Chris Jericho might be a wizard but it was an unlikely source that was able to magic up a way into ECW for the star – wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer.
Way back in July 1995, a young Canadian star known as Lionheart competed in the hallowed Ryōgoku Sumo Hall in Japan against Ultimo Dragon. Lionheart won that match and retained his WAR Junior Heavyweight Championship in the process, but the match would prove to be the start of much bigger things for Lionheart Chris Jericho.
One fan took to social media to celebrate the anniversary of that match, only for the Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer to reveal that he sent that match to ECW boss Paul Heyman which ignited Heyman’s interest in bringing Jericho to the land of extreme, despite originally wanting to take a closer look at Ultimo Dragon.
“I sent a tape of this match to Heyman, who wanted to see Dragon because he wanted to push him in ECW. He got the tape, somehow never got Dragon, but it opened his eyes to Jericho, and that’s how Jericho got into ECW.”
I sent a tape of this match to Heyman, who wanted to see Dragon because he wanted to push him in ECW. He got the tape, somehow never got Dragon, but it opened his eyes to Jericho, and that's how Jericho got into ECW. https://t.co/jSSNephhWz
— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) July 7, 2022
Chris Jericho responded to that, saying it was news to him but that the match with Dragon also led to him signing with WCW:
“Wow I’m not sure I knew that! It’s also this match that indirectly got me into WCW too.”
Wow I’m not sure I knew that! It’s also this match that indirectly got me into WCW too. https://t.co/sjin6Y9lhb
— Chris Jericho (@IAmJericho) July 7, 2022
Jericho wrestled for ECW for around a year before joining WCW in 1996. While part of World Championship Wrestling he became known for his entertaining promos and his abandoned feud with Goldberg. Chris Jericho joined WWE in 1999 and remained with the company for the best part of the next 20 years before signing up with All Elite Wrestling.