Birth Name: Christopher Keith Irvine
Birth Place: Manhasset, NY
Date of Birth / Zodiac Sign: 11/09/1970, Scorpio
Profession: Pro wrestler; actor; singer
Chris Jericho was born November 9, 1970 in Manhasset, New York and was raised in raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His real name is Christopher Keith Irvine. He joined the Hart Brothers School of Wrestling when he was 19 year old. His father, Ted Irvine, is a former National Hockey League (NHL) player.
He is presently working with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), on its Raw brand. Chris is married to Jessica Lee Lockhart. On September 24, 2004 they were blessed with a son and on July 18, 2006, they were blessed with twin daughters. Jericho has also appeared on World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW).
On September 25, 1997, Chris Jericho joined the Canadian Wrestling Hall of Fame. He was given the award of The Order of the Buffalo Hunt in a ceremony held in Manitoba for his achievements in wrestling and working with underprivileged children.
In 1992, he came to Mexico where he did many small and largest wrestling companies, he also worked for Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre (EMLL). In 1994 he moved to Japan where he competed for the Wrestling and Romance (WAR) promotion.
Jericho joined WCW on August 26, 1996 and his first match with Chris Benoit at Fall Brawl held on September 15, 1996. On June 28, 1997 Jericho won the WCW Cruiserweight Championship and in 1997 he won again.
On August 9, 1999 Jericho made his first appearance on WWE held in Chicago. He introduced himself as Y2J. When The Rock was in the ring doing a promo, Jericho interrupted him.
A year after graduating from college, Irvine was setting up rings for promoter Bob Holliday. At age nineteen, he entered the Hart Brothers School of Wrestling. Two months later, he was ready to start wrestling on independent shows, making his debut in October 1990. He took the name “Jericho” from the Helloween album, Walls of Jericho and from his Christian beliefs.
Jericho worked for Tony Condello in the tours of Northern Manitoba with future superstars Adam Copeland (Edge), Jason Reso (Christian Cage), and Terry Gerin (Rhino). He also wrestled in Calgary’s Canadian National Wrestling Alliance (CNWA) and Canadian Rocky Mountain Wrestling (CRMW). In the winter of 1992, he traveled to Mexico where he wrestled for several small wrestling companies as well as the largest in the country, Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre (EMLL). In EMLL, Jericho took on Silver King, Negro Casas, and Último Dragón en route to an eleven-month reign as the NWA Middleweight Champion that began in December 1993. His burgeoning wrestling skills also took him to Japan in 1994 where he competed for the Wrestling and Romance (WAR) promotion, facing the likes of Gedo and Último Dragón, to whom he lost the WAR International Junior Heavyweight Championship. 1994 also saw Jericho reunited with his former teammate from CRMW, Lance Storm, as the Thrillseekers in Jim Cornette’s Smoky Mountain Wrestling promotion. In 1995, Jericho competed in the second Super J Cup Tournament, hosted by WAR, losing to Chris Benoit.
In 1996, thanks to a recommendation by Mick Foley to promoter Paul Heyman, Jericho began wrestling for the Philadelphia-based Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) promotion, winning the ECW Television Championship in June 1996. While in ECW, Chris Jericho made a name for himself, wrestling top talent such as Taz, Sabu, Rob Van Dam, Cactus Jack, Shane Douglas, and 2 Cold Scorpio. It was during this time that he drew the attention of WCW.
World Championship Wrestling (1996–1999)
On August 26, 1996 Jericho made his first appearance with WCW, and on September 15, he appeared at his first pay-per-view show, in a match against Chris Benoit at Fall Brawl. On June 28, 1997, Jericho defeated Syxx in Los Angeles, California to win the WCW Cruiserweight Championship for the first time. He won the title again on August 12, 1997, by defeating Alex Wright.
Jericho began his WCW heel run when he won the title a third time, defeating Rey Mysterio, Jr. at Souled Out 1998 by forcing him to submit to the Liontamer. After the match, Jericho assaulted Mysterio’s knee with a toolbox. Mysterio needed six months of recovery before he could return to the ring. Jericho then had a short feud with Juventud Guerrera with Guerrera repeatedly wanting a shot at Jericho’s Cruiserweight Championship but constantly being rebuffed. This resulted in a Title vs. Mask match at SuperBrawl VIII. Guerrera lost the match and was forced to remove his mask. Following this match, Jericho began his ongoing gimmick of collecting and wearing to the ring trophy items from his defeated opponents, such as Guerrera’s mask, Prince Iaukea’s Hawaiian dress, and a headband from Disco Inferno.
Jericho then began a long feud with Dean Malenko in which Jericho constantly claimed to be a superior wrestler but refused to wrestle Malenko. Due to his mastery of technical wrestling, Malenko was known as “The Man of 1000 Holds,” so Jericho claimed to be “The Man of 1004 Holds.” During the March 30, 1998 episode of WCW Monday Nitro, after defeating Marty Jannetty, Jericho pulled out a long pile of paper that allegedly listed each of the 1004 holds he knew and then recited them to the audience. Many of the “holds” were fictional, and every other hold was an armbar. On the March 12, 1998 episode of WCW Thunder, Malenko appeared to defeat Jericho who was wearing the mask of Guerrera, however, this was revealed to have been a bribed Lenny Lane, resulting in a minor feud over Jericho not paying Lane for his role. At Uncensored Jericho finally wrestled Malenko and defeated him, leading to Malenko taking a leave of absence from wrestling. Jericho then proceeded to bring with him to the ring a portrait of Malenko, which he insulted and demeaned. Just prior to Slamboree, J.J. Dillon (referred to by Jericho as “Jo Jo”) scheduled a cruiserweight Battle Royal in which the wrestler who won would immediately have a shot at Jericho’s Cruiserweight Championship. Jericho accepted on the grounds that whoever had to face him would not have nearly enough energy to wrestle two matches in a row. At Slamboree, Jericho came out to announce the competitors in insulting fashion before the match started and then went backstage for coffee. The battle royal was won by what appeared to be Ciclope after Juventud Guerrera shook Ciclope’s hand then eliminated himself but was in fact a returning Malenko in disguise who proceeded to defeat Jericho for the championship. This led to Jericho claiming to be a victim of a carefully planned conspiracy to get the belt off of him. He at first blamed the WCW locker room, then added J.J. Dillon, Ted Turner, and finally in a vignette, he walked around Washington, D.C. with the sign “conspiracy victim” adding President Bill Clinton to the list of conspirators after being rejected from a meeting. Eventually Malenko vacated the title. In the match to decide the champion, Jericho ended up defeating Malenko at The Great American Bash to win the vacant title due to Malenko being disqualified after hitting Jericho with a chair. The next night Malenko was suspended for his actions.
At Bash at the Beach, Jericho was defeated by the recently returned Rey Mysterio, Jr. (who had recovered from his knee injury) in a No Disqualification match when the still suspended Malenko interfered. The next night, however, Jericho regained the Cruiserweight Championship from Mysterio after he interrupted J.J. Dillon, who was at the time giving the championship to Mysterio. Jericho was again awarded the championship. Eventually, Jericho decisively lost the title to Juventud Guerrera at Road Wild with Malenko as special referee. On August 10, Jericho defeated Stevie Ray to win the WCW World Television Championship (Stevie Ray substituting for the champion Booker T).
Soon after this, Jericho attempted to instigate a feud with the WCW World Heavyweight Champion Goldberg, calling him out repeatedly but never actually wrestling him. Jericho began referring to him as “Greenberg”. At Fall Brawl, Jericho, Ralphus, and the Ninja participated in a scene where before coming to the ring they attempted to replicate Goldberg’s guided ring entrance from his locker room but got lost repeatedly. At one point Jericho yelled “Rock and Roll! Hello Winston-Salem!” in reference to a similar scene from the mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap. When Jericho finally reached the entrance to simulate Goldberg’s pyro, the resulting pyro was so poor it caused Jericho to flip out and start kicking it. Then, a four and a half foot tall midget instead of Goldberg came out and was easily defeated by Jericho, who now claimed to be 1-0 against Goldberg to satirize Goldberg’s undefeated streak. This occurred three more times, eventually ending with Jericho claiming to be 4-0 against Goldberg, though they never actually wrestled once.
On November 30, 1998 Jericho lost the Television Championship to Konnan. Jericho then began a feud with Perry Saturn in early 1999. The feud saw Jericho and Saturn instigating bizarre stipulation matches, such as at Souled Out, where Jericho defeated Saturn in a “loser must wear a dress” match. At SuperBrawl IX Jericho and Saturn wrestled in a “dress” match which again saw Jericho defeat Saturn. Saturn finally defeated Jericho at Uncensored in a Dog Collar match.
World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment
Jericho alternated between WCW and a number of Japanese tours before his debut with the World Wrestling Federation. The build-up to Jericho’s arrival was a clock labeled “countdown to the new millennium,” counting down over the weeks prior to his arrival. On the home video, Break the Walls Down, Jericho states he was inspired to do this as his entrance when he saw a similar clock in a post office. Vince McMahon gave him the green light to use it as his intro to the WWF. The clock finally ran down on August 9, 1999 in Chicago, Illinois while The Rock was in the ring doing a promo. Jericho, a heel, who was actually being cheered instead of getting booed, entered the arena and proclaimed himself “Y2J” (a play on the Y2K bug). The Rock proceeded to verbally mock him for his interruption.
Jericho feuded with Chyna for the Intercontinental Championship. After losing to Chyna at the Survivor Series 1999, Jericho won his first Intercontinental title at Armageddon. This feud with Chyna lasted for many months, including a controversial decision during a rematch in which two separate referees declared each one of them the winner of a match for the title. As a result, they became co-owners of the title until Jericho attained sole ownership at the Royal Rumble. He ended up dropping the title to Kurt Angle at No Way Out.
On April 2, Jericho participated in a Triple Threat match against Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle at WrestleMania 2000. Angle entered the match-up as both the WWF European and WWF Intercontinental Champion. The first man to score a pinfall or submission would be declared Intercontinental Champion. The second man to score a pinfall or submission would be declared European Champion. Jericho was first pinned by Benoit and pinned Benoit later on in the match, making Jericho the new European Champion. Jericho lost the title the next day to Eddie Guerrero on Raw after Chyna turned heel to side with Guerrero, claiming she could not resist his Latino Heat. On the April 17 edition of Raw, Jericho upset Triple H in a WWF Championship match. Referee Earl Hebner had made a fast count when Jericho pinned Triple H, giving Jericho the title. After previous weeks of assault on referee Earl Hebner, Triple H told him that if he reversed the decision, then he would never touch him while he was under contract. After Hebner reversed the decision, he fired Hebner and assaulted him. Despite the pinfall win over Triple H, WWE does not recognize Jericho’s reign as champion. After the controversial decision, Jericho went on to feud with Chris Benoit. On the May 4 edition of SmackDown!, Jericho defeated Benoit to become Intercontinental Champion for the second time, but lost the title back to Benoit four days later on Raw.
Jericho’s popularity skyrocketed when he started feuding with Triple H and his wife (just married in the storyline at the time) Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley. Fans took particular delight in his promos toward Stephanie, as he showered her with insults, calling her a “filthy, dirty, disgusting, brutal, bottom-feeding, trash-bag ho” and throwing a pie in her face. He got the best of Triple H on more than one occasion, even helping the Brooklyn Brawler, a renowned jobber, gain an upset victory over the then four-time WWF Champion. Their feud climaxed at Fully Loaded, when they competed in a Last Man Standing match, with Jericho only losing the match to Triple H by one second and thanks to multiple occasions of Stephanie helping Triple H, especially in the final moments.
2001 – 2002
At the 2001 Royal Rumble, Jericho defeated Chris Benoit in a Ladder match to win the Intercontinental Championship for the third time. At WrestleMania X-Seven, he successfully defended his title in a match against William Regal, only to lose it four days later to Triple H.
At Judgment Day, Jericho and Benoit won a “Tag Team Turmoil” match, earning a shot at Stone Cold Steve Austin and Triple H for their WWF Tag Team Championship on Raw the next night. Benoit and Jericho won the match, in which Triple H legitimately tore his quadriceps and spent the rest of the year injured, and Jericho became WWF Tag Team Champion for the first time. The team defended their title in the first Fatal Four-Way Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match where Benoit sustained a year-long injury doing a diving headbutt through a table. Despite being carried out on a stretcher, he returned to the match to climb the ladder and retain the championship. The duo lost the titles one month later to the Dudley Boyz on June 19, 2001.
In the following months, Jericho became a major force in The Invasion storyline in which WCW and ECW joined forces to overtake the WWF. Jericho remained on the side of the WWF (despite previously competing in WCW and ECW) and retained his status as a face. However, signs of a heel turn slowly became obvious as Jericho began to show jealousy toward fellow WWF member, The Rock. The Rock kept reminding Jericho that he had never won “the big one” (a world championship), and wrote Jericho off as a “comedy act”. Jericho faced The Rock in a match at No Mercy for the WCW Championship after Jericho defeated Rob Van Dam in a number one contenders match. Jericho finally won “the big one”, pinning The Rock after debuting a new finisher, the Breakdown. This championship victory was Jericho’s first official world championship victory (Jericho had actually won the WWF Championship from Triple H on April 17, 2000 only to have that match stricken from the record 15 minutes later.) One night later, the two put their differences aside and won the WWF Tag Team titles from the Dudley Boyz, with Jericho becoming a double champion. After they lost the titles to Test and Booker T, they continued their feud. On the November 5 edition of Raw, The Rock defeated Jericho to regain the WCW Championship with a surprise roll up. Following the match, Jericho savagely attacked The Rock with a steel chair, thus marking a full-fledged heel turn that lasted for two years. At the Survivor Series, Jericho would almost cost The Rock, and the WWF, victory in their elimination matchup by attacking him again. On December 9, at Vengeance, Chris Jericho defeated both The Rock for the rechristened World Championship, and Stone Cold Steve Austin for his WWF Championship, on the same night to become the first-ever wrestler to hold both championships at the same time, making him the first WWF Undisputed Champion. He fought both of the men he defeated at Vengeance on separate occasions and retained his title at the next two pay-per-views, Royal Rumble (vs. The Rock) and No Way Out (vs. Stone Cold).
Jericho lost the title to Triple H in the main event of WrestleMania X8. After his title loss Jericho became a member of the SmackDown! roster and continued his feud with Triple H, helping cost Triple H his newly won Undisputed Championship at Backlash. The rivalry culminated at Judgment Day when Triple H defeated Jericho in a Hell in a Cell match. Jericho then started a short feud with Edge. Shortly thereafter, Jericho was drafted back to Raw, where he captured the Intercontinental Championship from Rob Van Dam and teamed with Christian to capture the tag team titles from The Hurricane and Kane on October 14, 2002.
On January 13, 2003, Jericho won an over-the-top-rope challenge against Kane, RVD, and Batista to select his entry number for the Royal Rumble match, choosing number two in order to start the match with Michaels. After Michaels’ entrance, Jericho entered as the second participant. Christian, in Jericho’s attire, appeared as the real Jericho attacked Shawn from behind. He eliminated Michaels shortly afterwards, but Michaels got his revenge later in the match by causing Jericho to be eliminated by Test, whom Jericho would feud with simultaneously along with Michaels and Jeff Hardy. The two fought again at WrestleMania XIX. In the end, Michaels managed to get a roll-up and score the victory. Jericho, however, hit Michaels with a low blow after the match following an embrace.
Later in 2003, Jericho began a romance with Trish Stratus as tag team partner Christian began one with Lita. This, however, to be a bet over who could sleep with their respective female first, with a Canadian Dollar at stake. Stratus overheard this and broke it off with Jericho, who then tried to make it up to her by saving her from Kane. Stratus agreed that the two of them could just be “friends”. After Christian was put in a match against Stratus, where he put her in the Walls of Jericho, Jericho sought revenge on Christian, which led to a match at WrestleMania XX. Christian defeated Jericho after Stratus ran down and “inadvertently” struck Jericho (thinking it was Christian) and Christian got the roll-up. After the match, Stratus turned on Jericho and revealed that she and Christian were a couple. This led to a handicap match at Backlash, which Jericho won.
Jericho won his seventh Intercontinental Championship at that year’s Unforgiven in a ladder match against Christian, the title previously being stripped from Edge due to an injury. Jericho’s seventh reign was short lived, as he lost it at Taboo Tuesday to Shelton Benjamin, who the fans voted to be his opponent.
Jericho then teamed up with Randy Orton, Chris Benoit, and Maven to take on Triple H, Batista, Edge, and Snitsky at Survivor Series, where the stipulation stated that the winning team would become the General Manager of Raw throughout the next four weeks. Jericho’s team were victorious, so they took turns as General Manager. During Jericho’s turn as General Manager, Triple H was stripped of his World Heavyweight Championship because a Triple Threat match for the title a week earlier had ended in a draw. At New Year’s Revolution, Jericho competed in the Elimination Chamber against Triple H, Chris Benoit, Batista, Randy Orton and Edge for the vacated World Heavyweight Championship. Shawn Michaels was the special guest referee. Jericho began the match with Benoit but was ultimately eliminated by Batista.
At WrestleMania 21, Jericho participated in the first-ever Money in the Bank ladder match. The match concept was suggested by Jericho, and he competed in the match against Benjamin, Chris Benoit, Kane, Christian, and Edge. Despite coming up with the idea for the match, he lost the match when Edge claimed the briefcase. At Backlash, Chris Jericho yet again challenged Shelton Benjamin for the Intercontinental Championship, but failed in his attempt to win the belt. On June 12, 2005 Jericho wrestled in the first match of the ECW One Night Stand pay-per-view event, against Lance Storm. Jericho used his ‘Lionheart’ gimmick, instead of his more well known ‘Y2J’ gimmick. Jericho lost after interference from Jason and Justin Credible; Jericho was hit in the head with a Singapore Cane, allowing Storm to pin him.
Later that June, Jericho became a heel for the third time in the WWE by turning on WWE Champion John Cena. Jericho lost a Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship at Vengeance which also involved Christian to Cena. The feud continued throughout the Summer and Jericho lost to Cena in a championship match at SummerSlam. The next night on Raw, Jericho faced Cena in a rematch, this time in a “You’re fired” match, where the loser would be fired. Cena won again, and Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff kayfabe fired a pleading Jericho, who was carried out of the arena by security. WWE’s official website confirmed on July 28, 2005 that Chris Jericho signed a short-term contract extension to stay with the company after his long-term contract expired, which presumably ended after his loss to Cena on August 22. On August 25, Jericho announced his departure from WWE in a statement on (and later pulled from) his official website, saying that after 15 years of wrestling he was mentally burnt out and no longer challenged by wrestling at that point in time, noting that he has done everything he has ever wanted to do in the business. He said that the “You’re fired” match with John Cena was his last match “for now,” but said he was not done with wrestling or WWE, and that if he returned to wrestling, it would be with WWE. On his official website he added a press release saying he is touring with Fozzy, acting, hosting his XM Radio show, The Rock Of Jericho, appearing on VH1’s Best Week Ever, and being a guest commentator on MuchMusic’s Video on Trial.
His return had been promoted since September 24, 2007 with a viral marketing campaign using a series of 15-second cryptic binary code videos, similar to the matrix digital rain featured in The Matrix series. The videos contained hidden messages and biblical links related to Jericho, although speculation existed throughout WWE fans over who the campaign targeted. The text “Save Us” and “2nd Coming” were most prominent in the videos. The campaign spread throughout the internet with numerous websites, though no longer operational, that featured hidden messages and biblical links to further hint at Jericho’s return.
Jericho made his return to WWE television on the November 19, 2007 edition of Raw, where he interrupted Randy Orton during Orton’s orchestrated “passing of the torch” ceremony. Jericho revealed his intentions to reclaim the WWE Championship in order to “save” WWE fans from Orton, with a new haircut and the Y2J gimmick again. Jericho wrestled in his first match in over two years on the November 26 edition of Raw, debuting a new finishing maneuver called the Codebreaker, to defeat Santino Marella. At his first pay-per-view appearance, Armageddon, he was booked in a WWE title match against Randy Orton. Jericho, however, defeated Orton by disqualification when John “Bradshaw” Layfield (JBL) interfered in the match. As a result, Orton retained the title. He began a feud with JBL and met him at the Royal Rumble. Jericho was disqualified after hitting JBL with a steel chair. At No Way Out, Jericho competed in his fourth Elimination Chamber match alongside Triple H, Shawn Michaels, JBL, Umaga, and Jeff Hardy. He was the third man eliminated when Hardy pinned him following Michaels’ Sweet Chin Music. On the March 10 edition of Raw, Jericho captured the Intercontinental Championship for a record eighth time, this time defeating Jeff Hardy.
On the June 9 edition of Raw, Jericho turned heel once again by attacking Shawn Michaels during his talk show segment The Highlight Reel, and after that developed a “self-righteous businessman” gimmick, wearing a suit and tie. At Night of Champions, he lost the Intercontinental title to Kofi Kingston after a successful distraction by Shawn Michaels. He hosted the final version of The Highlight Reel on the July 28 edition of Raw. At Unforgiven, Jericho lost an Unsanctioned match to Michaels. But in the main event, Jericho entered in the Championship Scramble as a replacement for the defending champion CM Punk and subsequently won the World Heavyweight Championship. On the September 22 edition of Raw he successfully retained his title in a Steel Cage match against CM Punk. Later on, it was announced that Jericho would defend his World Championship against Shawn Michaels at No Mercy, thus continuing the feud between the two. He successfully defended his title against Michaels at No Mercy in a ladder match. At Cyber Sunday, Jericho dropped the title to Batista with Stone Cold Steve Austin as the special guest referee. Eight days later, however, on a three hour special episode of Raw, he defeated Batista to win back the title in a steel cage match. This reign would last until the 2008 Survivor Series, where Jericho lost to the returning John Cena. On the December 8 edition of Raw, he won a Slammy Award for the Superstar of the Year. On the January 12, 2009 episode of Raw, Jericho was involved in a narrative in which WWE Executive Vice President Stephanie McMahon kayfabe fired him. The next week, he was rehired by McMahon after a forced apology to her and the fans. Jericho became an entrant on the World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber Match when he defeated CM Punk for a spot. On No Way Out, he survived to the final three as he eliminated Mike Knox and helped eliminate the champion John Cena. He was pinned by Rey Mysterio when he reversed the Walls of Jericho.
His father, Ted Irvine, is a former National Hockey League (NHL) player.
Jericho currently divides his time between homes in Los Angeles, California and Tampa, Florida. Jericho’s wife is named Jessica Lee Lockhart, with whom he has a son, Ash Edward Irvine (born September 24, 2003) and two daughters, twins Cheyenne Lee Irvine and Sierra Lorreta Irvine (born July 18, 2006). Cheyenne and Sierra’s births were premature, at the 27 week mark, and they weighed 2 pounds 7 ounces and 2 pounds 5 ounces.
Despite being born in the prominent Long Island neighborhood of Manhasset, New York, Jericho is a proud Canadian, having been raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He also mentioned that he was pulling for Canada when Canada played the United States in the 2002 Olympic gold medal hockey game. In fact, Vince McMahon felt that by introducing him as “born in Manhasset, New York”, American fans would be more likely to get behind him. He shares dual citizenship with both Canada and the United States.
Jericho was inducted into the Canadian Wrestling Hall of Fame on September 25, 1997. On July 5, 2004, Jericho was awarded The Order of the Buffalo Hunt in a ceremony held in Manitoba for his achievements in wrestling and his continual commitment to working with underprivileged children. The award has previously been given to Pope John Paul II, Chicago mayor Richard Daley, Desmond Tutu, and Mother Teresa.
In 2008, while wrestling against Shawn Michaels in a ladder match at No Mercy, Jericho broke one of his front teeth when he was hit in the face with a ladder by Michaels. The damaged tooth has since been fixed.
On February 7, 2009, Jericho was involved in an altercation with fans outside Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria, British Columbia after a World Wrestling Entertainment live event. A man and woman were detained by police and released without charge regarding the incident, and police continue to investigate.