|Raw Memory #2:|
Chris Jericho's debut
Photo from WWE
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents
In 1999 the world was waiting for the start of the 21st century. The buzz word Y2K (Year 2000) was thrown around to the point that it was annoying. Not to be one to miss a step, the WWF did something similar.
A countdown clock popped up on Monday Night Raw. The thing is the WWF's "Countdown to the Millennium" came to an end on August 9th in Chicago, Illinois. I was watching from a hotel room in Lafayette, Indiana as I was house hunting for a new job in that area.
Anyway, it was an awesome night as the Rock was in the ring cutting a promo on the Big Show when the clock popped up and started counting down with just 10 seconds left. The pyro went off and the video started playing. Rewatching this video, I still got goosebumps when, especially when JERICHO pops up on the screen and the crowd pops like crazy.
Jericho informed the fans and the Rock that he was in the WWF to save the company. The Rock of course didn't take kindly and fired back with a promo of his own. This was a great move to hire Jericho in my opinion as he had started floundering WCW and quite frankly was getting lost in the shuffle. The WWF was a fresh start for him and the company needed a heel who was good on the mic and in the ring. They got both.
I can't think of a better debut for a wrestler in any company. The anticipation had been brewing for months. I think many fans were shocked when he came out, and even the fans who knew or at least suspected that it would be Jericho still popped for his arrival. I'm not sure we'll ever see anything like that again because there are so many ways to spoil the surprise now with Twitter and Facebook.
Photo from WWE
But in January 2010, fans of both these amazing superstars witnessed something many thought would never happen. Bret and Shawn buried the hatchet officially in front of a live crowd on Raw. Millions watched at home as the two made amends and embraced in the ring. It was closure for all of us who followed the rivalry which dated back nearly 20 years.
A few months later Bret would wrestle his return bout in the WWE against Vince McMahon while Shawn would have his last match ever with the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 26. Congrats to both hall of famers for putting the past behind them.