Much has been made about Chris Jericho in the past few months.
First, he made a "silent" return to WWE in early January. Many doubted his intentions upon coming back, but he made CM Punk is primary target in no time.
From their great WrestleMania match to the excellent street fight at Extreme Rules, it was clear that Jericho was not back for "wins" or "losses."
Just like Undertaker, Triple H, and Shawn Michaels, title victories meant very little to him. Thus, making the next group of stars look like a million bucks was his goal in returning this year.
Since then, he took a big pay-per-view pinfall loss to Sheamus. While this week did tease a clash with Randy Orton coming up (no doubt another loss), that may be on hold for a while.
According to WWE.com, Chris Jericho has been suspended for 30 days due to an irresponsible act of denigrating the Brazilian flag at a WWE live event in São Paulo on May 24.
I am sure most have seen the footage. If not, many have read about the details by now. There is no need to review the recent incident.
My immediate reaction was a simply shrug of the shoulders. To be honest, nothing struck me as "major" right off the bat. I read about it and didn't think too much.
As the hours went by, I really started to grasp how serious this was. Thankfully, officials and Jericho quickly apologized and tried to do some damage control.
When it was announced that he would be suspended for 30 days, I thought it was the correct decision. At first, a couple of weeks (before No Way Out) was my guess, but this works as well.
Many will point to other incidents involving national flags in wrestling history. Most know about Shawn Michaels and the Canadian flag.
Yes, we all remember that. However, that was a different time period in this world. It is a weak excuse, but it is true.
Also, Canada is not Brazil. If something is fine in one area, that does not mean other countries allow such acts also. Rules are different in every single area around the world.
In Brazil, Jericho could (and probably should) have been thrown in jail. It may be hard to understand for many fans, but laws are laws. If it is against the rules, you do not do it.
What was acceptable 20 years ago may not be fine in 2012. Sad but true. Thus, the HBK incident can be thrown out the window.
Another precedent is JBL back in 2004. Many will recall him making a few offensive gestures during a match in Germany.
Again, it was a different time.
Does everybody remember half of JBL's promos?
Nearly all of them would not be able to air in 2012. Again, what was acceptable in 2004 definitely would never fly these days. You just can't compare the two time periods.
Yeah, good luck with airing that nowadays!
The simple fact is Jericho made a mistake. He issued an apology moments later and realized the very sensitive era we are living in.
With WWE being a PG show now and Linda McMahon trying to deflect all wrestling mentions, a suspension was warranted. Again, that is just the world we live in today.
Just like Daniel Bryan was (rightfully) fired in 2010, it does not mean much in the long run. He made a small mistake, got a few weeks off and would be right back. It was just a public relations move that had to be done.
There is a fine line between just "playing a character" and being ignorant. On top of that, Jericho is well above going for cheap heat. He is a legend that should be able to get heat without such tactics.
30 Day Suspension?
CM Punk made a gay slur towards a fan last summer. He quickly realized that "playing a heel character" does not always work as an excuse and apologized. The same will be the result here.
Jericho will be just fine. This won't damage his legendary status at all. He is very familiar with well publicized incidents during his career.
In early 2009, he attacked a fan outside an arena after a live event. He continued his WWE run and was great all year.
In 2010, he was arrested for being intoxicated in public. Weeks later, he won the World Title.
Another incident happens in 2012. All it does is show, yet again, why some wrestlers are never given "the ball," while John Cena will happily remain the top star.
Jericho gets a few weeks off to work on his music. His feud with Orton gets pushed back a little bit. When he comes back next month, it will be like nothing even happened.