G.O.A.T., 4 letters that many feel are used too loosely. In there sports and entertainment world, someone is always ready to call their favorites the greatest of all time. But what is the criteria? Let’s talk professional wrestling. You can look at title wins, box office attractions, mic skills, and in-ring ability. When you think of the word G.O.A.T., names that immediately come to mind are Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and The Rock. But now it is time to add in the first-ever All Elite Wrestling Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho to the conversation.
Jericho defeated Hangman Adam Page to become AEW champion and while wrestling is a kayfabe sport, deciding who will be your champion is real. You want to put the title on someone you can trust. Someone who will represent the company well. Most importantly, someone who will put eyeballs on your product. While going with Page could have been a good idea, putting the title on Jericho was smart. AEW will air live on TNT starting this fall. Fans who may have fallen out of wrestling as they got older or who are not really satisfied with what the WWE is giving them will recognize the name Chris Jericho. When they see him trending on Twitter, they will be intrigued to tune in.
When you look at his resume, you will see he has won 41 championships, he is the ninth triple crown WWE champion and the fourth grand slam WWE champion. You can open or close a show with Jericho. When it comes to the in-ring work, he checks the boxes. There are matches with Chris Benoit, Michaels, and Rock that are 5 stars. When you talk about charisma, Jericho has it. He is one of few who is just as good as a face as he is a heel. He has the ability to make you love him and root for him, but he can also make you hate him to the point you want to see someone shut his mouth. I’m pretty sure you wanted Page to do it because you knew after he won the title, he would remind us how great he is. This is the same guy who still reminds us that he beat Austin and Rock in the same night.
Last, we cannot forget the fact that he constantly reinvents himself. When it comes to entertainers, one of the hardest things for them to do is maintain relevancy. Jericho has done that. He knew how to create a character that would be relevant to the current era. Y2J, TheAyatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla” Y2J, The Best in the World, The Painmaker, those are just some of his many personas. No knock on Ric Flair, but he has always been the Nature Boy. You can pop on your WWE network and see many of the different Jericho personas for yourself. And when you done with that, you can tune into New Japan and see a different version. Just look at his AEW Double or Nothing entrance as they show different variations of him. Did he headline WrestleMania multiple times? No. Did he win the world title 16 times? No. But for more than 19 years, Chris Jericho has evolved and over the last two decades, he has continued to kick butt and take names. So when you look at the greatest wrestlers of all times and you start your debates, it is now time to make sure Chris Jericho is more than an honorable mention. AEW knows what they are doing. They want a champion that will draw money and give their name some value. That is why Chris Jericho is your inaugural AEW World Champion!
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