That’s right, I said it. Your best wrestler for the 2000s is Chris Jericho. And that’s with him taking a couple years off from wrestling. Lets look at his accomplishments:
At the first pay per view of 2000, the Royal Rumble, Jericho became the undisputed WWF Intercontinental champion, beating Hardcore Holly and Chyna. At the last pay per view of 2009, TLC, Jericho lost the WWE Unified tag team titles, a belt he held since June of this year. In between those titles Jericho was also the first Undisputed WWE champion. Thus making Chris Jericho the only man to be the undisputed Intercontinental champion, the Undisputed WWE champion and the Unified tag team champion. Not enough? In this decade Jericho has accomplished the following:
A 9 time Intercontinental champion, 8 of which were won in the 2000s. An all time record.
Tag Team championships with Big Show, Edge, Chris Benoit, The Rock, Christian,
WWE Hardcore Title
WWE European Title
A two time WCW/WWE World champion, a WWE champion, a two time World heavyweight champion.
Jericho entered WWE in 1999. In 2000 he feuded with Chyna but proved so popular Jericho was turned face. He had a “Dusty finish” WWE title win over Triple H that was over turned by Earl Hebner. This title change is not recognized, but it set the stage for Jericho as a World champion. Jericho feuded with Triple H and Stephanie, calling Stephanie the classic insult, “a filthy, dirty, disgusting, brutal, bottom-feeding, trash-bag ho”. Jericho won his first WWE Tag Team title with Chris Benoit in the match where Triple H tore his quad. The iconic image of Hunter’s quadriceps rolled up into his hip while he’s locked into the Walls of Jericho atop the announce table will live forever in wrestling fan’s minds.
Chris Jericho is the only man to beat The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin in the same night, thus making himself the first WWE Undisputed Champion. Jericho defeated the men again at the next two pay per views, Royal Rumble (vs The Rock) and No Way Out (vs Stone Cold).
Jericho had two memorable feuds with Shawn Michaels in 2003 and again in 2008. The 2008 feud saw the end of the Y2J character and the debut of the serious, calculating, egotistical, sinister Chris Jericho that we see today.
Jericho is given credit for creating the Money in the Bank match.
At the very first ECW One Night Stand PPV Jericho wrestled in his Lionheart gimmick instead of his (at the time current) Y2J gimmick. (Not so much a reason for wrestler of the decade, but just an awesome thing to do).
Jericho left WWE for two years and focused on his acting career as well as his rock band, Fozzy. During the darkest time in WWE history, the days after the Chris Benoit tragedy, Jericho (a non-WWE employee at the time) defended his former company and their policies on every news show that would have him. While some former wrestlers (*cough* Marc Mero *cough*) used their time to bury WWE and expose their own skeletons Jericho came across as intelligent, articulate, charismatic and “normal”. He was the poster boy WWE needed at the time, and he wasn’t even under contract when he did so.
All of this while being branded as “too small” and a comedy act. Remember the rumors he had lifts in his shoes?
Heel or face Chris Jericho is always on top of wrestling and can be given any title, carry any show, headline any PPV at any time. That is why he is the Wrestler of the 2000s.