Lesser-Known Chris Jericho Gimmicks
A master of reinvention, Chris Jericho never does the same character twice. From tearing it up in Japan as ‘Lionheart,’ to making us laugh in WCW as ‘The Man of One Thousand and Four holds” to bursting into the WWE as the ‘Ayahtollah of Rock and Rollah’ to being the bearer of ‘The List,’ Chris Jericho always shows up with a new take on his character. We at Bunny Ears thought we would share a few Chris Jericho gimmicks that only the super fans will remember. As Jericho used to say during his run in Smokey Mountain Wrestling, “Buckle up your crash test dummies, Chris Jericho has the wheel! VROOM VROOM!”
Lion Tamer Jericho
Wanting to stand out in Japan’s Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling (FMW), a promotion filled with exploding rings and barbed wire rope matches, Jericho brought in nature’s most hardcore weapon: A 400-pound live lion. Jericho was a better grappler than a lion tamer, and after a memorably disastrous main event with Atsushi Onita, both Jericho and his lion, Bobby Roar, were banned from the promotion. FMW was never able to get rid of the lion urine stain on their canvas.
Kurt Russel From Big Trouble in Little China Jericho
Wrestlers have always borrowed from pop culture. Sting borrowed from Brandon Lee’s The Crow, Razor Ramon is just wrestling’s version of Tony Montana, and Mr. McMahon is just Satan from the popular book, The Bible. Chris Jericho is no stranger to “borrowing” from a famous movie. During a feud with Alex Wright in WCW, Chris Jericho made his entrance in jeans, cowboy boots, and a white tank top with a Japanese graphic just like Jack Burton from the famed schlocky 80s flick Big Trouble In Little China. It was subtle and cool at first, but Jericho started bringing a TEC-9 to the ring. He insisted his finishing move would be him shooting the gun into the ceiling until the bullets accidentally dropped a stage light onto his opponent. The gimmick was scrapped after it attracted too many ninja wizards to live events.
Gold Mining Jericho
After Chris Jericho lost his first Intercontinental title to Kurt Angle at No Way Out in 2000, Chris disappeared for a few weeks. When he returned on RAW, he had a long white beard and carried a pickaxe. He started cutting incredible promos about going “gold crazy” and that “Thar’s gold tuh be found. It s’undah our feet eet is!” He tried to get his golden IC Title back from Kurt Angle, but Jericho’s goat ran away with a stick of dynamite he was trying to sneak into the match to gain an advantage.
No one really knew that Jericho even had this gimmick until he explained it on a recent episode of his podcast Talk is Jericho. In 2006, there was a very boring and uninteresting CBS show called Jericho. It was about the apocalypse or something. Nobody watched it or cared except for Chris Jericho. Soon after its premiere, Chris started dressing like the characters in the show. No one noticed, because the characters dressed like regular people. This gimmick outlived the television show it was based on by seven months.
These are just a few of the most notable Chris Jericho gimmicks, and we’re sure there are many more to come. Next, he might be a vampire, or an astronaut, or a trucker — no matter the gimmick, fans will be there to reject it and claim they loved it years later.