Chris Jericho made his professional wrestling debut on the independent circuit in 1991. Five years later he joined Extreme Championship Wrestling. By 1999 he was at the top of the wrestling chain as a member of WWF (now WWE). Today, Jericho is working to take down WWE with All Elite Wrestling, a new promotion airing nationally on TNT. Throughout his legendary career, Chris Jericho has wrestled all over the world and toured with his band Fozzy. This is everything you need to know about the legendary wrestling superstar!
A Man Of Many Nicknames
Throughout his 30-year wrestling career, Chris Jericho has been called many things. Some names were given to him by his opponents, while others he happily gave to himself. By our count, there are more than 15 nicknames for the legend, and these are some of the best ones:
“The Highlight of the Night,” “Y2J,” “The Savior of (the) WWE,” and “The Most Charismatic Showman to Enter Your Home via a Television Screen.” That last name he gave himself on August 9, 1999, on an episode of WWE Monday Night Raw.
He Trained In The Hart Dungeon
At 19 years old, Chris Jericho began his wrestling training in the Hart Dungeon. Located in the basement of the Hart mansion, the gym was created by the Hart family to help prepare up-and-coming young wrestlers.
Two months after Jericho’s training began he made his debut in Alberta Canada under the moniker “Cowboy.” In his first match, he wrestled against another Hart Dungeon alumni named Lance Storm. The two became friends and joined forces as “Sudden Impact” until Jericho was signed with the ECW.
He’s The Lead Singer Of A Heavy Metal Band
In 1999 Chris Jericho joined forces with guitarist Rich Ward to play in the Ozzy Osbourne cover band Fozzy Osbourne. After meeting in San Antonio, Ward invited Jericho to join the band. Eventually, he became a permanent member and the lead singer.
In 2000, the band name was shortened to Fozzy and they released their first album, which was self-titled. On the album, several metal classics were covered, as the band joked that they originally wrote the songs but had the demos stolen.
His Alter Ego Is Moongoose McQueen
When he joined Fozzy, Chris Jericho also created an alter ego named Moongoose McQueen. While performing as this character, he refused to acknowledge that he was actually Chris Jericho. He even pretended to not know who the wrestling superstar was!
And when Chris Jericho would be asked about Moongoose, he would deny that they were the same person. Instead, he would claim he was a fan of both the lead singer and his band. This gimmick lasted for five years, until the band’s third album, All That Remains, was released.
Owen Hart Inspired Jericho’s Career
Chris Jericho was just a kid in Canada when he saw Owen Hart wrestle for the very first time. The match inspired the young man to chase his own dreams of professional wrestling. The next, of course, was to enroll in the Hart Brothers’ School of wrestling.
Jericho may have been young, but his potential was limitless and it wasn’t long before he was out of school and making noise on the independent circuit.
Mick Foley Replaced Jericho At Wrestlemania 2000
Leading up to Wrestlemania 2000, Chris Jericho was being advertised by the promotion as a part of the main event. The “fatal four-way” was supposed to feature him fighting three other WWE superstars. At the last minute, though, the company replaced Jericho with Mick Foley.
The switch came as WWE decided that instead of featuring a new wrestler in the main event, they would use it as a way to give Mick Foley a proper send-off. The legend was also asked to work the main event before Jericho, but he waited until the last minute to accept.
Chris Jericho Isn’t His Real Name
Although the WWE would love for you to believe Chris Jericho came from Canada, the truth is he was born in New York and was named Christopher Keith Irvine. His father, Ted Irvine, played hockey for the New York Rangers. When he retired, he moved the family to Canada.
The reason the WWE prefers to tell fans that Jericho is Canadian (he did spend most of his youth there) is that Vince McMahon believed that saying he was from New York would make the audience like him too much.
He Almost Got Arrested In Brazil
In 2012 Chris Jericho found himself in hot water with authorities in Brazil. During a live event, he ripped a Brazilian flag in half. He thought it would be a good move for his villainous persona. Brazilian authorities took the moment a little too seriously, though.
The government threatened to arrest Jericho, at which point he immediately apologized. When he returned to the United States, the WWE punished him with a 30-day suspension and made him issue a public apology to the people of Brazil.
He’s Won A Ton Of Titles
During the course of his career, Chris Jericho has won more than 30 titles across several promotions. He has traveled the world, too, finding himself in the ring in Germany, Japan, Brazil, Canada, and Mexico.
With WWE, he was the first-ever Undisputed Champion, a nine-time Intercontinental Champion, a six-time world champion, and the promotions fourth Grand Slam Champion. With all the belts he’s worn, it’s surprising to learn that Jericho actually ended his WWE career with a losing record.
In One Night He Beat The Rock And Stone Cold
In 2001, Chris Jericho did what seemed impossible when he beat both The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin in one night. To claim the victory, first, he used The Rock’s own finishing move on him. The win awarded him the WCW Championship.
Then he went after Stone Cold and was aided with interference by Booker T and an “injured’ ref. The win gave him Austin’s WWE Championship title, meaning that for one night, Jericho was the king of both the WCW and the WWE.
He Was A Big Winner In WCW
The brighter Chris Jericho’s career got, the more matches he seemed to lose. Even though he’s won over 30 titles, his WWE overall record of 171-234-25 is not pretty. Before that, Jericho was set in his winning ways, leaving the WCW with 128 wins, 65 losses, and six draws.
Before joining the WCW, Jericho fought in Smoky Mountain Wrestling, where he had a perfect record of 49-0. In Jericho’s new promotion, AEW, he currently has a winning record.
He’s Avoided Big Hollywood Roles
At the peak of his career, it wouldn’t have been surprising to see Chris Jericho transition into movie stardom. It worked for The Rock and John Cena, why couldn’t it work for him? For whatever reason, Jericho has never had a starring role in a major movie.
The closest he has come was a cameo appearance in McGruber as Frank Korver. The movie starred Will Forte and was a feature-length version of his popular SNL sketch. Most recently, Jericho made a cameo in Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.
He Lost A Singing Competition On National Television
In 2006, Simon Cowell debuted the celebrity singing competition Celebrity Duets. In the first season, Chris Jericho competed against the like of Cheech Marin, Jai Rodriguez, Carly Patterson, Alfonso Ribiero, and Lucy Lawless.
On paper, Jericho should have easily won. He is the lead singer of Fozzy, after all. In reality, he was the first contestant to lose, even after performing alongside Lee Ann Womack and Peter Frampton. Ribiero, most famous for playing Carlton on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, won the competition.
He’s In Business With Tim Tebow
Chris Jericho might not have tried to become a big Hollywood movie star, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t invested in other careers. Not only is he a successful musician, but he is also a successful business owner with college football legend Tim Tebow.
Jericho, Tebow, MLB Hall of Famer Chipper Jones, and Derrick Brooks are all co-owners of D1 Tampa, a sports training facility in Florida. Recently, Men’s Health ranked the gym as one of the top 30 in the United States.
He Competed On Dancing With The Stars
Five years after losing Celebrity Duets, Chris Jericho entered a new reality show competition and appeared on Dancing with the Stars. This time he fought against the likes of Sugar Ray Leonard, Romeo, Kirstie Alley, and Hines Ward. His partner and trainer was Cheryl Burke.
Surprisingly, Jericho lasted until the sixth week of Dancing with the Stars before being eliminated. Hines Ward, the iconic Pittsburgh Steeler, ended up winning the Mirrorball Trophy with his partner Kym Johnson.
Journalists Love Him
To fans, Chris Jericho is meant to be hated. As one of the greatest heels in the history of professional wrestling, his job was to disliked. When it came to dealing with the media, however, he was loved. In 2010, The Wrestling Observer Newsletter named him “Best on Interviews” for the aughts.
Kevin Eck, a writer for The Baltimore Sun, also wrote that Jericho, “has proved to be one of best all-around performers in the business… regarded as one of the very best talkers.”
He’s Been Fined For Making Opponents Bleed
After going through the Attitude Era, the WWE decided to tone down the gore level in its content to achieve a more family-friendly appeal. As a result, wrestlers were not supposed to bleed during matches.
Right as this transition happened, Dave Batista (pictured) wanted to “up the ante” in a fight against Jericho and cut himself so he would bleed. Jericho was unaware of Batista’s actions but was fined by Vince McMahon nonetheless, who was reportedly furious over the incident.
His Peers Didn’t Like Him At First
When Chris Jericho came to the WWE, he was given one of the biggest debuts by the promotion ever. After that, his fellow stars felt he was too cocky, especially after he called The Undertaker boring.
Shortly after the incident, Shawn Michaels confronted Jericho and warned him about calling out his peers randomly in promos. The aftermath of Jericho’s arrogance led to him falling to the mid-card for several months while he made up for negative behavior.
His Return In 2013 Was A Surprise
In 2013, Chris Jericho returned to the WWE in the number two spot at the Royal Rumble. His return to the ring was a complete shock and surprise to the crowd, and he received one of the biggest ovations of his career.
In his book Best in the World, Jericho referenced this as one of his greatest moments in WWE history. He wanted to make that entrance, in particular, special after a series of disappointing returns before.
Self Confidence Is His Greatest Asset
Throughout his career, Chris Jericho believes his greatest asset has always been his confidence. Without it, he never would have made it past the independent circuit. In No is a Four-Letter Word he revealed that was told he was too small until he became a star.
More than anything, he says that anyone who is truly confident will act like they are always in the right place at the right time. This motto is what he believes has led to continued success and popularity.