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.
Jerry Lawler Returns To The Ring, 32 Dropkicks, Former WWE Diva Presents Trophy To Wrestler, Lita
WWE Seamster Comments On NXT Injury, US Marine Talks About His Goals In WWE, Layla, Brad Maddox
Sasha Banks Update, Big Show Returns, Kofi On Fans Booing Him In Front Of His Mom, Pope
Lita Talks Being A Trainer On WWE Tough Enough, The Divas Title, Use Of The Term "Superstar"
Ronda Rousey Talks To WWE About Her WrestleMania Experience, If We Will See Her Back In A WWE Ring
WWE Live Event Results From Utica (5/23): Big Show Returns, Randy Orton Headlines, Brad Maddox, More
WWE NXT Live Event Results From Starke (5/23): Finn Balor Teams With Solomon Crowe, Divas, More
CM Punk Posts Light Hearted Tweet About Wrestling Again, Promoter Wants To Book Samoa Joe Vs. Punk
Triple H And Seth Rollins To Feud?, Samoa Joe Talks NXT Debut, Five Former WWE Divas Reunite
TNA Announcer Blasts WWE Hypocrisy After Samoa Joe Debut, TNA Live Event Tickets, Slammiversary
Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Natalya And Others Remember Owen Hart
Backstage News On Samoa Joe's WWE Contract, Injured WWE Superstar Grows A Beard, Sami Zayn