You can call him by any of his names but the fact is that Chris Jericho is one of the greatest sports entertainers of this generation. A man who has the complete package of wrestling ability & entertainment value. This release is long overdue but finally we can hear the story behind the man. Throughout the presentation, you'll hear from various people including those close to him (his father & former NHL player Ted Irvine along with other childhood friends) along with WWE talent from the past (Lance Storm, Eric Bischoff, Goldberg, Roddy Piper) & present (Bret Hart, Chavo Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Christian, Joey Styles, Dean Malenko, Arn Anderson, Edge, Matt Hardy, The Miz, Michael Hayes, John Morrison, Big Show, John Cena, Evan Bourne, Vince McMahon, Wade Barrett, Pat Patterson).
The documentry stars talking about his childhood in terms of how he was very active while getting into his two biggest passions of wrestling & music by age 12. How Jericho went to a community college while waiting to join the Hart Family training camp was discussed next before he going into about a talk he had with Jesse Ventura along with meeting Lance Storm at the training camp was talked about next. His international travels was discussed next such as going to Mexico was talked about as far as getting his nickname of "Lionheart" & becoming a heartthrob to the audience & being able to work various shows on a daily basis before going into his work in Germany where he worked for 42 days straight at one point. His venture into Jim Cornette's Smokey Mountain Wrestling talked about his "Thrillseekers" tag team with Lance Storm & how he learned the ability to cut a promo was mentioned before going into his tours of Japan were more wrestling based. His run in ECW was heavily discussed next detailing such things like how he was booked in a matches against Taz & Cactus Jack got him over with the crowd along with the importance behind his tagline of being "the last survivor of the Hart Family Dungeon." The story of Eric Bischoff giving him a job on the spot the first time they ever met thinking he would be one the top names for the crusierweight division begins his WCW career where his constant problems were heavily discussed like how being a "vanilla" babyface wrestler made his career difficult, the impact of the crusierweight division on the company, and how being turned heel was a blessing. From there, he goes into memorable moments from such as him being a "Man Of 1,004 Holds" & also a "Conspiracy Victim" before going into details about what went wrong with his storyline involving Goldberg (with comments from Goldberg himself) that convinced Jericho to leave WCW. How Jericho saw a countdown clock in a post office lead to his WWE debut before going into how he felt that he didn't live up to the hype almost 2 months later. His storyline with Chyna over the Intercontinental Championship was talked about before going into how his angle with Stephanie McMahon elevated him & beating Triple H for the WWE Championship on RAW was his breakthrough moment. Becoming the first Undisputed Champion was discussed next with people like Rey Mysterio saying that it opened up the road for smaller guys like him to become champion before going into his true thoughts on working with Stephanie leading up to WrestleMania X8 & how he felt about being the last match on the card following Hogan vs. Rock. His ability to have good matches with anyone & how he wanted his "Highlight Reel" to be a modern day "Piper's Pit" was discussed next before going into the importance of his feud with Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XIX to the point where Jericho said that match ment more to him than winning the Undisputed title & talking about his entertaining partnership turned rivalry with Christian. Jericho's thoughts on John Cena were up next as he talked about how Cena reminds him of Austin (his words, not mine), the reaction of the crowd cheering for him over Cena, and his true feelings on the way he was "fired" from WWE. What Jericho did away from wrestling was talked about next before going into the concept & evolution of his rock group Fozzy along with his autobiography that became a New York Times best seller & the death of his mother. The story behind his comeback to WWE was heavily discussed with both Shawn Michaels & John Cena playing a heavy part in motivating him was talked about before going into why he felt like he had to turn heel & where elements of his character came from. Highlights & dicussions his feuds against Rey Mysterio & Shawn Michaels & Edge were up next along with his involvement with Wade Barrett & NXT before closing out the documentry with Jericho's throughts on if he really is the best at what he does & how he would want to exit wrestling.
DVD extras include bonus stories of Jericho talking about being a wrestling fanatic, his first name & wrestling name, being on a mexican wrestling version of "American Idol", calling Paul Heyman for a year to get into ECW, Christian telling a story of how everyone knew Chris Jericho in a town they were in along, and Joey Styles calling a move Jericho did turned into a big inside joke between the two. Other DVD extras include various video packages from Smokey Mountain on the Thrillseekers tag team, Jericho reading his list of 1,004 holds on WCW Nitro, going to Washington D.C. to get justice for being a victim of a conspiracy theory in WCW on Nitro, his own comedic take on Goldberg's entrance on WCW Thunder, his father confronting him on WCW Thunder, a promo with The Rock where they traded insults against each other, post show moments with Steve Austin on RAW & having a verbal battle against an old man on SmackDown, a highlight package of his greatest catchphrases & promos & entertaining moments, and his debut & return to WWE round out the extras.
Debut Match vs. Lance T. Storm - The video quality for this match isn't real good but keep in mind that it came from a very old VHS tape (from Storm's personal collection). For this being their first match, both men told a great story with then having a mix of high flying moves & mat work like Jericho working over Storm's arm early with various armbars & armbars. The match went to a 15 minute draw but the work was so great that the fans chanted that they want more.
Alternate Commentary By: Chris Jericho & Matt Striker
Thrill Seekers vs. The Infernos - This was their Smokey Mountain Wrestling debut & nothing more than a showcase of their fast paced high flying style offense including an impressive double dropkick from the top rope.
"Smokey Mountain Wrestling" Mar. '94
International Junior Heavyweight Championship Match vs. Ultimo Dragon - This was match from Jericho's own archives so the visual quality isn't completely clear while the japanese commentary had some audio problems at times. Jericho did lots of high flying such as a springboard dive off the top rope multiple times (which he completely missed on one occassion) & a big splash while also implimenting inring wrestling like an impactful double arm powerbomb. Dragon brought the fight to Jericho too including stealing his top springboard dropkick at one point. This really picked up over & towards the end, there was a heavy series of close near falls with both men kicking out of impactful moves against each other. This was definately a quality match from early in his career.
Alternate Commentary By: Chris Jericho & Matt Striker
vs. Cactus Jack - Before the match, you get treated to a special moment between Cactus Jack, Stevie Richards, and Blue Meanie. Jericho was able to stay one step ahead of Cactus early on in the match before he eventually got caught & made Jericho pay with a chair on the outside before punishing him. Jericho attempted to get the advantage back by trading punches & a suplex on the floor. Jericho refused to stay down & eventually got away with a quick victory.
"ECW" Mar. '96
WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match vs. Eddie Guerrero - For the longest time, this was a "lost classic" that kept getting overshadowed by the later crusierweight series of matches with Rey Mysterio but this was the defination of what the crusierweight division was in it's prime...fast paced high impact action with great inring mat wrestling wrestling & high flyin'. Again, a lost classic.
WCW Fall Brawl '97
["Cheating Death, Stealing Life" The Eddie Guerrero Story]
WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match vs. Juventud Guerrera - This was around 2 months into Chris Jericho's best run in his WCW career that showcased the personality that we've all known him for today. The stipulation here was that Juventud must not just win the match but win the championship or unmask. With the stipulation, not only did both men put on the performance that we expect & praised the crusierweight division for but also had Jericho try to use the stipulation to his advantage in unique (and comedic) ways such as purposely trying to get counted out at one point.
WCW SuperBrawl VIII
[Rise & Fall Of WCW]
WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match vs. Dean Malenko - After their issues with each other for the previous four months, this was Dean Malenko's last chance at the Crusierweight Championship. Malenko broke away from his "Iceman" character & was aggressive right from the very start with both men delivering nonstop action with such moves like an impactful german suplex, double arm release powerbomb, and a countered attempted at a suplex into a DDT off the top rope. The way the match ended was a big disappointment but it didn't take away from a quality match.
"WCW Nitro" July '98
Intercontinental Championship Match vs. Kurt Angle - Just like Rock/Austin & Rock/HHH, they would go on to have better matches throughout their career but this was a great wrestling match between the two in their early WWE careers as Kurt heavily worked on Jericho's arm before going on to become the first Inter-Euro Champion....since D'Lo Brown (sorry Kurt).
No Way Out '00
[History Of Intercontinental Championship]
vs. WWE Champion Triple H - After Chris Jericho was able to convince Triple H to put the World Title on the line, Jericho revealed that he hired the Acolytes Protection Agency to make sure he got a fair shot at the championship. This match was just nonstop fast paced action from start to finish with the ending that shocked the world. However due to the surroundings that happened towards the end & after this match, this has been refered to as "The Match That Never Happened" but this was definately one of the best matches in the entire "Triple H vs. Chris Jericho" series that have gone on throughout the years.
"RAW" Apr. '00
[Best Of RAW: 15th Anniversary]
vs. WCW Champion The Rock - This match happened during the period when WWE had brought WCW and the WCW Championship was defended on WWE television. The big story behind this one was the fact that Chris Jericho had never won "the big one" as every single time he had a chance at a World Championship, something went wrong & he didn't win it. Both Rock & Jericho were fan favorites at this time so the crowd was heavily split between both men. This was a very physical matchup as it never once got boring or slow between both men as it started out as a wrestling match but got more personal as the match went on with both men countering each other's signature moves along with The Rock delivering a Rock Bottom through a table while Jericho was stealing moves like the Rock Bottom & People's Elbow. Stephanie McMahon made an appearence & accidently assisted Jericho to use whatever "stroke" he had left to finally become a World Champion.
No Mercy '01
[History Of World Heavyweight Championship]
Undisputed Championship Match vs. Steve Austin - This match was setup in that Steve Austin faced & defeated Kurt Angle in the WWE Championship right before Jericho's match with The Rock over the World Championship which was joined in progress where Jericho beat The Rock with help from Mr. McMahon. The match with Austin started right afterwards with Austin going right after Jericho before Angle & Rock got involved. Austin took the fight right to the floor with both men ending up hitting the exposed floor after failed attempts of a Stunner & Walls Of Jericho on the announce table. Jericho worked over Austin's arm & shoulder with submission moves like an armbar while stealing Austin's own stunner. Things got way out of control with appearence from Vince McMahon, Ric Flair, former WCW referee Nick Patrick, and Booker T before Chris Jericho walked away with two championships & history being made.
[History Of WWE Championship]
No Disqualification Match vs. WWE Champion Hulk Hogan - In a recent interview, Hogan praised the ability of Chris Jericho that he saw in WWE to the point where he said he wanted to work with Jericho & have him lead the matches...and this match is a great example of why he said that. This was during the "Hulk STILL Rules" comeback era of '02 for Hogan and with Jericho put on one of the best matches during Hogan's return as Jericho did more than just be Hogan's "spotmonkey" but actually pulled out a good performance from Hogan while also setting up the storylines heading into the next PPV
"SmackDown" May '02
[Best Of SmackDown: 10th Anniversary]
vs. Shawn Michaels - Shawn's WrestleMania return here didn't start off well as two of this pyro guns didn't go off & were duds. Both men exchanged wrestling early on with headlocks & armlocks Shawn attempted to work over Jericho's leg with moves like a figure four while Jericho worked over his back with various moves like a vertical suplex, the Walls Of Jericho on the outside, and ramming Shawn's back into the ringpost twice. Jerry Lawler made the comment that "both men are so similar that it's almost like wrestling yourself" which we saw apply to Jericho various times such as using Shawn's trademark moves like his flying forearm & Sweet Chin Music while Shawn pulled out some tricks of his own like the countering a suplex into a crossbody. This was definately a quality match fitting of Shawn's reputation of "Mr. WrestleMania."
Alternate Commentary By: Chris Jericho & Matt Striker
[Shawn Michaels: My Journey]
"You're Fired" Match vs. WWE Champion John Cena - This was the rematch from SummerSlam the previous night with the special condition that whoever lost the match would be fired from WWE. Bischoff was at ringside in favor of Jericho & kept getting involved throughout the match. Jericho was completely dominate here with Cena only able to brief momentum with clotheslines, punches, and shoulderblocks. Cena's back was worked on leading up to the Walls Of Jericho with Bischoff holding back the ropes so Cena couldn't reach then to break the hold and this effect him later when trying to deliver the FU. Jericho resorted to dirty tactics like brass knuckles & Bischoff attempting to use hit Cena with the title belt before Cena overcame the odds to victory. This was the performance from Cena that he gets heavily critised for while Jericho was able to make the match work.
"RAW" Aug. '05
vs. Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy - This match started off as an aggressive brawl but transended into both men going back & forth with counters & kickouts and Hardy's daredevil wrestling backfiring at times (look out for him walking the railing on the outside). Y2J makes history (again) by becoming an 8 time Intercontinental Champion.
"RAW" Mar. '08
[History Of Intercontinental Championship]
World Heavyweight Championship/Ladder Match vs. Shawn Michaels - This was a different type of ladder match than we're used to seeing...and that's a good thing. Just like their previous matches like the Unsanctioned Match at Unforgiven, this was more about each man trying to beat the hell out of each other with the ladder making moves more impactful instead of pulling off a bunch of cool looking high spots. Couple of moments to look for was when Jericho took a fall off the ladder straight to the floor that we normally see except he didn't have tables to break his fall and one hit with the ladder right to the fact that resulted in one of his teeth getting knocked out. Fun match with both men (innovators of this match in their own rights) setting a different standard for a ladder match.
No Mercy '08
No Holds Barred Match vs. Intercontinental Champion Rey Mysterio - One of the best feuds of the year (if not THE BEST just based on the matches alone) continue here as they stuck the formula that was worked with great wrestling that had the fans get more into it and added the No Holds Barred element well here but didn't overdo it using a mass amount of weapons as only a chair was used. The crowd got more into it as time passed & had a very creative finish that also makes sure this feud will continue...and that's not a bad thing, that's a good thing! (thanks DDP)
Extreme Rules '09
vs. Undertaker - This was their first ever meeting against each other that went back & forth here as Jericho kept Taker grounded while able to keep countering his moves like the chokeslam & his "Old School" ropewalk into a top rope suplex before Taker showed a counter of his own with turning an attempt at the Walls Of Jericho into the Hell's Gate.
"SmackDown!" Nov. '09
World Championship Match vs. Edge - For those trivia fans, eventhough Edge & Jericho did have some interaction over the years in TV matches along various tag & multiman matches, this was their first ever one on one PPV match. As it was put over throughout the match, these two men knew each other so well here that they were able to reverse & counter each other's trademark moves at various times like Jericho being able to counter the spear various times into other moves like the Walls Of Jericho & even a Codebreaker while Jericho even attempted the spear only to run into a big boot. As Jericho made clear going into this match, he focused heavily on Edge's ankle including viciously stomping on it & even stealing his a move from his old "Thrillseakers" tag team partner Lance Storm with the half crab where he put the pressure on Edge's ankle. This wasn't a fast paced match but one that had a calculated pace that allowed them to tell a story that was constantly built over time but left you wanting more when it was over. However, the biggest highlight & memorable moment came afterwards when Edge delievered the one word that he promised would happen to Jericho at WrestleMania..."SPEAR" and boy did he ever.
In the end, the documentry is one of the best I've ever seen WWE do as far as quality goes where they covered everything possible as far as his life in & outside the ring while the matches themselves were each quality in their own right. The only thing negative I can really say on this is that because WWE waited so long to put this set out that nine of the matches on here were already released on other DVD sets as eventhough I understand each of these matches are significant in their own to his career, it's just too many repeats for my taste hense why I can't give this a 5 star rating but this is definately a set I would put high on your "wish list" & that anyone should add to their collection.