Chris Jericho’s return as the 2012 mystery man was indeed very predictable. At the same time it was welcomed by fans...... Somewhat.
(Scroll to the bottom to see Jericho's return on "Raw.")
The return itself started well as the fans in Memphis gave the Long Island native a tremendous ovation. After pandering to the fans for 10 minutes, Jericho exited without saying a word. Fans booed. It was exactly what the WWE wanted. It has gotten people to talk about Jericho and chances are people will tune in to see what Jericho has to say, when he finally decides to talk.
Worst, overhyped return of all time or the beginning to a great heel turn? Jericho planted the seeds for a big heel turn. He got the entire WWE Universe into a frenzy only to disappoint. Job well done by Y2J.
Once fans get over the lackluster return they will remember Jericho is still a big name in the world of wrestling and can deliver a four-star match at the drop of a hat. All signs point to him feuding with CM Punk culminating in a title match at Wrestlemania 28 in Miami.
Fans are salivating at the build-up to their match. These two men are rock stars when they have the microphone in their hand. We all have seen what Punk has done in recent months with a “pipe bomb” in his hands. If you need any evidence to how good Jericho is, just take a gander at his microphone work when he and The Rock used to verbally decimate the McMahon’s during the Attitude Era.
Yet, there is a caveat to Jericho’s return. The payoff for the WWE will be short-term. I can see the Jericho-Punk feud going to about May and then Y2J will be contending for the tag titles or some other mid card championship.
In 2007, Jericho returned after a two-year absence from the WWE with much hype. He immediately entered a feud with WWE Champion Randy Orton. By 2008, instead of holding the WWE title, he was the Intercontinental Champion and in the mid-card. The same place I predict he will be in at the end of 2012.
At this stage in the game, I don’t see another title run for Jericho. His return will be met with a ton of hype in the coming weeks and a run in the main event scene before he falls back to the middle of the pack. I’m still extremely happy with his return, but I’m not setting the expectations too high once the smoke from Wrestlemania 28 disappears.
The one scenario I can see where Jericho remains a top dog is if Randy Orton is out for an extended period of time. In that case, “Smackdown” will be looking for a veteran to carry the show.