WWF Intercontinental Championship
Chris Jericho (c) vs. Chyna (c) vs. Hardcore Holly
I’m not sure why Holly is involved seeing as the dispute doesn’t involve him. Late in December a match between Jericho and Chyna ended in a double pin. The belt should have been vacated, ideally. Jericho gets the biggest reaction of all three by some distance. He cuts a nonsense promo about New York throwing a Jericho celebration party when he wins, which is still greeted with huge support. Jericho and Holly exchange slaps only for Chyna to get involved and booed. I think people were getting a wee bit tired of her babyface act at this point, though New York is traditionally ahead of the curve on hating babyfaces. The fellas throw Chyna to the floor and just work each other, which is pretty good. Jericho would have it with the Walls but Chyna saves. Chyna has a few moves that look like they belong to a rookie, like an air shot clothesline. It’s awful. Jericho pops the crowd with his springboard dive and Chyna responds with her handspring back elbow, which is jeered. Holly throws her out again so we can get a good one-on-one. Typical three way matches tend to involve one guy selling for ages but they alternate pretty well here. Chyna’s timing is lacking in her big spots and this isn’t the environment for her. It’s too complicated. Jericho takes one in the plums and Chyna Pedigrees Bob, but Holly kicks out. It was a sick looking Pedigree too with Bob pretty much faceplanting himself. The interaction between these three is a lot better than you’d think due to Bob’s curmudgeonly behaviour, Jericho’s high spots and Chyna’s ambition. They even work in a series of believable near falls that make each person a viable winner. There are better triple threat matches out there but considering those involved, it’s really solid. Chyna lifts the Walls of Jericho to heat but Jericho bulldogs her and hits the Lionsault to claim sole possession of the IC Title. This is one of those matches that proves Jericho can make anything good. On paper it looked bowling shoe ugly, but it’s actually a decent match.
Final Rating: ***
Backstage: The Rock cuts off Michael Cole so he can listen to the millions… and millions of the Rock’s fans chanting the Rock’s name. Finally he’s come back to New York City! Rock is asked who he’s worried about in the Rumble. Rock singles out Crash Holly and Headbanger Mosh as potential threats, popping the hell out of the crowd. “If the Rock can get by those two he might just have a shot”. Cole brings up Big Show only for Rock to order him a “big tall glass of shut up juice”. Even when the Rock screws up a line he still makes it fun. This promo is electric and Rock guaran-damn-tees victory in the Rumble. New York smells what he’s cooking.
Video Control gives us an exclusive chat with Chris Jericho who says it was a gruelling match but he’s now undisputed IC champion. He dubs the belt “the InterChrisenental” championship. Jericho is a total dork but I love him for it.