Chris Jericho Returns to the WWE: Sheer Brilliance or Underwhelming?

Peter Hopey@phopeyCorrespondent IJanuary 6, 2012

Chris Jericho appears on Monday Night RAW 1/2/2012
Chris Jericho appears on Monday Night RAW 1/2/2012

Well, it’s closing in on a week since the Millennium Man himself, Y2J Chris Jericho made his “surprise” return to Monday night, and the net is still buzzing.

Everyone seems to have an opinion on his eight minute mime in front of the packed crowd.

Former fans as well as current viewers of the product have been part of the continued discussion around Jericho’s first appearance in a WWE ring in some time.

And the feedback has been all over the map. Some fans are just happy to see him back in ring. Others don’t care so much about him specifically but are of the mind that if someone is taking some spotlight away from John Cena, then it’s a good day.

For the most part, the word on the street from current and former performers seems all positive. Personally, I could go either way.

On the one hand, it seems quite ingenious. In just a brief segment of TV time, he not only proceeded to pop the crowd quite significantly (as the news of his possible return was confirmed), but without saying anything at all, he appeared to have morphed from a possible face returning to conquer “someone” or “something,” to leaving as a heel who both overstayed his welcome in the ring and who clearly caught up in his own hype.

On the other hand, well, it could also be described as pretty mediocre. If we assume (I am not suggesting that’s what happened but for arguments sake…) that the WWE gave him the ball and said “do whatever you want out there” one could say that it was very weak in terms of planning and preparation and that it was, well, “lazy.”

I mean let’s not kid ourselves. He didn’t have to memorize any lines, he didn’t have to interact with any other performer, he wasn’t giving any offense or taking any bumps, he was just playing with the audience. And at around the four-minute mark, I think a lot of us (fans of his or not) were about ready to hit the fast-forward button. At face value, it wasn’t particularly inspiring. But it's Jericho...

Love him or hate him, for the most part, people seem to be holding judgment day for some time down the road. The smart fans are skimming the net looking to see where this is really going and the less informed fan is wishing Monday night would come sooner so they can see it play out for themself.

One thing is for sure, Jericho is generating interest—one might say controversy. And controversy creates cash. And even though the ratings didn’t bump a lot last week, I suspect there will be a few more fans tuning in this week now that word has spread.

He’s made it clear before that he’s interested in hopping on the Punk train, and if that’s the case, we can only begin to salivate at the potential for these two to dual on the mic and work magic in the ring.

How exactly it all plays out is anyone’s guess. One thing is for sure, the WWE can only benefit from having another talent like Jericho in the locker room as it tries to groom the next generation of wrestlers to take over the reigns of the product.

We all typically have a gut reaction to something, and after we have some time to ponder it, we sometimes change our minds. Now that you’ve had some time to mull it over, Jericho’s return, love it or hate it? And do you feel the same about the return today as you did immediately after it happened?