In storyline terms, much has been made of Jericho's lack of success since his return to the WWE in January. Some people have taken this a step further and suggested it is genuinely the case that his much anticipated return became something of a damp squib.
Jericho's return in January followed some baffling promos that were ultimately irrelevant, and began with him remaining completely silent and manipulating the face pops the audience gave him to turn him heel. He then enjoyed a run at main event level, challenging (albeit unsuccessfully) for a world title at four consecutive pay-per-views.
Seven months after returning, Jericho loses to Dolph Ziggler—who claimed he couldn't win the big one—in a Contract vs Contract match. The argument follows that for Jericho to not have won a world title following the fanfare of his return constitutes a failure.
Too often people measure a wrestler's success by wins and losses and the number of world championships held. Really, though, these are fictional accolades. At this stage in his career, Jericho has nothing to prove. The first WWE Undisputed Champion who beat The Rock and Stone Cold on the same night (as is often mentioned on commentary) doesn't need another world title; his status is assured.
At WrestleMania he had a Match of the Year candidate with CM Punk and has participated in great matches all the way up to his final one putting over Dolph Ziggler. With a string of great wrestling performances, I don't think you can call his run a failure just based on whether he won or not.
There is one blot on his run—his 30-day suspension for desecrating the flag of Brazil at a house show. We can't be sure of what would have happened had this not taken place. After their thrilling climax to the Royal Rumble match, a one-on-one World Heavyweight Championship feud with Sheamus may have had good chemistry.
In kayfabe terms, Jericho has been a failure in 2012, and it is disappointing for Jerichoholics that he didn't "win the big one" during his latest stint with the company. However, if you've enjoyed his matches and his promos, then Y2J's latest return was a success—and I can't wait until we see him in action again.
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