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  Nov 19, 1999

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SLAM! Wrestling Editorial: No justice for Jericho
By ALEX RISTIC -- SLAM! Wrestling

According to Alex Ristic, the WWF's Ayatollah of Rock n' Rolla - Chris Jericho - can't get no respect.
Let's forget for a moment that this year's edition of the Survivor Series was the worst PPV ever in the history of the WWF. Let's forget about Vince MacMahon's preference for putting over the larger talent in the WWF. And let's also forget about how a certain beer-swilling talent in the WWF refuses to "feud" with wrestlers who he thinks "aren't up to his level".

This is about Chris Jericho and how Vinnie Mac has no idea what to do with him since his former creative muses - Vince Russo and Ed Ferrera - took a hike. Chris Jericho has had a cult following from his ECW and WCW days to his acclaimed stint in Japan. His in-ring ability and mic skills are near the top of the profession and he's been rewarded for it everywhere else. Amongst Jericho's numerous accomplishments are various titles in Asia, tag-team straps in ECW, and lightweight and television gold in WCW. All these attributes are what led the WWF to sign him in the first place.

So what went wrong? Is Vince backsliding to his 80's days when only those over 275 lbs. got a push? Or is it his inability to work with stars from other organizations, never building upon their talents, like Vader, Lex Luger and The Steiner Brothers? The answer could be both.

Anyone who saw the Survivor Series PPV knows it was a possible career destroyer as far as Chris Jericho's concerned. First, he powerbombs Chyna - which was enough for him to get a win over the Road Dogg - but she kicks out! Next, a belt shot to her head - enough to knockout Steve Austin when Vince does it - but it wasn't not enough for Chyna. Then, there's his finishing move, The Walls Of Jericho, something no one is supposed to walk away from but Chyna made it to the ropes with ease. Three moves, all worthy of getting the win, yet Chyna beat Jericho without outside interference.

This isn't a put-down on Chyna but more a questioning of the WWF's direction, or lack of it. Someone with suspect wrestling skills and hardly any history shouldn't be pushed to the level she is. Now that she's beat Jericho and Jeff Jarrett, there's no possible way she can lose the belt to other talent like Snack-Pac or possibly even Val Venis. She has just been made invincible at the expense of someone else's career.

Just look at the Raw Is Jericho after Survivor Series. He didn't even get over Gargamel (my pet name for Gangrel as all he ever does is beat on the smurfs of the WWF). If anything, Jericho should have been given a push immediately after SS, so as to not lose stock. But the WWF made him fall further and increased the stupid "let's beat women" angle. It could almost be excusable that Jericho was wrestling Chyna because she was placing herself in a world dominated by men. It was impossible for her not to take some lumps. When you start tieing her up and smacking her with a hammer though, it just screams of abuse. And of course, Vinnie Mac approved the storyline.

Y2J takes over Raw Is Jericho.
So, if you're Chris Jericho, how do you sell yourself now? Taking away from his promising start and feud with Ken Shamrock, the WWF has done nothing but stiff him. A loss to Stevie Richards? A loss to Gangrel? A loss to Chyna? Is there any way Jericho's reputation can be salvaged? Who could convincingly put him over with that kind of recent history?

Chris Jericho has been emasculated by Vinnie Mac and the WWF. If I were Jericho I'd ask for my outright release. Jericho should go back to ECW where he can have a tremendous feud with Rob Van Dam and others. At least he'd be appreciated there and pushed properly.

Ironically, Jericho joked about the company starting to lose the ratings war and that fact that WWF PPV buy-rates were tanking when he first broke in. Now, that's actually starting to happen. It's too bad the company is misusing somebody who could be one if it's saviors.

Vince: You have a lot to learn from your mistakes. Don't make Chris Jericho one of them or he may haunt you much like Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. A good start would be to push him for the European title over the Bulldog. That is, if it's not already too late.

READER ALERT: Make sure to check back next week for Alex Ristic's exclusive interview with Chris Jericho.

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