How should Chris Jericho’s WWE career be remembered?

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August 22, 2012

All of those victories and the championship gold that went with them eventually built to a crescendo at Vengeance 2001. Having remained loyal to WWE during the 2001 invasion by The Alliance of WCW and ECW loyalists, Y2J found himself with a unique opportunity if he could seize the WCW Championship from The Rock. He did just that, and then later defeated WWE Champion “Stone Cold” Steve Austin to unify the WWE and WCW Titles, become a Triple Crown champion and, more importantly, the first Undisputed Champion in WWE history. (WATCH)

Shedding the criticisms about his inability to win the “big one,” Jericho crossed the path of his childhood idol, Shawn Michaels, shortly thereafter at WrestleMania XIX, in one of the most legendary rivalries of all time. Sparked from Y2J’s meddling in HBK’s bid to win the Royal Rumble Match in 2003, the two engaged in a battle that stole the spotlight on The Grandest Stage of Them All where Michaels ultimately prevailed. (WATCH)

Despite the countless achievements, including having held championship gold during every year of his first run in WWE, Jericho stepped away from the ring in 2005 to pursue other endeavors. He rocked the mic as the front man of heavy metal band Fozzy, became a New York Times best-selling author and established himself as a star of the small screen. Yet for all of his new notoriety, Jericho’s competitive fires still burned bright within him.

He returned to the ring in 2007 and quickly renewed his rivalry with Michaels by questioning The Showstopper’s remorse at banishing Ric Flair to retirement at WrestleMania XXIV. Michaels and his years of experience once again won out over Jericho’s tactical savvy, but Jericho’s urge to be the alpha dog led to Y2J putting HBK’s face through the “Jeri-Tron 5000” during “The Highlight Reel.” (WATCH) He shed his Y2J persona in favor of becoming a “self-righteous honest man” and engaged in heated battles for the World Heavyweight Championship that would eventually wind up in Jericho’s sole possession in the long run.

Determined to elevate his legendary status on his own terms, Jericho sought out formidable challenges to reinforce his credentials as one of the best to ever set foot in a WWE ring. He mixed it up with WWE Hall of Famers Jimmy Snuka, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper as well as movie star Mickey Rourke at The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania. (WATCH | PHOTOS)

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