Battle for the Undisputed Championship
There can be little debate why WrestleMania's only battle for the Undisputed Championship -- between champion Chris Jericho and challenger Triple H -- would rank at No. 9 among WWE.com's collection of ‘Mania Matches That Made Us Sweat. Coming into the match at WrestleMania X8, Jericho was WWE's first-ever Undisputed Champion, holding both the WCW and the WWE Titles. Meanwhile, his challenger's journey onto The Grandest Stage of Them All entailed so much more than an unbelievable qualifying victory in the 2002 Royal Rumble Match.
A major quad injury in May 2001 had sidelined The Game, forcing eight agonizing months of rehab and wondering if he could still compete at his championship-caliber level. Furthermore, despite earning his way into the title confrontation within Toronto's Skydome, Triple H's injury was re-aggravated during a tag match against Jericho just a few weeks prior to WrestleMania.
Throughout their title bout, Y2J would capitalize on The Game's career-threatening injury, reigning down punishing blows and trying to irreparably damage his repaired quad in grueling moves like the Walls of Jericho. Throughout the title contest, it appeared to more than 68,000 fans in the arena that Jericho could take out The Game for good.
As if The King of King's seriously-vulnerable leg wasn't enough of a hindrance, consider the additional advantage Jericho had -- Stephanie McMahon. Now on the outs with her husband, Stephanie aided Y2J by distracting -- and even attacking -- Triple H whenever and wherever she could.
The Billion-Dollar Princess' meddling, however, soon proved costly, especially when Triple H caught and Pedigreed her out cold. Jericho would retaliate with a vicious steel chair straight to Triple H's skull. Yet somehow, the Cerebral Assassin regrouped and avoided a three-count, then answered back with his patented Pedigree for the victory -- and the Undisputed Championship. After suffering plenty of pain, The Game had once more achieved the ultimate gain.