Until he stepped foot in ECW, beginning in 1996. Soon after his debut, he impressed the ECW crowd as the resident underdog, eventually defeating Pitbull #2 for the ECW TV Championship. His matches with future WWE Champions RVD and Mick Foley, among others, drew attention from the WCW offices.
During his time with WCW, he achieved marginal success, winning the WCW TV Championship and being involved in good memorable feuds with Rey Mysterio, Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn, Juventud Guerrera, and Goldberg.
Even with his limited success, the WWE felt he had what it took to be a major player for the company, and he was immediately thrown in the fire when he debuted.
For a little under a month, we would see a "Countdown to the Millennium" segment appear at random moments during Monday Night Raw. While many tied this countdown with the infamous "Y2K bug," the dates just did not line up.
Then, the countdown stuck zero during an in-ring promo by the Rock. The lights went off, the anticipation was at a fever pitch, and the titantron explained the countdown in one wordóJericho.
WWE struck gold in the creation of his debut, and it still goes down as one of the best in wrestling history. Six world championships, nine IC championships, five tag team championships and a few reincarnations later, Jericho has proven to live up to the hype of his debut.
Classic debut. Classic moment.
Send your Retro Wednesday topics to @cravewrestling.
Samoa Joe Trains With Former WWE Champion, Tough Enough Talents Test WWE Knowledge, Natalya, Stock
Chyna Talks Last Time She Spoke To Vince, If HHH Allegations Hurt HOF Chances, IC Title Reign, More
Former WWE Women's Champion Announced For Global Force Wrestling, NWA Champion Starts With WWE
Tyrus On Why He Was Upset With TNA After Jeff Jarrett Returned To The Company
Exclusive Details On Magnus' TNA Contract And When He Decided To Leave, Unusual Provision
Today In Wrestling History 7/7: Hulk Hogan Heel Turn, Sting Wins 1st NWA Title, McMahon Trial Day 3
Steve Austin On If WWE 2K16 Cover Means He'll Return To The Ring, Kevin Owens Note, WWE Shop Sale
WWE Monday Night RAW Results - John Cena Defends, Brock Lesnar Destroys A Car, More
Chyna Talks About The Last Time She Saw Triple H, What Happened During Her Trip To WWE Headquarters
Randy Orton Gets Engaged, Brock Lesnar's Most Unusual Opponents, Total Divas Preview
Jim Ross Blogs About Rumored Backstage Problems With WWE Superstar, EC3 Winning TNA Title
Fan Hit By Car Door During WWE RAW Angle