WrestleMania X8 in 2002 is best known for its "Icon vs. Icon" match between Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan. It was a wildly popular match, pairing up the biggest star of WWF's golden era of the 1980s and the most charismatic star of the wildly popular Attitude Era. Yet for as big of a hit as the match was, many fans forget it wasn't the actual main event of the show. That distinction went to the Unidesputed WWF Championship bout between Chris Jericho and Tripe H, a match that while entertaining never came close to the heights the previous match reached.
It turns out Jericho saw the main event's potential letdown coming. In a newly released clip from his interview with Inside The Ropes, Jericho talked about how he asked for Rock vs. Hogan to go on last, knowing it'd be the highpoint of the show.
"Let's be honest, (it was) a main event in the fact that it was on last, but the main event of the show was Hogan and Rock and I knew it," Jericho said. "And it was actually most of the people pitching to have their match on last. I was pitching not to go on last because I said, 'How do you follow Hogan and Rock?' And Triple H, and probably rightfully so, was fighting for the title match to be last but we couldn't follow it. We just couldn't and you could just see the air go out of the room. That's a match, I've never watched it back I remember being kind of disappointed in it."
Jericho then argued that just because a match doesn't go on last doesn't mean it's not the main event of the show. He recalled speaking with CM Punk about his frustration of never getting to be in the main event of a WrestleMania, which Jericho countered by saying he got to wrestle The Undertaker while "The Streak" was still alive at WrestleMania 29.
"I said, 'Dude, you worked with The Undertaker at WrestleMania, that's the main event.' He said, 'You can't say that, because you were on last.' And I'm like, 'Okay, I was on last, but I wasn't the main event,'" Jericho said.
Jericho went on to say he thought his run as Undisputed Champion was "terrible." He then explained his original pitch for the match was to surprise a returning Triple H with the news that Stephanie McMahon was having an affair with him, which would carry over into their title match. He said Triple H didn't like the idea, which led to the eventual angle of McMahon and Jericho being "business associates."
Triple H would go on to win the match, while Jericho would not hold another world championship again until 2008.