There is one thing you can say about Chris Jericho — the guy knows how to make an entrance.
During summer 1999, the WWE Universe spent weeks wondering about a millennium clock that counted down on Raw. They got their answer on Aug. 9, when the clock struck zero and Y2J appeared. Audaciously interrupting The Rock, the confident new competitor immediately introduced himself as a Superstar who wasn’t afraid to make a statement.
Son of former NHL standout Ted Irvine, Jericho was born in Manhasset, N.Y. and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. A wrestling fan from an early age, he trained at the Hart Brothers School of Wrestling and made his ring debut when he was only 19. Starting out in the frigid armories of Canada, Jericho went on to perform across the globe in places like Mexico and Japan, infusing different international styles into his repertoire along the way.
After reaching new prominence in ECW, Jericho hit WCW in 1996, winning multiple championships with an expanding legion of loyal “Jerichoholics” in his corner. Growing frustrated with the locker room politicking that plagued the company, he sensed a brighter future in WWE and broke the walls down on Raw with his thrilling arrival in 1999.
Where some people would crack under the weight of such a hyped debut, Jericho reveled in it. In the years that followed, The Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla grabbed a record nine Intercontinental Titles, seven WWE and World Tag Team Titles, and multiple Slammy Awards, all while using his controversial show “The Highlight Reel” to drive his numerous adversaries absolutely bananas. The crown jewel of his impressive six World Title reigns came on Dec. 9, 2001 at Vengeance, when he beat The Rock for the WCW World Heavyweight Title and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin for the WWE Championship to earn the distinction of becoming WWE’s first Undisputed Champion.
Jericho has left and returned to WWE on several occasions. During his various hiatuses, he has pursued acting, toured with his heavy metal band Fozzy and penned several books about his remarkable career, but he’s always found his way home to show the Universe that he’s still got life left in the tank.
With the heart of a lion, the voice of a rocker and the will of a champion, Chris Jericho will always be there to break down walls, barriers and opponents in equal measure.