Friday, January 6, 2012

Chris Jericho returns to WWE; leaves more questions than answers

Multiple-time WWE & World Champion Chris Jericho recently made his most-recent return to WWE last Monday. Jericho originally joined WWE in 1999 and left after his contract expired in 2005. Citing mental exhaustion and wanting to pursue other interests (his band, Fozzy, and an acting career), Jericho took a 2-year break from wrestling. 

He returned in 2007, and solidified his status as arguably one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. Reinventing himself, Jericho shed his fun, happy-go-lucky charismatic persona and became a suit-wearing, holier-than-thou, smug, douche, etc... character. The reinvention paid off and he became one of the top stars in all of wrestling during his 2007-2010 WWE stint. 

After his contract expired in 2010, he took another break from WWE and mostly toured overseas with his band. A few months ago, some creepy videos started playing on WWE tv. Usually, this means that somebody new is returning. The videos had a weird, supernatural vibe to them and people assumed that they were for The Undertaker.

Rumors quickly came out that the videos were actually for the return of Chris Jericho. The "weirdness" of the videos was used to mislead viewers into thinking they were for somebody else, as they wanted to keep Jericho's return a secret. 

This is Jericho's third big entrance to WWE after using creative video vignettes. His first was his 1999 debut, as he showed up after a Y2K countdown aired on Monday Night Raw for a couple months. He showed up and said that WWE now had a "Y2J" problem.

The second debut was in 2007, after a couple months of cryptic videos promising that somebody would "Save Us." His heel turn became official when he said he had decided to simply save himself instead.

What is unique about Jericho's most recent return is that he doesn't say a word. Jericho is one of the best promo men in the history of wrestling. Both times, he popped up and cut a great interview that got the crowd pumped. This time, he came out and milked the crowd for cheers, then left.

I'm very curious to see where this goes. His last WWE stint saw him as a heel, so I think that's what he is coming back as. He came out, got a huge positive reaction, then stretched it out for nearly 10 minutes. His cheesy, goofy grin never left his face, and he walked out without saying a word.

As he was leaving, the cheers finally started to turn to boos. I think that was the idea. What else could he have possibly attempted to do?

The suit-wearing Jericho turned on the fans because he believed they were fickle, and he didn't want to pander to them for a cheap pop. That's exactly what he did this time. He literally wore a flashy jacket (it had lights in it) and he smiled like a doofus and tried to get them to cheer for him. Then he walked away, without saying a word.

Here's what Phil from Under the Ring had to say about Jericho's return - 

Where does it go from here? I don't know, and I'm very excited about that. Tune into WWE's flagship show, Monday Night Raw, every Monday at 9 p.m. on the USA Network. Follow them on Twitter at @WWE and @WWEUniverse. Follow Chris Jericho on Twitter at @IAmJericho.


  1. I think you hit the nail on the head when it comes to Jericho - He's mugging so much that he's going to be a heel. I'm not real sure what the plan is for him, program-wise; I could see Punk eventually confronting and wrestling him. But for the next couple weeks, I imagine it's just going to be Jericho goading the crowd with over-the-top face mannerisms.

  2. Yeah. I don't see how he can do what he did and expect the crowd to cheer for him. Which I think may be the basis of the heel turn. He can come out and say, "I wore the flashy jacket and mugged for you, why did you start to boo?"