Whether he’s telling his enemies they just made the list or holding Festivals of Friendship in his buddies’ honor, Chris Jericho is obviously a man who goes big or goes home when telling his coworkers how he feels about them. While it would be easy to assume they largely feel the same way about him, anyone who lives in the real world knows it isn’t always that simple, and the WWE Universe is often even more complicated than reality.
Jericho is already well on his way to legendary status within the wrestling industry, and so plenty of fellow superstars are going to swear loyalty to him no matter what he does or says. On that same token, over his near 18 year career in WWE plus about 10 years prior to that traveling around the world and practicing his craft, Jericho has made no small number of enemies who would love to see him fail, as well.
As a fan, it doesn’t matter if you’re a certified Jerichoholic or you wish that man would please shut the hell up, you have to admit the man is damn good at his job. The people who have to work with him on a daily basis are allowed to form much fuller opinions on him, though, possibly powerful enough to discount his work in the ring altogether. To find out why, keep reading and learn about 8 wrestlers who love Chris Jericho and 7 who hate him.
15 LOVE: Lance Storm
Entering the thrillseeking industry that is pro wrestling isn’t easy, and it can help immeasurably to have a partner standing next to you when the ride begins. Lance Storm and Chris Jericho wrestled their first match against one another in 1990, and 15 years later, Storm ended his mainstream career with a big win over his old friend in 2005 at ECW One Night Stand. The two also wrestled as a tag team throughout Canada and in the US with Smokey Mountain Wrestling, calling themselves The Thrillseekers and winning a handful of territorial titles together while doing so. Although their careers obviously took off in widely divergent paths once the tag team split, Jericho and Storm always remained close friends, no doubt seeing it as a treat whenever they were allowed to work together again in WWE.
14 HATE: Larry Zbyszko
Plenty of fans are aware that modern day WWE has a serious problem going on over at the announce booth, and distracting as that may be, it’s hardly the first time wrestling broadcasters were in way over their heads. According to Chris Jericho, the worst color commentator of all time was none other than Larry Zbyszko, who often fulfilled the role during the most successful days of WCW Monday Nitro. Y2J might have had a point, since Zbyszko often put himself over the wrestlers and outright mocked the cruiserweights for being small. Nonetheless, Larry didn’t like being called the worst ever, and responded by arguing Jericho, “never drew s---“ and could only get pushed at times when Triple H was injured. Many took these comments as hypocritical and ridiculous, because Zbyszko could only get pushed when he pulled a Triple H and married the boss’s daughter in the AWA.
13 LOVE: Edge
While not all of the wrestlers to act like friends on television were actually close with him in real life, a trend that will soon reveal itself on this list shows most of Y2J’s tag team partners were indeed his closest confidants in the business. Jericho and Edge met decades prior to their short-lived tag team forming, when the two were up and comers rising through the ranks of the Canadian independent scene. The two finally entered a prolonged program together in WWE when they won the Unified Tag Team Championships at the 2009 Bash Pay-Per-View. Unfortunately, Edge was injured almost right away, and Jericho replaced him with The Big Show in their team. Though it obviously didn’t affect their friendship behind the scenes, Edge returned from injury bitter over getting replaced and the two engaged in a well-received series of matches, another common trait shared amongst Jericho’s actual friends.
12 HATE: Rob Van Dam
Like, whoa. RVD isn’t chill with Y2J? “Not chill” doesn’t even begin to cover it, actually, as RVD referred to Jericho as a, quote, “political b----,” during a 2012 interview with Jay Mohr. According to RVD, his problems with Jericho were a large part of his decision to leave WWE for TNA around that period (albeit not as deciding a factor as the WWE travel schedule). Van Dam believes Jericho was often complaining to management around that time and suggesting opportunities given to RVD should be going to him, which Jericho has never confirmed nor denied. Around this same period, the two had a match where RVD accidentally caused Jericho to legitimately bleed, which apparently made Jericho threaten Van Dam to a shoot fight. Luckily, cooler heads soon prevailed, and Jericho admitted he was simply worried about getting a scar. RVD said he holds no resentment over the incident anymore, but the fact he talked about it at length makes that a dubious claim.
11 LOVE: Meng
One of the most feared and terrifying men in all of pro sports, Meng is also one of the most beloved, and stories like the one Chris Candido has told about him succinctly explain why both of those things will always be true. The details are a little vague, but from what we understand, Candido, Meng, Jericho, and Sunny were having a conversation backstage before a WCW show when Eric Bischoff approached Meng to discuss his match. Meng told Bischoff he was having a conversation with his friends and demanded an apology for the interruption. Worried Meng might walk out on him, or much worse, Bischoff apologized and politely waited for the guys to stop talking before interrupting again. Not only does this story tell you everything you need to know about Meng’s sense of respect, but it also proves Jericho must have been one of the people he offered that same respect to himself.
10 HATE: Scott Hall
The mind of Scott Hall is a complex and complicated puzzle, as is often the case with lifelong addicts and drug abusers. In 1997, Hall gave Jericho one of the biggest wins of his career at that point on the November 3rd episode of Monday Nitro. The original plan was for Hall to win, and he flipped the script to prove a point and inadvertently do Jericho a favor. Years later, Jericho wasn’t appreciative about the situation, referring to the nWo as one of the main reasons WCW went under due to their refusal to put over new stars. Hall responded in an interview with Sports Illustrated, calling Jericho a “whining puss” despite the fact Jericho was probably right. However, the specifics of this story do mean Jericho wasn’t being completely fair, since he was one of the few exceptions to the rule, and therefore maybe Hall is being reasonable in regretting having done so.
9 LOVE: Mick Foley
The WWE Hall of Fame Ceremonies are a yearly reminder that heel, face, friend, or foe, everyone in the sports entertainment industry has at least one thing in common: their shared love for the business. Lifelong enemies will sit in the audience and respectfully cheer an induction of a heated rival, and sometimes wrestlers who never interacted will finally get the chance to do so. Chris Jericho and Mick Foley’s careers intersected dozens of times over the years, yet when Mick was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013, he made the offhand statement that he never defeated Jericho in any of their matches (and they didn’t square off that many times to begin with). Honoring his friend, Jericho instantly rolled on stage and prodded Foley into planting an elbow drop on his chest, then waited for CM Punk to dive on the scene and count the three, finally giving Mick his win back. Moments like this don’t happen between random coworkers; they only happen between lifelong friends celebrating one another’s legacies.
8 HATE: “Superstar” Billy Graham
Considering the facts “Superstar” Billy Graham retired in the late ‘80s and Jericho didn’t start wrestling until the early ‘90s, it would be reasonable to assume the two never worked together on a professional level. In fact, there’s a strong chance the two have never met in person, yet this didn’t stop Graham from actually threatening to kill Jericho if they ever do happen to wind up face to face. Their issue started shortly after Chris Benoit’s death, when Graham started giving interviews to whatever talk shows would have him as an expert on the subject. As a close friend of Benoit while he was alive, Jericho was upset at Graham for cashing in and wrote as much in his book Undisputed. To say Graham was angry about getting called out was an understatement, as like we said, he threatened to murder Jericho over the slight. Years later, Graham became enraged when Jericho mentioned Bruno Sammartino in a promo, and this time all Jericho could do was laugh and call Billy a “mark.”
7 LOVE: Dean Malenko
No matter where he went, Chris Jericho was accepted as a pretty major talented almost instantly upon arrival, at least until he made it to the big leagues with WCW. Unlike in Mexico, Japan, Canada, or even ECW, Jericho couldn’t make himself a star overnight based on his innate talent alone, and needed a high profile feud to cement him as a star. Enter Dean Malenko, already respected in WCW as an incredible talent, despite also having trouble connecting with fans on a personal level. Malenko barely needed to say a single word during their feud, because at long last Jericho was given free reign on the microphone. Almost overnight, Jericho turned himself of the most hated heels in the company and Dean the most sympathetic face around, all through his gift of gab. The two were also wrestling great matches and becoming good friends behind the scenes, which definitely added to their program by inspiring both to make the other look like a star every step of the way.
6 HATE: Kevin Nash
When Scott Hall doesn’t like you, Kevin Nash is bound to think you’re a jerk, too, and so Chris Jericho has managed to run afoul with both members of The Outsiders. Granted, it took Nash quite some time to back up his best pal’s comments, and he found an entirely different angle to go about his complaint. Rather than get upset over anything Jericho said about him, Nash claimed in a 2012 interview that the wrestling industry died when Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit were dual World Champions at WrestleMania XX. A friend of both men, Jericho thought this was absurd, and called Nash out on Twitter for being the lowest drawing WWE Champion in history throughout 1995. All Nash could do to defend himself was call Jericho a “closet mark,” hiding behind rhetoric instead of actually addressing the situation. Jericho definitely got the last laugh on this one, later writing in another Tweet that he hoped Nash didn’t tear his quad typing.
5 LOVE: Christian
Continuing the theme of Jericho best closest friends with his tag team partners, he and Christian were one of the top duos on Raw from late 2002 to the end of 2003. As was the case with Christian’s more popular tag team partner Edge, he and Jericho met at the onset of their careers while working the Canadian independent scene, and were more than happy to reunite when their paths crossed in the WWE Universe. Unlike the seriousness shown in his team with Edge, while Jericho and Christian together they were a far more comedic pair, although a great deal of success also followed, including a WWE Tag Team Championship reign. Christian also aided Jericho in his feuds with Goldberg and Shawn Michaels. Sadly, it wasn’t meant to last, the team breaking up over their shared interest in Trish Stratus. Luckily for all concerned parties, that was just TV, and the friendship persists to this day.
4 HATE: Goldberg
Despite all the credit Goldberg gets for being the last true hope WCW had in the war against WWE, he wasn’t the most popular guy in the locker room as he rose to the top. Many wrestlers were resentful that a rookie was pushed above them, and Goldberg wasn’t helping himself by fast developing a political and destructive attitude backstage. Jericho was probably one of the people who suffered most, with Goldberg repeatedly rejecting all ideas Y2J offered about a potential feud between them. Although Goldberg was the bigger star, both physically and in terms of popularity, Jericho was a widely hated heel who was making crowds hate him by constantly calling out Goldberg. There was no question that Goldberg would destroy Jericho when they finally met, but Goldberg didn’t think it was even worth his time. The boiling point didn’t come until both worked for WWE and engaged in a fight backstage, quickly won by Jericho.
3 LOVE: Eddie Guerrero
One of the most beloved stars in the wrestling universe, Eddie Guerrero was friends with just about everybody who met him. He and Chris Jericho met one another fairly early in their respective careers, and though things didn’t get off to a great start, it wasn’t long before they were extremely close friends. They met in Mexico City, where Jericho was working for CMLL, introduced to one another by Eddie’s brother Héctor. Apparently Eddie had a bit of a rough night, answering the door in a haggard state and mocking Jericho for being a rookie. The next day, Eddie calmed down considerably and was heavily apologetic, with his contrition apparently powerful enough a strong friendship fast formed in his anger’s wake. Jericho and Eddie soon became such good friends that they would randomly get thrown in a tag team together whenever WCW had nothing better for them to do, leading to an inside joke between them that they were the “best team that never was.”
2 HATE: Triple H
On the list of people in the WWE Universe who a wrestler doesn’t want to cross, Triple H is right there at the top next to his wife and father-in-law. Unfortunately for Chris Jericho, he and HHH ran afoul of one another pretty quickly after Jericho’s jump from WCW, and things have been somewhat icy between boss and employee ever since. Rumor has it their longstanding feud started when Jericho injured Chyna in the ring, lasting well beyond the breakdown of Triple H’s relationship with her and persisting possibly to this day. According to Jericho, however, things between him and his boss have cooled down considerably, which must be the case since they’ve been able to work together peacefully for so long. Of course, how much of this is Jericho walking on eggshells around someone who has managed to skyrocket up the corporate ladder since they met will forever be one of wrestling’s greatest mysteries.
1 LOVE: Chris Benoit
There are no names in wrestling more controversial than Chris Benoit, yet this in no way changes the love and affection Chris Jericho openly admits he once had for the Rabid Wolverine. The two wrestled for the first time in Japan during the 1995 Super J tournament, and remained close friends from that moment onward. Benoit was instrumental in getting Jericho his job with ECW, and it was their feud and subsequent tag team that made them both main event level stars in the WWE Universe. It all came to a crashing halt in June of 2007, when Benoit suddenly murdered his wife and young son before taking his own life. Like everyone else, Jericho was absolutely shocked by this incident, and nearly a decade later still finds himself at odds with what his friend did. On one hand, Jericho certainly shares the world’s grief and can’t understand what Benoit did, going so far as to request no Benoit matches ever appear on any of his career retrospective DVD. On the other, he still regularly Tweets vague remembrances of Benoit each year around the anniversary of his death, showing some friendships, or at least the memories of them, can truly withstand anything.