Especially over the course of his last two comebacks, Chris Jericho has been positioned as a person to work with - and put over - new talents. He famously (or infamously, depending on who you ask) did the job for Fandango at WrestleMania 29, and worked a program with Bray Wyatt that ended with the Eater of Worlds defeating him in a steel cage match during his 2014 return.
In an interview over at SportsKeeda, Jericho spoke about those programs, and specifically whether or not they were successful in their effort to make new stars out of Fandango and Wyatt:
WWE doesn't drop balls; your career goes in waves, it goes in cycles. I know that more than anybody else. Sometimes you work on top, sometimes you're not and when you're not, it's up to you to make your mark and get back on track again. I think that WWE has a plan and never tries to sabotage anybody on purpose.
Why would they do that? It costs them money.
Someone like Bray Wyatt has a huge potential, huge upside. He's got a long way to go, so there are no worries and no rush. Fandango - I thought was kind of a one trick pony as far as his character and gimmick go. There is only so much you can do with it. I think it's time to update that character and take it to another place because you can only do so much with a character like that.
If anyone would know, it's Y2J. He's a multi-time World champ who has also cleaned up dog poop in kayfabe. And while WWE may occasionally "punish" a young star with a one-off squash, Vince McMahon is like business people everywhere in that making money is always the goal. Jericho is right that the company isn't going to intentionally waste a chance to capitalize on a performer.
But are some of the down "cycles" in a career the result of short-sighted decisions? Absolutely. The decision to try to make "Fandango-ing" an internet trend immediately following the Raw after 'Mania instead of spending the next six months developing more layers to the character and gradually bringing Fandango up the card is a prime example.
What are your thoughts on this, Cagesiders? To the more recent, and still salvageable example, what did working with Jericho do for Bray Wyatt, and what should WWE do to get his "wave" surging again?