That Time Chris Jericho Was WWE Champion For 30 Minutes

In which a Dusty finish clarifies Jericho’s stardom.

Chris Jericho Debut
WWE.com

April 17, 2000.

We are a less than a year removed from Chris Jericho’s WWF debut—a debut remembered as a seminal moment of the Monday Night Wars, but one that left management, even its subject, somewhat unimpressed. In his second autobiography ‘Undisputed: How To Become The World Champion In 1,372 Days’, Jericho retrospectively buried his own performance. He felt he leaned too heavily into comedy, at which the WWF trafficked—in parallel with serious, main event business.

As the countdown to the millennium counted down to 0, Jericho emerged. Watch the YouTube clip. The hairs on your neck will still stand up. It won’t matter how many times you have relived the moment: the magic still amazes. Jericho generated a monster of a pop, and delivered a promo good enough to match the Rock’s Best In The World-level stick work. It got over, and at time of writing, the top comment of WWE’s YouTube video clip reads ‘Coolest debut I have ever seen’.

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Former Power Slam Magazine scribe and author of Development Hell: The NXT Story - available NOW on shop.whatculture.com!

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