Ahead of his big match against Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 12 on January 4th, Chris Jericho penned an article for The Players Tribune website about his five favorite opponents over the course of his career.
Ultimo Dragon, Dean Malenko, Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio and Kevin Owens – you just made the list! Some quick notes on what Jericho said about each man:
- Ultimo Dragon
After competing in Mexico’s CMLL promotion and later WAR in Japan, “We wrestled at the WAR third anniversary show in July of 1995, and that was the match that got me into ECW and into WCW.”
- Dean Malenko
Malenko was one of Jericho’s favorite opponents in WCW and their rivalry produced some of the most memorable aspects of Jericho’s early career on the national stage.
“The run with Dean ultimately led to some of the lasting fan-favorite Jericho promos, including “Man of 1,004 holds,” “Conspiracy Victim” and several others.”
- Shawn Michaels
“A hundred years from now, Shawn will probably still be talked about as one of the greatest performers in the history of wrestling. Being able to work with him in such a big way in 2008 is something I will always be proud of.”
- Rey Mysterio
“On the surface, it probably wouldn’t seem as though our styles would mesh, but that’s just another component that made working with Rey so great. We both were constantly changing it up in the ring, and I think we both did some of our best wrestling during that four-month span.”
- Kevin Owens
Jericho and Kevin Owens’ “Best Friends” angle was one of the highlights of WWE programming in 2017. With their bromance in full swing and Jericho feeling untouchable, everything came crashing down at the Festival of Friendship.
“When he finally turned on me, the moment had a great element of surprise — and more importantly, we had people watching who were emotionally invested. A lot of hearts were broken that night — but in a good way. There aren’t a whole lot of guys besides Kevin who would have been able to convincingly pull that off.”
Head over to The Players Tribune to read Jericho’s thoughts on each opponent and how their matches shaped the course of his career.