When we last left off with Chris Jericho's WWE career, he was losing almost all of his matches, and it was to benefit the likes of Prince Albert and The Headbangers. But now, Jericho was ready for greatness, he was ready for his first memorable long-term feud in the WWE. He was ready to take on the man, the myth, the leg...wait, rewind. The woman, the myth, the legend, Chyna.
Chyna had most recently feuded with Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett had a reign of terror on women where he literally just kept beating up and demeaning women for months straight without anything bad happening to him. I thought about writing about it, but it is SUPER uncomfortable and should probably never be mentioned again. Anyway, Chyna beat Jarrett for the Intercontinental Title. In fact, she beat him so badly that he was on WCW the next night.
This led to her first title defense feud, and Jericho was the ideal foil for Chyna. He started by challenging her but getting attacked from behind when he was not paying attention. Then he challenged her to an intergender tag match where he would take a random female fan and take on her and D-Lo Brown. That random female happened to be Stevie Richards in a dress, but it still counts. Either way, Chyna stripped down Stevie and her and D-Lo got the win. Maybe things weren't quite looking up for Jericho yet.
Then, looking for an easy victory, Jericho challenged Stevie Richards to a match. Stevie came out dressed as Chyna and Jericho delivered a beating to him. But then Chyna came out and hit Jericho with the Intercontinental Title with the ref distracted, and yes, Jericho lost to Stevie Richards. While Jericho was trying with Chyna, it also turned into a Stevie Richards feud, because, you know, Jericho wasn't enough of a personality to feud with Chyna, so getting Stevie in there made sense. Stevie would lose to Chyna dressed as Jericho, and then cost Jericho a match against The Godfather by dressing as a ho and costing him the match.
But Jericho bounced back with a blistering promo on Chyna on the Raw before he would challenge her for the Intercontinental Title at Survivor Series.
He was so confident in his abilities that he promised to have a sex change if he lost to Chyna. Finally, after all the back and forth, Jericho met Chyna at Survivor Series in what was a surprisingly good match. There was back and forth, false finishes, and an entire crowd of Jerichoholics which the WWE couldn't possibly ignore. Unfortunately, your hero and mine, Y2J, was beaten by a Pedigree off the top rope for Chyna to retain her title.
The following night on Raw, Y2J was clearly distraught.
He tried to put on a brave face, but he got distracted and lost to, "The Vampire Before Vampires Were Cool," Gangrel. Jericho would get his revenge against Chyna later that night.
Because of Jericho's mighty strength, hammering a mallet near Chyna's hand caused vibrations that broke Chyna's hand. By doing this, Jericho proved that women are not as tough as men.
He used this momentum to take out the World's Strongest Man, Mark Henry in his next match. After that,he took out The Godfather, because apparently Jericho was not only portrayed as sexist but racist as well.
He decided to use this momentum to challenge Big Show for the WWE Championship in a No Disqualification Match. Things were going well for Jericho until Chyna came out and hit him with a mallet. Then things were not going as well as Big Show picked up an unconscious Y2J and chokeslammed him for the win.
A week later, Y2J had finally recovered from his concussion enough to not only interrupt Mick Foley talking about making the New York Times Bestseller List but also face him in a match.
"The only reason anybody bought your book in the first place is they were hoping that you would die at the end of it." That one made me laugh out loud. It also featured Jericho proclaiming that he would write his own book. And then, despite being hit with the Intercontinental Championship by Chyna, Jericho recovered to still beat Mike Foley.
In the week leading up to his second match against Chyna at Armageddon, he tagged with Al Snow and had a no contest against The Rock n' Sock Connection on Raw before losing to Road Dogg due to Chyna interference on Smackdown.
He had his second shot at Armageddon, the last PPV of 1999, and would get the chance to the right the wrong of losing to Chyna. Amazingly, Y2J carried Chyna through another entertaining match, which included Jericho boxing, kicking, and even dropkicking the thumb that he had injured weeks earlier. After a back and forth battle, finally, your hero and mine, Y2J, overcame the odds and made Chyna submit to become the new Intercontinental Champion, a title he would hold a record nine times.
Despite Jericho being the clear heel, the crowd exploded in cheers when Chyna finally tapped out.
Finally, after months of losing to mid-level talents, and being an afterthought in more important feuds, Y2J, Chris Jericho, had risen up to get his first WWE title run. Still wrestling at the age of 47, he will go down as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. It wasn't a smooth run, but there was no man or woman that was going to stop him on his way to the top.