Now that we know John Cena has joined Seth Rollins and others on the disabled list, Chris Jericho's return on Raw is less out-of-the-blue.
That hasn't made it any less controversial, especially for a segment of the internet fanbase that has turned on Y2J over the course of increasingly frequent "surprise returns" where he plays a babyface character and puts over young heels.
Well, bad news, haters. Breaking down his latest comeback on his podcast, Talk is Jericho, he explains that this is not a one or two month, house show-only tour of duty like some of his recent stints:
It's not just a one-time thing. I am back, baby! I'm back for the attack, like Dokken always said, and I'm in the Royal Rumble, which is now for the [WWE] World Heavyweight Championship, so maybe I'll become a seven-time world champion. And I will say this: it's going to be a long, wild ride. I've got a lot of plans [and] a lot of things that [are] going on.
The multi-time WWE and Intercontinental champion has heard the criticism about his segment with tag champs The New Day from this past Monday. And he's not particularly sympathetic:
I love so many things about the wrestling business and I love all of you fans, but man, some of you complain a lot, which is my favorite part. It's like, 'oh, Jericho is re-re-re-re-returning. How many surprise returns is Jericho going to make?' As many as I want, baby, because I still love doing it and I still have fun doing it.
Why [was it terrible comedy], because I started a 'rooty tooty booty' chant? You mean that's not 'if you smell what The Rock is cooking?' level of comedy? The thing is, it works! It's fun because it's The New Day. Their whole gimmick is based around being goofy and I knew that I could get people to chant 'rooty tooty booty', so if you weren't there and you didn't like it, tough luck because the people in San Antonio [Texas] loved it!" Jericho added, "if that's bad humor and you didn't laugh, oh, I'm sorry. Go watch some [Søren] Kierkegaard or something like that. Go watch some Peter Sellers movies or something because I thought it was funny and it was a catchphrase that was chanted throughout the show and they'll probably make a damn t-shirt of it.
Yes, I called them Green Day, which some people went, 'ah, you said the wrong name, Green Day'. Hello! Go back to see Chris Jericho's previous promos where I mispronounce people's names. I thought Green Day was perfect.
Another thing that a lot of people didn't pick up is I basically transcribed my very first promo, the debut in 1999 and kept it very much the same and reapplied that to what's going on right now, so it was a blast.
Even as a card-carrying Jericholic who's excited that he's back because I always enjoy the way he tells stories in a wrestling ring, I was not a big fan of this Raw segment. I got what he was doing, but Jericho has never been The Rock. I do love Peter Sellers, but I don't think watching his flicks makes me high-brow. Unless you count Being There...but I digress. I will try to find some Kierkegaard movies, because apparently the 19th century Danish philosopher was REALLY ahead of his time.
Anyway, being antagonistic with complaining fans isn't a new look for Y2J, but I do hope his tone here and the promise of a longer run means he'll get to play a rudo at some point. I've always preferred Jericho when he's not trying to please, and I do think an IC title feud with Dean Ambrose (deftly set-up at Night of Champions) could do wonders for both men.