Another wrestling year is nearing completion as 2012 goes the way of Abraham Washington. 2012 gave us Ryback, another Chris Jericho return and 1,000 episodes of Monday Night RAW. 'Tis the season to rank them in order of importance. Stories will be evaluated based on longevity, mainstream coverage and social media influence.
Top 10 of 2012, No. 10: One Night in Brazil
Chris Jericho's awkward desecration of the Brazilian flag during a WWE live tour in Brazil was symbolic of his latest return to the WWE.
With Jericho trying just a little too hard to be a heel, the decorated former world champion would see his antics blow up in his face.
Jericho's return was teased through a series of vignettes (seen below) featuring creepy little children. Think Children of the Corn meets The Exorcist, probably with a little Haley Joel Osmond sprinkled in.
The theme of Jericho's 2012 return aptly vowed to coincide with the end of the world as we knew it. Unfortunately, it was only Jericho's momentum as a world-class villain that would see a premature ending.
Chris Jericho's return came just before the 2012 Royal Rumble. Given the timing, Jericho was the most logical choice to win the WWE's biggest and most opportunistic battle royal. Jericho winning especially made sense given his inflammatory remarks about WWE Champion CM Punk on Twitter prior to his return.
A Royal Rumble win by Jericho would have guaranteed him a WWE title shot. It would have been a befitting showdown against another individual who, like Jericho, referred to himself as the best in the world.
A surprising turn of events saw Sheamus edge Jericho and win the Royal Rumble. The Celtic Warrior would go on to challenge Daniel Bryan for the World Heavyweight Championship, leaving Chris Jericho on a convoluted path to No. 1 contender status.
Jericho went on to lose at Elimination Chamber the following month. By the time he finally clinched his spot at WrestleMania opposite Punk, he had lost considerable momentum given his odd pay-per-view losing streak right out of the gate.
Jericho would go on to lose to Punk at WrestleMania, extending his losing ways on pay-per-view. Wrestling is a worked form of sports entertainment. Therefore, wins and losses presumably do not matter, especially with an all-world talent like Chris Jericho.
This could not be any further from the truth.
The Undertaker does not have to win another wrestling match for the duration of his career. He'll still go down as one of the top five superstars in WWE history. But Undertaker's legacy is built on a WrestleMania winning streak, where the phenom is undefeated in 20 appearances.
Jericho's befuddling losing streak had harmed his latest run just as the Undertaker's WrestleMania win streak bolstered the mystique of the Dead Man.
Things only went from bad to worse following Jericho's staged crumpling of the Brazilian flag during an overseas tour. Jericho was forced to apologize immediately for his actions and was later suspended for 30 days while still knee deep in a storyline slump.
Upon his return, Jericho's pre-suspension slump was made into a storyline. As part of the storyline, current Money in the Bank winner Dolph Ziggler taunted the future Hall of Famer for "not being able to win the big one."
This would lead to a Jericho babyface turn (similar to how MVP turned babyface following a five-month losing streak).
Jericho finally won a match on pay-per-view. Following a victory over Ziggler at WWE SummerSlam, he would go on to lose to Ziggler on a subsequent episode of RAW. Per a stipulation by then-GM AJ Lee, Jericho was forced to leave the WWE.
Chris Jericho's final run in the WWE likely hasn't happened yet. But if this was it, it would behoove a future Chris Jericho DVD to contain an alternate ending.