2000. However, the creative team asked Foley to be in the main event in place of Jericho.
It more than likely didn't sit well with Jericho, who had been advertised to be a part of the main event in several promotional posters prior to the event. Although Foley had been asked sometime before, it was a last-minute change to insert him in place of Jericho.
#3 He is born American
As many fans are aware, Jericho's actual last name is Irvine, and his father played for the National Hockey League's New York Rangers team when Jericho was a child.
However, what isn't normally mentioned is that while he is often introduced as being from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and is considered Canadian due to his upbringing, that isn't his country of birth. In fact, Chris Irvine was born in Manhasset, New York.
Promoting where someone was born is a great way to either generate heat or cheers from the fan base. In Jericho's case, they have almost always advertised him as being from Winnipeg, because that is where he spent his formative years.
It has been reported that Vince McMahon once believed that if Jericho was introduced as being born in New York, it would be another reason for fans to get behind him. However, as it stands, Jericho is so talented that stating where he is from and where he was raised plays no factor in whether he is jeered/cheered or not.
Jericho can generate a reaction by simply playing up some things and negating others. After all, he's from Winnipeg, you stupid idiot!
#2 The Brazilian flag incident
Chris Jericho is known for his ability to reach people from different cultures and different walks of life. He is charismatic, and a consummate showman. There has never been any question when he is in character that he is completely and fully dedicated to his persona.
However, during an incident in 2012, it was thought that Jericho had blurred the lines between fantasy and reality. During a live event in Brazil, in a match against former WWE champion CM Punk, Jericho decided to tear a Brazilian flag, an act that was reflective of his heel character.
However, the authorities immediately got involved and threatened to arrest Jericho. Jericho immediately apologised for his actions and the event continued as scheduled.
WWE, however, took measures against Jericho, suspending him for thirty days, while also issuing an apology to the Brazilian fans. This was one instance where Jericho, known for maintaining his persona even outside the ring to aid with the mystique of his character, was forced to immediately renounce his actions.
Despite being a heel, he had to immediately break kayfabe not only to save face, but prevent legal action against himself, and potentially the company.
#1 He debuted as ‘Cowboy' Chris Jericho
Everyone needs to find their character in wrestling. Often it takes a great deal of time to find a part of whom you are that you can emphasise in a manner that will make others connect with you.
You can connect through your ability to do something that pushes the boundaries of normal, or simply by performing in a manner exciting enough that it resonates with fans. Wrestlers’ characters are never automatically made when they begin wrestling, and this was the case for Chris Jericho.
While tattoos now adorn previously bare parts of his arms, and his hair isn't close to the length it once was, Jericho is still as capable of being the showman he has been for so many years.
When Jericho first began wrestling at the age of 19, he like several other wrestlers, was without an identity. He debuted as ‘Cowboy' Chris Jericho while competing against future friend and tag team partner Lance Storm.
There is nothing about Jericho today that even remotely resembles a cowboy. However, given the time and his age, and the need to find an identity, being a cowboy while competing on the West Coast made sense at the time.
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