Chris Jericho has recalled the unlikely location that led to the Millennium countdown that heralded his arrival into WWE in August 1999.
For weeks a ‘countdown to the Millenium’ had been seen on WWE programming. On the August 9th, 1999 episode of Raw, the timer ran out during an in-ring promo by The Rock. Soon all was revealed as Jericho made his entrance ensuring WWE would never be the same again.
During Chris Jericho’s highly anticipated appearance on The Broken Skull Sessions with Stone Cold Steve Austin, Jericho discussed how the countdown came to be.
“I remember standing in line at the Post Office, and there was a clock that said countdown to the millennium. And it was I don’t know 3 months, 4 days 5 hours and 16 seconds, 15 seconds, 14 seconds. And I remember thinking that would be a great way for somebody to come into the WWE. It would be a great way for me to come into the WWE. And that’s when I said ‘I’ll be the Millennium man.’ The countdown to the new Millennium, that’s me. And the Millennium man is going to be a change. Get rid of all the old and bring in the new.”
“One of my opening promos was everybody in WWE was boring and I was the most entertaining guy and all this other stuff, and it came from the post office. I called Vince Russo and I told him this idea, and he thought it was great. He called Vince [McMahon] and here’s the genius of it. We calibrated it so [the countdown] would end at the beginning of RAW, and I would open the show. But Vince said ‘No, you’re gonna come out in the middle of the show, and interrupt a promo by The Rock.’ Which to me is the genius of all geniuses.”
Jericho was then off to the races in the company, winning his first title – the Intercontinental Championship – four months later.
Chris Jericho also discussed how he managed to stifle the ubiquitous ‘What?’ chants that Stone Cold had introduced to WWE in 2001.