Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Thoughts on Jericho's Return

Late last night, I had more time to reflect and think about Chris Jericho's return to WWE programming and how all his "1/2/12" return videos tie in with possible storylines. As of this writing, I have read virtually zero reports on the subject matter (since I've really been busy with my other endeavors). So basically, you're getting my own theories to the subject -- and any similarities with other authors is pure coincidence.

Long story short, in my opinion, Jericho looks to be setting up a feud with CM Punk -- and Y2J will ultimately play the role of his awesome heel character from the last time he was with the company.

The return videos all make sense now. Take a look at the fourth return video. The boy represents Chris Jericho, creating his own original claim (think "I am the best in the world at what I do," all his storylines, and his PG-edgy character). After Jericho left, Punk has made similar claims and done similar things ("I'm the best wrestler in the world," his PG-edgy character, etc.). Not surprisingly, the girl in the video represents CM Punk, the seemingly innocent (yet conniving) person that looks to "take the spotlight" for Jericho's "original" work.

Now let's go to the 1/2/12 RAW. The final return video played. The lights went out. After what seemed like an eternity, a jacket lit up in the familiar Jericho pose, then the music and Titantron confirmed it all. The crowd went nuts. Jericho played the enthusiastic face, basking in the glow of the crowd adulation. For a good 10 minutes, Jericho had the crowd in the palm of his hands -- without saying one word on the mic. Everyone was basically waiting for him to speak, but he never did. Instead, he walked to the back, still slapping fives with people. Some of the crowd started to turn on Jericho, yet the majority cheered.

Over the next few weeks, Jericho may continue his (mainly) silent ways, or he could even have a couple backstage run-ins with Punk, wishing him well in his WWE title match with Ziggler at the Royal Rumble. In either event, I would think it's wise to keep Jericho off the mic for a bit here.

Fast forward to the Rumble. Punk and Ziggler are apparently having another nice WWE title match. Finishes may vary, but mine goes like this: we have a ref bump. Ziggler goes for his ZigZag or the sleeper. Punk counters into the GTS. Unfortunately, no ref. I'll assume Vickie got ejected to the back (or equivalent), so Punk won't have to worry about her.

All of a sudden, Jack Swagger comes down and tries to interfere. Swagger beats Punk down for a bit. Jericho comes out and takes Swagger out. Punk is getting to his feet, and the ref is stirring. Ziggler's still out. Jericho and Punk look at each other for a little bit, then "out of nowhere," a Codebreaker to Punk! Crowd and announcers are all shocked. Jericho leaves to a chorus of boos, while Ziggler covers a fallen Punk for three to become the new WWE champ.

This sets up the long-rumored feud between Punk and Jericho, which takes place at WM and likely extends into early summer. Take this for what it's worth...it just might occur this way.

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