Last night on Raw, Chris Jericho raised the stakes of his current feud with CM Punk, making very personal comments about Punk's father—primarily regarding his history of alcohol abuse.
While some have criticised the angle for incorporating such taboo subject matter, I think that Y2J's most recent verbal attack is just what the "Best In The World" feud needs in order to truly emerge from the shadow of both Rock-Cena and HHH-Taker in the buildup towards WrestleMania 28.
Many, including myself, eagerly anticipated the return of Jericho in January and his inevitable clash with WWE champion CM Punk. However, the feud has undoubtedly been overshadowed in recent weeks by the other two "main events" (let's face it, the WHC bout is pretty much being built as an under-card match) which will take place on April 1.
With the Rock and Shawn Michaels returning to make sporadic appearances on WWE television, the entire pre-WrestleMania buzz has seemingly centered around the matches that will feature the two legends, as opposed to what effectively should be the main event in determining not only the WWE champion (and face of the company), but also the "Best Wrestler in the World."
In recent years, the PG Era has meant that the WWE has become far too conservative in its storylines, but the infusion of an angle involving alcoholism within the Jericho-Punk saga is a step in the right direction of being a far grittier and more convincing overall product.
Part of the appeal of the Attitude Era was the inclusion of a more realistic and aggressive tone which engulfed characters and feuds. By Jericho reimagining this with his most recent attack, I sincerely hope that we see a more serious turn take place to elevate the feud to the next level in time for the Granddaddy of Them All.
For my money, I really don't care who calls themselves the "Best in the World." It would be great to see two great performers beat the hell out of each other for not just a stupid spinning belt or a worthless moniker, but instead because we have seen a real storyline arc between the pair where there appears to be a genuine dislike for one another (whether kayfabe or not), and personal pride at stake.
While I do see the argument that this particular subject matter is somewhat controversial when used within the context of furthering a WWE storyline, I personally believe that we need to consider the product of professional wrestling for what it is—a work of fiction—and therefore realise that the best drama typically has its primary grounding in real-life issues.
The fact that Jericho has now gone on to overwhelm Punk on both WWE television and Twitter with his revelations, will only build to an even more emotional and meaningful victory for the Second City Saint when he inevitably triumphs on April 1.
What do you think?
Has the Jericho-Punk storyline gone too far? Or is it the shot in the arm that this feud needs?
How will CM Punk respond?
Thanks for reading! Please feel free to leave any thoughts and/or suggestions in the comments section below.
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