Chris Jericho wins WWF Undisputed Championship | On This Day

On December 9th, 2001, the World Wrestling Federation presented its first Vengeance PPV. Highlighting that night was a four-man tournament to unify the WWF Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship. The winner would be the first-ever Undisputed Heavyweight Champion. That night history was made as Chris Jericho not only won the Undisputed Championship but also beat The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin in one night. If you don’t believe it, ask Chris Jericho himself. Y2J, Ayatollah of Rock N Rolla, or Le Champion will have no problem letting you know that fact. It was the night Chris Jericho wins the WWF Undisputed Championship.

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WWF Vengeance was the first pay per view after Team WWF destroyed the Alliance at Survivor Series 2001 in a Winner Takes All Match. All the Alliance members were “fired,” including the Alliance owners Stephanie and Shane McMahon. That is all except the WWF Champion himself, Stone Cold Steve Austin. Vince McMahon wanted to humiliate Austin, so he stripped him of the title. Mr. McMahon then appeared on Raw the next night with the WWF Championship. He then proceeded to award the title to Kurt Angle, who helped Team WWF defeat team Alliance.

As McMahon was about to crown a new champion, some familiar music echoed through the arena, followed by a Wooooooo! Ric Flair walked the aisle and got into the ring. This was the first time Flair had been in WWF since 1993. Flair grabbed the mic and stated that before Stephanie and Shane left the WWF, they sold their company stock to an unknown consortium. Then Flair said the words Mr. McMahon has nightmares about to this day. Flair told the world that the consortium was him. Ric Flair was now partnered with Vince McMahon and owned half the company. Just then, that familiar glass-breaking sound hit, and Stone Cold Steve Austin made his way to the ring.

Chris Jericho wins WWF Undisputed Championship

The Texas Rattlesnake immediately attacked Kurt Angle and Vince McMahon. Ric Flair then presented the WWF Title to Stone Cold Steve Austin. After that, Ric Flair booked a Title Unification Match at WWF Vengeance between WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin and World Heavyweight Champion The Rock. Mr. McMahon tried to one-up Flair by making the match a four-person tournament for the Undisputed Championship. Instead of Champion vs. Champion, it was decided that the first match would feature WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Kurt Angle. The second match was World Heavyweight Champion The Rock vs. Chris Jericho. The two winners of those matches would face off for the WWF Undisputed Title.

 

WWF Championship Match
Rattlesnake vs American Hero

The match started off full of fire as both future Hall of Famers traded blows. Angle could not match brawling with Austin. So he went back to his specialty, wrestling. After a few takedowns, Austin found himself in the ankle lock but was able to escape. Both superstars decided to take this fight to the outside. A full-on brawl occurred in and around the announcer’s table.

Eventually, Kurt Angle caught Austin with a ring post. As Austin hobbled back into the ring, Angle surprised him with three german suplexes. Kurt kept driving Austin’s body to the mat, but the Bionic Redneck kept kicking out. Finally, The American Hero got desperate and went for a moonsault. Unfortunately for Kurt Angle, Austin moved. Angle came crashing down on the mat. As Kurt Angle collected himself, Austin struck with a Lou Thez Press and rained down fists on the Olympic hero. Austin then went into Angle’s playbook and pulled out five german suplexes.

Austin did everything he could, but Angle kept kicking out. Both these superstars were two of the most resilient of all time. Kurt Angle saw an opportunity and went for the ropes. As Steve Austin came in behind him, Angle gave him a low blow followed by a brutal Angle Slam. Stone Cold still kicked out. Kurt Angle was losing his cool. He proceeded to set Austin up for his own move, the Stone Cold Stunner. Unfortunately for Angle, Austin reversed it. Austin jacked Kurt Angle’s jaw with the Stunner and retained his title. Stone Cold Steve Austin was going to the finals as WWF Champion.

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Chris Jericho wins WWF Undisputed Championship
World Heavyweight Championship
The People’s Champion vs Y2J

The Rock seemed to have Chris Jericho’s number in the early part of the match. He electrified the crowd as he outwrestled Jericho. The Great One threw the Highlight Reel all over the ring until Jericho hit The Rock with a spinning kick. The Rock rolled out of the ring to catch his breath, but Jericho was hungry. Jericho bashed Rock’s head into the announce table. The Rock was rocked. Jericho then threw Rock in the ring and hit a top rope elbow and a suplex. Jericho went for several cocky covers yelling his signature “Come on, Baby!” The Rock quickly kicked out. Y2J went for a sleeper. But The Rock did crumble to the mat. He fought his way back up with the help of the millions of The Rock’s fans. Jericho hit The Rock with everything he had, but The Great One would not stay down.

Finally, Jericho shot rocky into a corner. As Jericho attempted a splash, Rock moved, and Jericho hit his head on the ring post. The momentum propelled Jericho to the floor. The Rock followed Jericho to the announce table. Chris used his tricks to stun The Rock. Jericho grabbed Rocky and stood with him on the announce table. Y2J was going to Rock Bottom The Rock at Vengeance. In a split second, The Rock reversed it into a DDT through the table. Rock rolled Y2J in the ring and proceeded to lay the Smackdown on Jericho. As The Rock signaled for a Rock Bottom, Jericho cleverly countered it with a facebuster. The Rock was out cold.

Chris Jericho wins WWF Undisputed Championship

Sensing victory, Y2J gave an evil look. He tore off his elbow pad and proceeded to give the People’s Champion the People’s Elbow. Jericho wanted to humiliate The Rock. However, Jericho underestimated The Rock’s recovery and was caught in the Sharpshooter. Jericho reversed the Sharpshooter into his own. The Rock was screaming in pain as Jericho applied pressure. The Great One finally grabbed the ropes forcing Y2J to let go.

Jericho then went for his finisher, The Walls of Jericho, but was surprised by Rock with a rollup. As the two struggled to their feet out of nowhere, The Rock hit the Rock Bottom. Mr. McMahon did not want to see The Rock walk out of Vengeance as Undisputed Champion. The Chairman made his way to the ring and distracted Rock. As the referee dealt with Mr. McMahon, Jericho snuck up behind The Rock and gave him a low blow. Jericho then Rock Bottomed The Rock for the win. Chris Jericho was now World Heavyweight Champion. Not only was he a new champion, he just defeated The Rock with his own move.

Chris Jericho wins WWF Undisputed Championship Final Match fo the Undisputed Championship
Rattlesnake vs Y2J

Stone Cold Steve Austin ran down to the ring giving Jericho no time to rest. Unfortunately, Austin was met with a chair across the skull by Kurt Angle. During the commotion, Jericho forgot that The Rock was still in the ring. The Rock surprised the new World Champion with a vicious Rock Bottom. The Rock then chased Kurt Angle to the locker room. This was it. The final match to declare the Undisputed Champion. Both Austin and Jericho were looking up at the lights when the bell officially rang. Finally, the two made it to their feet and started feeling each other out. Austin had enough and speared Chris Jericho. Jericho led Steve Austin to the corner.

As Austin went for a shoulder tackle, Jericho moved. Stone Cold hit the post at maximum speed. Ever the thinking man’s wrestler, Chris Jericho, zeroed in on the shoulder. Jericho repeatedly threw Austin into the ring post. Jericho gave Austin everything he could, but Stone Cold would not surrender. As the match progressed, Jericho went for a flying back elbow. But hit the referee instead. Earl Hebner was unconscious. Y2J went back to his bag of tricks and gave a low blow to Stone Cold. Not only did he provide the cheap shot, but he also used the Stunner on Austin. Unfortunately for Chris Jericho, there was no referee. Once again, Mr. McMahon decided to interject.

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Photo / Fightful / WWE

Chris Jericho wins WWF Undisputed Championship

To him, the only thing worse than The Rock becoming an Undisputed Champion was if Stone Cold Steve Austin became champion. Mr. McMahon bought referee Nick Patrick with him to make the count. As Nick Patrick was about to count to three, Ric Flair appeared at ringside and dragged Nick Patrick out of the ring. Furious Vince McMahon punched Flair. As the referee dealt with McMahon and Flair, Stone Cold Steve Austin got a low blow in on Jericho.

The crowd went nuts. Austin slingshot Jericho off the ropes and hit a Thez Press. Steve then caught Jericho in his own move, The Walls of Jericho. Jericho could not stand the pain and tapped. However, the referee was still knocked out. Booker T came through the crowd, grabbed the championship belt! He cracked Austin in the skull with it and ran. Jericho pinned Stone Cold Steve Austin. Finally, Chris Jericho had won the big one. He was the first-ever Undisputed Champion. Not only that, Chris Jericho defeated The Rock and Stone Cold Austin in one night. Chris Jericho’s career would “never ever be the same again.” On this night, Chris Jericho wins the WWF Undisputed Championship.