“It’s the gift of Jericho. Drink it in maaaannnnnnnn…”
It’s something I love to hear every week. Chris Jericho has had one bizarre modern run, even more so 2016. From having the worst match of the year considered by many in our bubble, to revamping his tag team arsenal with AJ Styles and Kevin Owens, to grudging over a plant the entire way through. Jericho’s on-screen personality remains captivating throughout whatever he does. This last Sunday at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, I howled on my couch watching the boisterous personalities of Alberto Del Rio, Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho clash on-screen. It provided a natural sitcom feel with tremendous retorts and grumpy dad Jericho slouched over, with a confused yet MEAN ARRRR look on his face. He wanted to win Money in the Bank. That relates to a point in this piece in which I explain Jericho will never be the top guy again. It’s the new era after all (with more veterans potentially flooding in than ever before).
It’s so hard to explain current day Jericho to someone, or to even believe how you feel about him. He’s had a tremendous feud against AJ Styles this year, culminating in multiple good-great matches, with the best being the SmackDown TV main event. That was touted as a TV wrestling classic by commentary and the like, including me when I reviewed it. Jericho works best in a TV setting. More catered towards entertainment and when the matches happen they’re truncated. I’m not going to act like Jericho’s been perfect in this setting either. He’s had TV MOTYCs and even the definitive best SmackDown and RAW matches this year, but he’s also been in scary situations. Neville match, botches, ref scarceness. Crews match, botches, not blaming on Jericho, but still a weird splatter on his year. Then there’s the AJ Styles Fastlane match. What a weird and not good professional wrestling match.
I don’t understand how someones year could be all over the place, but then I realize who the name of such person is. It’s Chris Jericho. You could vote him for: worst match of the year, best on interviews AND most overrated to an extent in both iterations of the meaning of the award. Jericho is the best example of professional wrestling being good and bad. Feuds: amazing vs. AJ Styles, please god no vs. Dean Ambrose. Matches: HOLY HELL YES vs. AJ Styles and The Miz, why god please no vs. Dean Ambrose and Apollo Crews. Segments: (you get the deal…) the Ambrose stuff, freaking awesome on a SmackDown when he burnt the Y2AJ shirt.
The nostalgia pop is beginning to wear off. Jericho has returned far too often and has already overstayed this return. He’s slowly beginning to route back, staying true to a believable and humorous character currently while going all over the place with match quality. He’s working with mainstream stars and up and comers, turning back and forth, and popping in and out of tag teams. Good or bad, maybe Jericho IS the perfect guy for it. Not everything is going to go well but we all know it’s Chris goddamn Jericho. He makes the most out of anything non in-ring and either fails miserably or turns something to gold surprisingly. With age comes constant greatness when you look at legends. Whether or not all of this is constant greatness is up to you. I don’t think it is. But at least whenever Jericho acts out a character, interacts with a crowd or gets on a mic: it’s constant greatness.
YOU STUPID IDIOT!