Chris Jericho Makes Monday Night Raw Debut – August 9th, 1999 – Today in Wrestling History

Chris Jericho Monday Night Raw Debut

By the time Chris Jericho had made his debut on Monday Night Raw, he had been off television year or two. At least in North America due to his wrestling in Japan. Between his leaving World Championship Wrestling and debuting in the WWF, Jericho wrestled for New Japan Pro Wrestling. His debut in the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) was punctuated with a several weeklong build up.

 

 

Chris Jericho was like a chameleon

You do not have a career as long as Chris Jericho without being able to reinvent yourself and adapt. That is exactly what he has done. He needed time away from North American television to transition from his World Championship Wrestling days of bringing Ralphus to the ring with him. That Chris Jericho was gone. Gone were the days of weird stipulation matches just to get on television (remember his feud with Saturn?).

The Chris Jericho that debuted on Monday Night Raw, in a segment with The Rock, was a different Jericho. For one, he was facing off, at a distance, with one of the hottest men in the industry – something WCW never allowed. It was sink or swim for Jericho and he stood tall and took the challenge head on.

Growing before our eyes

We can see some of the old WCW Jericho slip through in a few moments. For the most part, this was obviously a new man standing on the stage staring down “the most electrifying man in sports entertainment”.

Jericho would compete against The Road Dogg on the first episode of Smackdown later in August.

Chris Jericho grew in all regards

Chris Jericho would be put in various situations in his new role competing against his former employer. These roles were often with top tier talent such as The Rock, Undertaker, Chyna, and Kurt Angle to name a few. These were the people headlining the shows going head to head against WCW. Jericho being in the position he was in was a showing of what WCW missed out on – much like others that jumped ship around this time.

Still pushing the envelope

A career as long as Chris Jericho has enjoyed comes with a lot of highlights. I am not going to attempt to list them all but there are some special ones. First, he was “co-champion” with Chyna for the WWF Intercontinental Championship. He has the distinction of being the first All Elite Wrestling Champion. He has pioneered joining wrestling with destination cruises. Jericho was the first Undisputed WWF Champion by combining the World Heavyweight Championship (the WCW Championship belt) and the WWF Championship title.

Want to relive some of Chris Jericho’s firsts? Check them out on the WWE Network or grab physical copies of various events off Amazon. He also has a series of toys that run the gamut of his career for serious collectors.

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