[Deconstructing the Moveset] – Chris Jericho

Thanks to Widro for keeping the column as a “Pulse Pounding” column all weekend and most of the week. Lots of reader mail this week as a result…

Rather than say something disrespectful (like some people have done) I will not poke fun at the Big Boss Man’s passing away. Everyone’s got a family and my thoughts go out to the Traylor family in their time of loss. Rest in peace Boss Man.

On a brighter topic, I’d like to say “well played” to the WWE for the Diva Search. I actually found myself caring about Christy winning (and she did, Jared and Murph – she WON! Carmella’s nothing but a loser now!). And I’d also liek to thank Adam Lerman for pointing that out to me as well. Leave it up to a lawyer. They got me I was hooked by the end. HOWEVER, the beginning still sucked.

There’s a change in how the footnotes work this week. If you click on the foot note number, it will take you to that footnote. AND if you click on the number at the bottom, it will bring you to the number it is referencing! Also, if you hate reading reader mail, then skip it! If you don’t liek the Tivo Gems, skip it! Deconstructing the Movset is now easier to read! Even if it DID take me an hour or so to figure this all out.

I apologize for the length of this week’s column in advance. Not really.

“While I might be above hitting a woman in the mouth, I’m not above sticking a sock in that same mouth. Chyna! You bring your ovaries, and I’ll bring my… guys and we’ll see who the number one contendor truely is!” -Mick Foley

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Chris Page answered last week’s column with:

Actually the “this Sunday, blood will be yours” line from Kane came the week after he broke his silence (just after he’d dumped a shitload of red dye on Austin). If I remember correctly, his first words were “if I do not win the title, I will set myself on FIYAAAAAH!”

As for Mark Jindrak, I know why they’re doing that gimmick for him – they’re intending to push him like that for a few months, then have him slam someone that’s never been slammed before (actually there isn’t anyone who’s never been slammed – let’s say he suplexes Big Show and Mark Henry AT THE SAME TIME, on a big boat no less), then have him never win a title. Ever. All the while being incredibly racist. If he’d been the frontman for the XFL, it’d be beyond perfection.

You’re correct about the first words. Upstaged again by the internet! You guys are sharp. However, no one’s told where the “You Suck” came from yet. Speaking of Kane, I’m not nearly as pissed as everyone else seems to be about the dead baby angle. Everyone knew the damn thing was destined to join Paul Bearer in the WWE’s make believe heaven. I mean, does no one remember Mae Young giving birth to a god damned hand? Besides, do you really think that they were going to produce a baby on WWE TV? I’ll answer that question for you, no. What else is Kane gonna do for an angle? He’s been around for a long time, and they kinda put him in a rough spot by a) saying he was burnt all over as a child, b) said he could not speak c) pair him with the Undertaker d) tag team him with X-Pac. That’s enough of a dilemma for angles. Thanks for writing!

Jake Imm answered last week’s question with:

About your question with Mark Jindrak–the angle with the guy flexing in front of mirrors first appeared as I recall with “The Narcissist” Lex Luger in 1993. I can’t say for sure if it was successful with him, but they did drop it after 6 months so he could become “Made in the U.S.A.,” (or as they hoped, the second coming of Hulk Hogan) so my guess would be no. That proves it is both a weak and fairly old idea that they keep coming back to. My guess is that Vince and the think tank figure that a good way for a heel with very little natural charisma to get hated is to pose and flex his impressive physique. They know that the average wrestling fan is and always has been a guy who’s probably not all that attractive and thus automatically resents anyone who flaunts their own good looks or physique. By 1993, and especially 2004, however, the idea has been more than played out. Vain guys have existed in many forms since the birth of wrestling characters and it takes something a little more original to convince fans to hate someone nowadays. Nothing will ever beat “Ravishing” Rick Rude calling the fans “fat, out of shape sweathogs” anyway. Plus the alliteration (“Mecca of Manhood”) and rhyming stuff (“Reflection of Perfection”) just seems lame nowadays. At least “The Narcissist” was kind of original as a name. And none of this would matter if these guys could cut a decent promo or work a decent match, which they can’t. Bottom line, even if Mark Jindrak had a character better than anything Mick Foley ever did, he would still suck, so it’s better to give him a lame one rather than waste a good idea.

That’s the second person to bring up Luger. What a scumbag he is. It appears that once again, I bring up something that will change in the following week, as it appeared during Velocity this week that they are going to change his angle pretty soon. Thanks for writing!

ABarker20 had a response to my column:
As for the world title picture, I agree that those people that have earned the title definitely get a better feeling and sense of enjoyment than say, a David Arquette, who doesn’t belong, or a Triple H, who is meaningless as a champ, and only has what he has because he is the boss’ son in law. In that vein, I also believe that Randy Orton had a genuine sense of accomplishment after summerslam, and I had the pleasure of being at the garden on march 14th, and seeing Eddie and Chris in the middle of the ring just set a fire throughout my whole body. It was just a genuine moment that happened for two of the most underrated, underappreciated guys that were finally given their day to shine.

I know exactly what you’re saying about Benoit & Eddie. I specifically did not include Triple H in that column because his intentions with the title have never been clear. Who knows what Mr. Helmsley-Mac is thinking in gaining that title. I’ll tell you what though, I don’t appreciate a title contender that says he “deserves” the title. “Destiny” is one thing, but to be “deserving” of the title? No. The only people who deserve that honor are the people who don’t talk about it and cry about it. Thanks for writing!

Our old friend William Ricks had this to say (not just this, but it’s an exerpt):
Pople like Arquette and Russo should never, ever, under ANY circumstances, hold a title in wrestling, let alone the world title. But it’s not like that was the *only* dumb thing WCW ever did, let’s face it.

Yes, let’s all remember the Russo-mobile. Or ANYTHING that happened during the last Kevin Sullivan run. Or the Powers That Be. Or stripping Benoit of the world title after he left the company because Sid’s foot was “under the ropes” (Good one Arn). Or bringing in Luger on the first Nitro. Or unmasking Rey Mysterio. Or allowing Juventud to call himself “Juvi-Juice” and mimickig the Rock’s gimmick. Or firing Mick Foley, Steve Austin, The Undertaker, allowing Jericho to leave, allowing the Radicals and Raven to leave. Or… well, you get the point. Thanks for writing!

Zachary Moneypenny suggested the following:

I enjoy your Deconstructing column, but it would be incredibly easier to read the endnotes if you hyperlinked between the body of the page and the endnote itself. That way while I’m reading I can link to the endnote, read it, then hit back to go back to the column. Reading all of the endnotes when I’m finished with the article results in me having to scroll back to the top to try to find the miniscule superscripted numeral, match it, then reread that sentence or paragraph to see how the endnote matches it.

I’ll do my best this week to update the html. Let’s see if I get it right. Also new this week – bigger typefaced letters to the columnist! Thanks for writing!

Dustan “BlackBeltDude” Dewey had this to say:

As much as I agree that Benoit jumping from WCW to WWE was indeed a good idea… I’d have to argue that him winning the title is NOT what made that statement true for the simple fact that WCW was ready to put THEIR World Title (essentially the same damn title he won at WrestleMania if you think about it) on Benoit right as he was leaving. Had he not left WCW, he would have been a World Champion long before March of 2004. That’s not to say that it wasn’t a good idea in the long run… just that him winning the title isn’t what made it a good idea.

I think that they were willing to put the title on him BECAUSE he was going to leave. He, Eddie, Saturn and Dean Malenko were all sick of what was going on in the company. It was like telling your girlfriend that you love her after she walks in on you in a three-some with her best friend and twin sister. It’s just too little too late. Also note I had to read this a few times before I understood your point. Oh well, thanks for writing!

My big BROTHER checked in with this:
In my whole life as a big brother, I have never come to your defense about anything. Why? I am was probably too busy. Just kidding, it was because you have proved that you did not need it. However, after weeks of reading and laughing, it is time for my comments to your readers… At least from the mail I have read in your columns..

> First, ShamMol writes:
> The Red Sox do not suck as bad as your column. How bout that for a horrible
> and badly written insult?!

Well, the column is good and the Red Sox do suck. I was at Game 7 last year. I have my scorecard hanging on the wall with an autographed picture of Aaron Boone hitting the ball. Everytime I watch TV, I can look over my left shoulder and see that memory hanging there. I also own, and game my brother a “1918 – Killer B’s” T-shirt which has, Babe, Bucky, Buckner and Boone on it. If you want one, email OKTerrific76@aol.com. . He had them. Free advertising for a Yankee Fan. By the way, when Pedro wears pinstripes next year, my favorite sight will be when one of countless Red Sox take a fastball off of the back. Wait, I digressed. The column is good.

> EazyV588 writes:
> Are you gay or something?
No one calls my brother gay….unless it is me. However, from encounters that I have heard of and my mother has witnessed (think I forgot about that Rob?), I know he is not gay. Just because he has a Metrosexual friend that likes opera and Judy Garland does not mean my brother is gay. Wait, did you mean that as happy? He is happy.

> Timothy Brault:
> I hate you.
> p.s. Alot.
> p.s.s. Good column, keep it up.

Hate? Hate?? You do not know him well enough to hate him. There are countless females in the northeast that can hate my brother, but you?

There is nothing like getting a phone call from your brother, halfway across Madison Square Garden during Wretlemania XX. I was just under the really long “Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo” sign that got taken down. Rob, wasn’t WMXX supposed to be Flair’s last match? I also took my brother, at 12 year’s old, to WMX, which had that amazing ladder match and so many others.

How about Halloween a few years ago…..my brother dressed as Kane, wig and
all.

Actually, it my own hair, not a wig. And I even made the shirt an pants to go with the costume.

WMXX was rumored to have been Hogan’s last match if he was going to participate. It’s a shame he didn’t, I’ll tell you that much. Supposedly Hogan is 50 this year and was planning on retiring at Mania, but that never happened because Vince promised him too much money. I can only think of two, maybe five women in the northeast that hate me right now. See ya at Yom Kippur supper. Thanks for writing Russ!

WHEW! That’s a lot of reader mail!

“I hear Dudleyville is right outside Parts Unknown.” -Good Ol’ J.R.

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#1 – Courtesy of RAW
Vinnie Mac is in the hizouuu, wait, I’m not Kevin Nash…
I mean Vinnie Mac on Raw
I forgot who said it, but they said it best when he said that Vince was looking like a proud grandfather when he came down to the ring this time around. And I don’t care what anyone says, I’m still interested in the Eugene Dinsmore character. He could be headed for one of the biggest heel turns in a while, but that’s up to the WWE to decide.

As a side note, Eric Bischoff said he’d never book an uncle against his nephew. NOT TRUE! Maybe you all remember the FIRST Eddie/Chavo feud, which involved the Ultimo Dragon?

#2 – courtesy of Smackdown!
HBK, I mean Kidman’s lost his smile
This is a pretty good dynamic between these two guys. London reminds me of a young Kidman, and the older Kidman reminds me of the younger Kidman too, but just… older and wiser. Oh, and nearly as jaded as the internet wrestling community, but then again he has self respect and I think he still likes watching wrestling too, not just complaining on how bad it is and how better it was months or years ago. The London/Kidman angle has legs, but I’m not too sure if the WWE will take it to it’s full potential. They have to prove that London can do it without Kidman, build London as a bigger face and win the cruiserweight title from Spike dudley with the help of Rey Mysterio Jr. Then drop it back to the spike with outside interference from Bubba and D-Von , 1 with Rey Rey as his tag team partner win the gold from The Dudleys who recently will beat wrestling’s latest odd couple. 2 And then have Kidman (and a forgiving Chavo) feud with London (and Rey) over the tag titles, then who knows, maybe the four of them could eventually get caught up in the US title as well. But the US title picture is a pipe dream from where they are. regardless I see a big feud that could last until Wrestlemania here. It’s just a shame Jaime Noble got fired.

#3 – courtesy of RAW
Wrestlemania 19 rematch
It doesn’t get any better than this. Well, a clean ending would have been better, but HBK and Y2J are dynamite together. Captain Charisma and Goat-Boy are playing their parts well, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this angle will eventually end. Think about how long this has been going for. Jericho has brought us into this angle that started as him and the CLB trying to nail Lita and Trish , 3 to the Trish turn, to the Edge return, to Christian’s return to now. I’m not tired of seeing these two guys go at it (Unlike I’m tired of seeing HBK and HH go at it) and I’d love to see this go until Wrestlemania 21 with a Wrestlemania XX rematch. Although I’d much rather see Jericho in the main title picture, I don’t think that’s happening unless he’s dragging Christian, Mr. Big Teeth/Easily Injured and Shawn with him.

#4 Courtesy of Smackdown!
Too homosexual for my tastes
I’ve found myself defending wrestling as “not gay” for a very long time. But Heidenreich’s poem to Michael Cole even creeped the hell out of me. So we’re supposed to believe this monster has a sensitive side that write poetry? Yikes. Kinda reminded me of the male-male sex scene in Wet Hot American Summer a little bit.


Bill DeMott:
“I remind me of Bill DeMott and you’re STILL Josh Matthews.”
Josh Matthews:
“You’re just jealous because Lindsay Lohan is my girlfriend.”

WWE FANTASY ROSTER UPDATE
Because you all are about how MY team is doing.

WEEK ONE: 45 points after RAW
The Big Show
Carlito Carribean Cool
Chris Jericho
Shelton Benjamin
Spike Dudley

Since I don’t read Smackdown! spoilers, I’ll have to wait till Friday morning for my weekly totals, but I’m currently in third of the Team Inside Pulse league. But if Spike Dudley wins and the Big Show wins, expect me to be on top of the Team Inside Pulse standings. In total I’m in 3919th place. But the top 500 only had RAW superstars on their teams.

And now for our main event:

DECONSTRUCTING THE MOVESET: CHRIS JERICHO

Let’s talk briefly about how a wrestler constructs their moveset before we get to the meat of this. Most likely, they’ll start with the finisher. Figure out what area of the body it affects, and think about moves that also affect that part of the body. Does their conditioning allow them to be a “popcorn wrestler. 4 ?” Will they go for power, technical prowess, high flying, brawler? The style of the wrestler very much so affects their moves as well. You’re not gonna see the Undertaker perform a hurricanrana, and in the same respect, you probably haven’t seen Chris Benoit perform too many piledrivers.

So let’s get down to it.

Chris Jericho is one of a small group of wrestlers who have made the transition from Cruiserweight Champion to world champion. 5 . As such, his style has OBVIOUSLY progressed as the years have gone on. For our study, I’ve looked HEAVILY at the following matches: RAW 9/20/04 vs. Shawn Michaels, RAW 9/13/04 w/Shawn Michaels vs. Captain Charisma and Goat-boy, Wrestlemania XX, 19, 18, and 17. I know that tthese matches don’t complete Jericho’s career but they are pretty good indicators about it. Let me say it was obvious after watching the matches which ones Jericho was calling and which ones he wasn’t. The Shawn Michaels Wrestlemania 19 match and Wrestlemania XX match were uncannily similar in their pacing. The match against Triple H however, was completely different, and the Jericho wrestled it very generically. It could have been anyone out there, not the King of the World, the King of Bling Bling, Y2J, the sexy beast, the huge rockstar, the ayotollah of rock and rollah, the man who stripped prine aki-maki of his skirt, Juvi-Juice of his mask, and Perry Saturn of his dignity.

Jericho’s finishers, according to the WWE, are the Lionsault – a springboard second rope moonsault, and the Walls of Jericho – a glorified Boston crab. 6

The W.o.J. works the abdomen, the back, and the legs. It requires shoulder strength and abdomen strength to apply. Provided that whoever is applying it can lean back and really put pressure on the victim. It also requires the victim to be tired, as it’s not a terribly hard move to get out of, or to block it from being applied at the “turn over” stage.

The Lionsault also works the abs and requires the victim to be primarily knocked out and lying prone on their back. If the victims not properly knocked out, Jericho gets two knees to the ribs, or if he can spot it, land on his feet after doing a flip.

So we know the what and the who, let’s get to the where, when and why.

Jericho’s moves are put together to wear an opponent down, and specifically wear down their mid section, legs, and most importantly their back. This is why he doesn’t rely heavily on punching in his style. Most of his moves are not mat based either. Think about how many times you’ve seen Jericho apply a headlock unless it’s to expose an injury in the opponent. In the same respect you don’t see Jericho doing that chin-lock thing that’s all the rage with the main-eventers these days. His style is also modeled after the high-flyers of yesterday. In all of his Wrestlemania matches, Jim Ross has made it a point to bring up that Jericho has “shades of Ricky Steamboat” and in my opinion, with a little Heart Break Kid thrown in there. Jericho has a real connection to the 80’s and early 90’s in his style. An obvious reference is his Ultimate Warrior one footed pin.

So let’s look at his moves.

Springboard Dropkick: A “shock” move as I’ll call it. A lot of his style is shock. Something to catch the opponent off guard and to keep them from getting into the ring. He uses a lot of the opponents energy against them.

The early Walls of Jericho: There are some times that Jericho will slap the move on where you know he’s not going for the win (although he’d take it) but the whole point is to wear his opponent down. Every time we see this move, we don’t think he’s gonna win with it. 7. Let him use his own energy to fight out of the move and get to the ropes.

Bulldog: Wears on the head and chest of the opponent. Another move that’s done from behind the opponent.

Running into the guy while leaning on the middle rope. 8. Not a choking move as I initially thought it would be. It puts pressure on the rib cage and (I can only guess I’m no wrestler) denies them of a breath or two. Anything to give him an advantage over his opponent in regards to their conditioning and stamina.

Reverse elbow: Not a clothesline. It’s higher impact and targets the chest instead of the neck.

Suplexes: Belly to backs and suprisingly enough, northern lights into a pin, then reversed into a back bridge.

Superplexes: As the match goes longer, we generally see more top rope stuff. A lot of the time it’s reversed on him and he winds up dropped on his chest, but occasionally we’ll see a double underhook suplex from him. As the matches go longer, he’ll move deeper into his arsenal showing his deep moveset.

Chops: More often than not, he’ll throw a chop to the chest instead of a punch. It’s not like he doesn’t throw punches, but he throws more chops than punches. At the Wrestlemania 17 match, he nearly left Regal looking like the fat girl in your high school who always falls asleep at the beach the first time she goes and says that it’s good because she “needs to get the first sun burn out of the way” but she’s just a stupid bitch anyway and got a sunburn and wants attention.Give her a good Flair chop instead of listening!

The running ensiguiri: Another shock move. But it’s normally done deep into a match because it requires his opponent to not realize it’s coming after the first foot is planted. Or it can come when an opponent is not paying attention.

Scouting report:

Simply knowing where Chris Jericho is in the ring could be enough to block most of his offense. Conditioning is the key with Jericho. If you can stay in it longer than he can, than most of his moves won’t have the same effect on you and they are able to be blocked. The bulldog, running while you’re in the ropes, running enziguri, the lionsault and the springboard dropkick and are moves that can be avoided by knowing where Jericho is at all times. He’s never the one to make the rookie mistakes like dropping his head for a back body drop and getting kicked because of it. When beaten, Jericho’s opponent beats him, he has a very solid style that doesn’t allow for many errors, relying on him making a mistake is a foolish way to wrestle him. The major weaknesses in his style include going up to the top rope, but you’re not gonna get that out of him unless you’re wrestling a longer match against him.

It wouldn’t hurt to keep your knees up whenever you’re lying prone on the mat too.

FOOTNOTES

.1 Don’t you miss Sign Guy Dudley and Big Dick Dudley just a little bit?

. 2 Thankfully it’s an odd-couple that doesn’t include Lance Storm this time around. I loved to watch him wrestle, but how many Schmos could they pair him with?

.3 It seems like Kane won the bet. Looks like Jericho AND Christian owe him a Canadian dollar each.

.4 A wrestler that only seems to get better as the match goes on is a popcorn wrestler. Kinda like how popcorn sucks if you don’t cook it and after a little while it gets great.

.5 Your challenge this week is to name ANYONE who has held the Cruiserweight title and went on to win the World Title. Not just fight for the World Title, or else Rey Jr. would be an easy answer to that question.

. 6Unlike the Liontamer which was a great variation, but all of us that watched the second (or third, I can’t remember) Tough Enough saw why he changed the move.

.7 Unlike the Crippler Crossface, where the match could seriously end ANY time that move is applied. Unless Jericho is gettting the move of Dances with Babaganoush, the match ain’t gonna end after 3 minutes or so.

. 8 Thank goodness the WWE promotion machine hasn’t named that yet

THIS WEEK’S QUESTION
How successful do you think Carilto Carribean Cool will be? Think about the last few wrestlers to come STRICTLY from promos. Hirohito? Sean O’Haire? Mordechi? Does he have any chance of being a success?

THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE (as stated in the footnotes)
Has ANYONE besides Chris Jericho held the Cruiserweight title and the World Title in their carrer?

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