Chris Jericho taps out MJF
Jericho’s career-threatening match begins with MJF entering with a countdown clock akin to Jericho’s famous WWE debut — so it’s already fun. Jericho came out to a Fozzy guitarist playing the melody of Judas, with the crowd singing along. The guitar drowned out the crowd, so it kind of backfired, but it was something different for a pay-per-view.
MJF is so good at being unlikeable. His taunting and riling up of the crowd — be it by doing the Ric Flair strutt, or by flipping them off — was as effective at getting a response as high-impact move. But of course, there were high impact moves. The apron came into play, with MJF spiking Jericho with a Heatseeker piledriver on the side of the ring. Moments later, after Jericho narrowly avoided being counted out, Jericho gave MJF a wicked powerbomb on the ring apron.
That powerbomb would play into the rest of the match, as MJF was selling his lower back like it was totally jacked up. He countered a flying axe handle from Jericho into a Codebreaker, but couldn’t go for the pin immediately because of his back. He then struggled to get to his feet, and stretched out by the ropes, which allowed Jericho to recover and, moments later, score a Lionsault.
A turning point came when Jericho was battering MJF with the classic 10 punches on the turnbuckle. He then went for a hurricanrana, but MJF countered it into a top-rope spinebuster, but again couldn’t go for the immediate cover because of his lower back.
Wardlow came to the ring to help MFJ, but he was cut off by Jake Hager. With the ref distracted, MJF clocked Jericho with Jericho’s baseball bat. MJF then hit Jericho with a Judas Effect for a pin. Jericho got his foot on the ropes, but the ref didn’t see it and counted the 3-count. MJF was declared the winner, with his theme song playing and everything, before another ref came to tell the match’s ref that Jericho’s foot was on the ropes. The crowd popped huge for the intervention.
MJF argued with the ref as the match is restarted, allowing Jericho to go for a rollup for a 2. Jericho then misses a Judas Effect, and MJF secures the armbar that he tapped Jericho out with a few weeks ago on Dynamite. Jericho manages to counter out and locks on the Walls of Jericho for the win.
Rating: 4.25 stars. Excellent match. Great psychology with MJF’s lower back injury, and he did a fabulous job selling. The false finishes were also excellent, as momentarily believed MJF was going to tap Jericho out with the armbar.
To me this exemplifies how more can be less. I remember very little from the cage match, but a lot of the storytelling from this match.