Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Chris Jericho: #7 in the Top 10 Wrestlers of 2016

It's actually a bit hard to write about our number seven pick in the yearly top 10. Chris Jericho has been an icon of wrestling for over twenty years now, with almost eighteen of those in WWE. He's won a ridiculous number of titles, stood atop the WWE on several occasions and even main evented a Wrestlemania. But for the first time in quite awhile, he showed in 2016 why he was a living legend (with all apologies to Larry Zbyszko.)

Image credit: WWE.com.
After a solid showing in the 2016 Royal Rumble (where he entered sixth), he went on to an extended feud with AJ Styles that would steal the show on multiple pay-per-views. Most people expected him to leave after his feud with Styles ended, as Jericho has regularly worked only the months around Wrestlemania, but he re-upped his three month contracts to continue his run, first feuding with Dean Ambrose, whom he lost the Money in the Bank match too only a few short weeks after being impaled on a bed of thumbtacks.

From there though, his rebirth really took off. With The List firmly in place and a friendship with Kevin Owens forming, he would soon help his fellow Canadian as Owens fought to retain his WWE Universal title.

These awards are based on in ring work, but I honestly think some of Jericho's best work has been outside regular matches. His backstage segments have been stupendous and The List is responsible for numerous comedic segments like only Jericho can do. (Though I would take more references to "armbar".)

Let's be honest: Jericho is in the twilight of his career. At 46, he's still in impressive shape, but a body can only hold out so long. I doubt his current run will last all the way through 2017. But Jericho's ever present work to reinvent himself continues to make him one of the most compelling figures on WWE television and that was more than enough to score him a spot in this list.

Next up, a Japanese superstar finally gets on the list, but it's probably not who you suspect...

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