clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Will Chris Jericho also return to WWE for WrestleMania 28?

With a dream match of The Rock vs. John Cena already booked, WrestleMania 28 is set to be the most financially successful wrestling show in history.  Thanks to being such a hot ticket, other former WWE stars are eager to get onboard.  Despite having been retired for over eight years now due to a serious neck injury, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin has left the door open to face CM Punk on the show.  Meanwhile, Mick Foley has been subtly lobbying for the prime spot of being the latest victim in The Undertaker's long running WrestleMania streak.  As WWE performers are paid a fixed percentage of the revenue on a PPV show, the difference between appearing on a financially disappointing WrestleMania like last year's and a record breaking one can be as much as several hundred thousand dollars, so this is one show not to miss.

A savvy veteran like Chris Jericho, who is waiting on the sidelines for the most opportune moment to return to WWE, surely recognises this.  Jericho, who loves to keep smart Internet wrestling fans guessing, may have thrown us all a red herring last month when he insisted that he had no plans whatsoever to return to WWE right now.  According to Dave Meltzer's sources, Jericho is actually "strongly considering" a WWE comeback if he can get them to agree to his terms.  He's looking for a limited dates contract with the freedom to pursue other outside projects.  Prior to leaving WWE, Jericho was de-pushed for the audacity of taking the outside gig of hosting a short-lived new game show on ABC called Downfall (some would say it was even the downfall of his last run with the company).  Since then Jericho has toured Europe and Australia with his band Fozzy, published and promoted his second autobiography Undisputed: How to Become the World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps, and appeared on ABC's reality show Dancing With The Stars.  It's clear that Jericho doesn't want to give up completely the freedom he's enjoyed while being on sabbatical from wrestling for WWE, but also that these opportunities may be drying up having been off WWE television for almost a year and that coming back around the same time The Rock does will ensure that he's returning for a very hot period in the business.

So this is an extremely ambitious play by Jericho, who is likely hoping that WWE's complete lack of depth on top will lead WWE management to cave into his demands.  Does this all sound familiar?  Well, it should.  Mick Foley was able to procure such a contract from Vince McMahon in 2005 to stop him from going to TNA at a time when WWE was still somewhat concerned about their competitors.  More recently, in return for sticking with the company in their time of need, WWE allowed CM Punk carte blanche to elevate himself with a "shoot promo" the likes of which is very rarely seen on their television, gave him his "WrestleMania moment" by allowing him to win the WWE title in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois at Money In The Bank, merchandised the hell out of him with the new "Best In The World" T-shirt that he obviously had a hand in designing, and allowed him to handpick his new entrance music of Living Colour's Cult Of Personality.  The similarity of Jericho's hardball contract negotiations now and Punk's over the summer should be of no surprise, as the two are very good friends and are likely eager to work a program together.  Indeed, if Austin decides against facing Punk at WrestleMania 28, then Jericho would be one of the favourites to take his spot. 

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats