The second coming of Raw - is - JERICHO!
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The rafters in BankAtlantic Center shook when our fans realized -- for sure -- who was the mystery man behind the futuristic encrypted videos that had been a hot topic of conversation around WWE and the sports-entertainment world. Once they saw the shrouded figure's trademark crosslike pose in the entranceway, their suspicions were confirmed. Behold the second coming of Y2J, Chris Jericho!
To WWE Champion Randy Orton's chagrin, the Ayatollah seems hell-bent on saving us from the Legend Killer and his title reign. Poor Orton just can't seem to catch a break: He thought that tonight's Raw would be all about him and his victory over Shawn Michaels at Survivor Series. He basked in the thought of proclaiming himself the present and future in a "Passing the Torch Ceremony," complete with torch bearer. Too bad Jericho had other plans.
For those of you who may not be familiar with Jericho, here's one thing you need to know: The guy sure knows how to make an entrance. His return tonight was reminiscent of his WWE debut in 1999. A series of Y2J millennium bug countdown videos foreshadowed his arrival. When he debuted, he faced off with The Rock in a verbal sparring session that has become one of Raw's all-time classic moments. This set the stage for Y2J's WWE career.
Jericho's rivalries with Chyna, The Rock, Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Rob Van Dam and Christian were legendary for both their in-ring intensity and sheer comedy outside the ring. Hardly any titles were safe when he was around during his "first coming." Besides holding the European and Hardcore Championships, the self-proclaimed "Ayatollah of Rock ‘n' Rolla" won the Intercontinental Championship seven times and held the World Tag Team Championship three times with three different partners.
But Jericho cemented his place in WWE history on December 9, 2001 at Vengeance, when he beat both The Rock for the WCW Championship and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin for the WWE Championship to unify both titles and become the first Undisputed WWE Champion. Jericho's WWE championship was brief -- he lost the title to Triple H three months later at WrestleMania X8 -- but no one could take away his accomplishment.
Besides the numerous championships, Jericho also showed the world that his Ayatollah of Rock ‘n' Rolla mantra was more than shtick. He released three albums with his rock band Fozzy. And in the tradition of WWE Hall of Famer "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Jericho hosted a weekly TV segment on WWE programming, The Highlight Reel, where he interviewed -- and antagonized -- his guests.
Y2J's WWE career appeared to end in August 2005 when he lost a You're Fired Match to then-WWE Champion John Cena on Raw. Jericho pursued an acting career, continued touring with Fozzy and appeared on VH1's Best Week Ever and I Love The 80s. He has also hosted his own show on XM Satellite Radio called The Rock of Jericho and released his biography, A Lion's Tale: Around the World in Spandex, which has been on the New York Times' best-seller list.
Despite his numerous projects, the multitalented Jericho cannot get enough of the squared circle, and our fans couldn't be happier. Who knows what the rebirth of Jericho's in-ring career will bring. One thing is certain: Orton probably wishes Y2J would have never -- evvvveerrrr -- returned.