Having named Alex Hammerstone, and Jon Gresham, WrestlingDoneRight.com’s co-wrestlers of the year in 2020 and 2021, the thought crossed my mind to name them for a third consecutive year. Both of these wrestlers are my kind of wrestlers! Gresham for his in ring technical skills and complete devotion to pure wrestling, and Hammerstone for his charisma, physique, and power. However, I decided to go with Chris Jericho as my wrestler of the year, for 2022 for a few different/unique reasons. Let’s take a look at those reasons.
-First off, Chris Jericho has been extremely important to the success of AEW. Yes, he’s done a few things that I wouldn’t consider “Wrestling Done Right” over those years, but in 2022 he really got on track and proceeded to get/put a lot of guys over. What many wrestling fans don’t understand is that putting someone over doesn’t mean that you have to lose to them in a match, or a feud. Getting into a program with a wrestler like Chris Jericho means you’ve arrived, and many fans need to understand that.
-Secondly reshaping his body deserves more credit than is given. At 52, Chris Jericho is 13 months and 4 days younger than me. I can attest to how difficult it is to get into any kind of shape in your 50’s. As such, this belongs on this list of reasons that Y2J is WDR’s wrestler of the year.
-Thirdly, the formation of the Jericho Appreciation Society has been money. Most fans, such as myself, despising the term “sports entertainment” and that has been the reason many have attempted to use it in their gimmick over the years, in numerous wrestling promotions. No one has done this as well as Chris Jericho and his “Society” have in 2022.
Fourthly, the JAS’s feud with the Blackpoll Combat club has been a focal point of AEW for nearly all of 2022. While some fans complain about long lasting feuds, they are an absolute must for any wrestling organization on National TV, and this one has been the backbone of AEW all year long! The build of Sammy Guevara, Matt Menard and Angelo Parker (who would both likely be after thoughts in AEW if not for Jericho,) and Daniel Garcia are absolutely reasons WDR awards Chris Jericho with our Wrestler of the year honors. Yes, I even believe that Jake Hager and his purple hat are more over than Hager would have ever been without Jericho. Tay Melo simply fits perfectly with Sammy, and Anna Jay A.S. is much better off than when she was with Dark Order!
Fifth, Jericho shied away from gimmick matches in 2022 (forgetting the “barbed wire everywhere” match, which everyone should do) Jericho wrestled numerous matches against top notch opponents, having amazing matches with each one of them. Jericho even brought back his “Lionheart” persona!
Sixth, Jericho was an amazing Ring of Honor World Champion! Having banger matches against Bandido, Bryan Danielson, Dalton Castle, and even NJPW’s Tomahiro Ishii, a former ROH TV champion, Jericho even forced Ian Riccaboni to admit that Jericho may very well have been the best ROH World champion of all time! All of that said however, he still put Claudio Castagnoli over for the title, tapping out to his giant swing, something I am not sure has ever happened, thus making the move seem, look, and feel, even more devastating, a legitimate “finisher” rather than a mid-match spot done for laughs.
Finally, it’s clear to me that this is one of the best years of Chris Jericho’s career, and as such, he won me back as a fan, something I didn’t think would even be possible. Congratulation Chris Jericho…the Wrestling Done Right wrestler of the year for 2022!