Who is the Millenium Man???
The idea of the millenium man wrestler has been tossed around heavily for
the past few months, most noticeable with Chris Jericho's WWF debut featuring
a millenium clock. It appears to me that this "millenium man" must have super-hero
characteristics. Keep that word characteristics in the back of your head
for now; I'll mention that word again in a minute. This "millenium man" would
be the wrestling world's equivalent of Superman, whereas the ordinary face
in the crowd playing that character would be the answer to Clark Kent.
The World Wrestling Federation has pretty much given the title of "millenium
man" to Chris Jericho. As a fan, I like Chris Jericho's work. I think he
has a lot of talent and he is a great wrestler. As a man, I respect him.
He is a stand-up guy with a great business mind. The only thing in this situation
that I don't personally agree with is the idea of Jericho having a "millenium
man" character, and that is for a lot of reasons. Right off the bat, Jericho
has enough talent that he doesn't need a gimmick that's gonna fade away less
than six months from now when the year 2000 isn't cool anymore. Also, he
just entered the company a month ago and just made his first appearance last
week; he hasn't even wrestled a match yet. I say let him build up a reputation
and then give him upper-card status. Let him show off in the ring, let his
wrestling do the talking. Politics are almost inescapable; that comes as
no shock. I see what the WWF decision makers are doing in this situation
by pairing Jericho and the Rock. It's the same as they did when Paul Wight
entered the picture on Raw the day after WrestleMania 15. It's a loud and
clear message to all the WCW wrestlers that are contemplating their futures
with that organization: Come to the WWF and you will be elevated immediately.
Be real about this, Jericho was never going to be in a main event of a Nitro
or a PPV. The backstage politics were too thick to keep his head above the
surface, which is a pretty good reason to change companies. Jericho vs. Hogan,
Savage, DDP, etc. couldn't draw 15 cents in chinese money (I borrowed that
from the Tod Gordon shoot). Jericho vs. Rock, Austin, Big Show, Undertaker,
Kane, HHH, and all of the non main-event status wrestlers for that matter
too, are ideas that really put asses in seats.
But when there are characteristics in characters, there are also character
flaws. Jericho's only character flaw is that he is a very respectable, honest
man. That is going to get him nowhere in the business of cutthroats, cheats,
flim-flammers and thiefs. Jericho needs to put some of the heel aggression
into his business dealings and be assured that he will not end up in Maine
wrestling for pennies a month like Tony Atlas. That would be as tragic as
the fluttering of Atlas' career, even if his prime is years in the past.