Chris Jericho’s Organic Rise Has Become WWE Raw’s Only Positive
Chris Jericho is the only good thing on a show that continues to disappoint.
Let’s set the record straight, WWE Raw is a bad show. There is little character development (e.g. cruiserweights), illogical storylines (e.g. Triple H disappearing after helping Kevin Owens), and mind-boggling segments (e.g. Trying to get Minneapolis to boo Brock Lesnar). Things just haven’t made sense, which remained the case after Hell in a Cell and Monday’s show. However, Chris Jericho has by far been the only thing about Raw that makes sense.
The best things in wrestling come organically. It’s how the Superstars get “hot” and full of momentum. Everyone gets excited whenever these people appear on WWE shows, and will cheer them for nearly anything because they’re entertaining.
Jericho has fit this organic mold over the past two months. He has done arguably the best character work of his career as he continues to reinvent himself. At 45-years-old, he’s the oldest full-time wrestler in WWE, and probably shouldn’t be the most anticipated person to see on Raw when Kevin Owens, Reigns, and Rollins are lurking. It’s not a disservice to them, but they’re simply being outshined by Y2J.
The best example of this can be seen from the most recent episode of Raw. By simply saying “lock it in, man” and toying with the crowd, Jericho overshadowed the WWE Universal Champion, a.k.a the person who’s supposed to be the focal part of Raw. This got by far the biggest reaction of the three-hour show, even beating Rollins and Reigns teasing realignment. It was even a pretty bad segment, which isn’t as much a trend as it is a constant.
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This all started with the creation of “The List of Jericho”. It’s asinine, ridiculous, and something that has no business being popular. However, all the would-be faults with this are actually positive. The List is silly, but it’s fresh and has a larger-than-life dramatization to it, especially when you hear the build-up in Jericho’s voice before he says, “You just made the list!” and the subsequent explosive reaction from the crowd. This is something not usually seen in WWE’s current landscape, so fans are drinking it in and enjoying it more than they probably should, like Damien Sandow as Mizdow. They’re both outside the box character elements, which clicked with everyone. The differences between these are extreme, except for the one thing that links them together—they got over organically and became one of the best parts of the show.
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Teased tension with Owens has also benefited Chris Jericho. For weeks, it seemed like their friendship had been approaching a boiling point, which fans realized, so they got behind the guy who was probably going to get screwed over. It’s making them bust to be able to cheer for The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla and go wild for anyone who goes on The List.
This all overshadowed the main three feuds leading into Hell in a Cell, all of which hurt Raw. “History is about to be made” turned a once exciting idea of a women’s cell match into just a bad tagline. Rusev and Reigns traded promos that couldn’t make you decipher who the heel and face was of the feud. Even Rollins and Owens hasn’t made much sense (again, where is Triple H?), and got overshadowed by Jericho third-wheeling The List around. This clipboard even became the focal point of the feud and the most over thing on Raw, and it’s all due to Jericho working it over with everyone. It’s a shame too because it seems like this is his own work while the others are being micro-managed.
Chris Jericho is not enough to mask an awful show, which has shown no sign of improving since the end of August. He is the best part of Raw, though, and as of now, it’s not even close.