At the end of 2011, WWE fans became witness to the now-infamous "It Begins" promos. These promos spoke of someone returning to "claim what is his." The cryptic messages and tones of the vignettes immediately pointed to a return of The Undertaker.
As the weeks progressed and more videos started to become available, the Internet Wrestling Community (IWC) turned their attention to the rumblings of a different return.
Chris Jericho worked the Internet very hard to try to convince them he was done with WWE. However, as wrestling fans are becoming more intelligent, Y2J's attempts at a swerve didn't go over too well. For weeks, the IWC had nearly 100% confirmation that it would in fact be Jericho returning.
On January 2, 2012, The Ayatollah of Rock-n-Rollah made his long anticipated return to the WWE. He was instantly greeted with cheers and admiration. However, of all the noise that erupted from Memphis that night, none of it was shock.
Most people were excited about Jericho's return, especially after the talks of a WrestleMania match between him and current WWE Champion CM Punk surfaced. In the know-it-all world of the IWC, Jericho was set to win the 2012 Royal Rumble match and challenge Punk for the Championship.
As it got down to the final two of the match, the IWC expected Jericho to eliminate the future of the WWE in Sheamus.
After minutes of near eliminations, The Celtic Warrior finally caught Y2J with a Brogue Kick to eliminate him from the match and head to WrestleMania. At that moment, the IWC and WWE fans alike turned their heads in shock, as for weeks the expectation was that Jericho would win the Rumble match.
Jericho's loss, however, is a great start to 2012 for WWE.
When Jericho made his return and revealed himself to be behind the vignettes, the IWC was happy to see him, but not shocked. This mainly gave them something to be upset about, such as, "We knew it was coming! Surprise us next time!" A safe bet would be that if he had won the Royal Rumble match, those same words would have been uttered.
There certainly was no reason to believe Sheamus would win the match. Jericho took Dolph Ziggler's spot in the rotation on Raw and seemingly left Sheamus on a why-is-this-happening program with Jinder Mahal.
Over the course of 2011, Sheamus has been launched to the top of the WWE. He connects with the fans and is entertaining in the ring. WWE officials are very happy with the way he conducts himself backstage and in public. The Great White's Rumble win does much more than Jericho's win would have.
Had Y2J never returned, he would still receive tons of admiration from the WWE fans for everything he had done in the past. Being the first WWE Undisputed Heavyweight Champion and defeating The Rock and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin in the same night to become said Champion, Jericho doesn't have a lot to prove.
I believe his current role will be to help push the next generation of superstars. I see him having great matches with Punk, Ziggler, Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett, Sheamus and The Miz.
Sheamus winning the Rumble gives him validity as a top contender in the WWE. He's already one of the most popular superstars to the WWE fans and has the size and talent to be taken as legitimate threat to win whichever title he chooses.
The only reason for Jericho to have won the Rumble would be to set up him and Punk at WrestleMania, which the IWC had also expected since his return. I personally look forward to that match, and as we saw this past Monday, those motions are set.
The IWC has great opinions and is more often than not correct in predictions. However, most of them are never satisfied because they can expect what will happen next.
This has nothing to do with predictability on the WWE's part. They do their best to keep their plans under wraps, like Undertaker's return this past Monday night. There are two ways for the IWC to become as satisfied as possible. The WWE needs to stop letting information leak out and the IWC needs to stay off the dirt sheets where they find all of these spoilers.
Of course, then there would be no IWC, would there?
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