WWE News: Chris Jericho Brazil Incident Could Have Been Great for WWE

Craig GoldbergContributor IIIMay 25, 2012

I love wrestling.  I love stories like Chris Jericho getting suspended for publicly denigrating the flag of the country he is performing in, as reported by WWE.com.

Was it wrong?  Sure, of course it was.  Was it in bad taste?  Probably, but this is pro wrestling we are talking about.  Does it add to the mystique of Chris Jericho being a killer heel in an era that lacks true hatred among fans of wrestling?

It sure as hell does.

Wrestling has long depended on moments, moments that stand the test of time as either surprising or truly shocking.

The worst part about Chris Jericho's incident in Brazil was that it was not on TV.  I'd say that 75 percent of WWE's core audience will never even know about what happened.

This is the kind of moment that would live on in the hearts of wrestling fans for years to come.

Let me backtrack a little bit.

Last night, WWE.com reported that Chris Jericho had been suspended due to his actions.  Now we all know that anything reported on WWE's actual website is most likely all part of the storylines that are played on television.  Nobody is hanging out on the official web page hoping to catch an exclusive inside scoop.

This is leading many to believe that the suspension is not real.  Maybe WWE is reporting it to avoid a small media firestorm.

The bottom line is that we live in an age of the 24-hour news cycle.  Mainstream media outlets are reporting on the Jericho incident, but it will be gone as soon as it arrived.  So I look at WWE.com reporting the suspension as damage control.  That's all.  

This all reminds me a bit of the Daniel Bryan choking incident in 2010.  Daniel Bryan himself said on Colt Cabana's "Art Of Wrestling" podcast that he was told by WWE officials upon re-signing that they just needed to appease the sponsors until the incident blew over.

This is almost the same.  The WWE is international.  They cannot afford to have certain venues, or let alone the entire country of Brazil, denounce them.

Chris Jericho did the right thing by immediately apologizing to the live crowd.  I am sure that Jericho wanted nothing to do with spending the night in a Brazilian jail.

My guess is they told Jericho to take a few days off, but I do not believe that he is truly "suspended."

That brings me to my point.  This is a completely different era in wrestling.  Every time the product starts inching towards the edge of the Attitude Era, they throw out the whip and bring it right back in.  

This kind of incident would have been applauded and supported by the WWE if it was 1998.

The truth is...it's 2012.

The WWE is TV-PG.  Linda McMahon is running for office.  Vince McMahon is trying to launch the WWE network.  They just do not have room for the lines of decency being blurred.

I get it.

I do not like it.  But I get it.

Jericho is a true old-school heel.  He is a technical wrestler who has worked very hard for the business that he loves.  He was just doing what comes natural to him.  I wish we were in a time where the WWE could run with this.  As offensive as it could be to some, this is the type of thing that could be replayed on RAW and lead to a fabulous run of matches between Jericho and C.M. Punk.

This is what a great feud needs, and rarely has, these days.  

Fuel.  The feuds need fuel for the fire.

This probably was not a mapped-out spot.  This was Chris Jericho knowing how to get on the audience's bad side.  It could have been perfect.  Unfortunately, it will just get swept under the rug and forgotten.

This is just another reminder that when it comes to pro wrestling, the times are truly changing.