First things first, the build was great but the payoff was negatively impacted by seeing Jericho clotheslining the torch-bearer. The anticipation of seeing Jericho coming through the curtain was diminished. Also, they did the exact same thing when Jericho debuted in 1999 so the lack of creativity took a few points off. But, I am nitpicking because Jerichoâ<80><99>s energy and the fansâ<80><99> need to truly want to cheer for someone likeable made the segment magic.
Who have Raw fans had to cheer for over the past couple of years? John Cena, who gets as many cheers as boos. Shawn Michaels, who is over but works a reduced schedule. Triple H, who is not over as a babyface because he doesnâ<80><99>t sell and never puts the heels over. Jeff Hardy, who is over and the WWE is bending over backwards to get Triple H the rub from Jeff. (I canâ<80><99>t believe I just typed that line but itâ<80><99>s true.)
The point is Chris Jerichoâ<80><99>s return will be good for Raw because he fills the void. Jericho is saving the fans from a dearth of babyfaces and instantly gives the fans a marketable, established star.
The biggest difference between Chris Jericho now and in 1999 is Chris knows how to work like a main-eventer and wonâ<80><99>t have the stutterstep he had in his first programs in his debut. His matches with Randy Orton will be great and we wonâ<80><99>t have to hear about Jericho not being able to work like we did back then.
While I welcome my colleague Scott Hudson to Wrestlezone.com and I respect his opinion on the business greatly, I disagree with certain elements of his debut column. Scottâ<80><99>s comparison between Chris Jericho and a green-as-grass Scott Hall and Glacier are unfair and the WWE canâ<80><99>t be compared to the dysfunctional WCW that welcomed Bret Hart.
I worry that Scott may have some TNA scorn in his words as I read between the lines. But, would Jerichoâ<80><99>s debut in a TNA ring would have meant bigger ratings, more house show attendance, increased buy rates for a company that canâ<80><99>t get beyond living in the past? In fact, as I watched the Jericho return the other night, I felt that I was watching TNA. The Orlando-based company loves to bring in big names and have them simply try to recapture what got them over by a former employer instead of coming up with something fresh.
While I was disappointed by the lack of creativity with Jerichoâ<80><99>s return, I believe Chris Jerichoâ<80><99>s return will be good for business. Now, will Triple H allow Jericho to get over or will we see Y2J shoveling dog crap again?
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