Heading in to SummerSlam 2012, Chris Jericho has been in a similar position before. Nine years ago, he was in Dolph Ziggler's position: the upstart talent looking to usurp the seasoned and celebrated veteran.
Jericho's clash with Shawn Michaels going into WrestleMania XIX produced one of the better storylines of that year and one of the most memorable WrestleMania matches ever.
In 2012, Jericho is the veteran. Ziggler is on the verge of breaking out in the main-event scene in WWE.
They set themselves on a collision course after the Money in the Bank pay-per-view and now have one of the most-anticipated matches on the card for this Sunday's SummerSlam.
Wrestling is like the movies. Storylines (like plots) are recycled and repackaged over the years.
The Jericho-Ziggler collision centering around the veteran and the rookie jockeying for status and pride has become sort of a dark-horse favorite in a pay-per-view that has become centered around the Brock Lesnar-Triple H main event.
The excitement is justified.
The night after Money in the Bank, Ziggler ignited this feud with a scathing promo on Jericho that boiled down to the general consensus among the IOC: Jericho has lost his touch and his return had been a bust.
What's followed since is Jericho transforming into a face once again along with bringing his Y2J persona out of mothballs with catchphrases and all.
In wrestling, nothing can beat nostalgia.
It's what caused grown men to tear up when Hulk Hogan "hulked up" on The Rock at WrestleMania XVIII. It's what caused an unexpected explosion of fanfare for Ricky Steamboat at WrestleMania XXV.
Let's face it: everyone loves to root for the old guy.
There's just something innately compelling about the concept of "will over skill." That statement is definitely an exaggeration in the case of Jericho and Ziggler.
Y2J is not over the hill in terms of skill. Jericho still has the ability to put on a five-star match. He can certainly take Ziggler to a new level of in-ring work.
This match sets the stage for a potential Match of the Year candidate alongside Jericho-CM Punk and Sheamus-Daniel Bryan at Extreme Rules.
WWE creative gets hammered for poorly conceived feuds of Raw heading in to PPVs, but this feud has come together nicely in a short period of time.
Each has made sudden ringside appearances at one another's singles matches. On Piper's Pit on Monday, everything came together.
There are many ways to forecast the outcome of Jericho and Ziggler's match at SummerSlam.
The Zig-Zag finish on Monday that allowed Miz to pin Jericho favors the face come pay-per-view time. Jericho has also made a habit of putting over younger talent during his run in 2012.
With rumors (via Wrestling News World) of Jericho leaving after SummerSlam to tour with Fozzy, the likelihood of a push for this feud beyond Sunday to Night of Champions is up in the air.
Another possibility is Jericho going over and having Ziggler cash in his Money in the Bank contract later in the night after the World Heavyweight Title match. Sort of a twist on the events of WrestleMania X with Bret Hart.
Regardless of the outcome, Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler stand to set the bar very high for the other wrestlers on the card at SummerSlam.
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