Chris Jericho— the hero, the party host, and the most charismatic showman to ever enter your living rooms via a television screen (he actually said this about himself, but we know it’s true). He’s got more beefs and BFFs than most wrestlers combined.
It could be Y2J’s knack for inventing the most immature yet soul crushing insults on the fly, or his unbias to punch both men and women in the face. It could also be that since Jericho is one of the last remaining true wrestlers, having trained in Mexico, Germany, and Japan before making it to the golden arches of WCW, he’s harnessed the hubris to take crap from no one.
Jericho is always making a statement, and always the man WWE turns to when a new prospy they want to bulk into a champion needs a dose of validity. That’s because The Man of 1,004 Holds is undoubtedly the most charismatic showman to ever enter your living rooms via a television screen, and the first and only mortal to beat WCW Champion The Rock and WWE Champion "Stone Cold' Steve Austin to hold belts across both organizations.
His true list of best friends doesn’t include many names from the rings of WWE, since Jericho is ill fated to have almost every BFF turn on him… we’re looking at you Christian and Kevin Owens. Shame on you. While the unlucky people on his list are plenty enough to fill a novella, and you best believe he’s got a nickname for each and every one. So would you please shut the hell up as we proceed…
16 The List: Stephanie McMahon
Beginning with this filthy, dirty, disgusting, skanky, brutal, bottom-feeding, trash bag ho, it goes to show that even the bosses daughter can’t hide from the wrath of Jericho. Y2J spent most of 2001 insulting Stephanie McMahon, mainly by listing the different ways she liked to ‘get it’ or pointing out zits that needed popping, but the crescendo hit during the Planet of the Apes incident. Jericho brought two apes on stage bearing a present and flowers for “The Queen of the planet of the filthy, dirty, disgusting, brutal, bottom-feeding…hoes.” Then came the pie. Jericho slams Stephanie in the face with a whipped cream pie. Unique to this rivalry was that although the two engaged in verbal lashes, they never made it into the ring together for a rumble. Instead, McMahon enlisted other WWE goonies to do her bidding.
15 Best Friend: Stephanie McMahon
Jericho’s feud with Stephanie was gold for getting his career in WWE rolling, and later down the road "The Billion Dollar Princess" would become a semi-friend with the very man that used to say she slept with every member of the arena crew. After Jericho became the Undisputed WWE Champion, Stephanie extended a truce in the hopes that the two would go after Triple H, and together they became more than friends, but business partners. Since Jericho was riding the Undisputed Championship high, he agreed to help the scorned McMahon get back at her former boo thang, Triple H. The plan didn't work out so great, and Jericho's belt felt into the hands of "The Game." Still, McMahon tried her best to enter the ring and help her pal Jericho steal it back. Only a true homie would willingly cross the ropes to meet a 6'3 beast in the name of friendship.
14 The List: Dean Malenko
During Jericho’s flowing mane WCW days, he was up for the Cruiserweight Championship with his competition being Dean Malenko, The Man of 1,000 Holds. Jericho didn’t take too kindly to "Stinko Malenko’s" braggadocios list and outdid "The Iceman" with a list of 1,004 holds (or more accurately 900 armbars and some other holds), which he proudly read one by one to a Nitro crowd in 1998. The taunting didn't end there. Jericho was the freakin' master at psychological warfare, and targeted insults at Malenko's dad to stir the pot. Jericho eventually got in the ring with Malenko at Uncensored and sent Malenko to the grave. At the next Pay-Per-View, Jericho would defend his Cruiserweight Championship against Ciclope, who was actually Malenko in disguise. Here Malenko stole the title away from our beloved Y2J, setting in motion the great conspiracy.
13 Best Friend: Glitter Jackets and Scarves
Jericho’s a wild card by nature. We never know when he’ll show up or what he’ll do, but we can be sure that his dedication to glitter and/or foppish scarves will be strong. Whether it’s a leather jacket, suit vest or '90s button down, Jericho loves his sparkle. More recently after Jericho cut his iconic lion’s hair, he’s opted for a scarf wrapped once around his neck. It’s completely ridiculous, but seems to give him power. And amid so many terrible WWE costume choices, it's one of the simplest yet effective outfits to-date. Some contenders have tried to tarnish the rep of the skinny scarf by rubbing it in their armpits, but Jericho stands by his classic, albeit effeminate, fashion choice. That's because the scarf makes Jericho's scumbag attitude that much better, and Jericho demands respect for the accessory. And that’s what real friends are for.
12 The List: Bill Clinton
After losing to the masked Malenko at Slamboree, Jericho claimed the event a conspiracy, since Malenko was not listed in the Battle Royal roster. In this new ridiculous angle Jericho dubbed himself a "Conspiracy Victum." What followed was one of the greatest promos of all time: Jericho Goes To Washington. A camera man followed the pony-tailed Jericho around Washington’s landmarks in search of jurisprudence for the ruling. He scoured the archives and explained the situation to passerbys outside the White House. "America's Role Model," was demanded to leave many of the venues, although there was some hope that Supreme Court Justice Thomas would hear his plea. Everyone was “in on the conspiracy,” including Bill Clinton, who rejected a meeting with Jericho over the matter. That was your chance Bill… you go on the list.
11 Best Friend: Meng
The 300-lb, tough as nails Tongan is often considered the most feared man in all of wrestling. Ironically, Meng made friends with Jericho while the two were climbing the ranks at WCW. There’s a legend that while backstage during a show, Meng was engaged in a conversation with Jericho and some other guys, when Meng was interrupted by executives that stepped in front of him, thereby blocking his friends. As the story goes, Meng asked the heads of WCW to apologize to Jericho and the others, and they did. In one of Jericho’s books, he also references a time when Meng (then Haku with WWE) backed him up at an airport after Y2J got roughed up by security. Legend has it that the two got arrested and pulled their money together to pay off the security to be released. That sounds like a BFF moment alright.
10 The List: Chyna
Jericho’s first long-term beef was with "The Ninth Wonder of the World," Chyna. The two went head-to-head for the Intercontinental Championship (hence the birth of the ayatollah of rock and roll-a reference). Jericho was disgusted with the idea of a women being the champion, and with the WWE for allowing it. And like Stephanie McMahon, Jericho went nuts with the shaming insults. The only difference was that Chyna could fight back in the ring. Chyna added insult to injury by hitting Jericho from behind with her belt. Jericho didn’t take too kindly to that move from the “most hideous freak of nature the world has ever seen.” When Jericho challenged Chyna for the belt, she poked the bear saying, “not tonight Chris, I have a headache.” The two eventually became co-champions, but Chyna remained on The List until Jericho stole the belt at Royal Rumble 2000.
9 Best Friend: Paul Heyman
That’s right, he’s a Paul Heyman guy, even though he’s not usually included in the “Paul Heyman Guys” roundup. It shouldn’t be a surprise that these two have roots dating back to ECW, when Heyman got Jericho a spot on the bill. Jericho dominated the network, winning World Television Championship, which got the attention from the higher-ups at WCW. Heymond simply has an eye for spotting wrestling’s most iconic stars, with Mick Foly, CM Punk, Big Show, Brock Lesnar, The Miz, and even Austin 3:16. Jericho and Heyman continued to bond over a shared ideology that wrestlers need to push the boundaries of what’s asked and expected, when in 2012 a series of heated tweets from Heyman expressed disdain for the new crop of competitors trying to distinguish themselves in the ring. Jericho whole heartedly agreed that the new guys needed to dig deeper.
8 The List: The Rock
The countdown to the new millennium was displayed on a big clock in the WWE arena. In 1999, as The Rock spoke to the crowd, the clock hit zero. Y2J invaded the network with Jericho claiming he would be its saviour. This was after competing network WCW refused to give Jericho the limelight he deserved. The Rock famously interrupted Jericho’s first promo, claiming he didn’t care what his name was. Jerichoholics around the world were personally insulted. After Jericho took the WCW Championship status from The Rock, it was stolen back about a month later. The belt would go back and forth a couple more times, because their matches were impossible not to watch. The closest the two got to being buddies was a temporary truce that earned them the WWE Tag Team Championship against The Dudley Boyz.
7 Best Friend: Mr. Hito
Before Jericho was Jericho, he was a student at The Hart Brothers School of Wrestling. His instructor was the Japanese wrestler, Mr. Hito, who was looking for guys to practice with his Japanese students. At the time, Jericho had his sights set on making it in Japan so it was a win-win. Jericho recalls, “The first thing Hito made me do was take 500 back bumps in a row.” At the end of the week, that number would hover around 3,000. The practice matches were brutal, and the techniques Jericho learned were unlike anything he’d seen, but there’s no questions Mr. Hito’s influence opened a whole new world of what was possible for Jericho. It was tough love, but Hito seemed to push Jericho because he knew he could take it.
6 The List: Goldberg
Goldberg was undefeated, untouchable, the biggest name in WCW (173-0), and undercard Jericho saw it as an opportunity to become a main-eventer. From 1998-99 Jericho devoted every breath to calling out the former football player, coincidentally on nights her knew Goldberg was not scheduled to fight. Jericho pushed the goof to new heights, hiding in areas of the arena to avoid an actual match, challenging Goldberg lookalikes, or announcing on-the-spot matches. This was a much less famous Jericho, and Goldberg wouldn’t agree to an actual Pay-Per-View fight (neither would Hulk Hogan for that matter). Jericho took this as on opportunity to rag on Goldberg in every way, shape, and form. Jericho staged a match against a fake Goldberg at Fall Brawl, spoofing the long entrance that characterized "Da Man’s" intros. Jericho won the fake World Heavyweight Championship and there were reports that all his hijinks seeped into Goldberg’s personal life and ego, which is a form of winning in itself. They met up later in WWE and Jericho got the fight he wanted at Bad Blood in 2003.
5 Best Friend: Chris Benoit
Chris Benoit first ran into Jericho (in WWE) when he was a heel lackey for Triple H. After Benoit split from The Radicalz, he and Jericho joined forces to be the yin to the Christian and Edge yang. Then they took on Stone Cold and Triple H for the WWE Tag Team Championship. However, the sign of a true friend is when they help elevate you as a singular name. Benoit is a big reason why Jericho held the Grand Slam win. Jericho remembers that the last year and a half of Benoit’s life was characterized by “Houdini”-like appearances and disappearances. Benoit even called Jericho to express bereavement in seeing so many friends pass. In 2007, Benoit died in connection to a double-murder suicide. Jericho, on numerous occasions, has spoken to the respect he’s always had for Benoit.
4 The List: Shawn Michaels
The Sean Michaels/Chris Jericho beef has been disputed as one of the best feuds of all time. It had humor, heel turns, and didn’t feel like a gimmick. It all began when Jericho refereed a match between Michaels and Batista, which ended (as most Jericho interactions do) with Michaels being ridiculed, this time for “acting” like his knee was injured. Michaels finally admitted he was lying about the injury, which screamed perjury in Jericho’s book. Jericho waited until Michaels was a special guest on his own Highlight’s Reel, and slammed Michaels’ face through the JeriTron 5000 TV, injuring his eye. When Michaels announced he would step down at SummerSlam, Jericho interrupted with a swing, which unfortunately went directly into Michaels’ wife, Rebecca. At the next confrontation, Michaels tore his bicep. Once they got in the ring, their matches were long and freaking wonderful. Jericho came out on top with World Heavyweight status. Head-to-head, their feud worked so well because Jericho was killing it as a heel, and Michaels gave him the fodder to go deeper.
3 Best Friend: Kevin Owens
The two Canadians first joined forces to become JeriKO and defeat mutual-rival Enzo Amore. This bulked up the WWE tag team division with two outstanding performers. However, every instance of their collaboration since the founding of JeriKO has appeared more like a big brother looking out for his younger sibling, with Jericho interfering for his Canadian pal in two different matchups. Jericho also helped in Owens’ earning a chance for the Universal Championship belt, and contributed to Owens’ Seth Rollins defeat. Although many trolls on the internet are questioning if Jericho’s alliance is hindering the Rollins/Owens feud, that’s garbage. Owens needed a friend like Jericho. And in real BFF style, Jericho lost to Rollins and gave up the chance to fight in Hell in a Cell. In return, Owens makes sure Jericho doesn’t lose his beloved scarves.
2 The List: Christian
They say it hurts more to get stabbed in the front than the back, and that’s why Christian is numero uno on The List. Goofball Jericho had met his match when WWE paired him up with Christian, and the two went ham in hilarity— not limited to running around the stadium in towels and a pink shower cap. They also dominated in the ring, winning the World Tag Team Championship. But their camaraderie went sour when Jericho’s flame Trish Stratus caused a rift between the two. Stratus ended up turning on Jericho for Christian in a reveal that sent daggers to the heart during WrestleMania XX, which ended in Jericho getting slapped and sent into a Facebuster by Christian. It was the last thing we saw coming, and from the last person we expected.
1 Best: Big Show
At a 2009 Pay-Per-View, Jericho was in desperate need of a partner after his fellow heel Edge got injured. Jericho named Big Show his tag team partner, and so birthed the celebrity WWE couple, Jeri-Show. They were both just too good at being bad. All year they were the big wigs of the tag team division, lording the Unified Championship over their heads. Their union also brought together Smackdown and Raw, and the two took advantage of the cross promotion, appearing on both nights. They were even so in harmony that the two turned on one another at the same time, only to reunite three years later to knock John Cena and Kane into their place. Big Show ended up crushing Jericho between a ladder which promoted Cena to go for the win. But all couples fight. Jeri-Show reunited once more in 2016, for one night only, but we know they’ll be friends forever.
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