It wasn't that long ago that wrestling fans would lose their minds at the thought of a Chris Jericho comeback. But the semi-regular nature of those comebacks, the foreknowledge that he's going to end up putting over whatever younger Superstar he's working with and the effects of time on his work rate have all contributed to folks becoming jaded about Y2J showing up to "save us".
The man himself talked about that in a recent chat with UK music blog GetYourRockOut. Jericho first addressed the segments of the audience that are always pushing for a WWE comeback and possibly even hoping for a big farewell tour or retirement angle:
I've been very smart over the last ten years in building the Chris Jericho brand, and wrestling is a part of what I do, but it's not by far the biggest thing of what I do by any shape or form. And sometimes that confuses some of my fans, but I really don't care.
If I never wrestle another match again, I'm happy with it. I've done all that I ever wanted to do and more. I still like going back from time to time, because it's fun. But when other things come up, things that I've been working on for a long period of time, they start paying off, well, then you've gotta be there and spend that time on that as well.
Whether you're among the wrestling fans that are confused by his primary focus being on fronting Fozzy, or acting in Sharknado 3, or if you were underwhelmed by his Fandango and Bray Wyatt feuds during his last big runs, the Man of 1,004 Holds is grateful that you were along for the ride:
I've always lived my life doing what I wanna do and what feels right to me - not for money, [and] not what other people want me to do. If I listened to what other people want me to do, I never would have gotten into wrestling in the first place; everyone said I was too small. I never would have gotten into rock and roll in the first place; everyone said, ‘You'll never do it.'
So I learned a long time ago to be really happy with what you're doing career-wise; you have to follow your heart and do what you feel is right and commit to it. And if you commit to it, you'll make it; you'll do it.
And, thankfully, the majority of my fans follow me throughout everything that I do. And if they don't, thanks for being aboard as long as you were. Thanks for being a part of it. And if you feel like you have to go the other way, that's cool too.
Check out the whole interview here:
As a card-carrying Jericholic, I have to admit that I'd be a little bummed if we'd seen the last of him in WWE. While I'd never argue that he's capable of the in-ring work he was known for in his mid-nineties to late aughts prime, and I think he's somewhat hamstrung by having to work face by virtue of the shorter runs he squeezes into his packed schedule, I always find something to enjoy from almost any appearance.
And I believe his program with Wyatt was actually key to the rebuilding of Bray we've seen since his losses to John Cena, and paid off in a hella fun cage match that gave us an all-time Jericho moment.
Where do you stand on the wrestling future of Y2J, Cagesiders? Have you seen enough, or would you be interested in whatever time he can give to one of his old hobbies?