Well, fans, it’s finally arrived. This past Monday night on Raw, Chris Jericho returned – in a big way.
The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n Rolla interrupted WWE Champion Randy Orton’s “Passing of the Torch” ceremony to make it known that after so long away from the ring he had one thing on his agenda – taking the strap from the champ.
Now, with due respect, some have opined that Jericho’s arrival isn’t the salvation of the WWE. It’s been said that despite the anticipation, build-up and excitement over his return – the moment will be fleeting and things will be business as usual before long.
Of course, “business as usual” lately hasn’t exactly seen the best days of the WWE.
And perhaps they are right – but not in this column.
You see, I happen to subscribe to the notion that the sports entertainment biz isn’t just made by athletes who can move well in the ring. Lord knows we have to watch our fair share of them that can’t.
A good television showing is made great by exactly what you saw in the final moments of this week’s Raw. Having athletes that can not only get in the ring and show us their moves, but who can also get on that microphone and display vocal talents extraordinaire.
That’s why, especially now, the WWE needs Chris Jericho. That’s why the WWE needs to let Ric Flair show his stuff one last time. Having stars with their promo skills, and allowing them to do what they do best, is a surefire way to bring ratings.
Fans thrive on good storylines. They thrive on well-executed feuds. They thrive on the occasional war between factions.
Think I’m wrong? Remember waiting to see if Batista would stick with Evolution? Remember Brett Hart vs. Shawn Michaels? Remember the Four Horsemen, or even the NWO vs. the Wolfpack?
Granted, everyone has their own opinions on what the best feuds, factions, and rivals have been in the history of wrestling. But without men like Jericho, who can work magic on the mic and really sell himself and his story to the fans – it’s all for nothing.
Welcome back, Chris Jericho. Welcome back, Ric Flair. Here’s hoping the WWE lets you do what you do best.
THE LAST WORD ON MEDIA RELATIONS
You all know how I felt about what CNN did to John Cena regarding his interview for the special report, “Death Grip.”
It disgusted me.
But in this modern era, complete with the information superhighway, I think it’s time the WWE rethink its policies toward online journalists.
We’re here, folks. I’m not judgmental, but it goes without saying that some will be better than others. Some will work as hard as any mainstream journalist to confirm their stories before running them, some will throw up any rumor they come across.
It’s much easier to get away with that in the online world.
But it’s about time the WWE started opening themselves up a bit more. Their policy currently forbids any employee from speaking with at least one online journalist that I know of, and probably covers a larger spectrum. (I wouldn’t know, to be honest – I haven’t read WWE policy.)
Guess what, Vince? Some online journalists have news experience and strive to bring credibility to the realm of wrestling news.
If John Cena’s words, published by your own site, were sincere in that he wanted to tell his side of the story to anyone he could – then I’m still here waiting.
You should still have my phone number.
On a lighter note, it is the day before Thanksgiving so I would be remiss if I didn’t throw in a few things to be thankful for.
I’m thankful that I have a beautiful wife and gorgeous daughters who still look up to their daddy for some reason.
I’m thankful for the home that houses them and every thing within it that we take for granted.
I’m thankful that Chris Jericho is back, Ric Flair worked things out for a return, and that hopefully the entertainment level just got kicked up a notch.
I’m thankful that I have the privilege of writing these columns on Wrestle Zone.
And I’m thankful for both of you who read them.
The Punching Bag
Itâ<80><99>s your turn again! This is where, each week, youâ<80><99>ll find e-mails and feedback from wrestling fans on my Takes and opinions. You’re welcome to send yours, good or bad, to email@example.com. But be warned – the WWE isn’t the only ones I won’t pull punches for!
I agree with it being a huge disappointment to give the tag titles to Miz (Absolutely Horrible Wrestler) and Morrison. I know the WWE is running thin on Quality Tag Teams, but I would have rather seen the Highlanders go to Smackdown! and become champs. Hell, I would rather see Johnathan Coachman & Hornswoggle be champs before those two jabronis. But to comment on what you said about them, remember, since JBL yelled at them after the ECW taping, which you know is performed after Smackdown, that incident with Morrison, Miz & JBL had not occurred yet, when they won the titles. So there could be fall-out from that coming soon.
Thanks, Michael, but I am aware of the timing. It doesn’t change my displeasure at seeing these two have gold on them. Here’s hoping for one of two things: 1. They both get a huge attitude adjustment and step up their games; or, 2. Their reign doesn’t last long.
Hi dude, just finished listning to the recent Audio on Wrestlzone, wich i enjoyed, I have to agree on the point where WWE should give sombody else a shot agaisnt orton, the likes of Jeff/Kennedy even carlito to freshen things up, personaly i would love to see jeff up there, as iam a huge fan of his, for alot of years now, but i dont think Vince is ready to give anyone else a shot, whats he gonna do when HBK and Taker HHH all the big names go, hang up there boots, and all the younger guys like benjamin,Carlito,London and Kendrick (possibly) might end up in TNA, TNA are growing, growing fast, personaly in the audio one of you said Orton has had a few problems, if u put say sombody else in ortons shoes, and tht happened all the suspenions and tht hotel incisent, i thnk vince would of shown him the door, but Orton vince knows he has somthing with orton, and i think he is scared to let Orton go cause TNA would sign him or at least try there hardest to get him on board TNA…
I agree that someone else needed a shot at Orton, and now you have Jericho to take on the hunt. And while some may not think Jeff Hardy is main-event material, I beg to differ and, apparently from inside sources, so does Triple H. (And you all know how much clout he has.) With that revelation, I don’t think you’ll be waiting long for Hardy to get the push he deserves. It’s nice that he does wear gold, but sooner or later he’ll be chasing the big one.
Hey Sean my names kieran and i just love the wrestling wwe obv. iv been watching it for about 14 years now since i was like 3 years old and i still watch it, i just wanted to say that i love the columns you do i find them very entertaining. i Just basically wanted to say really that i watched survivor series last night and i feel the same way as you do regarding edge. I am a big edge fan and i have been for a few years. Dont get me wrong im so hapy to see him back in the picture but im a little dissapointed also about the way the hell in the cell match came to an end. i knew edge was returning last night but i didnt know he was going to do that. i just thought it was a dissapoining end to such a good match. but none the less im still happy to see edge back. I thorughly enjoyed the wwe championship match more tho i must say im a bit dissapointed that Randy Orton took the win but a good match none the less. whats your take on Chris Jericho returning tonight also?
Thanks for the props, Kieran. Glad you’re reading – and writing. Edge is certainly one of the few entertainers I count as great on the mic, and was sorely missed. But I too didn’t care for the way he showed up. Granted, I know the “run-in” is a classic staple of the business. But to have him show up and ruin the ending of a great Hell in a Cell match that should have been the climax of a great rivalry?
Uh, yeah. I was confused by that as well, and apparently so were those calling the match! There’s no disqualifications in Hell in a Cell, so what are you going to do if they don’t break the hold? Somebody screwed up there, no doubt. But ruin the match? No. Those two did a hell of a job and I still enjoyed it.
Me and my friends have all gathered together only a few times in the last month or so, all because of these SAVE US videos haha, thinking “is tonight gonna be the night ? ” we`v been dissapointed as of yet,
Well, Spikey, we all know how the return went down. Hopefully the run will be a good one.
Hornswoggle beating Carlito, what a joke!, its fair to say that WWE like to screw the people that are leaving over after years of dedication, fair enough Carlito might be a bit of an arse, but come on the guy has worked hard and given a lot of dedication to the biz, I can’t remember a time when Carlito has been injured either.
Most definitely. It left me with a bad taste in my mouth, and it wasn’t apple.
I’ve enjoyed reading your recent takes on Raw, nice to see this website moving in that direction. Seeing as you’ve asked for feedback, and included a simple technical pyro issue…
Thanks, and keep watching, Travis. The improvements just keep coming, there’s more in store, and I count myself lucky to have been brought into the staff during this exciting time.
Sean “O’Mac” McGuinney’s day job is as a newspaper editor. He has been a journalist for nearly 10 years and has covered everything from government to sports. The wrestling? Well, that’s just been enjoyed since he was a kid. Don’t ask how long ago that was.