As previously noted, All Elite Wrestling's Chris Jericho was a recent guest on Inside The Ropes. During the interview, Jericho recounted his most memorable WrestleMania moments, including his exceptional match against "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 19.
For Jericho, competing in the ring with such a phenomenal talent like Michaels had him excited from the very exposition of their feud. He explained, however, that their rivalry was never actually planned before Michaels and Vince McMahon consulted one another about it.
"[Shawn Michaels] is better than 75% of the roster...in my opinion, the best ever. It's not [Ric] Flair, it's not Bret [Hart], it's Shawn Michaels for me, what I like," Jericho stated. "So even though he was coming back [at the time], he was great. And he has one match with Triple H, but this was his first WrestleMania back and it might have been the first program since the Triple H program, and it was never supposed to be."
What was supposed to be a singular interaction that occurred during Y2J's Highlight Reel interview show turned in to a heated feud of teacher vs. student that culminated at WrestleMania 19. Jericho revealed that his original match at 'Mania that year was supposed to be against WWE Hall of Famer, Edge.
"It was just a one-shot thing where I was doing a Highlight Reel and I was calling Michaels old, and that sort of thing," Jericho explained. "I was just demeaning Shawn on the Highlight Reel, he superkicked me in the face and that was supposed to be the end of it. We walked to the back and I remember Vince sitting there, smiling, and just looking at Shawn, and Shawn goes, 'It's money.' And Vince goes, 'You're damn right it's money!' And that was where that whole angle started - it was supposed to me and Edge that year, originally."
Jericho much preferred this match over his WWE Undisputed World Title defense from the year prior, when he lost to Triple H. He looks back on his match with Michaels as one of the greatest bouts in WrestleMania history.
"This was the exact opposite of WrestleMania X8: it was a great story, a great buildup, it was not the main event on last but it stole the show at WrestleMania, it was a main event. And it was one of the best matches in WrestleMania history. Like I said, there's how many WrestleManias now? 35? 34? So there's been 35 show-stealers in WrestleMania history and our match is one of them, and I'll take that every time."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Inside The Ropes with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.