On January 2nd, 2012, Chris Jericho made his controversial return to the WWE. Some fans thought the anti-climactic return was brilliant. Some of us (myself included) thought it was absolutely terrible. Others didn't even get it. But however you may feel about it, one fact remains: Chris Jericho has been back for 49 days and it's been nothing but a disappointment.You know, some of you might think I'm being too harsh on Jericho. "Wait a minute Benny, he's just getting his major feud with C.M.Punk going... Just give him a chance." Just give him a chance, huh? Suck on this: seven Monday Night Raws and two PPVs later and Jericho has already reverted to insulting the audience in order to get heat.
So why has Jericho already lost his luster? I'd have to blame it on the nature of the return itself. For instance: the cryptic videos with a young lady in it. It seems now that it was just a big swerve. Unfortunately, that was never explained to the audience (remember, a lot of kids watch wrestling). That left a lot of people tuning in to see how that would develop, yet ultimately disatisfied with the lack of answers. Eventually, the lack of explanation about the girl killed the audience's curiosity. WWE and Jericho never acknowledged it and it seemed everyone got the joke. Until...
"The Royal Rumble will be the end of the world as you know it.". Fans began buzzing aout what the mysterious quote could be referencing. Is it the girl? Is it Stephanie McMahon? He sold the Rumble, got people talking... And what happened at the Rumble again? Oh right, nothing supernatural except Jericho losing the Rumble to Sheamus in order to swerve the fans. I was stunned, absolutely stunned. that the gaping hole in Jericho's return (the girl, although it was a purposeful swerve) was actually brought back to life to stimulate the audience's curiosity, just to kill it again. Troll job or a borderline bait and switch by a company who hadn't thought through the development of his return?
Thin line, folks. Thin line.
The return of Jericho has been marked by one reoccurring theme: the anti-climax. Want to know who the girl is? It was a prank. Want to know what Jericho will do at the Rumble? Compete. No end of the world. But what about the beginning of his feud with C.M. Punk at Elimination Chamber? Oh, Jericho gets a kayfabe head injury so no conclusion to that either. Most importantly, what about Jericho's troll gimmick, polarizing, yet, admittedly, unique?
49 days later and Jericho has already regressed to insulting fans in order to get heat. "Wannabes," "parasites," yadda, yadda, yadda. Didn't I already see this Jericho gimmick when WCW made him throw temper tantrums every week? Now I'm not a wrestling fan who complains when he doesn't get his way. I just want to see two talented wrestlers, both great on the mic, both charismatic, and I want to see the feud they deserve and not an anti-climactic clusterfuck. Is that too much to ask?
What could have been one of the most epic feuds ever in Jericho/Punk, now only has about five Monday Night Raws to work with. That's a disappointment in itself. Jericho has lost his buzz. My prediction: the feud will continue after WrestleMania, and there will be no clear ending. But that would be another anti-climax right?