Welcome to Raw Is Jericho! And I am the new millennium for the World Wrestling Federation. Now for those of you who don't know me, I am Chris Jericho, your new hero, your party host, and most importantly, the most charismastic showman to ever enter your living rooms via a television screen. And for those of you who DO know me, well, all hail the Ayatollah of Rock and Roll-a!
Now when you think of the new millennium, you think of an event so gigantic that it changes the course of history. You think of a dawning of a new era. In this case, the dawning of a new era in the WWF. Thank you, thank you. And a new era is what this once proud and profitable company sorely needs. What was once a captivating, trend-setting program has now deteriorated into a cliched, let's be honest, boring snoozefest that is in dire need of a knight in shining armor, and that's why I'm here. Chris Jericho has come to save the WWF!
Now let's go over the facts. Television ratings, downward spiral; pay-per-view buy-rates, plummeting; mainstream acceptance, non-existent; and reactions of the live crowds, complete and utter silence. And I know why you're silent! You're silent because you're embarrassed to be here. And quite honestly, I'm embarrassed for you. And the reason why you're embarrassed is because of the steady stream of uninteresting, untalented, mediocre "sports entertainers" who you're forced to cheer for and care for. No wonder you're not cheering! You could care less about every single idiot in that dressing room, [indicating The Rock] and especially this idiot in the center of the ring. You people have been led to believe that mediocrity is excellence. Uh-uh. Jericho is excellence. And now for the first time in WWF history, you have a man who can entertain you. You have a man who is good enough for you. You have a man who can make you jump up off your chairs, raise your filthy fat little hands in the air and scream "Go Jericho go! Go Jericho go! Go Jericho go!" Thank you.
The new millennium has arrived in the WWF, and now that the Y2J problem is here, this company—from the front-office idiots to all the amateurs in the dressing room, including this one, to everybody watching tonight—will never, ee-e-e-e-(slaps face) ever be the same... again!
And I can guarantee that Kirk Angel (Kurt Angle) and Mr Roboto (Chris Benoit) are gonna walk out of this match with bumps and bruises and a t-shirt that reads ‘I visited Anaheim and all I got was this lousy t-shirt and a Y2J beating that I will never eeeeeeeever forget again’.
Thanks Stephanie, you're the breast... I mean best!
I came out here with an agenda tonight, to make a statement. And the reason is that WrestleMania 21 is less than five weeks away. We've already announced some of the biggest matches in Mania history. From Batista vs. Triple H for the World Championship, from Cena to JBL for the WWE Championship, Michaels has challenged Angle, Hogan's in the Hall of Fame, Stone Cold Steve Austin on Piper's Pit. Everybody wants to make an impact, so do I; everybody wants to be a part of history, so do I. I have an idea for a match to do that. It's a match that involves Y2J, five other elite WWE Superstars, a chance of a lifetime, and most importantly, one very big solid steel ladder.
Chris Jericho: Listen, I know you've got a big match, Champion vs. Champion, but what I have to say is a little bit more important. Before I say it, let me preface it by saying one thing. I think you're an amazing performer, Punk. I think you're very, very good. As a matter of fact, you're one of my favorites, but you're not as good as I am. You're not as good as me. You're not the best in the world at everything you do, and you know it.
You see, I never had to call myself the best in the world; other people said it for me. These people said it for me. And I never had to write it on the back of a t-shirt; they would write it on signs and bring it to the arena. And the reason for that is this—I am part of a special breed of performers. I am one of a literal dying breed of performers that toured the world, honing our craft, learning our skills, becoming stars before we ever got to the WWE. A breed that cared more about having the best match on the show than personal politics, didn't care what the hierarchy thought of us, what position we were slotted in, what we were supposed to be. A breed of performers that were given nothing and took everything. And yeah, I developed a chip on my shoulder because of it; and yeah, I got a bad attitude and a bad reputation in the back with the powers that be because of it; but I didn't give a damn because I knew I was good. I knew I was the best.
And now, Punk, you're just like me. You're a maverick, a rebel that went against the grain and became something more than anybody thought that you would. But in translation, that's because you just want to be me. You're a Chris Jericho wannabe, just like all these Chris Jericho wannabes, and it's so obviously...[to the booing crowd] oh yeah, you know it's true. It's so obviously blatant by the fact that you plagiarize me every step of the way... CM Punk: Stop. Stop. Just stop. Chris Jericho: Don't you tell me to stop, boy. I'm talking to you. CM Punk: And I'm listenin', but I think everybody else is sick of listenin', so I'm gonna go ahead. Look, Chris, I know how good you are, these people know how good you are. My problem I have with you is you coming out here and insinuating that I've stolen anything from you. No, I've never plagiarized anything in my life. Everything I have, [holding up WWE Championship] I've fought for and I've earned. It's right here.
You think you invented saying that you were the best? Are you kidding me? There's a guy I remember watching when I was a kid—you probably watched him when you were a kid, too—his name's Bret "Hitman" Hart, the best there is, [crowd says it with him] the best there was, and the best there ever will be. Did you invent that? Did you give that to him when you were, what, two years old? Huh? He's Canadian too. Did you invent him being Canadian? Did you invent Canada? Chris Jericho: Oh, yeah, laugh along. Laugh it up with Punk. Laugh along with Punk. Very nice. Because it's oh so typical, Punk. So smarmy, sarcastic, never taking anything too seriously, right? Well you need to take me seriously, Punk, 'cause this is a whole different level. A whole different level from anything that you've ever had before. Because like I said, this isn't some kind of gimmick. I am the best in the world at everything I do, and I prove it every night as I have for the last 22 years. Staying on the highest level of any performer in the history of this business. [to the crowd] You can boo if you want, but you know it's the damn truth.
I have faced every legend, every Hall-of-Fame, future Hall-of-Fame performer in this ring and beaten them all. I've won dozens of championships, I've had dozens of classic matches, classic WrestleMania steal-the-show matches, dozens of moments that will be legendary long after either one of us are gone. [Crowd chants "CM Punk!"] You can chant it all you want, but I am not just telling you, I am proving to you with all the evidence that standing right in front of you is the literal, undeserved, undoubtful best in the world at everything I do! CM Punk: You know, you keep saying that, and your words just scream superiority. But I watch you and the way you walk out here and the inflection in your voice and certainly your body language—it screams inferiority. Who you trying to prove? You're trying to prove to me that you're the best, or are you trying to prove to these people that you're the best, or are you trying to prove to yourself that you're the best? I say I'm the best in the world, and yeah, that's a little cocky, but confidence is nothing that I've ever lacked, and it's nothing I thought you lacked. But now that confidence, Chris, seems to be replaced with jealousy.
You look at me and you see a guy that emerged from the same shadows you did. He came from the same places you did, he overcame the same obstacles you did. But now he's surpassed everything that you did, didn't he? Because sure, you beat legends. You beat the Stone Cold and you beat Rock in the same night ten years ago, and that made you the WWE Champion. But you were never really the man, like how I'm the man, were you? And that just bothers you a little bit, doesn't it? You have a Napoleon clompl—complex because of it, so you come back and you try to point fingers and place the blame. The blame's only on you.
See, you say that you're the best in the world at what you do, and I say that I'm the best wrestler in the world. The distinction, to me, is very simple. This is nothing I chose, I was born this way. This is who I am, this is what I do, while you choose to leave and write books and have a radio show and be on game shows, and you choose to be a rock star. And all the while, I'm here ON TOP, swimming with sharks while you're dancing with stars! Chris Jericho: When I was dancing with stars, Punk, and killing in on the Tonight Show and becoming a bigger star than you ever were, all I could of was one thing, and that was you ripping me off. Every single night, you ripping me off, Punk. And let me be completely clear and honest with you. All of those January 2nd vignettes and the "best in the world" verbiage and this light-up, flashy, fancy jacket—it's all window dressing. Because I came back to the WWE for one reason and one reason only, and that was to embarrass you on the biggest stage in the world, to take back what is mine, to beat you for that World Title at WrestleMania, and shove down your throat that I am the best in the world at what I do! I prove it, I claim it, I AM IT EVERY SINGLE NIGHT! CM Punk: Well, that's all you had to say. When you came back, you didn't have to jump me to get my attention. Alls you had to do was grab me and say, "hey, Punk! Me and you, best in the world vs. best in the world at WrestleMania!"
See, this is the time of year everybody points at that sign, but I'm gonna point at my Championship title, because to me, I don't need Chris Brown and you don't need Mickey Rourke, and we don't need all the pyro in the world or inflatable letters to tell everybody how awesome we are, and I don't need a fancy entrance, and screw your stupid Lite-Brite jacket! The only thing we need is me and you in a ring, and on April 1st, we're gonna find out exactly who the best in the world is. Because to me, those are the only ingredients we need in the recipe to have what quite possibly could be the greatest wrestling match in WrestleMania history. But see, I have something you covet, and I say come and get it. And at the end of the night, when you're looking over your shoulder on the ramp and you see this. [Puts down the mic and yells to the crowd] Best in the world!!! It's not gonna be the end of the world, it's just gonna be the end of yours.
Yeah, congratulations. Way to go, Punk, way to go. Congratulations on your big win. You need to enjoy them while you can. You see, you can smirk if you want to, but I see straight through you. When I look at you, I see a fraud. And I'm not talking about the fact that you call yourself the best in the world, I'm talking about you as a person. Because I did a little research this week, Punk, and I found something, a little deep, dirty, dark secret about you. You've been straight edge ever since you came to the WWE, but you've never explained the reasons why. I wanna tell all of these wannabes why you're straight edge. I wanna tell them that you're straight edge because your father is an alcoholic.
Yeah, that's right. Your father was an alcoholic who let you down every step of the way when you were growing up, and it terrifies you. You don't want to end up like him. But it's inevitable that you will, because alcohol is in your blood, it's in your genes, it's part of who you are, and that tortures you. I know you've built this facade, this wall that you're a sarcastic antihero with not a care in the world, but I think I've found something that you care about. I've found something that gives you nightmares, something that terrifies you.
And isn't it ironic that the very alcohol that you crave is the same thing that ruined your childhood? Oh, the nightmares you must have about your father; I almost feel bad for you, Punk. Is that the reason why you have all those tattoos? Was the pain of wanting to drink so bad that you needed the pain of a tattoo needle to take it out of your mind? Was that your only solace?
It doesn't matter if it is, Punk, because you are going to drink eventually, and I'm the one who is going to make you drink. At WrestleMania XXVIII, I'm going to take away your title, I'm gonna take away your claims of being the best in the world, I'm gonna take away your bravado, and I'm gonna leave you a broken man. You're gonna hit bottom, Punk, and when you do, you're going to embrace your destiny, and you're gonna take a drink. And it's gonna taste so good that you're gonna wanna take another one, and another one, and another one. After April 1st, I'm gonna be recognized for who I am—the undisputed best in the world and the new WWE Champion. And you're gonna be recognized for who you are, who your father was—a pathetic damn drunk!