SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Chris Jericho gets it. He knows what it’s all about. He can get it on.
The word “it” is going to feature heavily in this Friday Feature, by the way.
The reason being that Chris Jericho literally got the word “it” over in a way that belies reason and logic. I know, I know, Daniel Bryan got both “yes” or “no” over, but Jericho’s latest run has taken him to a renewed level. A level of popularity that hasn’t been seen since the last time The Rock walked in, threw a t-shirt over Michael Cole’s head and starting talking about his shopping list. Jericho is on top of the business right now.
His development always comes in fits and bursts based on what the business needs at the time. Upon first entering the company, Jericho was an arrogant, egotistical heel in a way that, once again, had not been seen since The Rock had turned face. Later, his rampant popularity shifted the fans behind him. That and, you know, that guy’s got style.
His debut is still considered one of the best that ever happened. WWE showed major faith in his mic skills, meanwhile The Rock ensured that the segment was a popular one even before Jericho arrived.
You see, even while Jericho was amassing immense popularity, there is one key difference in his charisma and that of The Rock. Jericho has always been a master of getting everyone else over.
His two matches with Chyna over the IC belt mark the absolute height of Chyna’s popularity, and certainly the highlight of her in ring achievements. The WrestleMania Eurocontinental championship feud against Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit gave massive credence to all three, though all three should also be equally credited. To an even larger degree, I sincerely doubt Stephanie would be anywhere near the character that she is today without having Y2J to bounce off of.
Their whole relationship is basically “When are they just going to screw and get it over with?” She built her confidence around encounters with Chris Jericho. There were some things Jericho got over that I barely even thought possible. Jericho got over Jeri-show. Yeah, that.
So what about lately? Well, lately Jericho has had one thing in mind, and that’s getting Kevin Owens as over as it is possible to do. How did he do it? By being the finisher. He finished Owens’ sentences, he finished his title defences, he even finished his title reign. All the while, Jericho slowly built himself up as the most likeable, engaging, sexy piñata that he is. When it came time to turn face, Jericho was ready and so were the fans.
The fans wanted to chant Stupid Idiot. They wanted to chant It. They wanted to watch people make the list. Last week on Raw, Jericho got the tip of Kevin Owens’ finger over. This makes being a heel so very easy. Imagine if Owens pokes Jericho in the eye in his next match, then just looks at his finger. Well that finger made the list! Irony! Bless Jericho and his sweet dad bod.
In this current run Jericho has even collected a wide variety of losses and not that many wins. He’s lost to AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens. All but the last have happened multiple times. Jericho gets people over. Jericho puts people over. Jericho is worth his weight in gold right now.
Receiving a horrific injury in or before his rematch with Kevin Owens seems the most sensible thing for Jericho right now, given his intended tour schedule. I might indeed be going to see him while Fozzy are here in the UK, but you know what’s going to happen the second he comes back.
A huge pop, a Y2J chant and someone, oh someone, someone’s going to make the list. I envy them.
CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS ARTICLE: FRIDAY FEATURE: Sami Zayn, the Afterthought from the Underground