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On June 9, Chris Jericho will face Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship at NJPW Dominion. While many fans will tune in to see Jericho’s quest for a new title, it’s worth reflecting on his famed history with that other IC Title.
Thanks to The Miz and Seth Rollins, the WWE Intercontinental Championship has reached levels of legitimacy and prestige that fans have sorely missed over the years. But, before Miz lifted the white strap above his head, a different man laid the groundwork. His name is Chris Jericho. Let’s take a look back on Y2J’s history with the IC Title.
1999 – 2000: RAW is Chyna
In 1999, Chris Jericho was as hot a commodity as you could find in professional wrestling. As WCW’s greatest rising star, “The Man of 1,004 Holds” took his growing legion of fans to the WWF and in style. While much has been made of Jericho’s legendary debut during The Rock’s promo on RAW, not all fans remember that Jericho’s first major WWF feud was with Chyna. Chris Jericho’s Intercontinental Championship odyssey begins here.
The storyline began with Chyna, the Intercontinental Champion, issuing an open challenge to any wrestler, male or female. Jericho answered the call, describing Chyna as “the greatest embarrassment this business has ever seen.” In classic Y2J style, Jericho lobbed insults at Chyna, briefly describing her breasts as “ridiculously enhanced.” This feud was not one-sided and not straightforward. Chyna earned at least one victory over Jericho, and she and Chyna were briefly co-Intercontinental Champions thanks to a double pinfall finish on SmackDown (a title reign that WWE does not recognize).
The matches were admittedly among the worst of Jericho’s WWE career, but the promos were entertaining, and the feud would set up Jericho on his journey to making the IC Title prestigious once again.
Next Page: A Detailed Look At Chris Jericho’s History w/ The IC Title Ahead Of His IC Match At NJPW’s Dominion (cont.)