Chris Jericho has a lot to say this week as he prepares for his opportunity to become AEW World Champion on Saturday, August 31st at AEW’s pay-per-view, ALL OUT.
“After almost 29 years in the wrestling business, all of the legends I’ve beat, all of the championships I’ve won, all of the countries that I’ve been the top star in the business, none of that matters on August 31st, because on August 31st, Chris Jericho has the chance to change the universe,” the veteran proclaimed as he spoke directly to his AEW World Championship match opponent, Adam “Hangman” Page, to close out this week’s episode of Being The Elite.
Jericho is no stranger to title matches. Over the course of his nearly three decade career he has participated in an astounding 238 singles title matches, winning his first title in Canadian Rocky Mountain Wrestling in 1993 at the age of 23. Of those 238 matches, the former Lionheart has won 136 for a winning percentage of .571.
Even though he’s been a top star for most of his professional wrestling career, Jericho has spent the majority of his time competing for undercard titles. Over 80% of Jericho’s title matches have been competitions below the world title picture. He’s come out victorious in almost 60% of these matches, lifting this group of titles a total of 117 times after 197 matches. His most successful run being through 1997 and 1998 in WCW, winning matches for the promotion’s Cruiserweight Title and TV title a combined 61 times in 78 contests.
That’s not all to say that Jericho is foreign to World Title matches. Y2J’s first major world title contest was all the way back in 1996 in ECW and his most recent world title match was an unsuccessful bout this summer against Kazuchika Okada at New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Dominion for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. Between these two fights, Jericho has participated in 43 additional world title matches, winning 19. This isn’t an especially impressive ratio of victories, but Jericho’s experience may give him a slight edge as he heads into ALL OUT on Saturday night.
In recent years, Jericho has had a tendency to create or accept no-disqualification, no-holds-barred, or extra man matches. Jericho’s propensity to create these match types lead me to assume that he’s more successful in these match types, but history tells us otherwise. Of his 45 World Title matches, 16 have had more than two participants. Jericho has only won two of these matches. 31 of his world title matches have been one on one, Jericho has won 14 of these. And of those 31 matches, 23 had no stipulation or modification and Jericho won 11 of that set of matches. This Saturday’s match at ALL OUT is a traditional one-on-one match, and while Jericho is probably tempted to seek a stipulation that allows him to utilize a more brawling style, he’d be best served to leave it as is.
Jericho hasn’t held a world title in nearly a decade. His last run with the WWE Undisputed Title ended on April 2, 2010 and he hasn’t reached the top of the card as champion since. The pro wrestler turned Fozzy front man knows that he will need to tap into his historical success to find a victory at the top of AEW’s card. He was clear about that at the end of his statement on Being The Elite, “…This will either be the greatest night of my career, or the beginning of the end of the legend that is Chris Jericho,” he said “I have to win, because if I don’t win, the legend of Chris Jericho ends at All Out.”